Even Airline Pilots begin with
PPL Flight Training
1. Find out if you actually like flying
So how do you begin your training?
With a decision.
You call up a flying school, book an introductory flight, (usually referred to as an intro flight), and demonstrate up. That’s all.
You will have a chance to occupy the pilot seat and fly the aeroplane – the Instructor will be right next to you – and you will know after this flight (and sometimes even before this lesson), if learning to fly is the right choice for you.
The excellent thing about flying is that it is black and white, you either love it or you don’t. No grey areas here.
YES! You love flying
You have now determined YES! You want to learn to fly. Whether you want to fly as a career, for your own pleasure, or for business, the very first step is the same. You need to earn a Private Pilot License, or PPL.
Ten years ago, maybe a few less, you could get a PPL in three weeks, provided, of course, that you could pay up front, you progressed normally, and the weather played along. Things have switched. Flight training has become tougher. Safety has become more stringent, standards are higher, exams are online instead of in-house, (managed by the SACAA – South African Civil Aviation Authority).
If you do your PPL flight training utter time, with accomplish dedication, and weather playing along, you could earn your wings in three to four months.
You do not have to train utter time to become a pilot.
All flight training is one on one, and albeit most people tend to progress swifter on a utter time course, (and usually closer to the minimum required hours), you can train weekends only or irregularly. Just expect the license to take you longer and cost you more.
Minimum training hours by law:
45 hours x Aircraft rate per hour + Related expenses = Estimated PPL training cost.
eg. (45 x 1254 ZAR) + 8000 ZAR = 64,430 ZAR
This is a rough figure, but you can expect to pay inbetween 65,000ZAR to 85,000ZAR for your PPL. Click here for a Currency Converter website. This flight training costing is based on the minimum flying requirement, – 45 hours – in a a Cessna 150, (just over 1000 ZAR per hour). It includes “related expenses” such as the Pilot Kit, medical expenses, ground lectures, license fees, exam fees, etc. If you need extra flight training to get to the required standard, (people often take inbetween 50 to 65 hours), it will cost more.
You can request a quote from any school, and they will gladly send it. The prices are dependent on the aircraft the flight school uses for training, and are likely to increase when the price of fuel increases. Schools will only quote you for 45 hours, but it is wise to budget for up to 55 hours.
All the money for your training flights is not expected up front, albeit you can pay a lump sum and negotiate a discount at some schools. Otherwise you can pay as you go. It is fairly common to pay 5000 – Ten,000 ZAR installments and top up as you finish using the money. Schools will not permit you to proceed flight training on credit.
It might sound daunting to some, but I paid for my PPL as a utter time student from my part time internet cafe management job, tips working as a barmaid at night, and a little help from my mom and dad. It took me a year. (I paid 292 ZAR per hour flying in a Cessna 152 in 1996/7).
Cheaper flying license option
Of course, if you are glad to be restricted to ultralight aircraft that can carry two adults (depending on their weight, and in some ultralight aircraft you could carry a child as a third passenger – for an adult you would have to sacrifice fuel), then you can get your flight training for less money and in less time doing a recreational pilot license.
There are several sub-categories of licenses under the recreational pilot license. This is governed in South Africa through the Recreation Aviation Administration of South Africa – RAASA, (who are accountable to the SACAA). Police and Nature Conservation use ultralights to superb advantage. Ultralights are significantly cheaper to purchase, maintain and operate.
If you ever determine to upgrade to a PPL, a portion (30) of your hours will count towards this higher license, but only if you finish your Trio axis RAASA license. If you begin here then switch to PPL training, none of your ultralight , hours count towards the PPL. The training standards are vastly different. , Interestingly enough, attempting to do your PPL , on the cheap by kicking off with an ultralight then switching once accomplish to a PPL, when all is considered, completes up costing very, very close to the PPL costings for a Cessna 150.
The main difference inbetween a PPL and a CPL is that the holder of a CPL is permitted to be paid to fly. The holder of a PPL may not accept payment for flying.
Getting a Private Pilot License (PPL)
If you would like to be able to fly more than one or two adult passengers around, then you will need to go the PPL route. From here you can add:
whatever aircraft you would like to fly,
a night rating, which permits you to land after dark, fly at night, or take off before dawn,
an instrument rating, which permits you to fly in or through cloud
If you are going to add both a night and instrument rating to your PPL, you might as well do a Commercial Pilots License or CPL.
On this site I will give you the real life ground briefings your instructor would give you before every training flight lesson. We will explore everything that you need to know to become a pilot. I will take you through all the relevant requirements including:
your radio license,
your very first solo,
your student pilot license,
how to choose a flying school and an instructor and where to find them,
and what you can expect for your next step, whether this is to further your flight training for a flying career, for your own pleasure, or for business.
Requirements to train as a pilot
Here are the school subjects you need to have mastered to become a pilot: none. It is useful, however, to have a good understanding of maths and, of course, to be teachable. Don’t expect to be spoon fed when it comes to flying lessons. You are expected to do your homework and be ready. Your instructor is not paid for the time he or she spends with you on the ground.
It always strikes me as an irony that in South Africa you may procreate and die for your country at 16, become a pilot at 17, are permitted to drink, drive, marry and get your own library card without a guardian’s signature at Legitimate, and may hire a car from any car rental agency from age 25. It is a long road to adulthood.
Sponsorship for flight training
South African Airways sometimes has a Cadet Pilot Training Scheme on the go where they will fund your flight training, if you meet their requirements and pass their tests. Many countries’ National Carrier has some sort of training scheme. Check yours.
Otherwise no one (with the possible exception of your parents), is going to sponsor your flight training. You are on your own here.
At times people who work for a company for whom it would be convenient to have a pilot around, get their license sponsored. This is the exception more than the rule. It is also an exception that you may, as a PPL, fly for your company as long as you are an employee, and don’t get paid anything to fly for the company.
Not South African?
No problem. You can still train to fly in South Africa. In the past, many “foreigners” came to South Africa to train for their PPLs because, even including the accommodation and flight over, it was either cheaper or on a par to training in their home country, and could, (and still can), be ended in much less time because of South Africa having a very high percentage of good flying weather.
With the online exams, the time required to be in South Africa for training has more than doubled. It is my intention, with this site, to address the training and the ground school to such an extent that you, as a foreign student can do your studying from home, overseas, so you are ready to write the exams when you arrive in South Africa. This will significantly reduce the time you need to be in South Africa for the actual flying. It is the studying and exams that takes all the extra time. The actual flying can still be finished in three to four weeks. I will let you know when this module is ready.
When you get back home it is relatively effortless to get a foreign license conversion to fly in your home country.
Airline Pilot (ATPL – Airline Transport Pilot License)
The path to becoming an Airline pilot, in brief, is: PPL – CPL – ATPL. There are no brief cuts.
INFO: PILOT TRAINING in SA
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