Pilot training abroad - a view from the UK
Pilot training abroad - an experienced UK trainer, Irv Lee of Higherplane Aviation Training, offers a 'view from the UK'. He can be contacted via his web site (see below).
It's hard to get independent advice for all those questions you have about learning to fly. Higherplane Aviation Training Ltd is fairly unique as it gets a bit closer to that ideal than some
How? Well, by NOT offering training for the PPL - we could, but we don't - we concentrate on post-licences improvements, mentoring, and licence conversions if required. This gives us a more independent view on the pre-licence training scene.
Having already decided to learn overseas, may potential pilots ask my company for advice. I encourage them to research all aspects for their individual circumstances, but certainly if they have decided to learn abroad, to seriously consider South Africa - many haven't even thought of it.
With specific visas and background checks now required for learning to fly in the USA, (previously for many the easy choice for foreign training), many UK students are beginning to look elsewhere and there are now more and more pilots in the UK flying on South African licences.
It's not just a case of 'US visa problems' - the S.A. and U.K. flying training seem to have started from a common base syllabus many years ago, so South African pilots initially feel more at home fitting into UK flying and UK terms than American trained ones do.
South Africa training can actually be better than UK training especially in some ways, for example engine management techniques necessary for the highlands and lowlands in South Africa.
by Irv Lee
CAA / JAA / SA-CAA Approved Training
See also South African and Florida compared and the Attitude of UK Flying Clubs.
To contact Flight Schools South Africa for more information about doing your pilot training in South Africa, click here.