Flight Training South Africa Pilot Training Garden Route

Private Pilots Licence


The first step in gaining a Private Pilots Licence is the Student Pilot Licence.

This is the first formal qualification required for the progression from dual flight (flying with an instructor) to flying solo. Your first solo flight will be a memory that will remain vividly with you forever, and it essentially signifies your transition to the privileged realm of aviators.

Requirements for the issue of a Student Pilot's Licence (SPL):

1. You must be at least 16 years old, and there is no upper age limit.

2. You must complete a formal medical examination (Class I or II).

3. You will take a basic air law and procedural written examination, the content of which will be simple to grasp after a few lessons with your flight instructor.

4. You will need two passport size photographs.

5. Our Admin team will help you complete the Student Pilots Licence (SPL) application form.

5. Pay the prescribed licence fee to the South African Civil Aviation Authority (SA-CAA). You will then be issued with a licence that enables you to fly solo, all alone, and by yourself in an aircraft, under the trained supervision of your flight instructor.

Private Pilot Licence

This qualification allows you to be Pilot in Command (PIC) of an aircraft and to carry passengers. This enables you to make all decisions pertaining to planning and executing a flight, during daylight hours, and in clear weather. Additional qualifications are required to fly at night and in cloudy conditions. You may not, however, receive remuneration for your flying activities. This licence is required even if your ultimate goal is to become a Commercial Pilot, as it allows you to accumulate the relevant experience that is essential for any advanced qualifications.

Requirements for the issue of a Private Pilot's Licence (PPL):

1. You must hold a valid Student Pilot's Licence.

2. You will be required to accumulate a minimum of 45 hours of flight time, which must include a minimum of 15 hours solo flight and a minimum of 25 hours dual flight instruction (flying with your instructor). The 25 dual flight instruction hours in aeroplanes must include 5 hours of instrument flight instruction. These 5 hours may be completed in the aircraft. You will be required to accumulate at least 5 hours of solo cross-country flight time (flying from one airport to another).

3. You must successfully complete 7 written examinations, which will test your knowledge on Engines & Airframes, Meteorology, Air Law, Navigation, Human Performance, Flight Planning and Principles of Flight.

4. A Radio (Operators) Licence, which is referred to as a Restricted Radio Licence must be obtained before you are finally issued with your PPL. It is however a good idea to complete this requirement early on in your training, as the information covered assists greatly with all aspects of your flight training.

5. You will be required to successfully pass two practical flight skills tests. The first being a General Flight Test (GFT), which must be conducted by a Grade One or Two flight instructor, and will focus on your ability to handle the aircraft in all normal, abnormal and emergency flight phases. These are aspects that you will have covered extensively during your training, and this is now your chance to demonstrate your competency. The second flight test will examine your ability to safely conduct navigation procedures, and you will be required to fly yourself and your examiner on a pre-planned triangular route, with at least two "away" landings, and flight in controlled airspace. This is when it all comes together as a pilot, and is immensely satisfying and enjoyable.

6. Once you have accumulated the required flight time in your logbook, and passed all the above mentioned tests, your paperwork will be checked. You can then send all the paperwork to the SA-CAA, with the required fee, and convert your Student Pilot's Licence to a Private Pilot's Licence.

It is essential to understand that the minimum hours prescribed by the SA-CAA are exactly that, minimum requirements. It is unusual for a PPL candidate to achieve competency within these hour constraints, and it must be understood that having to complete more dual hours is not a negative reflection on yourself or your flight school. Everyone has different rates of learning and understanding, and obviously aptitude plays a major role in your progression.

The bottom line is SAFETY and COMPETENCY. It is also sensible to be self-assessing throughout, and evaluate your personal comfort level while in flight. A typical PPL may have anywhere between 45 and 65 hours in their logbook when competency is achieved. As much as additional hours are good business for your flight school, this does vastly add to your overall experience, and certainly at FTC, you will be declared competent only when you actually are. Our airline and general aviation experience will make a major impact on the quality of your progression as a pilot.

Most students take 3 - 5 months to complete their Private Pilots licence.

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Career Guidance

Students, parents and sponsors - please read the career guidance page
Students, parents and sponsors - please read the career guidance page


I'll always be indebted to the great Team at FTC..... Keep up the dedication. It all paid out handsomely, thank you again to all.
- K. Ogutu

Contact FTC

Tel: +27 (0) 44 876 9055
Fax: +27 (0) 86 670 0318
Mobile: 082 787 5384
P.O. Box 1332, George, 6530, South Africa

George Airport, Western Cape, South Africa
GPS: S 340024 E 222251

Email: ftc@flighttraining.co.za