One would expect that all Flight Training Organisations in South Africa will have a similar standard of Professional Pilot training. This is unfortunately not the case. Very few schools in South Africa achieve standards comparable to best International Practice.
The majority of South African schools offer modular courses that meet the minimum legal hours and result in a mediocre operational capability;
A few schools exceed the minimum requirements and achieve a higher standard;
Only one school in South Africa has a long and consistent track record of achieving the superior operational capability that is necessary to successfully tackle the transition to First Officer training in a medium jet airliner.
Schools offering a modular course usually quote for the minimum legal hours training.
The typical quote is for 45 hours to Private Pilot Licence, 17 hours (incl five ‘simulator’) for Night Rating, followed by about 85 hours of unstructured solo ‘hour building’. This leads up to the training for the Multi-engine and Instrument Ratings and the Commercial Pilot Licence where very often the absolute minimum hours are quoted; i.e. 30 hours additional instrument training and eleven or so multi-engine piston aeroplane training.
The Progress Flight Academy integrated course is based on best International practice, which is the European Aviation Safety Authority (EASA) standard, previously JAR-FCL. The minimum instrument training hours are considerably increased; 60 hours instrument flight time, of which 50 hours are instrument flight instruction.
It is very difficult for the potential student to assess the standard of training; but one very good indication is the structure of the course and the number of instruction hours offered. A comparison between the Progress Flight Academy International CPL/ IR (ME) integrated course and a typical school offering a modular course illustrates this point.
|Item||Progress Flight Academy||Modular Course School|
|Private Pilot Standard / Licence||73||45|
|Instrument Training hours||70||40|
|Multi-engine aeroplane hours||42||15|
|Instrument Training hours (multi-engine aeroplane)||20||6|
|Multi-engine aeroplane solo||2||0|
The hours allocated to the various training modules on Progress Flight Academy courses are sufficient for the average student to achieve proficiency without additional flights; this means that about 86% of Progress students complete the course on budget. By contrast, the modular school invariably states that the quotation “is based on the minimum hours required by law…..additional training required to meet the required standard will be additionally charged for (sic)”.
Progress Flight Academy also offers a Domestic CPL/ IR (ME) integrated course for the issue of a South African CPL/ IR (ME). This course is not suitable for international students as it does not have the 100 hours pilot-in-command time and 190 hours aeroplane time required for licence conversion in other states.
Instrument training facilities
A serious deficiency in most training centres in South Africa is lack of access to precision approach facilities. The Southern Cape airports at George, Port Elizabeth and East London are the only places in South Africa where students have good access to world class instrument approach facilities at a controlled airport, and are able to train in a scheduled traffic environment in instrument weather conditions.
The training fleet average age is over 40 years (world-wide). Progress Flight Academy has a fleet of late model Piper Warrior single engine aeroplanes, and our Piper Seminole multi-engine aeroplanes are being replaced by new Vulcanair P68R multi-engine aeroplanes equipped with Garmin EFIS. In addition we are buying two new Flight and Navigation Procedures Trainer II (FNPT II) ‘simulators’ that will be based on and exactly replicate the actual aeroplane cockpit.
The Progress Flight Academy course aims to achieve genuine Operational Capability; the competency necessary to safely operate a multi-engine piston aeroplane in Instrument Flight conditions as the single crew. This objective cannot be achieved with 15 hours multi-engine aeroplane time, and is improbable with 40 hours Instrument Training.
Twenty years ago we started training students who would progress immediately to First Officer training. We refined the course further to achieve the ‘superior’ operational capability that is necessary for the very steep learning curve leading to a jet type rating. Our graduates have an outstanding success rate.
In 2009 Progress Flight Academy was the first Aviation Training Organisation in South Africa to achieve CAA approval of an Integrated Professional Pilot Course. Student Pilot-in-Command (SPIC) time allowed us to enhance the operational capability of graduates through additional experience in instrument flight operations.
In 2015 we have introduced our Premium CPL/ IR (ME) Integrated Course which further enhances the operational capability of graduates through additional multi-engine instrument training. This will achieve a superlative standard for graduates entering general aviation, and will enhance the transition to First Officer training for airline candidates. The record of successful F.O. qualification of our graduates is outstanding.
Recently Kenya Airways sent fourteen cadets to the Flight Safety Academy in Amsterdam for the jet type rating on the Embraer 190. Seven were graduates from Progress Flight Academy and seven graduates from another Aviation Training Organisation. The seven Progress cadets successfully completed their Embraer 190 type rating; the other seven cadets failed to achieve the type rating!
This is a conspicuous achievement that demonstrates the superior quality of graduates of the Integrated Professional Pilot Course by Progress Flight Academy.
If you are serious about proceeding to a jet airliner then Progress Flight Academy is the best flight school in South Africa for you.
Progress Flight Academy is very competitive in cost, especially in our hourly aeroplane rates. We charge less for our new $1 million Vulcanair P68R multi-engine aeroplanes than some competitors charge for their forty year old multi-engine aeroplanes.