Elementary Flying Training School

About This Unit

Elementary Flying Training Schools (EFTS)

The start point for pilot training under the Empire Air Training Scheme, a total of 12 EFTS were established in Australia under the scheme. They were as follows;

No. 1 EFTS Parafield, SA; later Tamworth NSW
No. 2 EFTS Archerfield, QLD
No. 3 EFTS Essendon, VIC
No. 4 EFTS Mascot NSW
No. 5 EFTS Narromine NSW
No. 6 EFTS Tamworth NSW
No. 7 EFTS Western Junction, TAS
No. 8 EFTS Narrandera NSW
No. 9 EFTS Cunderdin W.A.
No. 10 EFTS Temora NSW
No. 11 EFTS Benalla VIC
No. 12 EFTS Lowood QLD

Fig. 1 No. 10 EFTS Temora, NSW, in 1944  Tiger Moths line the taxiways.

Trainees underwent basic flying training over twelve weeks in two stages.  The first stage had the aim of having the trainee 'going solo' after between seven and ten hours flying. Training was conducted in the standard Commonwealth training aircraft, the legendary de Haviland DH82 Tiger Moth.

Fig 2.  A restored and airworthy DH 82 Tiger Moth at Point Cook in 2013

Having been graded suitable to progress, they then received a further eight weeks of training (including sixty-five hours of flying) at the EFTS. 

From there they would be sent to a Service Flying Training School (SFTS) either on single or multi engined aircraft, based on service need and trainee aptitude.

In some cases, particularly early in the war,  SFTS training took place overseas, mainly in Canada.  However as the network of Australian-based school was brought 'up to speed' it was generally all done in one of the many schools established under the Empire Air Training Scheme.  See the article on Service Flying Training Schools.

Flying Training was not without risk, and casualties through accidents occurred at every step in the process.  Rigorous safety procedures were progressively developed to mitigate losses in training and persist and evolve to this day.


Compiled by Steve Larkins Aug 21