Want to become a pilot?

Progress Flight Academy has a track record for producing the best pilots in the country

Premium Professional Pilot Integrated Course

This is the best Pilot Flight Training course in Africa. The premium structure and flight training hours of the course, the excellent aeroplanes and simulators, and the ideal location for instrument training ensure that you achieve an outstanding operational capability that equips you for a career as an airline pilot.

Flight Instructor Contract

A planned three year contract as Flight Instructor is structured so the first eighteen months are dedicated to ab-initio training and the second to multi-engine and instrument flight training. Flight instruction is a very satisfying occupation and it develops expertise and knowledge to an outstanding level.

Airline Transport Pilot Licence

On completion of the Flight Instructor contract you will have achieved all the flight time, experience and competency to achieve the Airline Transport Pilot Licence. The Academy will prepare you for and facilitate the flight test.

First Officer Appointment

The superlative capability of Progress Flight Academy flight instructors is becoming very well known in the industry so they are sought after in several companies. Recent appointments have seen three of our ex-flight instructors appointed immediately to First Officer on Embraer 120 aeroplanes. The cost of type rating is usually provided by the employer and paid back by bond.

Pilot Career Programme

The decision regarding choice of flight training school for a career as a professional pilot is extremely important and we offer some advice to consider.
All career pilot training will commence with a course leading to the Commercial Pilot Licence and usually an Instrument Rating (Multi-engine); the CPL/ IR (ME). You need to find the best flight training school available to be sure you attain the level of proficiency necessary for future development.
It is not a good idea to do a single-engine course because you will ultimately need the multi-engine qualification and to do this as an add-on makes the total investment much greater.
Progress Flight Academy has developed the best flight training course in South Africa for the CPL/ IR (ME); our Premium Professional Pilot Integrated Course.
We make this claim because we are the only Aviation Training Organisation with a long unbroken record of success in our graduates achieving immediate transition to medium jet airliner type rating.

Flight Instructor programme
An excellent route to a career as a Pilot is the Premium Integrated Course offered by Progress Flight Academy enhanced by a period as Flight Instructor at the Academy. This pilot career opportunity is available to South African residents. Flight instruction is a very satisfying profession and the experience gained is a distinct advantage for an airline pilot career because all airlines need Training Captains so the flight instructor rating can improve promotion prospects.
As a Flight Instructor at Progress you will achieve many hours multi-engine flight instruction which will have a high proportion of instrument and night time. This is because our students receive as many multi-engine dual flight instruction hours as single engine.
Progress Flight Academy is expanding the Flight Instructor team to cater for planned growth. We employ only flight instructors who trained with us.

 

progress flight academy flight instructors august2015

The January 2016 course is being promoted as a special for South African residents who are interested in a pilot career. This Premium Professional Pilot Integrated Course is one year duration with graduation scheduled for December. The ground school is ATP (Airline Transport Pilot) syllabus and the ATP examinations should be passed during the course.


Progress Flight Academy employs Flight Instructors who have graduated from the Professional Pilot course. All our Flight Instructors hold a Commercial Pilot Licence with valid Instrument Rating (multi-engine).
The attributes we seek in Flight Instructor candidates are a sound theoretical knowledge, a high standard of flying skill, a temperament suited to instruction, and a pleasant personality. The candidate must agree to a three year commitment as Flight Instructor.
 


progress flight academy piper warrior basic training

 

The Flight Instructor course is four months duration.  Candidate instructors will initially be trained in lecturing techniques and will then prepare and present Private Pilot Standard theory lectures to students.  The course includes instruction in flight briefing and twenty hours of flight training in the Piper Warrior single-engine aeroplane. This is followed by a Flight Instructor test conducted by an external South African Civil Aviation Authority Designated Flight Examiner.
The Flight Instructor training is done by our most senior instructors to ensure the excellent standard that we expect in all our training.
Once qualified the first eighteen months will be flight instruction of ab-initio students in the Piper Warrior at our Somerset East base. During this period the TCI (Test and Check Instructor) endorsement will be obtained.
The IRI (Instrument Rating Instructor) and MEI (Multi Engine Instructor) endorsements will then be achieved and the remaining eighteen months will be spent giving advanced flight instruction for the multi-engine stage at Progress aerodrome. This is a really interesting and valuable experience and much flying time is logged in instrument weather conditions and at night.
The experience gained during the three years should meet the flight time requirements for the Airline Transport Pilot Licence. Progress Flight Academy will assist you to achieve this licence which opens many doors.
About four and a half years after starting your training you will have all the qualifications and experience you need for appointment as First Officer, except the aeroplane type rating. The employer normally assists with this training under a bond.
 
progress flight academy melville venter beech1900
Most of our flight instructors achieve their initial pilot job as co-pilot (First Officer) on the Beechcraft 1900 multi-engine turboprop with a contracts company; and with their excellent flight instruction experience they often attain fairly rapid promotion to Captain.
The Beech 1900 time provides the turbine experience that airlines in South Africa require for appointment to the position of First Officer on medium jet airliners.


