Flying is one of the most exciting careers you can have. You get to explore new places, meet new people, and fly airplanes.
There are plenty of flight schools in South Africa available to hone your skills so that you can become qualified for an entry-level position if you want to become a pilot in South Africa.
In this article, we’ll explain everything you need to know about becoming a pilot in South Africa: how much it costs (and how much money pilots make), how long it takes to train, and more.
Overview of South African Flight Schools
South African flight schools offer a variety of training options, from the basics to advanced flying. The best thing to do before choosing which school is right for you is to take some time and learn about the different types of schools available.
In South Africa, there are general aviation training centers as well as large universities offering aviation degrees. Other options include smaller operations located in townships or rural areas that may only offer introductory courses on private pilot licenses (PPL).
These smaller operations have been known to be less costly than bigger ones because they do not have high overhead costs due to fewer employees and facilities required for training purposes.
The cost of getting your license will vary depending on where you decide to train, but it’s important that you find out what each school charges before making any decisions about which one will suit your needs best—especially if money is tight.
The benefit here is that most schools offer payment plans so there should never be any excuses why someone cannot afford their dream career path.
How to Become a Pilot in South Africa
Obtain your Student Pilot License
These are the requirements, according to Careers Portal:
- You must be 16 years or older.
- You must have attained a class 1 or 2 medical certificate (not usually required).
- Your should hold an International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) language proficiency certificate.
- You should have completed an aircraft technical.
- Completing an Airlaw examination is also an advantage.
Obtain your Private Pilot License
These are the requirements for getting your Private Pilot License in South Africa:
- You must be 17 years or older.
- You must possess a valid Student Pilot License.
- You should hold a restricted or general radiotelephony certificate.
- You must have completed 8 online PPL exams (75% pass mark).
- You must have completed 45 hours total flight time by the end of the course. This includes:
- 25 dual hours with instructor.
- 15 solo hours Pilot in Command.
- 5 hours cross-country Pilot in Command.
Furthermore, if you want to pursue a professional career in the aviation industry, you will need to take a step further and get your Commercial Pilot License.
- Pilot training is a highly competitive field, so you must be prepared to work hard if you want to get a job.
- The salary for a pilot is good, and the job satisfaction is high.
Pilots are an essential part of the aviation industry. They help people travel safely and efficiently, and they can earn a good living in the process. If you have the right skills and knowledge, you can become a pilot too.
Pilots are responsible for the safety of their passengers and crew while they are in the air. They must make sure that all laws and regulations are followed, as well as train new pilots and maintain their knowledge of aviation.
Pilots work long hours during training sessions, but once they have completed the training program, they only need to fly occasionally for recertification purposes.
Pilots can work for commercial airlines or private companies. They travel around the world on a regular basis, which is one of the reasons why they enjoy their jobs so much.
In addition to providing safe air transportation, pilots also provide valuable information that helps scientists understand our planet better. For example, pilots can help collect data about weather patterns and atmospheric conditions by flying in certain areas at specific times of day or night.
List of Top Flight Schools in South Africa
South Africa’s Aviation Authority regulates all aviation schools and training providers, ensuring that pilots are adequately trained before they can enter the skies.
Are you looking to become a qualified pilot? If so, the following is a list of top flight schools in South Africa. To get started on your new career path, contact one of these companies today:
Johannesburg School of Flying
Tuition fee: Not Available.
Johannesburg School of Flying is a flight school based in Johannesburg, South Africa. They have been operating since the 1980s and offer training for private pilots, commercial pilots and instrument rating. It is one of the oldest flight schools in South Africa.
The school is SACAA and ICAO-approved, as they have been producing some of the world-class pilots in South Africa for more than three decades now. JSF is one of the best flight schools in South Africa; it is great for anyone looking for a top flight school to attend.
Eagle Air Flight School
Tuition fee: $39,000 + $1,000 registration fee (installmental payment allowed).
Eagle Air Flight School is a registered training organisation (RTO) and an accredited higher education institution with the South African Department of Higher Education and Training.
The school offers a wide range of flying courses ranging from Private Pilot Licence to Commercial Pilots Licence, Instrument Rating and Helicopter Flying.
The school also offers many ground based courses such as Aerial Application, Agricultural Placement and Air Traffic Control. If you are looking for your dream job in aviation then Eagle Air Flight School has openings available for instructors and pilots as well as administrative staff.
