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GET YOUR PRIVATE PILOT'S LICENCE WITH FULLY QUALIFIED INSTRUCTORS. You'll be based in George on the famous Garden Route, which is an idyllic setting to learn to fly. Imagine flying along the outstanding Garden Route with mountains on one side and the ocean on the other ... and blue skies above and golden sands below. You may even see whales and sharks as you fly over the clear blue Indian ocean.

To obtain your Private Pilots Licence you'll do a minimum of 45 hours of flight training. 25 hours will be with an instructor and 15 hours will be solo (flying alone), plus 5 hours on a flight simulator. Of these, 3 hours will be solo cross country flight time ... sound exciting?

Start Dates All year round - Courses start at the beginning of each month.
Duration Approximately 6 weeks, depending on your abilities.
Requirements You must be at least 16 years old, medically fit, literate in English and proficient in Maths
Price £7,795 excluding flights. - the price quoted for this project is an estimate and based on the average flight training time to completion and may also be subject to any possible fuel surcharges. Full Price List and other Currencies
What's included Course fees and some materials Accommodation Meeting you at the Airport Transfer to your accommodation Full pre-departure support Local in-country team support and backup 24-hr emergency support
What's not included Flights, Insurance, Cost of Visas (if a visa is required, but we'll provide necessary documents and assistance), Food, Return transfer to airport.
Who can do this Project? All projects are open to all nationalities.

This is a unique opportunity to do something exciting and unusual and gain your pilot's licence at the end of it! You'll take your training at a top Pilot Training Institute. It is one of only a handful of schools on the African continent to provide full-time courses for Private and Commercial Pilots. The Institute is well known and has trained pilots from all over the world, many of whom are now flying with numerous international Airlines such as Cathay Pacific, South African Airways, and more.

The latest South African CAA regulations have lowered to minimum age of learner pilots to 16, so this course is suitable for all people aged 16 years old and upwards.

The Academy is run by an ex SAFAir Captain and most of the staff are ex SAA pilots. The Academy is very popular with learners coming from all over South Africa and from overseas as well. The Academy is based in the town of George, which is a beautiful area on the renowned Garden Route. It really does have the idyllic attractions that people hanker after - miles of golden sands against the beautiful backdrop of the mountains ... and dolphins jumping through the waves close to shore.

The Academy has seven aircraft and all the instructors are fully qualified to SA Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) requirements. The Private Pilots Licence (PPL) is taken on either the Cessna 152 or the Piper Tomahawk, but type rating for other aircraft may be undertaken. (This involves about 5 hours flying time on whichever aircraft is selected, plus familiarisation study of that aircraft.)

The Private Pilots Licence is an eight week course and should be completed in that time. However it may take a little longer if adverse weather conditions prevail. 45 hours is the minimum requirement (25 hours dual*, 15 hours solo plus 5 hours on a simulator), to obtain your PPL. This is subject to instructor recommendations. The Academy states that when they sign you out, they won't compromise and will ensure your safety. Having said that, 90% of students finish within this time frame. Should you require extra hours then this would be an additional cost.

You must be at least 16 years of age to qualify for a Private Pilots Licence. You must also be medically fit and be able to pass a medical examination by an approved South African physician. The medical examination includes chest X-rays, an ECG, vision and hearing tests ... and yes, you can fly with spectacles. You can have the medical examination in South Africa, if you choose - the cost is approximately R1,000 (approx £89, US$160).

There is no other basic minimum requirement, but you need to be literate in the English Language and be able to understand basic and advanced mathematics. The three basic requirements for becoming a good pilot are common sense, good coordination and a willingness to stay within the boundaries of both flight regulations and personal piloting ability.

The different elements:
Initially you will obtain a Student Pilots Licence (SPL). This requires you to pass an elementary written exam in Air Law and pass the Private Pilots Licence Medical. This will allow you to fly solo when you have satisfactorily reached a proficient level in aircraft handling and emergencies as well as take off and landing whilst in the circuit.

You will be required to write and pass an exam on Radiotelephony to gain a Restricted Radiotelephony Operators Licence.

Additional to this, you will have to write and pass an exam on Air law, Meteorology, Navigation (necessary before you do a cross country flights), principles of Flight, Instruments and basic technical with emphases on engine and aircraft performance based on a training aircraft. Ground courses are conducted on the required subjects.

Finally, you will have to pass a practical general flight test as well as a practical navigation exercise conducted by a Grade ll or Grade l instructor. Once you have a valid Private Pilots Licence, you will be able to fly, within limits of any ratings held as pilot-in-command (PIC), of an aircraft endorsed on your licence and carry passengers, but not for hire or reward.

The Flight School:
All instructors at the Flight School are fully qualified and SA CAA approved. Aircraft are fully maintained to SA CAA specifications.

Time spent at the flight school  will be approximately 3 hours per day, but this may increase, depending on various factors. Flying time on instruction is about 1 hour, dual and solo, per day. If you want to speed up the process, you may be able to fly twice a day to complete the course quicker. The cost of the course includes a Pilots Bag which you'll receive containing three instruction manuals (study material), Pilots Radio Handbook, and certain basic instruments, maps, etc.

Please also note that the price quoted for this project is an estimate and based on the average flight training time to completion. Keep in mind that this is an estimate, not a "one size fits all". Your actual costs will vary, simply because everyone is different and possesses different learning styles and past experiences. Your Project Co-ordinator will liaise with you in depth during the setting-up of your placement and will be able to give you an accurate figure at that time.

Fuel Surcharges may also apply: Unfortunately, neither we nor the flying schools can commit to fuel costs at the time that you'll be doing the course because of the fluctuations in oil prices, so there may be fuel surcharges applicable at that time.

Licence conversion: The Academy advises that the SA licence is recognised worldwide. However, you will need to convert it to your home country's requirements. For example, for UK students, the  licence would need to be converted to a UK licence with the UK authority, but we have been advised that this is easy to do.


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The Flight School is a live-in establishment and has its own houses in George where you will live, not far from the town centre. This is very handy for socialising in town in the evenings and weekends. The people in the houses are very helpful and our volunteers frequently report that their enjoyment is greatly enhanced by the friendliness of the owners and staff.

You'll share a room with other trainee pilots and you'll also share the communal areas, such as bathrooms, showers, kitchen, etc. You will need to prepare your own food and there is a communal kitchen that you can use. A food allowance will be given to you and we've found in the past that many of our volunteers group together to take turns in doing the shopping and cooking, but of course you can do your own meal preparation if you prefer.

The Location:
The lovely Indian Ocean town of George is scenically situated on a coastal plateau at the foot of the Outeniqua Mountains. It is a pretty resort town with a relaxed "laid back" atmosphere which, coupled with continuity of training away from life’s working pressures, guarantees that flying students get maximum benefit from each hour they fly.

George is 425 kilometres east of Cape Town and 370 kilometres west of Port Elizabeth on the Garden Route which is famous for the lush country side, beautiful beaches and magnificent mountain ranges and scenery. The airport lies about nine kilometres from the centre of town.

The School is based at George Airport, which is the secondary airport to Cape Town International Airport. It is a controlled airspace and fully equipped for all instrument and night flying. The airport is not unduly busy and the School states, "We have the airspace and personalised attention from the qualified Air Traffic Controllers."

The airport has full fire fighting and emergency facilities and the flight school lies 30 metres from the main taxi ways. George Airport is fully equipped to international standards with ATC, NDB, VOR, DME, ILS for day and night instrument conditions.

To read about Travel arrangements and what happens when you arrive in your new country, please click here.

Support & Backup: To read about the excellent Support & Backup we provide before you leave and during your programme, please click here.

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