Some pilots enjoy the contract flying so much that they continue for many years.
Opportunities are available at some foreign airlines for immediate transition to First Officer on aeroplanes such as Boeing 737 and Airbus A320.

 

 

Airline programme
Progress Flight Academy has entered an alliance with Comair Training Centre to provide Boeing 737 jet pilot training leading to a type rating on the Boeing 737-800 NG (Next Generation) or the Boeing 737-3/4/500 (Classic) series. Comair is the airline operating the British Airways and kulula.com franchises in South Africa. The training is achieved in a Boeing 737-800 NG or Boeing 737 Classic full motion flight simulator certified Level “D”. The graduate is qualified for appointment as First Officer on completion of the Route Training at the airline.
 
progress flight academy comair b737 800 simulatorWe have a ten year track record of success in candidate airline pilot training for Kenya Airways. In this period we have graduated 78 career pilots for Kenya Airways all of whom proceeded to Comair Training Centre for jet pilot training; many of these career pilots also completed the Boeing 737 type rating at Comair, and many of the others completed the Embraer 190 type rating at Flight Safety International Academy in Amsterdam, Netherlands.
Before privately financing training as specialised as this, you need to confirm with a specific airline HR manager that you will be eligible for employment as flight crew with the qualifications and flight time you will have.


South African students need to research their employment prospects very carefully as airlines in South Africa usually have very stringent requirements for the employment of flight crew which include flight time in turbine aeroplanes and preferably the Airline Transport Pilot Licence (ATPL) issued.


The ATPL qualification further validates the benefits of starting your flying career as an instructor.
Many of our international students are able to gain immediate appointment to an airline in their own state having completed the Premium Professional Pilot Integrated Course and the Comair Jet Pilot Programme for the Boeing 737 type rating. If the airline operates Boeing 737s then this Jet Pilot Programme may be the perfect solution.

For jet pilot training for other aircraft types the Crew Resource Management (CRM), Multi-crew Co-operation (MCC) and Jet Orientation Course (JOC) certificates can be obtained from Comair and the type rating completed at another facility. This is the procedure in place for Kenya Airways cadets.
We can advise you on the type rating training; for example the Airbus A320 type rating is best achieved at the Airbus Académie in Toulouse, France.
progress flight academy comair b737 800 kulula When considering Boeing 737 training in South Africa you need to be sure that the course will result in a type rating being issued on completion. A type rating qualification can only be achieved from training on a full motion flight simulator such as those at Comair Training Centre.


Premium Integrated Course
Progress Flight Academy leads the South African flight training industry.  
In 2009 we obtained South African Civil Aviation Authority approval for the first Integrated Professional Pilot Course in South Africa. This increased training quality and reduced cost and became the industry leading best flight training course in South Africa for the CPL/ IR (ME).
Our new ‘Premium’ CPL/ IR (ME) Integrated Course further enhances the operational capability of graduates. This achieves a superlative standard for graduates entering general aviation, and enhances the transition to First Officer training for airline pilot candidates.
The record of successful First Officer qualification of our graduates is outstanding.
The premium quality Italian engineered Vulcanair P68R aeroplane has been selected as the new multi-engine training aeroplane at Progress Flight Academy.
This six seat cabin class aeroplane has the feel, stability and handling of a larger aeroplane which we consider better prepares students for jet transition.
The P68 was designed as a multi-engine aeroplane; it is not an adaption of a single engine design as are most twin engine training aeroplanes. The P68R is the new retractable landing gear version and Progress Flight Academy is the launch Aviation Training Organisation for this aeroplane.
 
progress flight academy vulcanair p68r rendering
Two new simulators (Flight and Navigation Procedures Trainer level II) are under construction at Simuflight in Centurion. These devices are based on actual aeroplane fuselage front sections manufactured by Vulcanair S.p.A. and will precisely replicate the aeroplane flight deck. This equipment has credit for up to forty hours instrument training on the integrated course.
 
progress flight academy p68r type specific simulatorThis investment allows Progress Flight Academy to raise the bar on our already excellent standard of pilot training.


Graduates of the integrated course have a superb operational capability which is necessary for the immediate transition to training for a medium jet airliner type rating. Progress graduates have an outstanding success rate on achieving the type rating for aeroplanes such as Airbus A320, Boeing 737, Embraer 190 and ATR 72.

 

 

 

 


Flight Instructor report
Jarno Sneyders
I started the training towards my CPL/ IR (ME) in January 2013 straight after finishing high school. The first six weeks of this intense but hugely rewarding training was completed at the academy’s fair weather base, then in Graaff- Reinet. Despite the challenges, I still have very fond memories of waking up very early, driving to the airfield and watching the last stages of the sunrise while we were flying over that beautiful part of the country.
progress flight academy flight instructor jarno snydersI soon flew solo for the first time (two weeks before my 18th birthday) and began to understand the weight of the career I had chosen: the duties I would hold in terms of ensuring the safe flight of an aircraft exclusively under my control.

