As a well-established & popular SA flight school, Blue Chip Flight School is ideally poised to answer the most burning questions of those who wish to obtain their pilots license.

Understand the basics first

There are three types of pilot licences that can be obtained:

  • Private Pilot Licence (PPL): For those who only wish to fly for recreational purposes
  • Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL): For those who wish to become professional pilots
  • Airline Transport Pilot Licence (ATPL): For those who wish to become airline captains or pilots in command of large multi-crew commercial aircrafts

Pre-requirements for pilot training

There are a few requirements you have to meet before you can start your SA flight training:

  • Age: You can enrol for pilot training at the age of 16, but will only be able to receive an SPL. To commence with PPL training, you need to be 17. For a CPL you will have to be at least 18 & for an ATPL you must be 21. There is no age limit for older people, but passing a valid medical examination is a requirement.
  • Qualifications: There are no particular subjects needed to commence with pilot training, but it will be beneficial to have an understanding of mathematics & science.
  • Medical requirements: Students can only enrol for training if declared medically fit by an approved aviation medical examiner.

Pilot study options

We take a look at how long it will take to become a pilot, whether you can study part-time & options for paying for your studies:

  • Duration of studies: There are numerous variables such as the type of pilot licence & student progress. But generally it takes around 4-6 months to complete a PPL & 18-24 months to obtain a CPL.
  • Part-time options: Part-time pilot training options are indeed available. It will just take longer to obtain a licence than when studying fulltime, but the student will undergo the same training.
  • Payment methods: The practical side of pilot training is based on minimum hours & flights that have to be completed. Blue Chip Flight School offers students the choice to pay in full or to “pay as you fly.”

Where can one fly & work with a PPL & CPL?

You will not be able to earn an income as a pilot with a PPL, as it entitles you to fly for pleasure only. You will be able to pursue a career with a CPL though, provided that it is under a legal operator’s certificate. Pilots who obtained their CPL from Blue Chip Flight School typically pursue the following:

  • Flying for private charter companies locally or in neighbouring countries
  • Piloting for local & international carries in the airline industry
  • Becoming flight instructors for flight training schools, once the instructors rating is obtained

Most other countries will accept a PPL or CPL that was obtained in South Africa, subject to experience. Some countries may require that theory exams are re-written or that the licence is issued under their own jurisdiction. Contact Blue Chip Flight School for any further assistance or information on pilot training.