Madiba Bay School of Flight
Tuition fee: R 106,460 (South African Rand) for the PPL training.
Madiba Bay School of Flight is a South African flight school based at Madiba Bay Airport, Plettenberg Bay. It provides training services to both recreational and commercial pilots, as well as aircraft rental and management services.
The company is an authorized CAA South Africa (CASA) training provider that offers full-time training programs in microlight, gyroplane and powered paragliding.
43 Air School
Tuition fee: $20,219 for PPL course. Learn more about other courses and fees at 43 Air School.
43 Air School is a South African flight school in operation since 1988. The school provides training for Private Pilot Licence (PPL), Commercial Pilot License (CPL), Multi-Engine Rating, Instrument Rating, and Flight Instructor Rating.
Tuition fee: Not Available.
Aeronav Academy, located in Johannesburg, is a flight school that offers training to private pilots, commercial pilots, and flight instructors.
They offer the following flight courses:
- Private Pilot training
- Commercial Pilot Training
- Airline Transport Pilot Training
- Flight Instructor Rating
Skyhawk Aviation School
Tuition fee: $20,000 – $30,000 (estimated).
Skyhawk Aviation School is a South African flight school that offers courses for private pilots, commercial pilots and instrument rating.
Skyhawk Aviation School is located at Lanseria Airport in Johannesburg. It’s mainly used to train student pilots on single-engine aircraft but also offers training on multi-engine aircraft such as Cessna 402, Cessna 206 and Beechcraft Baron 58.
Skyhawk provides training equipment such as computers with Microsoft Flight Simulator X software installed so that students can learn how to fly before they actually get into a cockpit.
Some of the flight training courses offered at Skyhawk, but are not limited to, are:
- Private Pilot License
- Instrument Rating
- Commercial Pilot Licence
- Night Rating
- Instructors Rating
- Simulation Training
- ATPL Preparation
- Initial Multi-Engine Rating
- PPL and CPL Ground School theory classes
- Airbus 320 Type Rating
- RVSM and RNAV Training
- Boeing 737 NG Procedural rating
Morningstar Flight Academy
Tuition fee: Approximately R97,000 (PPL training).
Morningstar Flight Academy is a flight school in Johannesburg, South Africa. It offers training for both new and experienced pilots, as well as maintenance courses for aircraft. The fleet includes Cessna 172s, Diamond DA40s and Piper Warriors. Morningstar also provides services for charters and private flights.
The school is open to the public without an application process or interview required; however, it does require payment in advance before students are allowed to fly with them.
They also offer discounts for individuals who have taken lessons from another location but want to continue their education at Morningstar.
Blue Chip Flight School
Tuition fee: Not Available.
Blue Chip Flight School is a South African flight school based in Johannesburg. They are a member of the Blue Chip Group, a group of aviation-related businesses that includes Blue Chip Asset Management and Blue Chips Helicopters.
The company offers training in fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters for both private individuals and commercial operators.
Virginia Flight School
Tuition fee: Not Available.
Virginia Flight School is a private aviation school based in Virginia, Johannesburg. They offer the opportunity to train in either a Cessna 172 or Piper Warrior, depending on your preference and experience level.
The training takes place at Rand Airport, just outside of Johannesburg city center. If you’re not sure what type of aircraft suits you best, Virginia Flight School also offers an introductory flight lesson (or two) so that you can try both airplanes before deciding which one is best suited to your needs.
Training costs vary depending on which course you want to take and how long it will take for completion—the longer the course, the more expensive it gets. To get a tuition quote for your training, you will have to contact them.
List of More Flight Schools in South Africa
- Central Flying Academy
- Lanseria Flight Center
- Cape Town Flight Training Center
- Eagle Flight Academy South Africa
- Loutzavia Flight School
- U-Fly Training Academy
- Cranfield Aviation Training
- Westline Aviation PTY Ltd
- Airborne Aviation Flight School
- AFOS-Pilot Training Academy
- Africa Aviation Academy
- Cape Town Flying Club
- Eagle1 Flight Academy
- Avcon Jet Africa
- Flight Training College
- Sun Quest Aviation Center
How Much Do Pilots Make in South Africa?
What is the average pilot salary in South Africa?
What are the highest and lowest salaries pilots can make?
The highest-paid pilots make about R 5,000,000 (Talent) annually, while the lowest-paid earn about R170,000 per year.
How do you get a pay increase as a pilot?
