A Commercial Pilot’s Licence (CPL) opens the door to a career as a professional pilot. Training for a CPL starts after the pilot has obtained his or her Private Pilot Licence. The student working towards the CPL has a number of options for the end result, so it is worthwhile to look at them and design the training program to get there in the most efficient way possible.
There are separate CPL’s for aeroplanes and helicopters. This month we will focus on the CPL for aeroplanes.
The options available for the CPL on aeroplanes are:
CPL Single-engine aeroplane, VFR
CPL Single-engine aeroplane, with instrument rating (IR)
CPL Multi-engine aeroplane, VFR
CPL Multi-engine aeroplane, with instrument rating (IR).
CPL Single-engine VFR/ CPL Single-engine IR
The single-engine CPL, VFR is the lowest-cost way to obtain a CPL but it is also the most limiting. With a single engine CPL, VFR you may fly single-engine aeroplanes in favourable weather conditions, ie under Visual Flight Rules. You could go further and choose the option to complete the single engine CPL with Instrument Rating (IR). This allows you to pilot an aeroplane in marginal/ deteriorating weather conditions as you will be qualified to fly solely by reference to the aircraft’s instrumentation. This is less limiting than a CPL, VFR but you will still only be able to fly single-engine aircraft. This significantly narrows down the number of commercial operations who will be able to employ you as most of commercial aviation uses multi-engine aeroplanes. Possible employment opportunities are in fields such as crop spraying and bush flying. For students on a limited budget, the single engine CPL may be the way to start. You can always upgrade to the multi-engine qualification later.
CPL Multi-Engine VFR/ CPL Multi Engine IR
The CPL with multi-engine aeroplane class rating and multi-engine Instrument Rating (IR) it is without a doubt the most marketable commercial licence when it comes to applying for a job. It is essential for progress into airlines, charter operations and corporate aviation. The training is longer as a higher level of knowledge and skill is needed to operate larger, more sophisticated aeroplanes in a greater variety of conditions. The additional training, on more complex aeroplanes, also increases the cost. Very few people will choose the option of doing a Multi-engine VFR CPL as an instrument rating is a vital qualification for a career pilot.
What does the training involve?
In order to obtain a South African Commercial Pilot’s Licence (Aeroplane) you must :
- Hold a valid South African Private Pilot Licence with a night rating.
- Be at least 18 years old.
- Hold a valid General Radio Licence
- Holder a valid Class 1 Aviation medical certificate.
- You must have completed all SACAA commercial licence theoretical examinations.
- Pass a practical flight test with a SACAA approved designated flight examiner, within 36 months of having passed the theory exams.
- Have acquired the experience and undergone the training explained in more detail below.
The following are the MINIMUM training and experience requirements.
200 hours of flight time, which must include:
- Up to 20 hours of flight instruction time in an approved flight simulation training device.
- 100 hours as pilot-in-command.
- 20 hours of cross-country flight as pilot-in-command. This must include one flight of not less than 300NM. This flight must also include two full-stop landings at no less than two different aerodromes away from base.
- 5 hours night flying as pilot-in-command, this must include not less than 10 take-offs and 10 landings at night. It must also include a cross-country flight of at least three legs, each leg is to be a minimum of 50NM.
- 20 hours instrument instruction time, of which up to 10 hours may have been acquired on a flight simulation training device.
- At least five hours instruction on a complex aircraft (variable pitch propeller, retractable undercarriage).
The above requirements are based on the single-Engine CPL without an instrument rating. For the Instrument Rating and multi-engine rating, additional training is required.
The flight hours obtained for the PPL and Night Rating count in full towards the CPL requirements.
If you already hold a PPL or CPL on helicopters or microlights you will get some of the examination, training or hours requirements are reduced – please call us to explore the options.
How can Aeronav Academy help you towards your CPL ?
Aeronav Academy has long experience of preparing students from all over the world to achieve their goal of becoming professional pilots, in a safe and efficient environment. Our instructors and ground staff know what is needed. Our fleet of DA20 single-engine basic training aeroplanes, DA42 multi-engine trainer and ALSIM flight simulator enables the student to choose the CPL option that suits their objective, time constraints and budget in a cost-effective way.
Find out more about what Aeronav Academy has to offer here.