Recency & Maintenance of Competency
As a PPL, if you do not maintain "Recent-cy", then you are automatically demoted to a student pilot, and may no longer carry passengers.
You do not, as with a new student pilot, have to be signed out to fly by a flight instructor. You can authorise yourself.
Just hop in a your plane by yourself, (a Flight School will check you out first before they let you take their aircraft on this basis), do your 3 circuits, and your PPL is then a PPL again!
These three take-offs and landings must be in the same class or similar type & category of aircraft you plan to take the pax in by day or night within the preceding 90 days.
If you plan to fly passengers by night, then this recency MUST be by night.
You may do these 'flights' in an approved FTSD (Flight Training Simulator Device).
If you fly a tail wheel aircraft, then the landings cannot be touch and go's but each landing must be to a full stop.
If you fly a multi-engine aircraft, then your landings count for single engine aircraft too, but not the other way round.
If you have an instrument rating and want to fly passengers in instrument conditions, then you must have done at least two (2) Instrument approaches within the last 90 days in either simulated or actual conditions, with a minimum of 1 approach having been done in an actual aircraft.
Maintenance of Competency
License "Competency" is maintained by keeping your license valid as per the Regulations.
For a PPL you achieve this by doing your flight test at the required intervals, ie every two years, and by keeping CAA up to date every alternate year with your:
12 month logbook summary and previous three pages, (certified copy), and
any endorsements within the previous twelve months, (certified copy) and
your medical if applicable, and of course,
the required fee, (fees are in Part 187 of the CARS).
Follow the new Covid-19 Lockdown License Application Process.
TIP - be precise.
The SACAA has a tick list. If you send a 10 month summary because you are ahead of the game and are using the 90 day grace period, and you summarised from your last Competency Check, they won't issue your license because their tick list says 12 months, and your summary is 10 months... Get the drift? Be P R E C I S E and all will flow smoothly.
Note that when you have done your initial license, you have to do a flight test again within twelve months to maintain competency. After this you will only need to test every two years as stated above.