What are the qualification requirements to start my training?

Before you begin your pilot training in South Africa:

  • No subject requirements but an understanding of Mathematics and science will be an advantage.
  • A student needs to be declared medically fit by an approved aviation medical examiner.


Flying requirements

How old do I have to be before I can commence with flying lessons?

  • Training can begin at 16 years and a Student Pilot Licence can be issued
  • 17 years for a PPL
  • 18 years for a CPL
  • 21 years for a ATPL

How long will it take?

  • Depends on whether the student applies as a full time or part time student.
  • Also depends on student progress.
  • Average 4 to 6 months to complete a PPL.
  • Average 18 to 24 months to complete a full course from zero to CPL with IFR, this includes PPL and night rating.

How old is too old to commence flying lessons?

No Upper age Restriction, but a valid medical is required.

As a student pilot, what is the best aircraft to rent for completing my flight training and building flight time?

  • There is no specific aircraft.
  • C172 is the recommended for this phase of training, it is a forgiving aircraft, and fairly simple in system management, a good all rounder basic trainer.

Must I have good English language skills?

  • Yes, English proficiency is a requirement by law, minimum is a Level 4.

Where will I work once I have my PPL/CPL?

  • As a PPL you may not fly for remuneration, only for pleasure and at your own expense in order to obtain the legal requirements for a higher type license, i.e. CPL
  • As a CPL, you may conduct flights for remuneration, provided it is done so under a legal operator’s certificate. Many of our CPL graduated pilots find themselves working for charter companies, or in neighboring countries. Quite a few of our CPL graduates have also moved into the airline industry, servicing both local and international carriers. A further advance to the CPL is to obtain an instructors rating, only for those candidates that have an absolute passion for not only aviation, but also for teaching it to others and helping to fulfill their dreams.

How many exams do I have to write?

  • That depends on your course, for a PPL there are 8 official online CAA exams that do not include in-house block quizzes and exams, in order to prep you for the actual exam.
  • For the Commercial/IFR course, there are also 8 subjects, covering the same subjects as PPL, but in much more depth. At BCFS we have a ground school that is hosted by industry and airline pilots, with more than ample amounts of knowledge to help ease the intense workload to easy and digestible pieces of information. Our full time flight instructors are also around 24/7 to help!
  • For the ATPL exams, there are only 6 exams, covering most of the commercial syllabus, with further application to known CPL and PPL knowledge.

Can I do my license on a part time basis?

  • Yes, that is possible. The only implications are that one would probably take a longer time to complete the course, and will exceed the minimum required hours to obtain a PPL due to infrequent flying and progress of skill. This will not affect training in a negative way, apart from cost implications, provided that one does not exceed maximum hours for certain phases of flight.

What is the minimum and maximum hours for a PPL or to go solo?

  • To comply with the regulations, a SPL is required to have at least 10 hours of dual training, covering specific exercises.
  • Minimum hours in obtaining a PPL are 15 hours solo and 25 dual and 5 hours Instrument (Simulator) training, total of 45 hours.
  • If a candidate has not yet gone solo by 40 hours of dual training, it is required by law that a Designated GR I Flight Examiner (DFE), conduct the solo check. If a SPL holder has obtained in excess of 80 hours dual training, and meet the min requirements for a PPL and PPL test, such test must also be conducted by a DFE.

How do I pay for my training?

  • You can choose to pay the amount quoted in full or you can “pay as you fly”.

Can I obtain a SA PPL or CPL, whilst not being a SA citizen?

  • Yes, you may conduct training and obtain a South African PPL/CPL, provided that the appropriate study VISA has been obtained prior to training commencement.

Will a RSA PPL or CPL be valid in a foreign country?

  • Depending of the state of Authority, most countries will accredit the holder of a RSA PPL/CPL with experience gained. It might be to the jurisdiction of the concerned state, to validate such a license, or issue a home country license, provided that certain, or all, theory exams might have to be re-written; and is also subject to a skill test by a DFE for that state and type of license application.