how can get PRIVATE PILOT LICENSE (PPL) south africa and cost of PPL

Designed for recreational flying or the aspiring commercial pilot

A Private Pilot License (PPL) is the first rung on the aviation training ladder. A person with a Private Pilot Licence is permitted to fly an aircraft for recreational purposes during the day in good weather.

When you do your PPL in Pretoria with Blue Chip Flight School, you will be trained in both the theoretical and practical aspects of becoming a pilot by qualified and experienced flight instructors.

PPL Prerequisites

Students must be declared medically fit by a designated aviation medical examiner who has been approved by the Commissioner for Civil Aviation, and they must have at least a Class II medical certificate that is valid for 60 months if they are under the age of 40, or 24 months if they are 40 or older. Chest x-rays are required during the initial examination. The requirements are similar to those of a standard life insurance policy. We will assist you in scheduling the necessary appointments.


Citizenship and the Legal Age
There is no minimum age for beginning flight training, but you must be 15 or older to fly solo and 17 to obtain your Private Pilot Licence. You must be a South African citizen or hold a study permit to apply. English proficiency is required. You must have a current student pilot license.



At least three times a year, we host ground schools. With our study guides, integrated training approach, and the assistance and guidance of our dedicated flight instructors, you should easily pass the practical applied subjects. The applicant must pass eight written exams with a minimum score of 75 percent. The exams are written “on-line” in our accredited testing center, which is affiliated with the South African Civil Aviation Authority.

  • Meteorology
  • Navigation
  • Air Law
  • Flight Principles
  • Technical and General Aircraft
  • Human Efficiency
  • Flight Planning and Performance
  • Radio License with Restrictions

The theoretical exams are relatively simple and are intended to prepare the pilot to fly for recreational purposes only.


You will learn how to do a pre-flight, post-flight, take-offs and landings at various airports, file a flight plan, and interpret weather during your PPL training. Learn how to navigate the aircraft’s cockpit instruments, including communication equipment, basic flight maneuvers, and, most importantly, approved safety and emergency procedures.

  • A minimum of 25 hours of dual flight training with an instructor is required.
  • A minimum of 15 hours of solo flight training, including three hours of solo cross-country navigation.
  • Test of practical flight and navigation abilities
  • Basic IF Simulator training for 5 hours
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Before and after each flight, each flying session includes a theoretical component or briefing. Before the next flight, the student will be briefed on what to prepare for in terms of checks, flows, procedures, critical actions, and theory.

The exam will be given by at least a Gr II Instructor.


The time it takes to obtain your Private Pilot Licence is estimated to be 6 months.


Each flying session includes a 30-minute theoretical component or briefing before and after each flight. Before the next flight, the student will be shown what to prepare for in terms of checks, flows, procedures, critical actions, and theory.

Our PPL program is designed to reward students who are willing to go above and beyond the call of duty. Our practical flying approach also provides opportunities for ‘critical-analytical’ thinking, i.e. learning from one’s own and others’ mistakes, as well as the possible outcomes, solutions, and remedies; and ‘risk assessment’ briefings applicable to the professional pilot in his airline transport career.

How much does it cost to get a pilot license in South Africa

With reports that Emirates is currently recruiting pilots in the country, there has been an increase in the number of inquiries about the costs of obtaining a pilot license in South Africa.

Even if you do not intend to go the full distance and obtain a Commercial Pilot licence, there are a number of other options available to South Africans who want to fly.

BusinessTech recently spoke with U-Fly, a Johannesburg-based flight school, about the current costs and requirements for obtaining your private pilot license, as well as the additional requirements for night flying and a commercial license.

Licences for Student and Private Pilots (PPL)

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

The following are the requirements:

  • You must be at least 16 years old.
  • Possess a class 1 or class 2 medical certificate.
  • Possess an ICAO certificate of language proficiency (if required).
  • I finished an aircraft technical.
  • I passed an Airlaw exam.
  • two passport photos

Following that, SPL holders may apply for a Private Pilot Licence.

“Typically, students will begin with an introduction flight (optional) and signing all required forms, followed by a medical and briefing with an instructor to do an aircraft technical and Airlaw test,” Minaar explained.

“You may then apply for your Student Pilot Licence (SPL) at CAA in Midrand.” Training will then proceed according to your availability. “Once you get your PPL, you can only fly during the day in good weather, and you can’t get paid to fly passengers,” she explained.

