A PPL forms the foundation for all pilot training. Once you have obtained your PPL, you are permitted to hire and fly the type of aircraft you are licenced to operate, either for purposes of building hours towards your CPL or for recreational purposes. This means you can also take friends or family with you, as long as they are not paying passengers.
SPS’ PPL training is divided into six phases:
- Aircraft familiarisation
- General handling procedures
- Airport circuit procedures
- Instrument flying
- Final PPL testing
Once you have completed the general handling training and passed an in-house exam, you will be issued with your Student Pilot’s Licence (SPL) and can you commence with solo training. Theory study is integrated into the practical flight training syllabus, allowing students to gain the maximum benefit from the theory. The PPL course includes 25 hours of dual training, but in some cases, 30 to 35 hours may be necessary. This is followed by 15 hours solo and 5 hours instrument flying. All training is completed on our fleet of Cessna 172s, which is not only the most successful aircraft in history, but also ideally suited to ab-initio training. Final testing is undertaken by a SACAA approved Grade II instructor. For all training, a maximum of two instructors is utilised. This ensures continuity of training and helps maintain a high level of proficiency and safety. Briefings are undertaken individually, whilst theory courses for written examinations are undertaken in a classroom environment.
The student pilot must complete 25 hours of dual training (flying with an instructor). Whilst this is a minimum requirement by the SACAA, individual requirements may vary. Your instructor will ensure you have the necessary skills to operate safely and in a competent manner.
Student Pilots are required to complete five hours of instrument training. Whilst this is a minimum requirement by the SACAA, you may complete these on our in-house Alsim simulator.
Student Pilots also need to complete 15 hours of solo training (flying on your own) of which at least five hours must consist of cross-country flying.
Theoretical Long Briefings
The normal length of a theoretical long briefing should be approximately 45 – 60 minutes. This would be a detailed explanation or discussion conducted by the flight Instructor regarding the major considerations of an air exercise. The briefing may be given as either an informal lecture to two or more students or as a tutorial to an individual.
Air Exercise Briefings
These briefings directly relate to each flying lesson and will immediately be followed by the relevant air exercise. There are 25 air exercises in our syllabus.
Restricted Radio Licence
Before a student pilot can be issued with a PPL, they must be in possession of a Restricted Radio Licence, which is issued upon passing a practical assessment and written exam. To prepare students for the practical assessments and exams, a course is presented by a qualified trainer to a group of students.
Whilst ground school is not compulsory, we strongly advise our students to attend these classes. Ground school classes are scheduled for Saturdays and will provide students with an exemplary understanding of all the subjects.
As soon as you have been issued with your Student Pilot’s Licence, you can start writing your PPL exams. Examinations for the PPL are computer-based and completed under video surveillance at our in-house SACAA accredited examination centre. Questions are in multiple-choice format and the minimum pass mark is 75%. There is no limit on the number of times an exam may be attempted, as long as all exams are passed within 18 months from the first exam passed. There is no particular order in which subjects must be passed. An examination fee is payable per sitting.
- Air law
- Flight Performance and Planning
- Aircraft Technical and General
- Principles of Flight
- Human Performance and Limitations
Once you have obtained the minimum required number of hours in your logbook, passed all seven PPL exams and you are deemed ready for your flight test by your instructor, our Chief Flight Instructor will nominate a Grade II Instructor to conduct your PPL test. It is a two-part test, comprising of general aircraft handling and navigation. On successful completion of both parts of the test, you can apply for your PPL at the SACAA. You will need to hand in your signed application form, medical certificate, radio licence, photographs, language proficiency test results and pay the relevant fee.
Other important requirements
Aviation Medical Examination
Before a Student Pilot’s Licence will be issued to you, you must undergo a Class II Aviation Medical Examination. This examination must be done by a SACAA designated medical examiner.
Pilot Excess Insurance
Pilot excess insurance for R 20 000 is required from the first day that your flight training commences. This type of excess insurance is offered at a nominal monthly fee.
Language Proficiency Test
This test assesses English proficiency in accordance with ICAO and SACAA standards. All Air Traffic Controllers and Flight Crews operating in an airspace where the use of English is required must achieve a rating of 4, 5 or 6.
- Candidates achieving a rating of 3 or less have to be trained to achieve a satisfactory command of English. Retesting can be done after an interval of at least a week.
- Candidates achieving a rating of 4 can continue operating but must be retested after no more than 3 years.
- Candidates achieving a rating of 5 can continue operating but must be retested after no more than 6 years.
- Candidates achieving a rating of 6 do not need to be retested. This rating is valid for life.
- South African residents with a matric certificate for English Home Language are automatically rated on level 5 but must be tested after 5 years.
- South African residents with a tertiary qualification are automatically rated on level 6 and will not need to be tested. All candidates will receive a certificate after completing the test and this certificate will be placed on the pilot’s record.
PPL Kit (Standard)
- Superior Pilot Services Flight Bag
- Six PPL Training Manuals by Avex
- Superior Pilot Services Generic Checklist
- Superior Pilot Services Flight Operations Manual
- South African Logbook
- Part 61 Air law Book
- Cessna 172 Owner’s Manual
- Kneeboard CB1
- CRP1 Computer
- PP1 Protractor
- Ruler 1:1000000
- Maps 1:500 000 Johannesburg and 1:1 000 000 Johannesburg
- Fuel Strainer
- JAR Flying Manual Volume 1
- The Pilot’s Radio Handbook
- Reflective Vest