How to become a pilot in Kenya?

Probably you have looked at a pilot before with admiration and thought to yourself I would like to become him/ her one day. I would like to Rusha ndege!

Take to the skies and share a few moments with the Angels.

What makes this person or how can one become a pilot?

Is it like learning to drive or getting a driving licence?

Well there is the theoretical and practical part of it.

Generally it helps if you have a basic knowledge of certain subjects like Geography but this isn’t mandatory and doesn’t disqualify you if you haven’t studied them.

It helps to be smart and have the courage to be an aviator.

If your sixteen years of age and above you can start by going up in the air in the very first stages of your addiction to flying.

These flights are called experimental flights and can be done in any school or club. (Check our list of schools/ clubs under the menu labelled training)

Basically, you go up in the air with an instructor in a trainer (training aircraft for ex. Cessna 150 or 172) like the one below.

The instructor will give a general overview of the basics of flying. He might even allow you to handle the controls momentarily.

This will probably be a basic test for you and your Instructor.
How you feel after the flight will determine if you want to carry on and become a pilot, attain your wings, fulfil your dreams.

It is always wise after this to have a medical check up from a certified Aviation Doctor.

Their several in the country and you should be given a list at your school/club of choice.

A medical check up is mandatory as their some disqualifying illness that might restrict or deny you a medical certificate and consequently a flying licence.

For example:
• Heart attack.
• Kidney stones.
• Abnormal ECG.
• Stroke.

Why do you need a medical certificate?

This is a requirement by law for all pilots.

When you start flying you are considered a student pilot.

You shall be issued a student pilot licence (SPL) by the Civil Aviation Authority which is the governing body in the Aviation Industry.

General requirements to receive a SPL are:
• Local registration fee
• Medical certificate
• Passport photos
• Passport or national I.D copies

Once you receive this licence.

You will be required to go through theoretical lessons also known as ground school.

This can be done within the school or by purchasing Computer based training CDs.

I think the latter is much better as you can review and study at your own pace from any location.

What will you study?

Study areas are:
• Metrology.
• Navigation.
• Aircraft technical.
• Air law.
• Basic radio telephony.

The most helpful study materials are:
• For Computer based training, Oxford training software is good.
• For hard copy materials, Trevor Thom books will do.

(Feel free to contact us if you would like to purchase the above.)

It’s much easier going through the theory first and then going onto the practical part of it.

It’s one thing trying to grasp new terminologies and theories and at the same time learning how to fly.

Well it all depends with what works best for you.
As you start on the practical, you will find that there is a lot happening in a very short period of time while flying.

The instructor is talking; the aircraft seems to have a brain of its own and does not respond properly to your inputs, the tower guy never seems to shut up and so on

This phenomenon will quickly be corrected by your instructor as you learn to be ‘in front of the aircraft’ rather than ‘behind the aircraft’. This is in relation to your mental attitude.

A helpful hint is to acquire a simulator such as Flight simulator and Joy stick. You can practice on your laptop/PC different techniques at your pace.

You will be required to work your way to a solo.

What is a solo?
This is when you and the instructor feel that you are capable of flying without supervision.
The instructor therefore steps out of the aircraft and lets you fly alone for the first time.

This will probably be the most memorable flight of your life.

It’s better than your ‘individual solo’, you know, boyfriend/ girlfriend kind of thing.

From here you shall work to attain a Private pilot licence (PPL).

This is your second licence which allows you to fly for recreational purposes and no reward.

Basically it’s the foundation of all pilots.
The requirements you shall fulfil are:
• minimum 55hrs of which 15hrs are solo
• Pass required ground school exam
• 5 hrs solo cross country
• Pass a flight test (GFT) by a Kenya Civil Aviation Authority-appointed flight examiner.

Once you attain your PPL.
Life on the fast track begins in your aviation Journey.

Read more in part two.


  1. Am a student n want 2 be a pilot.can i begin training before i finish school??

  2. Joshua Cawood says:

    I will be 12 years old in May, and in July I will be starting to learn how to fly with an qualified instructor who is a Airbus Captain, I will be training every July in France. My dream since 3 years old has always been to become a pilot one day. What is the minimum age in Kenya where I live, to learn the practical flying with instructor? So that I can keep up with it here too? Thank you to give me all the information. Joshua

  3. I am 18 yrs old and went through my high scul level in the 2011,since my dreams is to fly high and become aproficial pilot wat requirement do i need to join this school of flyin,plz cpt i need your advice,

  4. Caleb muteti says:

    Hi, I’m 18 yrs old now and still in my last year in high school. I very much aspire to be an airline pilot after I finish school this year. So what are the 0 level qualifications?

  5. lillian says:

    where and how to i contact you? Would like to purchase flying books as i’d like to start my ppl. Thanks

  6. Abdullahi Aden says:

    I have finished my I.G.C.S.E exam and would like to fly high may i get the requirements to join this school.

  7. langat elisha says:


  8. I ws wondering hw often do KQ train students 2 b pilots thru their AB initio pilot gouge?

  9. Bounty Hunter says:

    Hi Captain. Am 17 and left high school in the year 2012. i’ve got a strong ambition of becoming a pilot. however, i did’nt study physics in high school. does that disqtalify me for the ab-initio programme? if it doesn’t, how do i apply? thanks

  10. Timothy Kuloba says:

    Am Tim a form 2 in Goseta high school and I would like to be pilot,kindly tell me the requirements to be come one,that is,K.C.S.E. to be precise

  11. peter kinywa mutua says:

    hi capt,i would lyk 2be a pilot plz tell me the grade subject needed .

  12. Mayama m peter. says:

    Hellow, am mayama. I did my KCSE in 2012. Am currently in Maseno university doing interior design…my passion frm child hood is to fly big machines. Till now i cant believe i dint get an A in Geography! I got a B+ in KCSE, B+ in English, Geography and a B n physcs…i wish to get trained in this AB-initio programme, any advice!

  13. Hi, my name is Kihoro from Nyeri. i am 18 years and i cleared high school last year. am doing a degree course in IT but I really want to do Aviation for life. Please advice me on what to do after college. also help me get the contacts of the AB initio project by Kenya Airways.,
    Thanks in advance,

  14. Jimmy Mugo says:

    Can u please help me with a list of certified Aviation Doctors in Niarobi, plus would u recommend Skylink Flights as a good school to take my ground and flight classes and how much and were can i buy the oxford cd set and hard copy materials for a ppl ground school.

  15. I will be doing my kenya certificate of secondary education this year at mandera secondary school,am geo student and piloting being my career please I highly need your advise

  16. Kenneth nganga says:

    Am currently in form four and i take geography and physics..would like to know what are the required grades in order to qualify into the aviation industry please.(

  17. Alex kimeu says:

    Good evening? am a form 4 leaver, becoming a pilot has been my ultimate dream ever since i was a kid. However, i lack enough capital to undergo the training…..can i please get a scholarship to enable me pursue piloting?…….thank you.

  18. Hi lately I got inspired to be a pilot of which I want to consider doing.Am a student at the University of Nairobi and I cleared my diploma in social work and now advancing in the degree level in sociology.I want to combine social work and being a pilot and I believe its possible kindly advise me if its possible and I feel that I might have a calling to be a pilot advise me accordingly.Thanxs in advance.

  19. Edwin Soita says:

    Im 19 years old I have just started studying at tge University of Eldoret pursuing a degree in holtel management I would like to be a pilot when Im done with my degree but the pilot training fee is abit too high for me what can I do? I would like to study at the Kenya School of Flying plesae advise me is there any way in wich I can get some kind of loan?

Speak Your Mind