It is often easist to talk through the different licenses and dynamics one on one or telephonically – so please pop in for a cup of coffee or give us a call! Nontheless, please see below for some general questions and answers.
Q: How do I start to learn to fly?
Learning to fly is as simple as signing up at your flight school. No flight experience or knowledge is necessary. It is often best to sign up for an introductory flight initially to ensure that you are certain that you are comfortable and want to continue to pursue your license. You also then get a feel of the flight school, instructors, the general atmosphere as well as the aircraft you are going to learn on.
Q: Is it expensive to learn to fly?
Aviation as a whole is an expensive undertaking. However, not many people are aware of the option of doing a National Pilot License (NPL) rather than a full Private Pilots License (PPL). NPL’s certainly allow more people to get into aviation with less of a financial outlay – with the option then to upgrade and upskill themselves to their own requirements and within their own budgets.
Q: A National Pilot License (NPL) vs. a Private Pilot License (PPL)
This is a great question and is ultimately determined by your end objective. NPL’s are aimed at recreational pilots who are flying for their passion. A NPL is significantly less expensive than a PPL, and whilst some may argue that PPL’s are a higher qualification (the theoretical exams are a higher level), completing an NPL at a flight school and airfield like Ballito, requires a high level of skill and we believe creates very competent pilots. Short fields, grass runways, often on hills, remote airstrips and aeroplanes that are more impacted by environmental conditions mean that you gain the required skills and knowledge to operate safely, but also take full advantage of what our country has to offer with the variety of airfields! Once you have an NPL, you are also credited time towards higher licenses if you wish to pursue these. This alone is a reason to consider an NPL. Please contact us for a breakdown of the costs.
Q: How long does it take to become a pilot?
Completing your license can be done in a matter of months, but is subject to many variables including the frequency in which you fly, your ability to complete the required exams, as well as other more obvious factors such as weather dependency and your inherent abilities. This being said, Ballito Microlights is a flexible school and there are no formal requirements, so it is really up to the student to determine their own speed of completion.
Q: What are my prerequisites to becoming a pilot?
You will need to have a Class 4 medical certificate from an aviation doctor. An inherent mathematical ability is beneficial and competency in the English language is required.
Q: What is a typical flight training day like?
This is dependant on the category of license you are training for (WCM/CCM/LSA). However, most days generally starts very early as the best training is early in the morning before the wind picks up and it gets too hot causing thermals and turbulence. A briefing takes place, followed by the necessary pre-flight checks. On completion of the flight lesson, a debriefing takes place highlighting learnings from the lesson. Depending on the day, this could be followed by theory lecture/lesson across the multiple subjects. Please don’t forget that the ever important cup of coffee is also included somewhere through the morning, depending on the day!