If you are looking for a new and exciting challenge, a quick way of getting around the country, or just a novel way to enjoy yourself, a Helicopter Private Pilot Licence could be for you! The licence allows you to fly helicopters privately with friends and family as passengers. It is also the first step to becoming a commercial helicopter pilot.
We train our students for an EASA Private Pilot Licence, accredited by the European Aviation Safety Agency and the UK Civil Aviation Authority. Our flight training is done on our Robinson R22 or Cabri G2 helicopters and then you can convert onto one of our other helicopters, listed on our type ratings page. After flying 100 hours after you initial licence issue, you can add a night rating to your licence too.
To keep your Private Pilot Licence current, you must fly at least two hours per year and pass a proficiency check with one of our examiners. This applies to each type of helicopter you wish to fly (with a few exceptions on grouped aircraft).
Private Pilot Licence Requirements
You must be at least 16 before completing your first solo flight and at least 17 by the time you apply for your licence. You will also require a Class II medical from an authorised Aero Medical Examiner. There is one available on-site at Wycombe Air Park, otherwise check here for local AMEs. You must also have a sufficient grasp of English to be assessed as “Level 6” by one of our examiners.
The course consists of a minimum of 45 hours of helicopter flight training. This can be reduced to 39 hours if you hold a PPL(Aeroplanes) with at least 60 hours of Pilot in Command time.
This includes 10 hours of solo flying, of which at least 5 must be solo navigation. You will also complete a qualifying solo cross-country flight, covering at least 100 nautical miles and landing at two airfields before returning to the home base.
There are 9 theoretical knowledge examinations to pass as well, covering the topics:
- Air Law
- Aircraft General Knowledge
- Flight Performance and Planning
- Human Performance
- Operational Procedures
- Principles of Flight
Each of the examinations are multiple choice papers with a pass mark of 75% and there is also a Radiotelephony practical exam to be completed with one of our internal examiners. We encourage self-study but tuition is available from our instructors on request.
Finally, a skills test must be undertaken with one of our examiners to demonstrate your competency as a pilot and navigator. After passing the test and sending the paperwork off to the Civil Aviation Authority, you will hold your very own Private Pilot Licence for helicopters!