If you’re thinking of becoming a commercial airline pilot, you’re probably wondering how much it will cost. Beginning your career as a pilot isn’t cheap, but it’s not prohibitively expensive either.
The total cost of training to become a pilot can range from $5,995 to $65,995, depending on whether you go to a flight school, an aviation university, or a community college. The first thing you need to know is that pilot training is broken down into two main components:
- Flight training
- Ground training.
Flight training involves learning to fly an airplane. Ground training involves becoming familiar with the instruments and controls of an aircraft and learning about aerodynamics, navigation, weather, and other key concepts.
Pilot training is notoriously expensive in South Africa. The reason for this is that there are few training academies in the country, and these are usually operated by the airlines themselves. Operating a plane – particularly a commercial plane – is extremely complex, and a lot can go wrong. As a result, pilots need to be trained very thoroughly to be able to handle any situation they may encounter. As is usually the case with anything involving flying, there is a fairly steep learning curve to become a pilot, making pilot training all the more expensive.
Once you are aware of the costs, you will know how much money you need to invest in order to become a pilot. In addition, you will know how much money you will have to pay back to the training school or the government if you are signed up for government funding.
The cost of pilot training in South Africa starts at R22,000. This is the cost of the theoretical training which you will get to study during your career as a pilot. The theoretical training is not only for learning how to fly a plane, but also how to safely land a plane.
How much does it cost to get a Private Pilot license in South Africa?
Obtaining a basic Private Pilot Licence (PPL) requires one to, first of all, obtain a Student Pilot Licence (SPL). The individual should not be less than 17 years of age, hold a class 1 or 2 medical certificates, hold an ICAO language proficiency certificate, hold a restricted or general radiotelephony certificate, hold a valid Student Pilot License, 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 before applying for the Private Pilot License.
The individual must pass the following exams: Principles of Flight, Air Law, Navigation, Human Performance, Flight planning, Meteorology, Aircraft Technical & General and Radiotelephony
Below are the costs:
15 Solo hours on PA28-161… R1950.00 per hour – Training
25 Dual hours on PA28-161… R2290.00 per hour – Training
Grand Total for PPL Course is = R110,451.50
Additional costs include:
Pilot excess insurance – Annual = R 2,280.00
English proficiency exam = R 800.00
Medical Class II = R 2,000.00
CAA fees (SPL and PPL) = R 990.00
PPL ground lectures (if required) = R 10,050.00
Restricted radio license = R 800.00
Miscellaneous costs include:
Exams (7 x R190) with Radio exam (R490) = R 1,830.00
3 Dual hours on PA28-161 @ R2290 – Flight Test = R 6,870.00
2 Hours @ R450 – Ground Evaluation / Test
15 Hours @ R450 (minimum by law) – Briefing = R 6,750.00
PPL Kit including all PPL notes (without Headsets)
2 Hours @ R450 – Ground Evaluation / Test = R 900.00
PPL Kit including all PPL notes (without Headsets) = R 7,601.50
How much does it cost to get a Commercial Pilot Licence in South Africa?
The advanced Commercial Pilot License is the rating that permits an individual to enter the commercial and airline world of aviation. It requires about 18 months and costs about R761,379 to obtain a CPL in South Africa. Further training and certificates will also be needed to get a job in an airline, such as instrument rating and type rating. Type rating on its own would cost R761,379.
What are the requirements?
The first requirement you need for pilot training is a strong passion for flying and airplanes. Other requirements include the subjects you do at school and some medical requirements.
Though there are no compulsory subjects requirements in South Africa or minimum mark requirements to start training as a pilot, It is suitable that you do maths, science, English, and geography at the highest possible level. Do take into consideration. You will need to undergo an English proficiency test to show your ability to speak and comprehend English if you are from another Country.
About the medical requirements, a Class 2 medical certificate is the minimum required to obtain PPL and a Class 1 for CPL. You will be required to tender a chest x-ray. After that, you need to book an appointment with the Designated Aviation Medical Examiner (DAME).
Best Aviation Schools in South Africa
- Blue Chip Flying School – Pretoria
- Skyhawk Aviation – Johannesburg
- 43 Air School – Port Alfred
- AAA 4 Pilots – Durban
- Progress Flight Academy – Port Elizabeth
- Eagle Air Flight School – Pretoria
- Cape Town Flight Training Centre – Durbanville
- Virginia Flight School – Durban North
- Morningstar Flight Academy – Cape Town
- Algoa Flight Centre – Port Elizabeth
- Aeronav Academy – Gauteng
- Johannesburg Flying School – Johannesburg
- Heidelberg Flight School – Heidelberg
- Cranfield Aviation Training – Johannesburg
- Cape Town Flight Training Centre – Durbanville
- Afrika Union Aviation Academy – Mafikeng
If you want to achieve that goal and ambition of becoming a pilot and you want to have the training in South Africa, you should choose the top aviation schools in South Africa to provide you with the necessary hands-on practice professional pilots lookout for during training. Listed above are the best aviation schools in South Africa that will provide you a firm training and also equip you for the big challenges pilots encounter while flying.