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RPL Initial Course

RPL Initial Course

The first steps to become a drone pilot


2 – 3 Weeks

Flight Hours

3 hours

Simulator Hours


What is an RPL?

“Remote Pilot Licence” (RPL)

Means the licence required for a person to operate as a qualified Remote Pilot Licence Holder under Part 101.

About this Course

The Remote Pilot Licence courses is the initial licence required for a candidate to start their professional drone pilot career. The course is divided into three sections namely, theory, practical and skill test.

The duration of the theory is 6 days and runs from Monday to Saturday during which in house examination are completed as well. Once a candidate has completed the theory and examinations, the candidate will then move on to the practical flying element of the course.

The practical flight house is three hours actual flight time, which mean the actual time that you fly the drone. The instructor will complete a series of exercises with the candidate and, once deemed competent, will recommend the candidate to complete his/her skills test.

Skills test are completed with a DRE (Designated RPAS Examiner).

The skills test has two parts. The ground evaluations which test your theoretical knowledge and the flight evaluation which tests the candidate’s ability to complete manoeuvres with the drone.

RPL Course requirements


Be at least 18 years of age

End Qualification


SACAA Accredited RPL License


Course completion Certificate


Aviation Class III Medical


Restricted Radio Telephony Licence


English Language Proficiency Certificate

Subjects Covered


In Navigation we cover VFR Maps, Airspace, GPS and Satellites. We have an in depth look at Air Space Classification and aviation maps as well as where one can operate a drone or RPAS legally.

We also cover different software that the student may operate with their drone with, which includes basic telemetry function.


Meteorology is the study of the weather, In this subject we cover weather phenomena, weather reports including TAFs and METARs as well as local weather.

We also discuss practical meterological applications for day to day RPAS operations.

Air Law

Part 101 covers the function and operations of the RPL holder, in Air Law we cover all parts of the Law, including navigation of the CAA website and a more practical approach as the holder of an RPL.

Radio Links

In this subject we cover Radio Frequencies, Polarization, Radio Waves, Antennas and Line of Site operations. This is very important to an RPAS operation because as an operator one has to understand how to manipulate the radio signal and manipulate a receiver in order to get a strong signal link and operate in a safe manner.


Construction & Flight

In Construction of Flight, we cover the basic physics of flight. The syllabus covers all parts of the construction of the Multirotor and Aeroplane, we go in detail through all the components. We also look into the construction of a Multirotor and Aeroplane and discuss the manuals of each RPA.


Human Performance

This theory subject is one of the more interesting ones as it deals with human behavior, limitations, stress and basic human anatomy. We also have a look at basic Crew Resource Management (CRM), psychology and learning styles.


Battery Procedures

RPAS operations require an understanding of different types of batteries and how to manage and conserve the life span of batteries.

We cover a large spectrum of different battery types and also incorporate a practical approach on batteries for use with all types of RC or Drone operations.


Airmanship & Field Ops Pack

This is in preparation for the DFE Test, we take the student through how to prepare for the actual DFE Test. We cover Airmanship in detail as well as we take a in depth look into preparing the student for the DFE Test. We cover how the student will use this preparation work to do their flight operations going forward in an operational environment with safety being the core focus.


Restricted Radio Telephony

Our Restricted Radio Course is done by an Eternal Designated Radiotelephony(RT) Examiner.

It is your license to operate a radio while operating an RPAS or manned aircraft. You will learn about the verbal side and phraseology of radio telephony, vital concepts like airspaces and what they mean, air traffic services, flight rules, altimeter setting procedures, flight plans, radio failure procedures, special rules areas as well as search and rescue.

Soar new heights with your RPL license.

Practical Training

Our training packages incorporate a 3-hour actual flight training accession with unlimited access to the drone simulator to practise the series of manoeuvres.

Free Simulator Training

Free Mock Skills Test

Aircraft Options

You do not need to own your own drone to attend the course.

RPAS Training Academy provide you with a registered aircraft to train on to allow you to log you flight hours.

DJI Phantom 4


DFE Skills Test

Once ready, students will undergo a check flight by a qualified designated flight examiner (DFE) where their knowledge of the rules, regulations, airmanship & flight ability will be tested and evaluated in accordance with the SACAA Part 101 skills test form.

Passing this test will qualify our students to complete an application for a Remote Pilots License (RPL), which enables a career within a company that has a Remote Operating Certificate (ROC).

SACAA Requirements


Class 3 aviation medical certification


English Proficiency level 4 or higher certification

Restricted Radio Telephony License

Find a facility 



Cape Town



Don't take our word for it. Take it from our clients.


Right from the start with contacting and getting a quote from Candice to the brilliant practical training by the instructors the experience have not only been 5 star professional but very pleasant & satisfying. It has been clear to me that the staff at RPAS Training Academy not only takes pride in their work but has an authentic interest in their student/clients. A special thanks to the CFI, Jonothan for all the work and training during the practical training, you are a star.  

 I will highly recommend your training school to anybody in future.

- Anton Stoffberg


Excellent facilities and training staff, I highly recommend RPAS Training Academy for anyone who wants to do their Drone License properly. RPAS Academy also helps new RPL Pilots to understand the industry better and try and find work opportunities.

- Wynand Steyn


The instructors are great and knowledgeable. The new venue is amazing. Overall great experience

- Ryno Swart


RPAS Training Academy is truly the greatest Drone Training school in South Africa! Friendly staff, conveniently located facilities and an interesting course! I am so happy to have my Remote Pilot License and am grateful to have found RPAS Training Academy when I did!

- Katherine Warner


RPAS Training Academy provided me with professional training in a friendly environment. Instructors and material are of very high quality and the focus is on ensuring that the student understands the concepts and knows the work well. Practical training is done in a supportive environment which leads to relatively quick attainment of flight skills. A good and professional academy.

- Louis Watson


RPAS TA really went out of their way to accommodate us, NamPower, to achieve our goal despite extreme time constraints as well as having to plan around rainy weather during the DFE test.

- Karl-Heinz Wagner


I have thoroughly enjoyed my training at RPAS Training Academy. All the staff were great and despite some very trying weather conditions, had a great time learning to fly both Multirotor and Fixed wing drones.

- Peter Van Holthoon


RPAS Training Academy took me from having no drone experience to becoming certified through a well organized program. The training was carried out with compassion and patience. Highly recommend.

- Alasdair Harris


RPAS Training Academy took me from having no drone experience to becoming certified through a well organized program. The training was carried out with compassion and patience. Highly recommend.

- Alasdair Harris


For start to finish, great experience and would recommend this academy to anyone. All personal very helpful! Easy to understand and a simple process.

- Bence


I learned an incredible amount of stuff during my course. Jonathan really helped out on very short notice to help speed up the process a bit. Thank you, Jonathan! Shane was an incredible instructor out on the field. Very patient. Thank you so much for that. It has always been my dream to enter the aviation industry and RPAS training academy has given me the opportunity. I will most definitely be back for further training.

- Ruben Delmage


All the instructors are vere well prepared and professional. They give guidance where needed and go the evxtra mile to ensure that all students all well prepared for final assessment. It was an amazing experience and they have a high standard in terms of time keeping.

- Bruce Ockhuis

Contact Us

(+27) 74 945 1000


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Do you want to rapidly grow this industry as one of our professional flight instructors?

Please send us an email why you would be a great fit as well as your CV toinfo@rpas.training

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