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Nigeria - Obtain a Private Pilot Certificate

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The journey to becoming a private pilot is an exciting one, but it is also a major investment of time and money, and learning before you can take to the skies.Learning to fly an airplane can literally be the experience of a lifetime.

Before you plan to obtain a private pilot certificate you will need to find out if you are considered fit to fly an airplane. The NCAA has a website which can help you find NCAA authorized medical examiners in your area, You will need a third class medical certificate in order to proceed with flight training.

You can complete ground school without a medical certificate but you may not want to go through that expense if you can't get a private pilot certificate because of your health. If your English isn't good, start taking English lessons. Pilots need to be able to speak, read and understand English so they can talk to control towers and other aviators when needed.

Now you are ready to start with the real training for becoming a licensed pilot. You will need to complete ground school and at least 40 hours of flight training before you can attempt the three tests you need to pass to get your license. You will need a written or computerized test of aeronautical knowledge, and a flight test,a medical certificate is also required.

Here is an outline of the procedure for those wishing to qualify for a private pilot's license
  • Obtain at least a third class medical certificate from an Aviation Medical Examiner. The medical certificate you will receive is also a student pilot's license which allows you to start flight training immediately.
  • Buy a comprehensive ground school course which you can study at home on your computer.
  • When you are doing well on the practice tests and are feeling confident, make an appointment at your local Flight Service District Office to take the computerized aeronautical knowledge test.
  • After passing the test contact Fixed Base Operators at your local airport, ask for a quotation, and tell them that you have a student pilot's licence/medical certificate, and that you have passed the aeronautical knowledge test and that you wish to complete your flight training in few weeks.
  • You could also start familiarize yourself with the Airplane Flight Manual for the aircraft you are flying. Many of the questions asked in the FAA oral examination are about the aircraft's systems and performance. The other obvious reason for doing this is that you need to be knowledgeable about the systems and performance of the aircraft you are flying.
  • Financial planning is one of the most important issues to think about early on, and it is best to work out a realistic budget to begin with.

This will help you decide if you can really afford to do go through with it, and it will also help you to keep your expenses in check as you go forward. Draw a budget to finance the total cost of the flying. Realistically you should allow for a 10% overrun. That is, budget on doing 40 hours of flying. The national average in the Nigeria is 60+ hours. One of the reasons for this is that people flying only 1 or 2 hours a week lose currency which results in them having to repeat maneuvers in order to satisfy their instructor.

You have to present identification that includes your photograph, signature, and home address. Any one of the following:

A certificate of graduation from a pilot training course conducted by an NCAA-approved pilot school, or a statement of accomplishment from the school certifying the satisfactory completion of the ground-school portion of such a course A written statement from an NCAA-certified ground or flight instructor, certifying that you have satisfactorily completed the required ground instruction Logbook entries by an NCAA-certified ground or flight instructor, certifying satisfactory completion of the required ground instruction A certificate of graduation or statement of accomplishment from a ground school course conducted by an agency such as a high school, college, adult education program, the Civil Air Patrol, or any Flight Training Program.

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Required Documents[edit]

  • A computerized aeronautical knowledge test
  • Accumulate and log a specified amount of training and experience document.
  • A third class medical certificate.
  • A computerized aeronautical knowledge test
  • A Record of 40 hours of flight time
  • A record of Pass an oral test and flight test administered by an NCAA inspector.
  • A flight instructor certificate;
  • An instrument rating.
  • Preflight operations, including weight and balance determination, line inspection, and airplane servicing.
  • Airport and traffic pattern operations, including operations at controlled airports, radio communications, and collision avoidance precautions.
  • Flight maneuvering by reference to ground objects.
  • Flight at slow airspeeds with realistic distractions, and the recognition of and recovery from stalls entered from straight flight and from turns.
  • Normal and crosswind takeoffs and landings.
  • Control and maneuvering an airplane solely by reference to instruments, including descents and climbs using radio aids or radar directives.
  • Cross-country flying, using pilotage, dead reckoning, and radio aids.
  • Maximum performance takeoffs and landings.
  • Night flying, including takeoffs, landings, and VFR navigation.
  • Emergency operations, including simulated aircraft and equipment malfunction.

