How To Become A Pilot In South Africa

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The aviation industry presents many opportunities for young students to aspire towards dreams of being able to pilot different types of aircraft. However, in order to achieve these goals, there are a number of requirements that need to be met. Here's some insight into how to become a pilot in South Africa.


Piloting an aircraft is a responsibility of great importance, as a pilot would very often be responsible for their own lives as well as the lives of others on each voyage. With that said, it is no wonder that the requirements needed in order to become a registered pilot can be quite demanding.

Just like one would do when learning to drive a car, a potential pilot’s aircraft capabilities need to be tested in order to attain a pilot license. In South Africa, one would obtain a Student Pilot License (SPL) before getting a Private Pilot License (PPL).

The following are the requirements for an SPL:

  • The student must be 16 years or older.
  • The student should have attained a class 1 or 2 medical certificate.
  • The student should hold an International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) language proficiency certificate (if required).
  • The student must have completed an aircraft technical.
  • The student must have completed an Airlaw exam.
  • The student should be in possession of 2 passport photos.

Once the student has obtained their SPL, there are a few more requirements needed prior to being able to attain their PPL, which are as follows:

  • The student must be at least 17 years old.
  • The student should have a Valid Student Pilot Licence (SPL).
  • The student should hold a restricted or general radiotelephony certificate.
  • The student must have completed 8 online PPL exams.
  • The student must have accumulated 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 Pilot in Command (PIC).
    • 5 hours cross country PIC.

You can get your license through training academies such as U-Fly, Central Flying Academy and Progress Flight Academy.

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Post-Matric Options


After completing your matric certificate exams, you are faced with a lot of post-matric options that can shape your future paths.

These options range from pursuing higher education at universities or colleges, entering vocational training programs, joining the workforce, or even starting your own business. There are so many choices but we are here to help.


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