How to be a pilot in Singapore Part 3/3 – Private pilot license

Private Pilot Licence.

If you do not plan to make a career out of flying (for whatever reasons such as objections from the family or spouse), it is actually pretty easy to get a Private Pilot Licence (PPL). Just pay for one!

Flying Clubs

There are a number of flying clubs here such as the Republic of Singapore Flying Club and the Seletar Flying Club. At these clubs, one can attain a Singapore restricted PPL. This means they can fly Singapore-registered aircraft within Singapore. However it does cost quite a bit. Members pay flying charges of between SGD$400 and SGD$500 an hour. To attain a PPL, it takes an average of two years (part time). This means trainees must be prepared to part with between SGD$40000 and SGD$50000.

A much cheaper alternative is the Singapore Youth Flying Club. The annual membership is only SGD$10. What is more amazing is that both flying and landing charges are borne by the club. However, the club’s training course is open only to students in junior colleges and polytechnics, who take up the course as a co-curricular activity.This is because the club is government funded and is set up to attract young people to take up flying and join the RSAF.

New Programme

Last year, a new programme (FlightSchool.sg) was launched to help aspiring pilots get a United States-issued PPL. Its offerings are novel. Unlike other flight schools here, which use either actual aircraft or both aircraft and flight simulators to conduct their training, FlightSchool.sg uses only a simulator to do so. Besides being able to provide realistic training, the simulator help trainees save money on renting aircraft for their training sessions. It can also save them time as the simulator is not subject to weather conditions such as thunderstorms. This programme, which costs SGD$4995, includes theory lessons and 20 hours of flight simulator training over 12 weeks.

Another difference with the other flying clubs is that the school aims to propel trainees towards becoming holders of a US- issued PPL. This means they can fly US-registered aircraft anywhere in the world. At the end of the simulator programme, trainees can opt to go to the US to train and sit the US Federal Aviation Administration’s private pilot test, which will take about a month. After they pass that test, which costs about SGD15000, they will be holders of a US-issued PPL. The total cost and time taken to achieve the US-issued PPL will amount to about SGD$20000 and four months.

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