List Of Pilot Training Schools In South Africa

Being a pilot is challenging. Unlike most other professions, a pilot doesn’t stop studying and developing. You’ll need to constantly read about all the changes and enhancements taking place within the airline and the overall industry. There are also simulator checks that you will have to undergo every six months. You also have to stay physically fit to pass the annual medical check-up.

This is not easy if you do not have desire and motivation, which most pilots who are passionate about their jobs have.

Where To Study Pilot Training In South Africa?

Johannesburg School of Flying

43 Air School

Lanseria Flight Training


Progress Flight Academy

Flight School – Eagle Air south Africa

Madiba Bay School of Flight

U-Fly Training Academy

Aeronav Academy – Flight, Pilot and Ground School Training

Flight Training South Africa Pilot Training Garden Route

Cape Town Flight Training Centre

Johannesburg Flying Academy

Blue Chip Flight School | Our Pilots Become Captains

Durban Aviation Centre

Virginia Flight School

Flying Schools – Lanseria Airport

Flying Schools – Lanseria Airport

Skyy Aviation Academy

Morningstar Flight Academy

Airborne Aviation

Drone Flight School – UAV Industries

What Are The Requirements To Become A Pilot?

To undertake commercial pilot training, you’ll need to meet the following requirements:

  • Hold a valid private pilot’s license (PPL) and night rating
  • Be 18 or older
  • Hold a Class 1 medical certificate, which will show that you are mentally and physically fit to fly
  • Pass the general radio license exam
  • Have a minimum of 200 flying hours, of which 40 hours must be instrument flight training; 20 hours may be done on an approved flight simulator, and a minimum of 100 hours as a pilot in command is required, of which at least 50 hours must be cross-country flight time
  • Successfully pass eight online examinations at the Civil Aviation Authority (pass mark 75%). These examinations include flight planning, navigation, meteorology, and air law
  • Complete a commercial pilot’s license (CPL) general flight test in an advanced aircraft with a Grade 1 designated flight examiner. The instrument flight test is usually combined with the CPL flight test in one flight

Once you have accumulated the required flying hours, completed your instrument rating and passed all examinations and tests, your training documentation will be checked and sent to the Civil Aviation Authority. You will need to pay a fee to receive your CPL and have your PPL upgraded to a CPL.

Funding and timing

Most pilots in South Africa pay for their own training, which will cost about R1 million to reach the CPL level. Because of this, few people can afford to complete their qualifications and required flying hours in one full-time slot. One funding alternative is to do your pilot’s training with the SA Air Force before going on to commercial piloting. There will probably be a work-back period or similar ongoing commitments to honor if you go this route.

What is a pilot’s salary in South Africa?

According to payscale, A mid-career Airline Pilot, Copilot, or Flight Engineer with 5-9 years of experience earns an average total compensation of R585,549 based on 23 salaries. An experienced Airline Pilot, Copilot, or Flight Engineer with 10-19 years of experience earns an average total compensation of R627,500 based on 11 salaries.

How Long Will It Take To Become A Commercial Pilot?

The minimum time to become an airline pilot from scratch is about 18 months. It could take much longer if you opt to do it part-time.

Pilot training requirements and licensing regulations can vary considerably around the world. Also, most countries will only allow you to fly a locally registered aircraft with a pilot’s
license issued by that country. Some countries will validate another country’s license by having you write an air law exam, while other countries will require you to pass all the theory exams, take a flight test and pass a Class 1 medical exam in that country.

How to get a pilot license in South Africa?

Student and Private Pilot License (PPL)

U-Fly’s Chanel Minaar explained that before obtaining a Private Pilot Licence (PPL), one first needs to obtain a Student Pilot Licence (SPL).

The requirements for this include:

  • Must be at least 16 years of age.
  • Hold a class 1 or 2 medical certificates.
  • Hold an ICAO language proficiency certificate (if required).
  • Completed an aircraft technical.
  • Completed an Airlaw exam.
  • 2 passport photos.

Following this, holders of an SPL may then apply for a Private Pilot Licence.

“Usually students will start off with an introduction flight (optional) and signing all the necessary forms followed by a medical and briefing with an instructor to do an aircraft technical and Airlaw test,” Minaar explained.

“Thereafter you may apply for your Student Pilot Licence (SPL) at CAA in Midrand. Training will then continue as per your availability. Once you received your PPL you may only fly during the day with good weather conditions, you may not be paid for flying passengers,” she said.

Minaar said that this typically takes between 6 to 12 months – depending on completion of exams, finances and time availability.

