Flight Training

The thing that gets you your wings!

The description that we give here gives you an idea of the entire flight training program from start to finish, for a pilot with zero previous experience. For a more detailed explanation and detailed cost analysis, please reach out to us and we will gladly assist you!

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Private Pilot’s License

Time frame: 3 months

This is the first license you will obtain in the steps towards obtaining your frozen SACAA / EASA ATPL. The PPL course takes roughly 3 months and involves both theoretical and practical training. Unlike some flight schools that do theory and practical flying separately, we give our students the option to do them simultaneously in order to get the license finished as soon as possible. 
This license allows one to fly VFR (Visual Flight Rules) by day. All the theory training will be conducted through South Africa’s leading aviation theory company, ExamRevolution, making sure students fly through the exams and can move on to the next step quickly and efficiently. All training is done online and will assist the students every step of the way through their theory exams.

Total hours required for PPL: 45 hours

Of the 45 hours, the split will be as follows:

Total dual hours (flown with instructor): 30 hours
Total solo hours (flown without instructor): 15 hours

Total theory exams to pass for PPL: 8 exams (pass rate for each exam is 75%)

These exams are:

  • Principles of Flight
  • Air Law
  • Human Performance and Limitations
  • Meteorology
  • Flight Planning and Performance
  • Navigation
  • Aircraft Technical and General
  • Restricted Radio Communications

Night Rating and Instrument Rating

Time frame: 3 months


Next up, after completion of your PPL, you will be completing the Night Rating, followed by an Instrument Rating. Once again, the theory will be handled by ExamRevolution and the practical training conducted at Stellenbosch Flying Club.

The Night Rating requires the person to do a minimum of 10 hours of instrument training, of which 5 hours may be conducted in an approved flight simulator training device, which we also have available as part of our facilities and training equipment. This is a very good introduction to instrument flying and brings about a whole different world of flying. After completion of the Night Rating, one is allowed to fly VFR by night and day.

Want to fly in all weather conditions and not be limited by low clouds and other factors? This is why an instrument rating is crucial and brings you one step closer to completing the ATPL. The instrument rating requires 40 hours of instrument flight training, 10 of which will have already completed during the Night Rating. This training includes learning about how the aircraft instruments function in a more detailed way, helping you to become a more aware and safe pilot. The instrument rating will be completed with a combination of simulator and actual aircraft flight training to make sure all aspects can be covered in detail and that you walk out as a safe, highly competent and professional pilot. Both these licenses make flying such much safer, as no matter the weather conditions, you will be able to handle it!

Total hours required for night rating: 10 hours

Simulator Instrument hours: 5 Hours (can be done during the day)
Aircraft instrument hours: 5 Hours (can be done during the day)

Night flying hours: (these must be done at night)

5 take-offs and 5 landings by night as pilot manipulating the controls (roughly 1 hour)
Cross country flight of at least 150nm, with full stop landings at 2 different aerodromes away from base. (roughly 2.5 hours)

Total hours required for instrument rating: 40 hours (10 hours will already have been done during the night rating)

Of the 30 hours, the split will be as follow:

Simulator Instrument hours: 15 Hours (can be done during the day)
Aircraft Instrument hours: 15 Hours (can be done during the day)


Instrument Hour building and ATPL Exam Preparation

Time frame: 4 months

These few months will allow you to build up hours of flying as Pilot in Command, giving you freedom to explore the beautiful country, and see South Africa from above. During this time, all that you need to do is fly! One needs to build up enough cross country flying time as pilot in command and build up instrument flying hours. These 4 months also allow for studying for the SACAA / EASA ATPL exams. The training and theory for this will be conducted online, with highly experienced instructors with lots of knowledge about the SACAA / EASA system and each exam. We give enough time to our students to study in order to ensure they are properly prepared for the exams and get through them quickly. The ATPL exams, if one is completing an EASA license as well as and SACAA license, will be written once you are in Spain for your EASA (European license) conversion.

EASA ATPL Conversion and ATPL Theory Exams

Time frame: 2 months


At this point, there are one of two options. If the student is only completing the SACAA frozen ATPL, then they will remain in South Africa to complete their exams and course. If they are doing the EASA license as well, then they will head over to Europe to conclude their training and exams. This conversion is short and just familiarizes the students with some flying in Europe as well as completes the necessary flight checks and final touch ups to the training in order to ensure our students are fully prepared for the final flight test. As part of this conversion process, you will be completing a multi-engine commercial pilot’s license with an instrument rating in Spain. After the months of preparation in South Africa for your ATPL theory exams, you will now complete the actual exams in Spain. When the student returns to South Africa, they will only need to write 3 of the SACAA CPL exams to get their SACAA ME CPL / IF rating. That’s 2 licenses in one ! The European exams are written with Austro Control in Spain and the South African exams are written in South Africa. This is all conducted through our partner flight school in Spain. For more information on this flight school see Our Partners, and visit their website. 

If all runs smoothly through this process, our students can complete all their training and have an EASA and SACAA Frozen ATPL within 15 months


We like to play it safe, and plan for the worst case scenario, rather than the best. Therefore we include an extra 2 months contingency time, in case of any unforeseen issues. The good news is that these extra 2 months are included in the total price estimate, so we have covered all the fees from accommodation to transport, making sure that we get our students to complete their training without having to incur or worry about extra costs. There’s nothing that feels as good as finishing your training below budget!

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