You have decided that you want to become a Helicopter Pilot

What are the factors you have to consider when choosing an Aviation
Training School?

Ernst Heydenrych (Helicopter PPL)

Ashley Mkhungo (Helicopter PPL)

Patrick Wenk (Helicopter CPL)


Ola Olagbemi (Helicopter PPL)

Louis Terblance























We have compiled the most important for you:

What kind of pilot do you want to become?

Do you want to fly just for fun or do you want to become a professional paid pilot?
This decision will determine not only how much money you will spend but also how
much time you will spend on your training.

It seems silly to ask, but if you know from the start what your goal is you will be
focused to follow through on your decision.

Which aviation training school is the best?

The truth of the matter is that all SACAA approved training schools are regulated
under the same strict Rules and Regulations.

That means that when you qualify as a pilot under a licensed training school you
are recognized international as a licensed pilot no matter where you’ve trained
in South Africa.

The standard of training is the same at any school, thus no school can say they
are the best.

That includes the instructors as well. All aircraft must also be maintained at
the same standard and always airworthy.

In the end it depends on you if you want to train at a large school and just be
another training student pilot or in a smaller school where you will feel part
of the school and its people.

Location of the school?

When choosing where to train you have to think about where the school is located.
If it is situated at an airport it will allow you to get significant radio experience.

Training at sites where there isn’t air traffic control doesn’t really expose you to
the aviation practical side of things.

Just keep in mind that large airports have lots of air traffic, thus the airspace will
be congested and you will have to wait for your turn to fly.

Weather is a big factor when you are training. Fortunately South Africa has overall
good flying conditions and the schools allow ‘bad weather days’ into your
training schedule.

Cost of your training?

Now you have a shortlist of schools you are interested in. After you have received
quotations from the schools, look closely at what they include and not only the cost.

Look at the hourly rate that they charge per aircraft. Does it include fuel and
instructor’s fees? Do they explain what every cost is for?

But the most important that you have to know about budgeting for a
helicopter pilot licence is that the schools will only quote for on the
hours you will need not the hours that you will actually fly.

What that means is that you have to look for schools who’s students complete their
flying within the SACAA required hours and not at those who overrun their
hours significantly.

At the end of the day this could mean you do not have the funds to complete your
training and therefore will you will not receive your Helicopter Pilot Licence.

Work opportunities within training schools and elsewhere?

Some training schools will be offer work for pilots who have completed their
training with them. Just read the fine print first;

if they are only going to employ you as freelance pilot and you will only be paid
when you fly; think about how many other pilots will be employed with you
and how you will have to fight them for flying time.

The same goes for the schools that say the Helicopter Pilots are in huge demand.
That is not completely true; there is a demand for Helicopter Pilots who have a
lot of hours and unfortunately not really jobs for low hour pilots. The only way
to build hours is to instruct and work your way up or buy the hours.

Why train with us?

Ideally I would like to tell you we are the best, but as stated above I cannot say that.
I can however say the following: We have awesome instructors, a huge mountain,
a beautiful coastline, full air traffic control at a small airport, very very happy
students and dedicated staff to make your flying experience the best ever!


Patrick Wenk completed his Helicopter PPL on the 5th June 2012 in the Robinson RH22, ZS-RXL

Cassie de Bruin completed his Helicopter Private Pilot Licence on the 6th January 2012 in the Robinson RH44, ZS-RWS

Jared Watney completed his Helicopter Private Pilot Licence on the 12th December 2011 in the Robinson RH22, ZS-RXL