1. Week 2

    25 July - 31 July
  2. Principal’s Merit Assembly (Year 7-12)

    29 July @ 1:45 pm - 3:35 pm AEST
  3. Week 3

    1 August - 7 August
  4. Parent/Teacher Interviews (Junior School)

    1 August @ 4:00 pm - 8:00 pm AEST


  • We’re Hiring – Administration Officer

    WE’RE HIRING // Due to the exciting growth and development of Snowy Mountains Grammar School, there is an opportunity for a dynamic, committed and detail oriented Administrator to join our Support Team on a full time basis in 2022. For all the details and to apply online, please visit: Administration Officer – Full Time
  • 2022 Regional Interschools Snowsports – Important Team Information

      To allow us to process our school entries into the 2022 ACT & Regional NSW Interschools Snowsport Championships, each student requires a valid and renewed Snow ID to be entered into the competition. Your child’s Snow ID needs to be renewed every year.  If you have not you have not provided a valid Snow […]
  • 2022 Snowsports Draft Team Lists – Now Available

    The draft team lists for both the 2022 SUBARU ACT & Regional NSW Interschools Snowsport Championships and the 2022 Redlands Cup are now available from the links below: SUBARU ACT & Regional NSW Interschools Snowsport Championships (Published 10/06/2022) Redlands Cup (Published 10/06/2022) Please direct any queries to Mr Martin Philpott at:
  • SMGS P&F Trivia Night – Tickets now on Sale!

      Join us for an evening of trivia fun!   Friday 10 June 2022 Doors open at 6:00 pm for a 6:30 pm start The Snowy Shed, SMGS   Tickets are $20 and can be paid ahead via the Eventbrite link below or by cash and card at the door.   Organise your table of […]

Aviation Program

//Aviation Program

Take Flight, at SMGS!


The Aviation Program gives Snowy Mountains Grammar School students the opportunity to soar, as they are introduced to the exciting world of flying. The program offers three course “phases” across fixed-wing aircraft and Remotely Piloted Aircraft (quadcopter drones), the program is one of the few provided by an Australian high school. Each level of learning offers students a new and stimulating way to engage with their education, through the application of maths, physics, and geography principles in a real-life setting.

SMGS’s Aviation Program is perfect for students interested in persuing flying for both recreational or commercial purposes. It is founded on the desire to foster responsibility and integrity in students, provide enhanced career opportunities to school-leavers, and inspire dynamic, cross-curricular learning opportunities. The Aviation Program is open to students from years 7-12. Due to the nature of the activity, the Aviation Program’s courses are conducted both during and after school hours.


About the Program

SMGS offers five courses within three phases to students, three of the courses result in commercial qualifications. Those courses providing commercial qualifications are externally assessed to maintain an exemplary teaching standard, and ensure that each student receives an internationally-recognised qualification.


  • To provide students with enough information, much of which is not readily available in the public domain, to make an informed decision with regard to 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 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; and
  • to provide students with the opportunity to further explore their interest in aviation.


  • Aviation theory components are studied in allotted times in a student’s normal academic timetable.
  • Flying training for piloted aircraft is mainly conducted on weekends and during holiday periods. A few training places are available during school time for students who have displayed the ability to keep up with their academic and aviation theory programs.
  • Non-piloted (drone) flying training is undertaken in after-school lessons.


  • School oval – drones (non-piloted aircraft training)
  • Hatchery Bay (non-piloted aircraft) – flying training and assessment
  • Jindabyne Randall Community Aerodrome – piloted aircraft.


  • Students in Years 7-10
  • Students in Years 11-12 (external)

Program record:

  • 1 student flying the 787 Dreamliner – Qantas
  • 1 student flying F/A18 Hornet – Air Force
  • 1 student flying Airbus A320 – Air Arabia
  • 2 students flying the Airbus A320 – Jetstar
  • 3 students presently completing their commercial pilot qualifications
  • 12 students have qualified for the RePL (drone) Licence.

Phase 1

All students are required to undertake the ‘Introduction to Aviation’ course which covers aspects of flying both remotely-piloted aircraft (drones) and pilot-manned aircraft. The aim of this course is to establish:

  • a student’s general interest in aviation;
  • the choice of stream (piloted aircraft or non-piloted aircraft) they wish to follow; and
  • the suitability of a student to pursue further aviation studies – this incorporates self-discipline, attitude and commitment.

The duration of the course is approximately six months.

Phase 2

RA-Aus Pilot Certificate

(Fixed-wing manned aircraft)

RePL Preliminary Certificate

(Remotely-piloted aircraft – drones)

Phase 3

RA-Aus Cross-Country and Passenger Carrying Endorsement

(Fixed-wing manned aircraft)

RePL Assessment and Qualification

(Remotely-piloted aircraft – drones)

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.


Program Success

The qualifications achieved by students within the SMGS Aviation Program provides students with immense professional opportunity. Possible career paths include Commercial Pilot, Flying Instructor, Airport Operations Manager, Australian Defence Force Pilot, Marketing Content Creator, Infrastructure Inspector, and Videographer. The SMGS Aviation Program regularly provides students with the opportunity to engage with professionals in these areas.

Graduates of the Aviation Program have pursued further study via the University of New South Wales’ School of Aviation, and the Australian Defence Force Academy. Others have commenced pilot cadetships with commercial airlines, such as Qantas, Virgin Airlines, Regional Express, Sharp Airlines, and Air Arabia. Aviation can provide a lucrative career-path for those passionate about the industry.


Recent posts about Aviation

SMGS Wins Innovative Schools Award for Second Year in a Row

By | September 4th, 2017|Categories: Academic, Academies, Aviation, Co-Curricular, Director of Junior School, Elite Snowsports Academy, Junior School, Let's Explore, Principal, Senior School, Snowsports|

Twenty-one years ago, Snowy Mountains Grammar School set out to offer a diverse range of opportunities, leading to the development of outstanding citizens equipped for an ever-changing world. Fast forward to 2017 and the school’s [...]

My first solo flight – written by Tolina Davis

By | January 25th, 2017|Categories: Aviation, Co-Curricular, Senior School, Uncategorised|

On 14th February, 2016, a day for celebrating those you love, I celebrated my love of the skies and flew solo for the first time. It was an amazing experience. I’ve studied aviation theory at [...]

Gaining my Pilot Certificate – by Nicholas Nanninga, Year 12

By | December 5th, 2016|Categories: Academies, Aviation, Boarding, Co-Curricular, Senior School, Uncategorised|

November has been an important month for me. Not only did I put P-plates on my first car but I also attained my RA-Aus Pilot Certificate, the freedom and independence of which is pretty [...]

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 [...]