Monday, March 3, 2014

Experience of Obtaining a Private Pilot License (PPL) in Malaysia as a Private Candidate

I am Yong Lim from Singapore and I obtained my PPL from the Department of Civil Aviation Malaysia (DCAM) in June 2013 as a private candidate. I am blessed and lucky to be part of Johor Flying Club.

After attaining my PPL, I fly regularly to stay current with my flying skills, and keep my aviation dream alive. Who knows, I may even fly into Space one day :) You can read more about it here from FlyGosh

There are many reasons for obtaining a PPL, and I will share my experience and tips when getting a PPL from Malaysia.

Tip 1: Be comfortable and familiar with the flying club/school you are about to enroll in.  Like a little kid stepping into school on the first day, it is natural to feel anxious and nervous. An orientation will calm the nerves of the anxious kid. Likewise, you may want to know the members and instructors better before enrolling yourself (i.e. through joy rides). Joy ride is a good indicator and orientation to attest if you really like flying and is comfortable with the flying club/school before sinking your hard earned $$$ into the PPL training.

Due to visa requirement by Malaysia’s immigration department, foreigners are supposed to apply the visa before a Student Pilot License (SPL) can be issued. The SPL allows the candidate to learn flying in Malaysia’s aviation space, and your club/school will usually assist in your application for both SPL and visa.  

Note: Processing time for Visa and SPL may take a while (1 month or more). Do factor in the waiting time!

Tip 2: Commence ground papers preparations at the soonest.

During the wait for your SPL approval, I recommend that you start your ground school training. Application for the papers by DCAM can be found here. You may also approach your flying club for study materials or attend their ground lessons.  YouTube and Google are great source of information too! The examination is usually held in DCAM (Putrajaya). For me, I chose to take all papers at one shot and cleared everything in that single sitting. If you are lucky and obtain your SPL earlier, then congratulations!!  You are ready to step into the cockpit and commence with flight training!

The first few lessons focus on familiarization of training area, straight and levels, level turns and subsequently ascending and descending turns.... I shall not go into details but I would like to bring to your attention the quality of your flying instructor(s).

Tip 3: Choose or even 'interview' your instructor(s).
Your flight instructor(s) is the one guiding and coaching you towards your PPL. You wouldn’t want an instructor that only thinks about clocking their own flying hours at your expenses and delivering minimal value during your training. To choose a good instructor, it is important to know the people in your club/school. Thus, refer back to Tip 1.
The English Proficiency Test and RadioTelephony Practical Test are also part of the training (assuming you had passed your VFR Communication paper). The RadioTelephony Practical Test is an oral examination conducted by an assessor. You can listen to the live communication between pilots and the Air Traffic Controllers (ATC) on LiveATC.

After flying for a while, the next highlight of your training will be YOUR FIRST SOLO! I believe every pilot remember their first solo flight.

Following your first solo, there will be area navigation solo, and then cross country flights, followed by more precise basic flying skill trainings and finally the flight practical test! I shall not be a spoiler and go into details. You got to experience it first-hand. :)

The above pretty much sums up my experiences in obtaining a PPL from Malaysia as a private candidate. Everyone have different learning encounters but we all share the same sky.

I had always wanted to be a commercial pilot, thus taking up a PPL is a natural course after numerous setbacks to be an airline cadet pilot (SIA, Cathay, Etihad, Virgin Australia etc).

Well, after all what never kills you, makes you stronger, right? :)

I shall end off with the following quote that inspires me. I hope it will be a motivation for you to pursue your dream too. All the best!

“At the end of the day, let there be no excuses, no explanations, no regrets.”
―  Steve Maraboli, Life, the Truth, and Being Free

Above article written by my PAID guest writer. If you are interested to contribute your experience to FlyGosh, please check out Get PAID to be a guest writer for

For a comprehensive guide to help you secure a pilot job, you might want to download my book at This is HOW YOU can become a Pilot - FlyGosh Pilot Secrets

As you may already be aware that I have max out my facebook 5000 friends limit therefore to continue to get updates on latest news and jobs opportunity for both pilots and cabin crew, you can LIKE the Fly Gosh Fan Page by clicking HERE