You must be 16 years old to start training for solo & 17 years old to acquire a private pilot license. More than that, a certain type of personality is required.

Find out more on how to become a pilot.

A PPL or Private Pilot’s Licence allows permit holders to pilot an aircraft in their personal (private) capacity for recreational purposes only.

This means that a person in possession of a PPL is permitted to:

  • Pilot an aircraft during the daytime only
  • Fly for recreational and hobby purposes
  • May transport non-paying passengers (non-commercial purposes)
  • Fly a single or multi engine plane up to 5.7 tons only
  • Permitted to fly in good weather only

A Private Pilot’s licence forms the foundation of a Commercial Pilots licence, without which a CPL or commercial pilot’s licence is not possible. A Commercial Pilots licence allows permit holders to be paid for their work as a pilot (for commercial gains), provided they operate under a legal operator’s certificate.

In addition to a private pilot’s licence, to obtain a CPL a Pilot student needs to:

  • Obtain a class 1 medical certificate
  • Pass all CPL examinations
  • Attain a minimum log of 200 hours flight time
  • Achieve a minimum log of 100 hours as a pilot in command

Pre-requisites in order to attend pilot training in SA

In order to pursue a Private Pilot’s licence, learners need to comply with the following, mandatory pre-requisites

  • Students must be sixteen years or older in order to begin studies for a PPL
  • All students must be fluent in English, with the ability to write, read and speak the language
  • Learners will need to pass a medical exam in order to attend a SA flight college
  • A predisposition for math’s and science would be advantageous in gaining a sound understanding of the theoretical aspects of flying.

How can I get a pilot licence once cleared to attend pilot training in SA?

After a pilots training college has approved your application and offered entrance to a private pilots training course, students will be required to achieve the following high-level pilot training requirements:

  • Achieve the necessary pass mark of no less than 75% in all written examinations
  • Achieve extensive solo cross-country flight experience
  • Successfully complete all practical requirements including 45 hours of flight time
  • Have the ability to demonstrate flying skills to an examiner during a flight test

Whether studying to become a pilot full time or on a part time basis, there are eight (8) written theory examinations that a private pilot student will need to pass with a score of 75% or more, these include:

  • Navigation
  • Air Law
  • Principles of Flight
  • Restricted Radio Licence
  • Aircraft Technical and General Knowledge
  • Flight Performance and Planning
  • Meteorology
  • Human Performance

PPL theory examinations cover a number of elements that aspiring pilots will need to master however the following programmes will need to be grasped in order to excel as a private pilot:

  • A sound understanding of airport circuits and the paths that air traffic is coordinated by.
  • Take off, landing and in-flight emergency flying tactics.
  • Take-off and landing crosswind flying techniques.
  • Navigation and the various airspace navigation systems.
  • Take-off and landing manoeuvres under variable runway conditions.
  • Solo flying, unaccompanied by a co-pilot or crew.
  • The ability to manoeuvre an aircraft that is moving both sideways and forward, also known as flying “in the slip”.

Blue Chip Flight School is a pilot training academy located at the Wonderboom Airport in Pretoria. Contact Blue Chip Flight School or join our open day to start your piloting career with a private pilot’s licence. Join our approved syllabus and disciplined training programme with experienced flight instructors and admin staff, at our accredited in-house Private Pilot Licence exam centre.