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  • Regional Visit – SMGS Heading to Merimbula Seaside Markets

    Join us at the Seaside Markets in Merimbula on Sunday 21 April 2024, where you can meet our Deputy Principal, Registrar, and Director of Innovation. Discover the diverse learning opportunities we offer and explore the benefits of boarding at SMGS for your family.
  • 2025 Scholarship and Bursary Program – Applications Now Open

    Calling all Year 6-10 students! The Snowy Mountains Grammar School 2025 Scholarship and Bursary Program is now open for applications.   Our program is designed for students who are passionate about joining our learning environment and are committed to making a significant contribution to the life of the school.   Available Scholarships and Bursaries: Academic […]
  • Volunteers needed at the Jindabyne Ski Sale

    Calling all SMGS families!   The Jindabyne Ski Sale, an initiative of the Rob Kneller Youth Foundation, still needs volunteers to assist with this weekend’s event.   All funds raised will subsidise the cost of school skiing for JCS and SMGS students in years K-2 to encourage participation and exposure to the Snowsports industry.   […]
  • 2023 Redlands Cup Draft Team List (Updated)

    The draft team lists for the 2023 Redlands Cup Competition are now available: 2023 Redlands Cup Draft Team List (Tuesday 30th May 2023) Please direct any queries to

Aviation Program

//Aviation Program

Take Flight, at SMGS!

The main emphasis of the program is founded on the premise that a good decision can only be made with sound and comprehensive information. As such, the program provides students with knowledge and experiences, often not readily available in the public domain, that will facilitate their decision-making with respect to aviation. Such decisions may include the consideration of aviation as a career path, a recreational endeavour or as a way of expanding a general interest in the aviation industry.

In addition, the theory component of each course provides relevance to their normal academic subjects such as Science, Geography, Maths, PDHPE and Design & Technology.

Course Objectives

  • To provide students with enough information, much of which is not readily available in the public domain, to make an informed decision regarding a possible career in the aviation industry.
  • To provide students with the opportunity to gain full commercial qualifications either as an RA-Aus pilot and/or as a commercial RPA (drone) pilot.
  • To provide students with the opportunity to gain a competitive advantage when applying for post-school positions within the aviation industry.
  • To provide students with the opportunity to further explore their interest in aviation.

Courses Offered

Course 1:
RA-Aus Pilot Certificate

(Pilot-Manned Aircraft)

Course length:
Approximately 3 school terms

Year 9-12 students

Course 2:
RA-Aus Cross-Country and Passenger Carrying Endorsement

(Pilot-Manned Aircraft)

Course length:
Approximately 3 school terms.

Year 10-12 students.

Course 3:
RPA Professional Pilot Preparation 1 Certificate

(Remote Piloted Aircraft – drone)

Course length:
Approximately 3 school terms.

Year 10-12 students.

Course 4:
RPA Professional Pilot Preparation 2 Certificate

(Remote Piloted Aircraft – drone)

Course length:
Approximately 3 school terms.

Year 10-12 students.

Course 5:
RPA (RePL) Licence Course

(Remote Piloted Aircraft – drone)

Course length:
Approximately 2 weeks (1 week of online training and one week in Canberra.

Year 10-12 students.

SMGS Aviation Program Record

To date, our success rate for transitioning students from SMGS into the aviation industry includes students who are presently flying:

  • 787 Dreamliner – Qantas
  • C-17A Globemaster III – Royal Australian Airforce
  • FA18 Hornet – Royal Australian Airforce
  • Cessna Conquest – Sharp Airlines
  • Airbus A320 – Air Arabia
  • Airbus A320 – Jetstar

In addition, we have student/s involved in the following:

  • Aeronautical Engineering Degree at ADFA and is now undertaking RAAF pilot training.
  • Pilot cadetship with Torres Strait Air (multiple aircraft)
  • RePL (drone) Licence (12 students have already gained their RePL)
  • Employment with CASA
  • Ground operations at Canberra Airport

Instructor Profiles

Phil Ryrie – SMGS

The SMGS Aviation Program and all associated school-based learning is facilitated by Mr Phil Ryrie. Mr Ryrie is a passionate aviation enthusiast and is the Head of the SMGS School of Aviation. Mr Ryrie has had considerable experience and exposure to both commercial and general aviation training environments. He is a qualified RePL instructor and assessor.

Martin Hughes – Alpine Aviation Australia

Mr Martin Hughes is the owner/operator of Alpine Aviation Australia, a Recreational Aviation Australia flight training facility based at Jindabyne airfield, and the school’s Chief Flying Instructor. Mr Hughes is a former RAF pilot and flying instructor with over 4000 hours of flying experience.  Alpine Aviation Australia offers flying instruction for beginners of all ages, conversions from general aviation or type, flight reviews, instructor training and Recreational Aviation Australia endorsements.

John Fleming – FPV Australia

Mr John Fleming is the CEO and Chief Instructor of FPV Australia. Mr Fleming’s company has manufactured custom-built drones since the early 2000s, and is a pioneer and leader within the industry. He is dedicated to providing safety-focused, quality training. Mr Fleming trains RPA pilots for both public and private organisations. FPV provides SMGS students with both the RePL and Aeronautical Radio Operators certifications.


Recent posts about Aviation

Soaring to New Heights: Year 10 student Aidan Dawson Reflects on his First Solo Flight Experience

By | March 2nd, 2023|Categories: Aviation, Co-Curricular|

Jindabyne local and aspiring pilot Aidan Dawson celebrated his 15th birthday in January by taking his maiden solo flight, two years before he can legally drive a car on his own and two months after [...]

Take flight at SMGS! Aviation Program update for 2021

By | February 23rd, 2021|Categories: Academies, Aviation, Co-Curricular, School of Aviation, Senior School, Uncategorised|

Take flight at SMGS!   Open to students in Years 7-12, the SMGS Aviation Program has been updated for 2021. It now offers three “phases” and five courses across fixed-wing aircraft and Remotely Piloted [...]

Everything you need to know about the location of Snowy Mountains Grammar School

By | October 10th, 2016|Categories: Aviation, Boarding, Co-Curricular, Equestrian, Mountain Biking, Senior School, Snowsports|

Location, location, location Snowy Mountains Grammar School is nestled in the foothills of Australia’s stunning alpine region and located on the banks of the beautiful Lake Jindabyne. This environment provides our students with opportunities that [...]