Helicopter Private Pilot's Licence

Private Pilot’s Licence (PPL (H))

Imagine walking into an airport, hiring a helicopter and flying yourself and your friends to a hotel. You land in their grounds and walk into their restaurant. After a lovely meal you take off and fly home. You can turn this fantasy into reality with a Private Pilots licence (PPL (H)).

Getting a PPL for helicopter flying is a tremendous experience from your first flying lesson to getting your license at the end. The course is a combination of flying in the helicopter and learning about the theory of why helicopters fly and how to fly safely.

There are nine subjects you need to study, each with a multiple choice exam that you need to pass to qualify. These subjects are Air law, Operational procedures, Meteorology, Human performance and limitations, Communications, Aircraft (general) and principles of flight, Navigation, Flight performance and planning. In addition you will need to pass a practical test on the correct phraseology to use when talking to air traffic control as you fly across the country. The course is challenging and stimulating. You can study at home or at Heliflight’s ground school where we will teach you all you need to know.

The flying part of the course is exhilarating. Divided into 30 different exercises you will spend at least 45 hours in the air getting your license. These excercises provide you with the skill you need to fly safely any where in the world on your own. You’ll learn to get a feel for how the helicopter handles, flying straight and level, turning, climbing and descending. As your training progresses you’ll come to learn how to hover. It takes time. Co-ordinating all the controls to fly above the ground in one position is tricky to begin with, but once you’ve mastered it you’ll just want to do it again and again. Once you've learnt to hover you’ll learn to land and take off.

Pretty soon you’ll be ready for a solo flight. This is one of those great experiences in life and every pilot remembers their’s. The day you pilot a helicopter with no-one else in the cockpit, flying a circuit around the airfield, be prepared to feel fantastic for the rest of the week: it’s that tremendous. You’ll spend at least ten hours of your course flying solo, flying away from the airfield and eventually landing at others as you practice navigation. Towards the end of the course there is a practical test on navigating across country.

Finally you take a flight test, a day where you demonstrate all you’ve learnt to a friendly flight examiner. Heliflight has its own resident examiners. On successful completion of your flight test you apply for your licence and soon you’ll be a bone fide Helicopter pilot.

You need to be 16 years old to fly solo and have to be 17 to apply for a license. You must also be reasonably healthy as you will need to pass a medical examination with a doctor recognised by the Civil Aviation Authority.

If you would like further information about the PPL (H) course and the other training available from Heliflight We’ll be happy to help. Alternatively please call us.

SE49, Gloucestershire Airport, Staverton, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, GL51 6SR.