Private Pilot License PPL

A Private Pilot License (PPL) is the most popular license for a pilot that operates a wide range of light aircraft. The PPL license is used for recreational purposes but it is also the starting point for the aspiring Commercial pilot.

Course Information

A Private Pilot License (PPL) is the most popular license for the pilot that operates a wide range of light aircraft. The Private Pilot License can either be used for recreational purposes or it can be used as the starting point for the aspiring Commercial Pilot. A Private Pilot License holder is able to fly for recreational purposes in good weather conditions and in the daytime.

When you do your Private Pilot License at Bucephalus Air you will be trained by Industry-Leading Instructors that will make every second of your training count. At our Flight Schools, you will be doing your training on a trustworthy aircraft with an instructor best suited to your personality that teaches you all that you need to know about the theoretical and practical side of your pilot training.


6 – 12 months

flight hours

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The Requirements for a Private Pilot License PPL:

Private Pilot License PPL Theory

We offer ground school training and online based learning programmes. Together with our integrated training approach, study guide, Industry-Leading Instructors, and your hard work, you will be able to pass the theoretical part of the training with ease.

You are required to pass 8 Theoretical Mock Exams at the School and 8 Theoretical Exams at our SACAA-accredited online examination centre at our flight schools.

You will be doing a Language and a Restricted Radio Proficiency test along with the theoretical subjects.

The theoretical examinations are straightforward and designed for the Private Pilot to fly for recreational purposes.

The Theoretical Subjects Includes the Following:


In the course of your Private Pilot License training you will be learning to do a proper pre-flight inspection, engine preparation before flight, take-offs and landings at a wide variety of airports and post-flight inspections. You will also be trained on how to file a flight plan, how to identify weather and also how to navigate.

Some of the things you will be learning as part of your PPL training are how to use the instruments in the airplane’s cockpit, how to use the communication equipment and how to communicate with other aircraft while flying. You will also be taught how to do the basic flight manoeuvres and how to do emergency procedures.

The Practical Training Includes the Following:

Each Flight Session will include a theoretical briefing of thirty minutes each on what to prepare for your flight. This will happen before and after each flight. You will have approximately 18 hrs of briefings.

Flying with an instructor

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Flying on your own

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is a South African Aviation Medical Class II Certificate?

Upon enrolment at Bucephalus Air, you are required to go do your Civil Aviation Authority Medical Class II Medical Certificate. This Certificate is valid for up to 60 months if you are under the age of 40 and valid for 24 months if you are 40 years old and above.

For your Initial Medical test you will need the following:

  • Chest X-rays
  • Eye test
  • Blood Tests

The requirements are more or less the same as a normal life insurance policy. We could assist should you want an appointment.

How do I obtain a Student Pilot Licence (SPL)?

Upon completion of your enrolment process, you will obtain an SPL (Student Pilot License). This license will enable you to write the South African Aviation Authority (SACAA) examinations at our institution and will allow you to start flying.


What is the minimum age that you need to be to fly an aeroplane?

There is no minimum age required to start with your Flight Training. There is however a required age to fly Solo (Fly as a Pilot in Command and on your own without an Instructor) which is 16 years old. When you complete your training you have to do a Flight test, which has an age requirement of 17 years old.


Are there any other requirements for a Private Pilot License (PPL)?

You must have a basic understanding of mathematics, geography and physics in order to do your pilot training. 

Do I need to speak English to be a pilot?

To enrol at Bucephalus Air, it is a training requirement to be proficient in English. The general language for Aviation is English, and your study materials are in English.

Do I need to be a South African Citizen to enrol?

To train at Bucephalus Air, you have to be either a South African Citizen or a holder of a valid South African Study Permit. 

Enquire about the Private Pilot License PPL

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.