Office Locations & Contacts[edit]

The Chairman, Regulations Committee
Director General

'Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority

Aviation House

Murtala Muhammed International Airport

Domestic Wing,

P.M.B. 21029, 21038 Ikeja, Lagos.


Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA)
Corporate Headquarters

Nnamdi Azikiwe Intl Airport,

Domestic Wing Abuja.



Tel: +234(1) 7610043, +234(1) 7610044

Lagos Office
Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA)

Murtala Muhammed Airport, PMB 21029,

Ikeja, Lagos Nigeria.

Tel: +234 (1) 4721521

Fax: +234(1)2790421

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It is eligible for citizens/residents of Nigeria engaging in Air transport Business.

  • A citizen of Nigeria,
  • An individual citizen of another State who is lawfully admitted for permanent residence in Nigeria,
  • A corporation lawfully organised and doing business under the laws of Nigeria and the aircraft is based and primarily used in Nigeria,
  • A government entity of Nigeria or political subdivision thereof; or
  • A foreign person who has leased the aircraft to one of the persons described in paragraphs above.


Explain the fees structure which is required for obtaining the certificate/document.


Valid for 1 year and then a renewal is required

Documents to Use[edit]

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Sample Documents[edit]

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Processing Time[edit]

The processing takes 6 months

Related Videos[edit]

Videos explaining the procedure or to fill the applications. 
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Please remove the "&" inside the tag

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  • Pilots can begin training at an age of 18 and can solo balloons and gliders at age 21 in Nigeria.
  • A license will contain a number of sub-qualifications or ratings.
  • An NCAA-issued pilot certificate is evidence that an individual is duly authorized to exercise piloting privileges in Nigeria.
  • An individual may hold only one pilot certificate at one time.
  • Most pilot certificates and ratings require the applicant to pass a knowledge test, also called the written test.
  • All pilots certificates and ratings require a practical test.

Required Information[edit]

  • Be at least 18 years old and a citizen of Nigeria or Resident of Nigeria
  • Be able to read, speak, write and understand the English language.
  • Obtain at least a third class medical certificate from an Aviation Medical Examiner
  • Pass a computerized aeronautical knowledge test from Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority,
  • Accumulate and log a specified amount of training and experience, including the following:
  • At least 40 hours of flight time, including 20 hours with an instructor and 10 hours of solo flight.
  • 5 hours of solo cross-country time including one flight of at least 150 nautical miles with full stop landings at a minimum of three points
  • Three solo takeoffs and landings to a full stop at an airport with an operating control tower.
  • 3 hours of night flight training and 10 takeoffs and landings to a full stop at an airport
  • 3 hours of instrument flying training
  • Pass an oral and flight test administered by an NCAA inspector or NCAA designated examiner.

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Need for the Document[edit]

This is the license that permits the holder to pilot an aircraft for non commercial purposes. In the Nigeria ultralight vehicles are those that have only one seat, are used only for recreational or sport flying, don't have an airworthiness certificate and weigh less than 155 pounds if not powered and less than 254 pounds if powered with a maximum of 5 gallons. They also have speed and time of operation restrictions and cannot be flown over congested areas or at large gatherings such as air shows.

A private pilot's license allows command of any aircraft (subject to appropriate ratings) for any non-commercial purpose, and gives almost unlimited authority to fly under visual flight rules (VFR).

it is obtained by successfully completing a course with at least 40 hours (45 in Africa) of flight time, passing seven 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)

These Aircraft may include gliders, helicopters and gyro-planes, balloons, airships or powered aircraft

Information which might help[edit]

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Other uses of the Document/Certificate[edit]

Please explain what are other uses of obtaining this document/certificate.
e.g. Birth Certificate can be used as proof of identity.

External Links[edit]

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