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According to Minaar, this typically takes 6 to 12 months, depending on exam completion, finances, and time availability.

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Furthermore, the following requirements must be met:

You must be at least 17 years old to apply.
A valid student pilot’s license.
Have a restricted or general radiotelephony license.
I passed 8 online PPL exams.
By the end of the course, you must have accumulated 45 hours of total flight time, which must include: 25 dual hours with an instructor.
15 solo hours as PIC. 5 cross-country hours as PIC.

PPL costs

According to U-Fly, the cost of flying will vary depending on the type of plane and the training academy.

However, it gave a general idea of how much the entire course would typically cost.

The costs are based on the bare necessities and do not take into account the students’ performance or any additional costs to service providers.

Cost Amount
25 Dual hours on PA28-161 @ R2 050 per hour R51 250
15 Solo hours on PA28-161 @ R1 750 per hour R26 250
5 Dual hours on FNPT II @ R960 per hour R4 800
15 Hours @ R414.00 (minimum by law) R5 250
3 Dual hours on PA28-161 @ R2 050 R6 150
2 Hours @ R350 – Ground Evaluation/Test R700
PPL Kit including all PPL notes (without Headsets) R6 544
Exams (7 x R190) with Radio exam  R1 830
Total amount  R102 774

Rating for the Night

“During this phase of training, you will begin doing some of the training in our simulator and the rest in the aircraft,” Minaar explained.

“There is only one exam for this part of the training, and once completed, you will be able to fly at night.”

She also stated that training can usually be completed in 6 weeks.

Furthermore, the following requirements must be met:

  • A valid Student Pilot Licence on an integrated course or a valid Private Pilot Licence is required.
  • 5 hours of theoretical training is required.
  • 10 hours of dual instrument flight instruction is required (5 hours may have been completed in an approved
  • FSTD).
  • Must have completed 5 night takeoffs and landings.
  • A minimum of 150nm of cross-country travel at night, with two full-stop landings at different aerodromes.

Plants and Vegetables at UJ Botany Department with Grade 10/11 Students


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

The costs are based on the bare necessities and do not take into account the students’ performance or any additional costs to service providers.

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Cost Amount
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 hour R 4 800
3.5 Dual hours night cross country flying on PA28-161 @ R2 050 per hour R 7 175
1.5 Dual hours on PA28-161@ R2 050 R 3 075
5.0 briefings @ R400 per briefing R 2 000
Total amount R27 300

Commercial Pilot Licence (Single or Multi-Engine) (CPL)

“This is a more advanced level of training that includes hour building and Instrument Rating (IR),” Minaar explained.

“All exams are completed at CAA.” During the off-season, simulator and advanced aircraft training will be conducted.”

She also stated that training typically lasts 12 to 18 months, depending on exam completion.

The requirements are as follows:

  • You must be at least 18 years old.
  • Possess a current class 1 medical certificate.
  • Have a current general radio-telephony proficiency certificate.
  • Have a current Private Pilot Licence.
  • Maintain a Night Rating.
  • Provide evidence of English language proficiency.
  • A total flight time of at least 200 hours, including 100 hours of PIC flight time.
  • 5 hours PIC at night
  • 50 hours of cross-country flying as the pilot in command.
  • 40 hours of dual instrument practice (20 hours may be done in an approved FSTD).
  • 5 hours dual in a plane with adjustable flaps, a retractable undercarriage, and a variable pitch propeller or
  • turbojet engine.


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

The costs are based on the bare necessities and do not take into account the students’ performance or any additional costs to service providers.

Hourly Construction

Cost Amount
30 Hours PIC by day on PA28-161 @ R1 725  per hour R 51 750
5 Hours PIC by night on PA28-161 @ R1 725 per hour R 8 625
50 Cross country PIC hours on PA28-161 @ R1 725 per hour  R 86 250
Total R146 625

Instrument flight rating

Cost Amount
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 hour R3 135
3 Dual hours on AC50 for IF Actual @ R3 950 per hour (2 hours actual) R11 850
27 Briefings @ R350 per briefing R9 450
Total R83 835

Multi-engine class rating

Cost Amount
4 Dual hours on AC50 for Multi Engine Class @ R3 950 per hour R 15 800
3 Hours on FNPT II for Multi Engine Class @ R1 045 per hour R 3 135
7 Briefings @ R350 per briefing R 2 450
1.5 Dual hours on AC50 for DFE test flight R 5 925
Sub-Total R27 310
Grand Total R257 770

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