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African Aviation Regional issues that affect the numerous pilots who work in this area of the world.

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Old 10th Aug 2014, 16:25   #1 (permalink)
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Flight training in South Africa

Has anyone been trained at an FTO in South Africa? I am considering a school around Pretoria to do my PPL and would be most grateful for any recommendations and experiences. Many thanks
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Old 11th Aug 2014, 05:17   #2 (permalink)
 
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Good day am110.

Yes sir, I started my training in South Africa in late 2008, and I have my commercial license right now. Due to some financial and family problems it took me a while to finish up, and that made me get to know a lot about south africa and flying down there.
If you have any question you can reach me.
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Old 11th Aug 2014, 06:06   #3 (permalink)
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FTO

Abby,

Many thanks for your reply. Which FTO did you train at? There seem to be so many that I defer to the wisdom of those at PPRuNe who might have specific recommendations.
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Old 11th Aug 2014, 08:46   #4 (permalink)
 
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It depends what your end goal is.

If you only intend to do a PPL, then a smallish flying club is best. You will get to know other recreational pilots, get exposed to interesting small aircraft types, get a better over-all picture of recreational aviation and most importantly it will stoke a passion for aviation. If you only intend to fly privately, then enjoyment should only be second to safety.

If you intend to do a CPL and make a career out of aviation, then one of the bigger professional flight schools, such as AIFA or 43, is better. The bigger professional flight schools put more emphasis on procedural flying, knowledge of the CAT's, CAR's, AIP's, AWOPs etc. From day one, the emphasis is on professionalism. Even if you intend to do "bush flying" once finished, all companies will look for this professionalism.

(Disclaimer, I'm not saying that small flying clubs can't, or aren't professional, I'm just saying that it is a different environment.)
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Old 11th Aug 2014, 11:03   #5 (permalink)
 
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I started in Bevrick trading as AUAA in Mafikeng, but ended my training in Johannesburg. and at the moment I'm down by the beach.
I have to disagree with CAPSLOCK.1 on bigger schools to be better!
Its all about quality and safety and satisfaction of the student, and some big schools seem to be forgetting about that!
As you yourself said, there are a lot of flying schools down in SA, but how does one really choose a school? well its all about how people are satisfied with their way of training and treating you!
I believe a good quality of training is when you know your instructor is aimed to fulfill your needs when it comes to learning! and in so many of the big schools this doesn't happen that well, due to the instructor being busy flying with a lot of people everyday so he doesn't wanna waist his time telling you exactly about what you have asked! And unfortunately I have seen a lot of this in those big schools that are there!
So if you really wanna go to South Africa to do your course, maybe you can send me a PM regarding your exact intentions in aviation and I can show you your best options to choose from.
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Old 11th Aug 2014, 12:09   #6 (permalink)
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Thank you Abby and CAPSLOCK . My intentions are purely to fly for pleasure but to also place myself on a trajectory where I continue to learn about flying. Therefore an instrument rating after PPL would certainly be something on the cards, if I can afford it. I'll look into the 43 Air School. Are there any specific smaller FTO's you might recommend from personal experience who would meet the criteria of being both professional and personal, if you will. I've done a quick search on line and found the following: Aeronav Academy - Flight, Pilot and Ground School Training, Lanseria, South Africa (fly Diamond DA20s for training); Virgina flying school Virginia Flight School ; Lanseria Flight Centre Lanseria Flight Training | FLYLFC | Pilot Training South Africa ; and Superb Flight Training Superb Flight Training Pretoria - Learn to Fly! . Any thoughts? Many thanks again.
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Old 11th Aug 2014, 13:13   #7 (permalink)
 
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Try one of the coastal schools. Flight Training College, Algoa or APTRAC.
43 is too big and impersonal in my opinion.
AIFA? Is that a Chinese flying school? In Africa? What's the world coming to!
Wonder if the Chinese would allow a foreign school in their country.
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Old 11th Aug 2014, 14:33   #8 (permalink)
 
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Nothing personal but 43, I don't recommend them!
Yeah try one of the schools around coast, preferably in durban area and around it! there are I think 3 schools in Virginia-Durban and there is another one an hour away from Duban called zero four. I do have all info on zero four and know they are great people.
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Old 12th Aug 2014, 06:34   #9 (permalink)
 
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negus,
AIFA is a joint venture school for the Chinese, but if they have space they will consider applicants with the right qualifications.
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Old 12th Aug 2014, 10:14   #10 (permalink)
 
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So the Chinese employ South African instructors to teach in South Africa? Presumably all their students are Chinese. Why not Chinese instructors then? And why not in China? Thought there were plenty of flight schools in SA.
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Old 12th Aug 2014, 15:51   #11 (permalink)
 
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Negus,
I give you one simple reason why SA!
I dont know if you have ever flown in SA, but at the moment South Africa offers one of the cheapest trainings in the world due to fuel price! and unlike some countries like Philippines at some points they didn't destroy their picture completely! (I dont know if you know about the era where some schools in Philippines gave away licenses for money!) and also SA has high standards when it comes to training.
Do I need to continue on why SA?
I know a lot of people are gonna think why not USA or Canada! just recently couple of my friends went to USA to do their training, according to what they say, the amount they have to spend in there to obtain a PPL is equal to getting a PPL and Night Rating and some hour buildings in SA!!!
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Old 12th Aug 2014, 19:31   #12 (permalink)
 
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Cape Flying Service

He Guys,


Just wondering if this flight school is still alive ?
Mr. Gerald still running Cape Flying Service in George ?
I did some training there a long time ago, not as a happy chappy.
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Old 12th Aug 2014, 20:17   #13 (permalink)
 
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There is no comparison between the larger flight schools vs flying clubs when it comes to professionalism.

