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Private pilot license (PPL)

Pilot training at Eagle Flight Academy on flight simulators

Are you interested in learning to fly? Eagle flight Academy is a top SACAA flight school in South Africa. We offer pilot training courses for both single and multi engine aeroplanes and much more.

  1. PRIVATE PILOT LICENSE (PPL) A private pilot license (PPL) is a license that permits the holder to act as the pilot-in-command of an aircraft privately (not for Remuneration). The requirements to obtain the license are determined by the International Civil Aviation Authority (ICAO), but the actual implementation varies widely from country to country. According to the ICAO, it is obtained by successfully completing a course with at least 40 hours (45 South Africa) of flight time, passing eight written exams, completing an extensive solo cross country flight (minimum cumulative solo flight time is 15 hours), and successfully demonstrating flying skills to an examiner during a flight test or checkride (including an oral exam). The minimum age for a private pilot license is 17 years old
    Pilot training courses and classes

    The Mooney 20 C is an example of an aircraft that would require the pilot-in-command to have private pilot license or greater, with an airplane single-engine land (ASEL) class rating and a complex endorsement in South Africa

    The Piper Aztec is an example of an aircraft that would require a pilot-in-command to have private pilot license or greater, with an airplane multi-engine land (AMEL) class rating, a complex endorsement and a high-performance endorsement in South Africa

    Different types of private licenses are issued for the major categories of aircraft. It is possible to obtain a license for, e.g., rotorcraft or airships, without first — or ever — obtaining a license for a fixed-wing aircraft. However, limitations, such as “limited to hot air balloons with airborne heater” for hot air balloon ratings (as opposed to a gas balloon) will appear on the license under the “Limitations” portion of the certificate. The classes listed on the license further define which aircraft of a given category the license holder is qualified to operate.

    With respect to the certification of airmen, the structure of aircraft categories and further subdivision into classes are as follows.


    1. Single-engine land
    2. Single-engine sea
    3. Multi-engine land
    4. Multi-engine sea


    1. Helicopter
    2. Gyroplane


    Mooney 20 C


    1. Airship
    2. Balloon


    Powered parachute

    1. Powered parachute land
    2. Powered parachute sea


    1. Weight-shift-control land
    2. Weight-shift-control sea
  2. Piper Aztec

    A license will contain a number of sub-qualifications or ratings. These specify in more detail the actual privileges of the license, including the types of aircraft that can be flown, whether flight under Instrument Flight Rules and at night is allowed, and whether instructing and examining of trainee pilots is authorized. Ratings include Single and/or Multi-Engine Aircraft, Land or Seaplane, each of which require a checkride with an approved examiner.