Are you one of the many people who dream of taking to the sky in their very own aircraft? Soaring through the clouds and having a bird’s eye view of our beautiful country is top of many people’s wish list. The first step to this common ambition is of course to complete pilot training in South Africa, which will eventually allow you to gain a pilot’s licence.

In South Africa, there are three types of pilot licences; a Private Pilot Licence (PPL), a Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL) and an Air Transport Pilot Licence (ATPL). The CPL allows a pilot to fly commercially and the ATPL is the highest form of licence giving the power to captain a airplane. Most private individuals opt for the PPL which allows you to fly for recreation and sport.

All three licences require a set number of hours spent both in ground school and in the air. The PPL requires 15 hours of ground school and 45 hours of flying. Time spent at ground school will see you sitting in a classroom environment learning the theory behind aviation. You’ll spend time exploring topics such as the principles of flight, the laws of the air and the mechanics of an aircraft. Examinations will follow as part of your pilot training in South Africa.

For most potential pilots, the exciting part of training is the actual flying lessons. Your first flying lesson can be an exhilarating experience. Always conducted with a trained pilot, you’ll experience what it’s like to control an aircraft. Once you’ve conducted some initial flying lessons in tandem, you’ll start solo training which will see you take to the sky alone. A student pilot licence must be obtained prior to this, as well as a radio licence and adequate insurance. Following the practical lessons and provided your teacher is happy with your progress, your PPL test will take place. A pass will see you become a fully qualified pilot!