1. How early can one start flying?
If you begin your training earlier than 16, you would be ready for solo long before your 17th birthday. The only problem with this is that it becomes costly to keep your flying on standard until you are 17. The student then lands up doing far more hours than required
2. Is it a good idea to start my licence while still in school?
Absolutely. In the Aviation Industry one needs to take hold of every advantage possible. If you are thinking of pursuing a career in aviation, you need to aim at qualifying as a Commercial Pilot as early as possible. If you could finish your PPL and Night Rating whilst still at school, you would be ready to go Commercial in your first year after matriculation. This would mean a Commercial Pilot and possibly even an Instructor at the age of 18 or 19. An obvious advantage.
3. If I start my PPL whilst still attending school, how frequently should I fly?
Having 3 training flights a week is ideal, however 2 Training flights a week is also adequate. Keeping in mind that the more regular one flies, the quicker the learning process.
4. Will I miss out on lectures and ground school if I am a scholar or have a day job?
All ground school classes are presented in the evening to accommodate scholars and working people. The subjects are Principles of Flight (Aerodynamics), Air law, Human performance, Meteorology, Navigation, Flight Planning and Performance, Aircraft Technical and General, and the Restricted Radio License
5. How long will it take me to complete my PPL if I did it part-time?
A part-time PPL can take any duration depending on the weather, and the student’s time available. It also depends on how frequent the student wants to fly.
6. How long will it take me to complete my PPL if I do it full-time?
A full-time PPL can take anytime from as little as 4 weeks or as long as 2 months. In summer, it becomes difficult to complete a PPL in 4 weeks due to the weather, but the winter months can be taken full advantage of in this respect.
7. How many hours do I need for a Private Pilot Licence?
By law, a minimum of 45 hours is required. This consists of 15 hours solo and 30 hours dual instruction. This is however just the legal minimum. Additional hours could be needed to complete the syllabus depending on the student’s ability and progress.
8. When are you too old to start flying?
You are too old to fly when you are no longer medically fit. There is no restricting age, only that a Grade II medical needs to be passed for a Private Pilot and a Grade I medical for a Commercial Pilot. Please see question 21-26 for more information on Aviation Medicals.
9. Could I budget for flight training on a month to month basis?
Yes, you could. Individual packages are tailor-made to suite the individual clients needs depending on how often the client wants to fly and how much funding is available. The client can meet with the Chief Flying Instructor and discuss his/her needs with regards to setting up an individual package.
10. Once I have obtained my PPL, how many hours do I need to fly per year to keep it current?
One needs to fly 3 hours as pilot-in-command per year. Furthermore, to carry passengers, you need to have done 3 take-offs and landings within 90 days before the flight. These hours can be done with the school's aircraft which we hire to our clients that have done training with us.
11. How many hours do I need to complete a night rating?
You need 10 instrument flying hours, of which a maximum of 5 can be done on the simulator. Then an additional VFR night navigation needs to be done.
12. When can training be started?
Training can be started anytime throughout the year.
13. How long does it take to go from PPL to CPL?
It can take between 10 and 18 months to complete the entire course. This also depends on the students ability to pass the exams and to meet the required standards.
14. How many hours do you need to become a Commercial Pilot with an instrument rating?
You need 200 hours. 100 hours as Pilot-in-Command. With 10 of those hours being Pilot in command by night. 40 hours of instrument training of which 20 must be actual aircraft hours and 20 can be simulated.
15. Should I do a single engine COMM or a multi-engine COMM?
This depends from person to person. If you are planning to instruct, then you could start with a single IF comm. and do the twin rating at a later stage. However, a twin rating is always better in the sense that you have been taught to handle a heavier and faster aircraft.
16. If I do my Instructors rating, how much will I be able to earn?
As an instructor you will earn between R5000 and R12000. You can earn more, depending on how hard you are willing to work.
17. Is the South African PPL accepted internationally?
Yes, in most countries, however the medical examination, Air Law examinations and the PPL flight test needs to be redone in that country, but that would be similar to an overseas pilot wishing to fly in our country.
18. Can any doctor do the medical examination?
No, the doctor that does the medical examinations needs to be approved by the Institute of Aviation Medicine to conduct the examinations and only a South African medical Certificate will be accepted for a Local Pilot license.
19. Where can I do my medical examination?
A list of approved medical examiners can be obtained from the CAA’s website at www.caa.co.za
20. Are there different medical certificates?
Class III - For Microlight, Glider and Balloon Pilots
Class II - For Private Pilots
Class I - For Commercial and Airline Pilots.
21. What are the main things that are involved in the examination?
A check on the following:
+ Blood Pressure
+ Cardiovascular System
+ Respiratory System
+ Vision (Colour Vision & Depth Perception)
+ Heart condition
22. When do I do the medical examination?
Immediately after making the decision to do your Private Pilot license.
23. How long is the medical certificate valid for?
CLASS 2 -5 years
24. How regularly can I fly?
The schools are open 7 days a week. However, you can fly up to 6 days a week and a maximum of 2 sessions a day.
25. Are regular dual / progress checks done and why?
Yes, all dual checks are done by the chief or senior flying instructor every 10 flying hours, where after you will receive a progress report on performance. These checks are there to ensure that you are on a high training standard throughout your training course.
26. How many instructors will I have?
It depends on which flight school you choose and how they operate. Most flight schools operate by having you deal with one instructor only to give you the best possible flight training at all times.
27. How do I get the right instructor?
Many flight schools have Ops Managers which will have an interview with you on arrival whereby they will assess your goals and decide on the correct flying instructor to suite your personality.
28. How often are the dual / progress checks done?
At least every 10 flying hours, where after you will receive a progress report on performance.
29. If I wear spectacles, can I still become a pilot?
Yes, you most probably can. Many pilots flying out there wear either spectacles or Contact Lenses. We suggest that you do the medical examination prior to commencing or committing to any payment.
30. What about my grades at school?
Of course any Airline that will consider giving you a flying position, will do a careful study of your CV and school grades, however it is recommended that Mathematics, Science and Geography be taken at school but these subjects are not compulsory.
31. Do I have the co-ordination and ability to become a pilot?
No one was born with the ability to fly an aeroplane. Learning to fly must be practiced over and over. Hence the 45 hours for the PPL.
32. How do we make bookings?
On arrival for your first training lesson, your instructor will explain the booking procedures to you. Flight training is available 7 days a week and bookings are made to suite your individual needs.
33. What about past experience?
The Chief Flying Instructor will assess your Logbook and work out a tailor-made program from which to continue.
34. How much studying will I have to do?
This varies from person to person.
For the Private Pilot license, there is a balance between the theoretical and practical aspects of flying. Due to the number of subjects, you may need to put quite a lot of time aside for studying, depending on how easily you grasp the work.
The Commercial Pilot’s license builds on the aspects learnt during the PPL, so it’s important to have a solid foundation.
It’s important to remember that flying is a constant learning process.
35. Am I guaranteed to pass?
No, however, if there is a Will there is a Way. Learning to fly takes a lot of Practice, Willpower and Dedication. It doesn't happen often that a student cannot complete the course. The amount of time and effort you put in, determines how well you progress.
36. What clothes / uniform do I have to wear?
It is not compulsory to wear a uniform. For PPL training, closed shoes must be worn, and we recommend that your wear comfortable clothing, preferably made of heat resistant fabric. However, after completion of the PPL, when starting to work towards advanced flying (such as the Night Rating, and Commercial Pilot Licence), we recommend that students wear navy blue pants with a white Pilot shirt and Pilot wings.