Sunday, March 16, 2008

Learning to fly in the Philippines

There are two methods of learning to fly in the Philippines. That is if you only desire to fly for recreational or personal reasons. These programs are available to both foreign visitors and Philippine citizens.
The first method is to take the standard PPL course culminatiting in a Private pilots license. The Philippine license is recognized in any International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) member country. U.S., Britain, etc. The conversion process varies from country to country.

This course requires 40 hours of dual and solo instruction, ground school and a medical certificate. The basic requirements are as follows;

  • Be at least 16 yrs old to get a Student Pilot's License, 17 for PPL liscense
  • Read, speak, & understand English.
  • National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) Clearance. Check out for more info.
  • Immigration Clearance
  • X-Ray & ECG (submit at Air Transportation Office)
  • Medical Exam (ATO honors FAA medical)
  • Notarized Application Form
  • ID Pictures (2x2 & 1x1 white background, white polo shirt or preferably pilot's uniform).
  • Payment of corresponding fee.

The cost (based on the minimum hours required) about 280,000 Pesos, or about $7000 USD. depending on the current rate of exchange. This only an average fee, actual costs can vary depending on where you take your instruction.

If you would rather not go through this amount of training and expense, learning to fly an ultralight aircraft may be your alternative. There are active Ultralight clubs and flight schools in the Philippines. One, Angeles City Flying Club, uses the standard U.S. training manual written by Curtis Hughes and published by the United States Ultralight Association, Inc. (USUA).

Flight training is similar to the PPL course, but much shorter and less technical. Their is no license issued by the Philippine Aviation Authorities for this pilot training, You will be issued a certificate to fly ultralights which is recognized by the Philippine government. Airspace restrictions may apply depending on where you learn, and where you will eventually fly .

The full training course will include a least 30 flying hours. Of these a minimum of 10 hours dual and 10 hours solo are required. There is no formal separate ground school; the ground school is conducted in conjunction with the actual flight instruction. There is a written test and check rides are given in one of several tandem aircraft.

Maneuvers required are:

  • Straight and level flight
  • Climbs/descents
  • Stalls, power on/power off
  • Emergency procedures
  • Slow flight
  • Turns around a point
  • Normal and crosswind landings
  • Slow flight

Dual instruction in a Rans S12 will run approximately 3700 Pesos per hour ( 90 USD). Flying an average of 2 hours a day it would take about 8 days to first solo and 16 days to get the Sport Pilot Certificate.

Happy flying!

See links at the right for detailed information for each type of license.

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