Flying clubs let you fly in jeans, whereas the flight schools require your shirt to be ironed, shoes polished and you to present yourself in the same manner as you would to future employers.

I did my initial training at 43, but since then I have been involved with 5 or 6 other training organisations.

It does depend on your end goal.

I'll reiterate what I originally said, if you want to do a PPL only, don't do it at 43 or AIFA, or a large air school. Do it at a local flying club somewhere. Do it somewhere nice, somewhere scenic, and have fun while you do it.

If you want to pursue aviation as a profession, then go to a large Air School. They will make you fly when you don't feel like it, they will make you fly early mornings, late at night, they will make you fly when you would rather be in the pub. They won't hold your hand, and you will fly with many different instructors. At times you will feel like you are in a sausage factory, but at the end you will emerge a more professional pilot.

However, if all you want to do is a PPL, then find somewhere small, somewhere nice, that allows you to go at your own pace, somewhere with a core of old pilots who will tell you stories around the braai, somewhere that you will enjoy.
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Old 12th Aug 2014, 20:18   #14 (permalink)
 
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Oh, and if I'm not mistaken, they don't do it in China because all low level airspace is military?
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Old 12th Aug 2014, 20:52   #15 (permalink)
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I think that CAPSLOCK.1 makes a distinction that is a very valid one. It's also a point that I don't think I've seen here before and worthy of serious consideration.
Perhaps you should cast your research net into the area of South African Aviation Forum where you might find a website dealing more with general aviation.
Pretoria is a lovely city, home to the Afrikaner. Afrikaans flying instructors can be extremely dedicated but they have their own clique coterie just as does anyone else and you may feel more socially comfortable at a club or school where English is the common tongue. Hard choices with limited information at your disposal. The quality of instruction is important though, whether you wear blue socks and shorts in the cockpit or a full flight suit. This man has a good reputation.

ROB RHODES-HOUGHTON
newrob2
Rob Rhodes-Houghton started flying at Wits Flying Club while he was still a Maths lecturer at Wits University in 1990 and completed his PPL, CPL and instructor’s ratings at Wits with Andre Kluyts and Sias Swart. After 26 years of teaching he went into full-time aviation as Chief Flying Instructor at National Airways Corporation (NAC) at Lanseria, in 1996, obtaining his ATPL (SA) and ATP(US), after which he was employed at Nationwide on BAC1-11s as a First Officer in June 2000 and made Captain and instructor in 2002. He later became a Training Captain on the Boeing 737-200 & 500 at Nationwide after which he joined MANGO as a Boeing 737-800 Captain and also worked for the SACAA as the manager of Testing Standards. Rob is a DFE I(A), radiotelephony examiner, Language Proficiency Rating examiner and has over 10 000 hours total time, with nearly 4, 000 hours instructor time and about 50 aeroplane types on his instructor rating.

The club used to be quite good when it was run through Avex by an SAA pilot who went to Australia. Avex has gone now, used to be at Rand, a flight school where both private and professional pilots were catered but those days of barnstorming fun are, I fear, long past. You could smoke in training aircraft in them days and sometimes the hang overs melted into the morning's stupour from the night before.
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Old 12th Aug 2014, 20:58   #16 (permalink)
 
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abbey, yes I have flown in SA and don't get me wrong. I think it is the most wonderful place to fly. Just wondering why a Chinese school is allowed to set up shop in a foreign country. Wouldn't be allowed in the Europe I don't think. Gerpols don't even get me started on CFS

Last edited by negus; 12th Aug 2014 at 21:12.
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Old 13th Aug 2014, 07:54   #17 (permalink)
 
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If I'm not wrong AIFA is not 100% chinese, is a partnership between a chinese and a southafrican company...plus all the instructors are local guys/girls and the wx that they can find between Outsdhoorn, Beaufort West and George is quite difficult to find in China, so it means less time to obtain the licenses...the only problem? Try to understand their english...those poor chaps at George ATC are incredible how they understand all those chinesenglish...do they?
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Old 13th Aug 2014, 08:29   #18 (permalink)
 
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Negus, gerpols, CFS is history. The Chinese bought them out a while back.
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Old 13th Aug 2014, 19:43   #19 (permalink)
 
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cfs

So Gerald,


The Chinese bought your flightschool....!!!
Good for you man, now you can pay me back the 16000 Rand you owe me !
My account number is 1234567890, including rent please pay 26000 Rand.


Have a good day !
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Old 13th Aug 2014, 23:48   #20 (permalink)
 
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Brilliant news. Hope the Chinese are more ethical. But they're not know to be.
Hope they're only training Chinese students.
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