To get a pay increase as a pilot, you need to increase your experience and skills by flying more hours (in both training and commercial flights).
That will boost your career progression which results in higher wages over time. With each promotion comes additional responsibilities and duties that come with higher income levels.
The best way to become an excellent pilot is through constant training and practice during real world conditions; this ensures that you have all of the necessary skills needed before entering into active duty as an airman or airwoman.
Career Options in the Flight Industry and What They Are
As a pilot, you can choose from many career options. Some of the most common are:
- Airline Pilot – Salary range: R500,000 – R 1,000,000 per annum
An Airline Pilot is responsible for the safety of the aircraft and its passengers. The pilot must be able to navigate the plane safely through adverse weather conditions, as well as in situations where there are other aircraft in close proximity.
- Helicopter Pilot – Salary range: R300,000 – R600,000 per annum
Being an Helicopter Pilot is a job that requires you to fly helicopters. You will be expected to work in shifts, and at times you might have to work long hours. You will also need to be able to lift heavy weights and do strenuous activities.
- Aerospace Engineers – Salary range: R600,000 – R1,100,000 per annum
Aerospace Engineers are the people who design and develop the systems used in aircraft, spacecraft and missiles. They also provide guidance for the use of aeronautical products, such as airframes, engines and avionics.
- Air Traffic Controllers – Salary range: R150,000 – R213,600 per annum
Air traffic controllers are the people who make sure that planes don’t crash into each other. They work in an air traffic control tower and help pilots make sure that they don’t collide with each other while they’re flying.
- Aircraft Maintainers – Salary range: Up to R310,000 per annum
Aircraft maintainers are the unsung heroes of aviation. They’re the ones who keep your aircraft safe and in working order, no matter where you’re flying—from a commercial airliner to a private jet.
Aircraft maintainers work on a wide range of aircraft, including helicopters, military planes, and private jets. Their job is to ensure that every part of the aircraft is constructed properly and operates smoothly. This includes checking for cracks in the engine and making sure that all of the parts are connected correctly.
- Aviation Safety Managers- Salary range: R72,000 – R100,000 per annum
Aviation Safety Managers are responsible for ensuring that their company’s aircraft and personnel are in compliance with safety regulations. They often work in teams with other safety managers, as well as with engineers, mechanics, and pilots.
- Cabin Crew Workers – Salary range: R141,000 – R415,000 per annum
Cabin Crew Workers are an essential part of the airline industry. They work to ensure that the passengers on their flights have a positive experience and are safe and comfortable. E.g. Filght Attendants.
- Flight Instructors – Salary range: R438,000 – R777,000 per annum
A flight instructor is a professional who gives instruction and advice to pilots and other aircraft operators. They can teach ground school and flight training, as well as aerobatic instruction. They must be able to pass a variety of tests in order to be certified as a flight instructor.
- Aviation Transportation – Salary range: Up to R312,000 per annum
Aviation transportation is a service that provides the safe and efficient transportation of people, cargo, and mail by air. Some professionals in this industry include cargo pilots.
FAQs and Answers
The following are some commonly-asked questions about flight schools in South Africa:
How much does it cost to become a pilot in South Africa?
The tuition cost in flight schools in South Africa significantly varies. You should contact the school of your choice to find out more information.
How long does it take to become a pilot in South Africa?
It takes 1 – 2 years to become a pilot in South Africa – it takes three years in some extreme or rare cases.
What are the requirements to become a pilot?
The basic requirement for becoming a pilot in South Africa is obtaining your Private Pilot License (PPL). Before you can do this, you must complete your Student Pilot License (SPL).
If you wish to pursue a professional career in the aviation industry, you can continue with other professional programs.
What are the career benefits of becoming a pilot?
Generally, pilots are well-paid anywhere in the world. They get to fly around the world, and they have a fulfilling career providing an important service to mankind.
The flight industry is a growing industry in South Africa, and it’s an exciting time to be involved. The demand for pilots continues to rise as airlines look for more qualified people to fill their ranks.
This means there are different types of jobs you can do in the flight industry. You can work as a pilot or instructor, or even become an air traffic controller.
If you have your eye on one of these roles or another job in the aviation world, then don’t hesitate to start researching schools now.
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Wrapping It Up
Despite the obstacles, the South African flight industry is still growing. With the high demand for pilots and planes in Africa, more schools are being created to meet this need.
If you have a passion for flying, then South Africa should be your next destination.