I have 45 days vacation (I haven't decided when yet), I do not have a problem getting any visa, I have free tickets to any where in the world.. I just need to go to place where I can learn flying small airplanes like Cessna or so (private pilot license) while having a nice vacation at the same time. I have read that 1 month is enough to get such a license. I just do not know where to go!

I had a plan to go the USA since I have a valid tourist visa and a valid crew visa but after emailing the aviation school they said I have to cancel my current valid visas and get a student visa otherwise they won't accept me. I do not want cancel my visas. So USA is off the list.

Is there a place (I prefer an interesting place) where I can acquire such a license and enjoy my time as well..?

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    Even though planes are a form of transportation, I don't really see this as particularly travel related. It's not like learning to fly in one location is special compared to learning to fly a plane in a different location. Nor do people typically go from one country to another country to learn to fly a plane.
    – Golden Cuy
    Jul 12, 2012 at 13:47
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    @AndrewGrimm It is my vacation, I want to enjoy and learn at the same time. Jul 12, 2012 at 13:48
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    While it may be phrased in a way that makes it look off-topic, what this question is asking essentially is "Which country allows me to enrol for flying classes with a tourist visa rather than a student visa?" Hence it is on topic. Jul 12, 2012 at 14:31
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    I've tweaked the title, but please feel free to rephrase it and the question to make it more about the visa issue.
    – Mark Mayo
    Jul 12, 2012 at 14:36
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    The private pilot's license is a recreational license rather than a professional license. Making learning to fly off-topic would be like making learn-to-scuba questions off-topic. Jul 12, 2012 at 16:42

2 Answers 2


I'm going to assume you're from the UK, based only on the fact the learning to fly abroad is popular for UK residents, since many places offer flight time cheaper than the UK. You're from Saudi, but I don't think that changes anything. The southern USA used to be the venue of choice, because of low flight time costs and reliably good weather. I understand that recent visa restriction changes mean that USA is now pretty much off the table for someone wanting to earn their PPL on a vacation.

My first recommendation is Canada. The Air Transport Association page starts by saying you need a student visa, but then notes that students intending to come to Canada for six months or less don't need one. I would recommend checking this out before committing to anything. The weather is good, in the sense that flying conditions are rarely poor enough to prevent you flying. (I recommend summer rather than winter though, just because people mostly don't want to fly light planes when its very cold, even if the weather permits it).

Other popular venues are Australia and South Africa. I'm afraid I can't speak for their visa requirements. The schools I found with my brief search were all focussed on CPL training (even more popular than foreign PPL training since the savings are higher). Your search results may vary. If you have a ticket paid to anywhere, those two would also provide you with the advantage of an awesome vacation experience.

Be aware that learning to fly is going to occupy you full time for several weeks. While the weather may be nice, you won't get much 'vacation' in the sense of relaxed beach-sitting or sightseeing while you are doing it.

  • +1 I am from Saudi Arabia. And the answer really fits my situation. Thanks Jul 12, 2012 at 16:44
  • In that case I would check out costs of learning to fly locally. A lot of the cost of learning to fly is gasoline costs. You may find that the cost of flying in Saudi is cheaper than elsewhere. Jul 12, 2012 at 16:48
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    In Saudi Arabia there is a full learning program which is quite expensive.. My main goal is the fun not the flying actually so I would love to have fun and learn.. Its hot and dusty here as well.... Jul 12, 2012 at 16:49

I would highly recommend learning to fly in France with Cosmo Flight School, an English flying school in the beautiful Limousin region of France, operating out of Limoges airport.

They offer: Flight Training under JAR-FCL / EASA regulations for the Private Pilot's Licence - Aeroplane. Night Ratings and PPL Ground School

They will also assist with accomodation and medicals etc.

EDIT by mod: The author is affiliated with Cosmo Flight School (hadn't disclosed).

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    Welcome to Travel.SE. As this is your site, we really require you to detail this affiliation on StackExchange. I've updated your post to reflect this, but please in future do disclose this.
    – Mark Mayo
    Jul 26, 2012 at 20:25

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