South African Flight Training Academy

by Candice OConnor
(Heidelberg, Gauteng, South Africa)

Welcome to SAFTA

South African Flight Training Academy opened its doors in 2007 when aviation enthusiasts identified the need for a professional pilot training academy where students from all around the world could train and share their interest.

South Africa is cited amongst the top 10 destinations for flight training worldwide. The aviation network in South Africa is mature and continues to improve with the determination and aid of the South African Civil Aviation Authority.

Here at SAFTA we offer students a 10-12 month professional pilot course with a full time ground school course; all run by experienced and dedicated staff members.

SAFTA is based in the rural town of Heidelberg, Gauteng, which is a mere 40km from Johannesburg. The main attribute to this is the great “non-weather” winter in the Highveld and the strong history of piloting in the country.

We are ideally situated to maximise training and to get our students to their end goal. The town offers the benefit of a safe and secure study and living environment whilst being only a short distance from the South African Civil Aviation Authority, O.R Tambo and all major shopping malls in Johannesburg.

Heidelberg’s airspace is close to the general flying area and less congested. It is also unmanned, enabling students to practice “radio talk (aka RT)”at an acceptable pace before going into manned aerodromes.

Our accommodation is able to house over 100 students with caterers, indoor and outdoor activities, study rooms and much more.

We also have many fly safaris, rallies and breakfast fly-ins in which students may participate.

Flight Training in South Africa

South Africa is cited amongst the top 10 destinations for flight training worldwide.
The main attribute to this is the great “non-weather” winter in the Highveld and the strong history of piloting in the country.

The aviation network is mature and continues to do so with the determination and aid of the South African Civil Aviation Authority. Heidelberg’s airspace is close to the general flying area and less congested. It is also unmanned, enabling students to practice “radio talk (aka RT)”at an acceptable pace before going into manned aerodromes.

Heidelberg is in close proximity to international airports and navigation aid. We also have many fly safaris, rally’s and breakfast fly-ins for students to part take in.

Our Fleet:
SAFTA utilises a fleet of Cessna 152 and Cessna 172 single engine trainers and the Piper Seneca I and II multi-engine trainer.

Our simulator is a Simuflight full-visual, three-channel, Piper Seneca / Piper Arrow model and is SACAA approved as FNPT II.

Cessna 152:

The Cessna 152 is one of the smallest 4-cylinder engine airplanes in use. It has served as the standard flying-school airplane for decades
This plane was designed in the late 50's by Cessna Aircraft, who for years, have been the largest producers of small airplanes in the world. The Cessna 152 is a very robust all-metal two-seater trainer, most people who have flown Cessna’s for any length of time like them because they're so forgiving and they are, after all, the plane most people learnt to fly in.


Cessna 172:

The Cessna 172 is without doubt the most successful mass produced light aircraft in history. From 1955 through to 1967 the 172 was powered by the six cylinder Continental O-300, before this engine was replaced by the four cylinder Lycoming O-320. Cessna expected the new 172 to have only limited success, in view of the release of the Cessna 177 Cardinal at the same time. But the Cessna 172 became the most successful mass produced light aircraft in history.

The Skyhawk went through a series of developments in terms of aerofoil redesign, wider track undercarriage, increased fuel capacity options, reshaped windows and an optional higher standard "II" equipment package. High performance variants included the R172 Hawk XP, with a 195 hp engine, and the 172RG, with retracting undercarriage and a 180 hp Lycoming O-360 engine. Production models ran from the 172I of 1968 to the 172P of 1985

Seneca II:

The Piper PA-34 Seneca is an American twin-engine, light, produced by Piper Aircraft since 1971 and still in production in 2009.
The Seneca is primarily used for personal and business flying

The Seneca II (technically known as the PA34-200T) is essentially a twin-engine, retractable Cherokee Six and was the second version of the Seneca (duh), introduced in 1975. Unlike the original PA34 that featured normally-aspirated Lycoming power plants, all subsequent Seneca’s mounted turbocharged Continentals.

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