Progress Flight Academy

Private Pilot Licence


Progress aerodrome is the ideal place to learn to fly when working towards your private pilot license or when taking that first step towards your future as an airline pilot. The aerodrome features grass runways in a woodland setting in magnificent scenery near the Indian Ocean just outside Port Elizabeth in South Africa. When you learn to fly at Progress your flying training is efficient because there is no traffic congestion and the General Flying Area is only four miles away.

The aim of the Private Pilot training course is to teach the student pilot to fly safely and efficiently by day in weather conditions appropriate to Visual Flight Rules (VFR). The basic licence can be extended by the qualification for a Night Rating and Instrument Rating.

The applicant for a PPL must be at least 17 years of age and in possession of a valid Flight Crew medical certificate. The Privileges of a Private Pilot Licence (PPL) are to act, but not for remuneration, as pilot in command of an aircraft and carry passengers for private or business purposes. The International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) establishes minimum requirements for aircrew licensing, and the South Africa PPL is an ICAO licence.

Flight Training

The Civil Aviation Regulations 1997 (CARS) part 61, as amended, require a minimum of 45 hours flying training for the issue of a PPL, of which at least 15 must be solo. The Progress Flight Academy Private Pilot training course includes 53 hours of flying lessons in a Piper Warrior.

The PPL course has four distinct phases;

  •     pre-solo manoeuvres to first solo flight,
  •     solo consolidation and advanced manoeuvres,
  •     navigation flights, and
  •     revision and flight tests.


When you learn to fly at Progress Flight Academy your flying lessons will be given by the same Flight Instructor for the entire course (except for progress checks and the flight tests).
There is normally one Flight Instructor to two students on each PPL (Private Pilot License) course, ensuring that your time is used productively.

The highlight of the course is the ‘first solo’ flight, which produces a unique feeling of satisfaction. The first solo is celebrated with a traditional dip in the pool.

The average student can expect to learn to fly and complete the PPL course within the planned flying training hours. Extra hours are charged at the prevailing rate, and it’s best to budget for a few extra hours.

Progress Flight Academy is dedicated to developing pilots with a professional attitude and a genuine operational capability at a reasonable cost.

Ground Training

The theoretical training proceeds in parallel with the flying lessons and is a combination of 72 hours of lectures and 80 hours of assignments and individual study.

The syllabus and tests are comprehensive and to a high standard based on International best practice.
The ground-school covers the basics of Human Factors, Meteorology, Aviation Law, Navigation, Flight Planning and Performance, Engines and Airframes, Principles of Flight and the syllabus for the Radiotelephony Certificate (Aeronautical).  The new CAA syllabus is considerably expanded from the previous syllabus and a considerable amount of study is now required.

Examinations and Tests

We are a CAA approved test centre so all CAA PPL examinations are written on-line at Progress. The seven examinations are single subject papers, and all questions have multiple choice answers. The examinations are completed progressively throughout the course.  There is also a written examination and a practical test for the Radiotelephony Certificate.

The General Flight Test takes about one hour during which the various manoeuvres covered in the training syllabus are demonstrated, and there is a separate Navigation Flight Test.

On completion of the course you will qualify for the Private Pilot Licence (Aeroplane), the Restricted Radiotelephony Certificate (Aeronautical) and your Progress Flight Academy pilot wings.

Course Dates and Duration

Private Pilot training courses commence every six weeks, and duration is twelve weeks.  The ground school is completed during the first nine weeks, Monday to Friday. Flight training takes place from Monday to Saturday, and occasionally on Sunday.


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