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Cape Town Flight Training Centre

Contact Details

Contact No.
+27 (21) 976 7053
Fax
+27 (21) 976 7084
Postal Address
Pobox 51810
West Beach
Cape Town
7449
Street Address
Fisantekraal Airfield
Durbanville
Cape Town
Western Cape
South Africa

Pilot Training Quotation Request

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City/Town
   
Aircraft Type
Training Needed Basic Training (Microlight & LSA)
PPL (Private Pilot Licence)
CPL (Commercial Pilot Licence)
ATPL (Airline Transport Pilot Licence)

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Gauteng
Eastern Cape
Western Cape
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Cape Town Flight Training Centre is a dedicated flight training school situated at Fisantekraal Airfield in Durbanville, Cape Town. They offer comprehensive flight training from PPL to Commercial Licence on a wide range of aircraft.

Individuals have different reasons for wanting to learn to fly. This means that they will have different requirements for their flying school, and may find one more suitable than another.

For example, Should you wish to fly occasionally on weekends and in your spare time, the local flying club down the road may be your best option. Someone wishing to embark on a flying career will need a more professional flying school, with instructors who have personal experience of the commercial sphere.

However, there is no casual approach to learning to fly, and a successful flying career is only possible by sourcing the best possible training during the formative hours of aviation training. It is the core objective of the CTFTC to build the best-possible foundation in our student pilots from Day 1 – we will take no short cut nor leave anything to chance.

Before selecting the flying school for your training, decide on your objectives. Below are some considerations that may help you with the decision making process. Note that the following are our opinions and that some generalizations may have been made.

 

LARGE BUSY AIRPORT VERSUS SMALLER AIRFIELDS
1. At large busy airfields, you will become competent on the radio sooner due to the exposure to Air Traffic Control. Students also find it exciting to fly in the same circuit as large jet aircraft.

2. Large airports are exactly that, large. This means longer taxiing and holding times (waiting to takeoff or land), which you will be paying for. As soon as you start the engine, you start paying for both the instructor and the aircraft. Flying is expensive, and it is always better to get airborne and start learning as soon as possible.

3. Training aircraft have a lower priority than do scheduled (commercial) traffic, meaning longer holding times both in the air and on the ground. It is quite common to sit at the holding point for twenty minutes or more at airports such as Cape Town International. This can become very frustrating and unnecessarily expensive. It can also mean that your training time is reduced so that you can be back at the hangar in time for the next student’s lesson!

4. Busy airports require a lot of radio work and maintaining a lookout for other traffic. Although obviously an important feature of large airports, it can be very distracting and is not conducive to training during the early stages as it is difficult for your instructor to communicate with you, and it also reduces your capacity to take in information.

5. Large airports very seldom allow training at the airport. Imagine a Cessna 152 doing circuits at London Heathrow or Johannesburg International. This means you will have to transit to and from the training area (most Cape Town flying schools use Fisantekraal, home of CTFTC). This again is wasted time that you are paying for.

6. Large airports are often in highly developed built up areas. Whilst aircraft engines and systems are extremely reliable, the possibility of a forced landing always exists. It goes without saying that the chances of a successful forced landing a far greater in the countryside than in a city.

7. Another hazard is wake turbulence. A large aircraft leaves an invisible wake in the air, similar to a boats wake. This means that the following distance of a light aircraft following a heavy aircraft must be increased for safety. Again, more time expended waiting for suitable takeoff conditions.

To summarize, it is easy to see that operating out of a large busy airport will slow the learning process and put a large dent in your bank account. However, this type of exposure is still necessary to enable you to operate comfortably and safely in the large airport environment. CTFTC will take you to Cape Town International during your training without it costing you an arm and a leg.

IDEAL WEATHER CONDITIONS
Superimposed on the logistical constraints of large airports may be lengthy periods of adverse weather conditions. We wish to point out that the typical conditions, winter and summer, at Fisantekraal, are mild, with very few days lost due to strong winds or rain. In addition, the wide surfaced runways at Fisantekraal are ideal for training students to cope with crosswind conditions during landing.

