National Pilot License ( NPL )

The NPL (National Pilot License) is similar to the PPL (Private Pilot License) in training, however the minimum required hours are slightly less than that of the PPL. This license allows the qualified pilot to fly in fair weather conditions (VMC) and within the borders of South Africa carrying passengers but not for remuneration. This is due to the fact that the course is shorter than the PPL and can be done on light sport aircraft.


The minimum number of flight hours to be done in the National Pilot License is 10 hours of dual flight training and a minimum amount of 15 hours of solo flight training. This is according to the SACAA and may differ from the school’s training manual and also depending on the ability of the candidate.


A candidate that wishes to start with their National Pilot License must be at least 16 years old and hold a valid class 4 or higher aviation medical. The candidate for the National Pilot License must have completed 8 theoretical examinations, namely – Air law, Principals of Flight, Human Performance, Meteorology, Aircraft Technical and General, Flight Planning and Performance, Navigation and Restricted Radio. The candidate must also hold a Restricted Radio license and should be English proficient.


The course is divided into 11 exercises which is sub-divided into 2 phases and each phase containing certain aspects of training that will need to be covered. Exercise 1 will be the familiarization flight which will be an introduction into flying. The second exercise will be the start of general flying phase 1 which will start with preparation before and after the flight which will cover mainly the admin and paperwork to be done before and after the flight as well as instruction on how to complete it. The second aspect will be some flight experience again the see the full cycle of doing the preparation before the flight and then doing the necessary admin and paperwork when the flight is completed. Thereafter you will be instructed on the effect of the controls where the instructor will show the candidate the handling characteristics of the aircraft and how to use the controls to achieve the desired effect. After this will be an exercise on taxing the aircraft on the ground and instruction on how to manipulate the aircraft on the ground. Next will be straight and level where the candidate will receive instruction on how to maintain straight and level flight, now using the knowledge gained about the effect of the controls the candidate will learn how to attain a desired result. Thereafter the candidate will do climbing and descending in 2 different sessions where the candidate will receive instruction on the procedures to enter a climb and a decent. Next, will be stalling where the candidate will learn how to induce and recover from a stall and thereafter the candidate will do medium turns where he/ she will learn how to now manipulate the controls to do a medium turn. After this is climbing and descending turns where the candidate will use the knowledge gained from previous exercises to now climb and descend while turning. Next will be take off and climb to downwind position and from here the candidate will transition into the circuit while being taught the procedures and radio work and eventually learn landing and this will be the end of exercise 3. once the candidate is proficient in the circuit and can land the aircraft, he/she will do exercise 4 which will be their first solo flight. Thereafter the candidate will consolidate themselves in the circuit and move on the general flying phase 2 which will start with side-slipping where the candidate will receive instruction on the correct way to side slip an aircraft.

Thereafter will be steep turns and the use of your instruments for precision where the candidate will learn how to manipulate the controls to maintain a steep turn while using the instruments to assist them. Next the candidate will be taught the correct way and procedures as well as the dangers of low flying and after this the candidate will be taught how to land and take off in cross winds. Next will be precautionary and forced landings where the candidate will be taught the correct procedures for each situation as well as fault finding and how to attempt to restart the engine in flight. After this will the candidate will be shown unusual or dangerous attitudes, loose formation flying and what are the procedures in the event of an engine fire on the ground and in the air. During exercise 7 the student will consolidate his/her general flying and move on to navigation where the candidate will learn to plan and fly a navigation as well as the procedures and radio work involved. After this the candidate will have completed all the exercises and will do a test flight where an instructor will test all the skills and knowledge the candidate has acquired to make that he/she is ready for their test flight. Lastly the candidate will be tested on every subject done from general flying to planning and executing a navigation and if proficient in all aspects the candidate will acquire their NPL.

Enquire about a National Pilot License ( NPL )

We have 3 amazing flight academies to choose from.

Flight Schools

Apex Flight Academy

Apex Flight Academy Logo

Apex Flight Academy is located at the Klerksdorp Airfield in the North West Province of South Africa.

Potch Flight Academy

Potchefstroom Flight Academy Logo

Potch Flight Academy is located at the Potchefstroom Airfield in the North West Province of South Africa.

Parys Flying Academy

Parys Flight Academy Logo

Parys Flying Academy is located at the Parys Airfield in the Free State Province of South Africa.