A private pilot license (PPL) or, a private pilot certificate, is a license that permits the holder to act as the pilot of an aircraft privately (not for pay). The requirements to obtain the license are determined by the International Civil Aviation Authority (ICAO), but the actual implementation varies widely from country to country. In Zimbabwe, it is obtained by successfully completing a course with at least 40 hours of flight time, passing 8 written exams, completing an extensive solo cross country flight (minimum cumulative solo flight time is 10 hours), and successfully demonstrating flying skills to an examiner during a flight test or checkride (including an oral exam). Most pilots require 50–60 hours of flight time to complete training. The minimum age for a private pilot certificate is 17 for powered flight (airplanes, helicopters, and gyroplanes). Pilots can begin training at any age and can solo powered aircraft at age 16, under the privaledges of an Students Pilots Licence (SPL).
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The ground training part of the course covers the theoretical knowledge to pass the 8 CAAZ required examinations:-
The course involves 110 hrs of classroom based instruction, presented either on a one on one basis or in small groups. The subject material is not difficult to learn, but requires dicapline to obtain the required level of unterstanding to ensure a pass in the exams.
Passes in Airlaw and Radio are require for the issue of a Studnet Pilots Licence (SPL) a prerequisit for the solo flight part of the airbone training.