"WE ONLY USE FULL TIME INSTUCTORS"
This is a selling point many flying schools use. Full time instructors are often, but not always, low-time commercial pilots working their way up to the airlines. This means that they may not have a large amount of experience, or indeed may not have the training of students as an interest close to their hearts. This is perhaps acceptable if you are only going as far as your Private Pilots License, but for more advanced training, part-time instructors who fly for or have flown for airlines may be able to provide a more "hands on" experience-based approach as it is something they do daily. The more experience your instructor has, the better for your overall training.

REPUTATION
Reputation is something that is earned. Some flying schools may try to "buy" a good reputation through expensive and clever glossy marketing. Generally, the standard of training available throughout South Africa is on a par with the rest of the world, with standards strictly controlled by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). Again, the quality of training is normally directly related to the quality of the instructors, and to a lesser degree the systems that the school has in place.

Ask for contact details of someone who has trained at the school you are interested in. Good instructors will have instilled confidence and a passion for flying in their students, and this will be apparent in references or testimonials provided by former trainees.

CLUB VERSUS SCHOOL
Clubs generally tend more orientated to recreational flying and the social scene after flying. Schools tend to target the student who wishes to fly professionally, or who wishes to become a better than average private pilot. This is not always the case and some clubs and schools provide the best of both worlds.

A BIG FLIGHT SCHOOL VERSES A SMALL ONE
Big schools have normally been around for a long time and have a regimental approach to their flying programs. They tend to be less flexible and less personal. Smaller schools will normally offer a more personalised service and tailor your training program to suit your needs and your schedule. They are often more competitively priced as well. Again, you should assess the opinions of former students.

AIRCRAFT TRAINING FLEET
A lot of new aircraft designs are being introduced to flight schools for training. Several of these (for example the Jabiru) are excellent, and offer both modern efficiency and safety in design. Cessna and Jabiru aircraft are high wing (wing mounted on top), and the Piper a low wing (wing mounted underneath) aircraft. There are advantages and disadvantages to both designs, but both configurations make excellent training aircraft. CTFTC allows the prospective student to gain experience of both types during the normal course of their PPL training.

"PRIVATE PILOTS LICENCE IN 3 WEEKS!!!"
If you find a school advertising this, ask them for a guarantee. A Private Pilots License (PPL), even under ideal conditions, is too much work to achieve competently in as little as three weeks – accordingly the quality of the pilot that is produced is questionable. Five to six weeks is a more appropriate figure for full time training that includes exposure to a wide range of conditions. A PPL can take up to a year if completed over weekends and during one’s spare time. This is not at all as long as it sounds, and very competent and accomplished pilots acquire their licenses by this means – and have been exposed to all sorts of weather, air traffic, airfields and the like.

UNCONTROLLED AIRFIELDS
Uncontrolled does not mean out of control, it simply means that there is no Air Traffic Control at the airfield. There are very strict rules governing the flow of traffic at uncontrolled airfields, and through maintaining a lookout and radio communication between aircraft, adequate separation is maintained. Traffic volumes are usually much lower at uncontrolled airfields too. While students are in solo training they are in constant radio contact with their instructor, or Air Traffic Control.

PRICE
We like to think that no flying school should compromise safety by cutting costs. Most schools in this country are priced very competitively and offer good quality training. At present the exchange rate makes South Africa an excellent value-for- money aviation destination, whilst still producing world-class pilots.

SUMMARY
We have chosen Fisantekraal as the base for our flight school as we believe it to be the ideal training airfield in the Western Cape. It offers both economy and safety in training, both key factors as well as being only a few minutes away from Cape Town International Airport for all the advanced training you could desire.

As an added bonus, Cape Town is one of the best tourist destinations in the world.

You decide and let us know. We look forward to seeing you! If you have any queries, please do not hesitate to contact us.

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