Anyone from the age of 15 start our Private Pilot License training course*, which when successfully passed allows you to be the pilot in command of a single engine piston aircraft. Candidates must pass a medical, theoretical and practical examination to obtain their license. Motivation, discipline and willpower will certainly be of benefit.
PPL(A) training. Step by step
1. Obtaining your medical
A Class 2 medical is required for all private pilots. The holder of the medical certificate must be mentally and physically fit to exercise safely the privileges of the PPL(A) license. This examination can be done in an aeromedical centre or with an Authorised Medical Examiner (AME) and may take several hours. The examination will include some or all of the following: medical history, eyesight, physical examination, hearing, electrocardiogram (ECG), lung function test, urine test. A medical certificate can be issued by your AME on the same day as the examination if all the requirements are met.
A Class 2 medical certificate is valid for 60 months if you are under 40. If you are aged between 40 and 50 the certificate will be valid for 24 months. If you are aged 50 or over the certificate will be valid for 12 months.
You can receive a list of the aeromedical centers, AME's and application form in our clubhouse or on the website of the Belgian CAA.
Note: Your medical is not required until you start flying solo.
2. Theoretical and practical training
In the Sabena Aeroclub it is possible (and even advised) to combine both theoretical and practical training at the same time. With a few hours flown already it will be much easier to comprehend the theory found in the books. Our experienced instructors provide you training of a high quality standard.
Preparation for the theoretical exam can be done by following the weekly courses at our club house and by self-study. The exam must be taken in Brussels at the offices of the Belgian Civil Aviation Authority. Multiple choice questions cover the nine different subjects studied during the ground course. All the exams are computer-based and must be completed in one day. You must score at least 75% in each subject to achieve a pass.
After having passed the theory you can end your training with the practical exam. During this flight test of approximately 2 hours you have to demonstrate your ability to perform the relevant procedures and manoeuvres with a degree of competency and of safety appropriate to the privileges granted to the holder of a PPL(A).
3. English language assessment
As a pilot you will use official radio-telephony frequencies, and you must demonstrate language proficiency in the appropriate language used by the corresponding air traffic service. The language used for official radio communication in Belgian airspace is English. The exam (an interview with audio hearing and multiple-choice questions) assesses both speaking and listening proficiency, in an aviation related environment. The proficiency scale ranges from level 1 to 6, conform guidelines published for pronunciation, fluency, structure, vocabulary, comprehension and interaction. The minimum level required is 4 (operational) and stays valid for 4 years. Level 5 (extended) for 6 years and level 6 (expert) remains valid for an unlimited time.
4. Your PPL(A) license
After all these examinations you can request your license at the Belgian Civil Aviation Authority. You will then be able to fly with passengers in single engine piston aircraft and further acquire new ratings to develop your flying skills.
* Before their first solo flight candidates must be 16 years old. The practical PPL(A) examination may only be taken from age 17.