That led me to experience the later stages of the training – the smoothness of night flying; the tiredness I felt after returning from a long solo navigation exercise to George; the thrill of spending an hour ‘under the hood’ and then seeing the runway perfectly in front of me for landing; taking my parents for a flight along the coast; and how my leg muscles ached after practising engine failures in the multi-engine aircraft.
 
After graduating in February 2014 I decided to stay with Progress Flight Academy as an instructor. I’ve found instructing to be a worthwhile and deeply satisfying career. For instance, I just landed from a night flying exercise in Port Elizabeth and seeing the city’s lights spread below me reminds me constantly of how lucky I am to view the world from a perspective most will never see.


Success Stories

  • “After my time as an instructor at Progress Flight Academy I was fortunate enough to be selected to join SA Express, a local regional airline, as a Mach 2 cadet. I flew the Bombardier Dash 8 Q400 during my time there. We fed the major hubs in South Africa from the smaller ones.” “The focus put on multi-engine flying at training level made the transition from a Piper Seminole to a Dash 8 a streamlined experience. I flew for SA Express for 2 years and 11 months and then got my dream opportunity, to fly for the national carrier, South African Airways.” “I joined SAA as an inflight relief pilot on the Airbus A340 and have had the opportunity to visit some amazing destinations and fly with really experienced and passionate crew.”
    Mzamo Thabede
  • “After leaving Progress I moved up to Johannesburg in search of flying work. It ended up being the most stressful year of my life as flying jobs were scarce and promises from a few operators were a little hollow so I ended up doing some freelance on a Seneca as well as flight instruction. This is where I realized that the standard of flying is nowhere close to the standard set out at Progress Flight Academy.” “Luckily towards the end of 2013 I landed an unbelievable position with Anglo American flying the Beechcraft 1900. We are based out of OR Tambo and I'm currently doing my captaincy upgrade which should be completed towards the end of September. The next step will be a transition onto the jet which should hopefully happen early 2016 onto either a Citation Excel or a Dornier Jet. Once that happens I'll also begin with instructing on the Beechcraft 1900. Busy times ahead!”
    Jared le Roux
  • "After working as an Instructor at Progress Flight Academy for a number of years I flew on Contract all over the continent of Africa flying Let410s. Some years later I joined the Kulula Airline where I am now flying the Boeing 737-800.” “Throughout my time at Progress I gained valuable experience both as a student and as an instructor. A solid foundation was set from which it was easy to build as it was of a high standard."
    Olinga Martel
  • “I'm a Boeing 737 Captain with Mango airlines.” “I often tune into Progress aerodrome frequency as I fly by to see how the school is doing. I am always pleased to hear the familiar call signs and pilots busy with their training.” “I'm grateful for the solid foundation I received at progress while both a student and instructor; the fundamentals I learned and taught are still applicable even in a modern airliner.”
    Kell Kotze
  • “On completion of two years flight instruction at Progress Flight Academy I started on my first Turbine Aircraft, the Beechcraft 1900, for Executive Turbine Aviation. I have been on contract for various companies on the 1900 including BalmOral and now Solenta. I was a Training Captain and CAA Designated Flight Examiner III for BalmOral.” “Countries of operation include Sudan, Mozambique, Kenya, Afghanistan, Ghana, Equatorial Guinea and Algeria.” “I am currently a Beech 1900 Captain for Solenta in Algeria and I still live in Port Elizabeth.”
    Melville Venter
  • “I went solo 12 years ago last week, on 24 July 2003” “I left Progress in October 2006 and joined Solenta in November. I flew the Beechcraft 1900 on contract and operated in Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait, Iraq, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Sudan and Algeria.” “These contracts were for DHL, United Nations World Food Program, Red Cross, and Oil Companies in Algeria and Sudan.” “I joined 1Time in 2008 and flew the MD 82/83/87” “In March 2012 I joined Emirates and moved to Dubai. We fly the Boeing 777 (all models, including B777-300ER) to 150 destinations worldwide; I have been lucky to have visited quite a few.”
    Jaco du Plessis
  • “I work for a company called Sahara African Aviation. We are wet leased to companies abroad, flying the Embraer 120 for scheduled operations. Sahara is the second biggest operator of E120s in the world, and the biggest in Africa. At the moment I'm in Moroni, Comores but we have other bases in Gabon, Mozambique and Madagascar.” progress flight academy embraer120 progress flight academy firstofficer carlo cattaneo progress flight academy firstofficer carlo cattaneo mozambique “The flying is always challenging with gusting +40kt winds, wind shear and one way in, one way out air strips. My time spent as a student and then Instructor at Progress, especially as a Grade II multi-engine instructor, has really laid a great foundation.”
    Carlo Cattaneo