Blue Chip Flight School FAQ's | Our Pilots Become Captains
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What are the qualification requirements to start my training?

Before you begin your pilot training in South Africa:

  • No subject requirements but an understanding of Mathematics and science will be an advantage.
  • A student needs to be declared medically fit by an approved aviation medical examiner.
  • A student needs to be proficient in English
How old do I have to be before I can commence with flying lessons?

At the age of 15 a student can apply for a Student Pilot Licence with an identity document or passport.

  • 16 years to go solo. 
  • 17 years for a PPL. 
  • 18 years for a CPL. 
  • 21 years for an ATPL.
How long will it take to complete my licence?
  • How long it takes to complete your pilot license depends on various factors, including your aptitude for flying, how quickly you pass your theoretical examinations, the frequency of your lessons whether you enrolled part-time or full-time. 
  • Average period to complete your Private Pilot Licence 6 months and Commercial Piot Licence 24 months.
How old is too old to commence flying lessons?

There is no upper age restriction, but you do need a valid medical.

As a student pilot, what is the best aircraft to rent for completing my flight training and building flight time?
  • There is no specific aircraft.
  • C172 is the recommended for this phase of training, it is a forgiving aircraft, and fairly simple in system management, a good all rounder basic trainer.
Must I have good English language skills?

Yes, English proficiency is a requirement by law, minimum is a Level 4.

Where will I work once I have my PPL/CPL?
  • As a PPL holder, you may not fly for remuneration; rather, you may only fly for pleasure and at your own expense in order to fulfil the legal requirements for obtaining a higher type license, such as a CPL. 
  • As a CPL holder, you may conduct flights for remuneration, provided they are conducted under a legal operator’s certificate. Many of our CPL graduates find themselves working for charter companies or in neighbouring countries. Additionally, quite a few of our CPL graduates have transitioned into the airline industry, servicing both local and international carriers. 
  • Another advancement from CPL is obtaining an instructor’s rating, but this is only for those candidates who have a passion not only for aviation but also for teaching and helping others fulfil their dreams.
How many exams do I have to write?
  • That depends on your course, for a PPL there are 8 official online CAA exams that do not include in-house block quizzes and exams, in order to prep you for the actual exam.
  • For the Commercial/IFR course, there are also 8 subjects, covering the same subjects as PPL, but in much more depth. At BCFS we have a ground school that is hosted by industry and airline pilots, with more than ample amounts of knowledge to help ease the intense workload to easy and digestible pieces of information. Our full time flight instructors are also around 24/7 to help!
  • For the ATPL exams, there are only 6 exams, covering most of the commercial syllabus, with further application to known CPL and PPL knowledge.
Can I do my license on a part time basis?
  • Yes, that is possible. The only implications are that one would probably take a longer time to complete the course and will exceed the minimum required hours to obtain a PPL due to infrequent flying and slower skill progression.  This will not affect training negatively, apart from cost implications, provided that one does not exceed the maximum hours for certain phases of flight.
What is the minimum and maximum hours for a PPL or to go solo?
  • The minimum hours required for obtaining a PPL are 15 hours solo, 25 hours dual, and 5 hours of Instrument (Simulator) training, totalling 45 hours. If a student has not been recommended for a solo flight after completing 30 hours of dual flying, the SACAA Performance Assist Programme may be implemented (CAR 61.02.7).
How do I pay for my training?

You can choose to pay the amount quoted in full or you can “pay as you fly”.

Can I obtain a SA PPL or CPL, whilst not being a SA citizen?

Yes, you may conduct training and obtain a South African PPL/CPL, provided that the appropriate study VISA has been obtained prior to training commencement.

Will a RSA PPL or CPL be valid in a foreign country?
  • Depending on the state’s aviation authority, most countries will accredit holders of a RSA PPL/CPL with the experience gained. It may be within the jurisdiction of the concerned state to validate such a license or issue a home country license, provided that certain or all theory exams might have to be retaken. Additionally, it is subject to a skill test by a DFE for that state and type of license application.