Is A Student Pilot Considered A Passenger?

To know is a student pilot considered a passenger…reda on this article..!

Who Is A Student Pilot?

A student pilot is a pilot-in-training who is still considered as learning the flight and theoretical aspects of being a pilot and is therefore not allowed to carry passenger and still requires permission from an authorized flight instructor to fly. 

Many terms refer to student pilots onboard an aircraft, from student pilot-in-command to ‘deadhead’ but under no circumstances are they referred to as passengers. Student pilot-in-command refers to when the student will be controlling the flight of the aircraft with the instructor on board just as an observer. Deadhead, on the other hand, is the closest to calling the student pilot a passenger as it refers to off-duty pilots who are onboard a commercial aircraft.

Is A Student Pilot Considered A Passenger?

Is student pilot considered as a passenger

The Requirements For Becoming A Pilot

What Subjects To Learn At School?

In South Africa to start training as a pilot, it is recommended to achieve good grades in Maths, English, Science, and geography as these will help with the theoretical aspect of the pilot training course.

There is no minimum grade required to sign up but if a student may want to apply for a bursary for the studies in more cases than once there would be a requirement for top marks in the above-recommended subjects. An English proficiency test with a minimum level of Four would also be required for students who did attend an English medium school.

Getting A Bursary For Pilot Training

Funding for pilot training is scarce as compared to that for university qualifications and in South Africa is mostly done by the government through the CCA, with specific requirements. Aspirant individuals with very good grades are encouraged to approach even the Air Force if a visit to their provincial education department does not yield any favorable results.

Another option for aspiring students would be to visit their local flight schools as there are limited opportunities whereby the bigger more established flight schools may have programs to train pilots and in exchange, the candidates will work at the school.

However, if an aspirant can afford it, they can fund themselves towards a Private Pilot License and then later apply for a TETA bursary when training towards a Commercial Pilot License.

Medical Requirements 

Apart from acquiring good grades and a bursary to get a student pilot license, a medical examination is a pre-requisite. Student aspirants would have to undergo a chest x-ray explaining at the hospital or clinic that it is for an aviation medical.

From there a visit to the Designated Aviation Medical Examiner will be next.

For a Private Pilot License, a Class 2 medical certificate is the minimum required, and for a Commercial Pilot License, Class 1.

When Will A Student Pilot Be Authorised To Fly Solo?

A student pilot will be able to fly solo, which means they will be able to fly alone in the aircraft, only after acquiring a Student Pilot Certificate. For a student pilot to get a certificate:

  • For gliders and balloons, they have to be 14 years or older, and 16 years and above for powered aircraft.
  • An aviation medical examiner performs a flight physical, but none is required for gliders and balloons.
  • They have to receive from 20 to 25 hours of actual flight instruction as well as ground instruction.
  • A certified flight instructor must endorse them. 
  • Depending on flight school, personal insurance is also required before flying a solo.

So now the pilot aspirant has proved to the instructor that they know the aircraft controls, they know about aircraft maintenance, and proper methods of communication and they can safely handle the aircraft, have obtained their Student Pilot Certificate as well as their Medical Certificate they will be ready to fly solo. 

Student Pilot Limitations

To gain experience the student pilot does not start with cross country fights but the first solo flights will be limited in the airport pattern, then the practice area before proceeding to the cross country flights.

However, there are limitations on what the student pilot is authorized to do when flying solo including:

  1. The Make and Model of the aircraft- Student pilots flying solo are limited to the make and model they were trained for and endorsed on their logbook by the instructor. To fly another aircraft they would be required to train and get another endorsement for that other model and make of aircraft. The instructor also has to train and give you these endorsements every 90 days.
  2. The Airports and Route-Student pilots are authorized to fly in areas only endorsed by the instructor. This means they will be able to fly only in their training airport and practice area. Repeat flight endorsements will be required for additional airports under 50nm after receiving training to, from, and at that airport. Any solo cross-country flight over 50nm requires individual flight endorsements. 
  3. Passengers-Students pilots flying solo should fly alone except when the instructor is present will they be allowed, passengers.
  4. The Weather-For the safety of the student pilot, the instructor will specify the weather minimums.
  5. International Flights-Student pilots are authorized for international flights except class B airspace. They will require a special endorsement from the instructor for a Class B airspace since it requires specific training.
  6. Flying For Hire: Student pilots are restricted from flying for business or being hired to fly by passengers since they cannot carry passengers when they are flying solo. 

Choosing The Type Of Pilot Students Want To Be

Conclusively, Piloting is not only about flying but there are also further options or subsections when it comes to choosing what type of pilot to be. A pilot can be either a contract pilot, tourist charter, medical evacuation, or fly corporate jets among the various options available. This awards student pilot to choose areas they have a passion for besides flying and end up fulfilling their goal of flying as well as their passion under the segment they will fly under.

Frequently Asked Questions
  1. Am I the pilot-in-command during a student solo flight?

The student pilot flying solo is the pilot-in-command as long as you have a current solo flight endorsement in your logbook.

  1. Can a student pilot log pilot in command time?

A student pilot logs in pilot in command time only when they are flying solo as they will be the pilot in command at that time.

  1. Do co-pilots log in time?

Co-pilots log in ‘co-pilot time’.

  1. How much will it cost me to become a pilot in South Africa?

It will cost you approximately R800,000 and about one and a half years to get a Commercial Pilot License in South Africa.