In addition the following requirements must be met:

  • Must be at least 17 years old.
  • Valid Student Pilot Licence.
  • Hold a restricted or general radiotelephony certificate.
  • Completed 8 online PPL exams.
  • Accumulate 45 hours total flight time by the end of the course, the 45 hours must include:
    ≥ 25 dual hours with an instructor.
    ≥ 15 solo hours as PIC.
    ≥ 5 hours cross country PIC.

Costs for PPL

U-Fly noted that the flying costs will differ based on the type of plane and the training academy.

However, it provided a general overview of how much the total course would typically cost.

Costs are based on the minimum requirements and do not factor-in the student’s performance or any additional costs to service providers.

25 Dual hours on PA28-161 @ R2 050 per hourR51 250
15 Solo hours on PA28-161 @ R1 750 per hourR26 250
5 Dual hours on FNPT II @ R960 per hourR4 800
15 Hours @ R414.00 (minimum by law)R5 250
3 Dual hours on PA28-161 @ R2 050R6 150
2 Hours @ R350 – Ground Evaluation/TestR700
PPL Kit including all PPL notes (without Headsets)R6 544
Exams (7 x R190) with Radio exam R1 830
Total amount R102 774

Night Rating

“This part of the training you will start doing some of the training in our simulator, and the rest takes place in the aircraft,” said Minaar.

“There is only 1 exam for this part of training and once completed you may fly at night.”

She added that training can typically be completed within 6 weeks.

In addition, the following requirements must be met:

  • Must hold a valid Student Pilot Licence on an integrated course or hold a valid Private Pilot Licence.
  • Must have 5 hours of theoretical training.
  • Must have 10 hours dual instrument flight instruction (5 hours may have been completed in an approved FSTD).
  • Must have completed 5 take-offs and landings by night.
  • Night cross country of at least 150nm and including two full-stop landings at different aerodromes.


U-Fly also provided a general overview of the typical costs for the license.

Costs are based on the minimum requirements and do not factor-in the student’s performance or any additional costs to service providers.

5.0 Dual Instrument hours on PA28-161@ R2 050 per hour (actual 6.5 hours)R 10 250
5.0 Dual Instrument hours on FSTD @ R960 per hourR 4 800
3.5 Dual hours night cross country flying on PA28-161 @ R2 050 per hourR 7 175
1.5 Dual hours on PA28-161@ R2 050R 3 075
5.0 briefings @ R400 per briefingR 2 000
Total amountR27 300

Commercial or Multi-Engine Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL)

“This part of training is more advanced, and it includes hour building and Instrument Rating (IR),” said Minaar.

“All exams are done at CAA. Simulator and advance aircraft training will be done during the duration off training.”

She added that training duration is typically 12 to 18 months, depending on the completion of exams.

The requirements are:

  • Must be 18 years or older.
  • Hold a valid class 1 medical certificate.
  • Hold a valid general certificate of proficiency in radio-telephony.
  • Hold a valid Private Pilot Licence.
  • Hold a Night Rating.
  • Show proof of English Language Proficiency.
  • A minimum of 200 hours total flight time, this includes:
    ≥ 100 hours PIC flight time.
    ≥ 5 hours PIC by night.
    ≥ 50 hours of cross country flying as PIC.
    ≥ 40 hours dual instrument time (20 hours may be done in an approved FSTD).
    ≥ 5 hours dual in an aircraft with adjustable flaps, retractable undercarriage and variable pitch propeller or turbojet engine.


U-Fly also provided a general overview of the typical costs for the license.

Costs are based on the minimum requirements and do not factor-in the student’s performance or any additional costs to service providers.

Hour Building

30 Hours PIC by day on PA28-161 @ R1 725  per hourR 51 750
5 Hours PIC by night on PA28-161 @ R1 725 per hourR 8 625
50 Cross country PIC hours on PA28-161 @ R1 725 per hour R 86 250
TotalR146 625

Instrument flight rating

20 Hours on FNPT II for SE IF @ R945 per hour.R18 900
20 Hours dual on PA28-161 IF @ R2 025 per hour (15 hours actual)R40 500
3 Hours on FNPT II for Multi-Engine IF @ R1 045 per hourR3 135
3 Dual hours on AC50 for IF Actual @ R3 950 per hour (2 hours actual)R11 850
27 Briefings @ R350 per briefingR9 450
TotalR83 835

Multi-engine class rating

4 Dual hours on AC50 for Multi-Engine Class @ R3 950 per hourR 15 800
3 Hours on FNPT II for Multi-Engine Class @ R1 045 per hourR 3 135
7 Briefings @ R350 per briefingR 2 450
1.5 Dual hours on AC50 for DFE test flightR 5 925
Sub-TotalR27 310
Grand TotalR257 770