Pilot's Licences

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Private Pilot's Licence

You yearn for the sky. The CAA Private Pilot's Licence (PPL), a structured helicopter training course of 27 exercises, allows you to do this. Upon completion, you can take friends and family up for private flights.

For once you have tasted flight you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards, for there you have been and there you will long to return.

Leonardo Da Vinci

Your instructor guides you through the training, from hovering to landing off airfield, dealing with emergencies and flying with only the air powering the rotors.

During the training, you have to complete a set of 7 ground exams and each flight is preceded with a briefing, covering the fundamental airmanship and aerodynamics behind the flight.

Through the course of training, you will reach certain milestones; the first time you hover, first solo (an experience you will never forget), solo qualifying cross country and the final skills test!

Pre-Licence Requirements

Whilst you can legally start training towards your PPL at any age, the CAA requires you to be at least 14 years of age to count your experience towards it, 16 to first solo and 17 before the licence is issued. Additionally, you will need to hold a class 2 medical to be granted issue of the licence, so if you have any serious medical history, it's best to check with your doctor first.

The PPL(H) requirements:

  • Class 2 Medical
  • Pass 7 ground exams (within a period of 18 months)
  • Log a minimum of 45 hours on one type of helicopter
  • 25 hours of dual instruction
  • 10 hours of solo time, of which 5 should be cross country
  • Solo Qualifying Cross Country (QCC) - total route distance of at least 100 nautical miles, with landings at 3 different airfields
  • 5 hours of instrument instruction
  • Pass a Radio Telephony (R/T) test
  • Skills test with a CAA Examiner (only after completing all the exercises and within 6 months of completing your instruction)

Your training is tailored to suit you. Whether you are available on weekdays, only weekends, or want to have a full day of lessons, it will work around you!

What's next?

With your licence you can hire an aircraft with passengers and fly it anywhere within Europe, the only limit is your imagination.

You can further develop your skills with additional aircraft ratings, flying over London, completing a commercial licence, or spreading the helicopter 'bug' with a flight instructor rating!

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Commercial Pilot's Licence

The Modular Commercial training course for those pilots wanting to become a Commercial Helicopter Pilot.

The CPL is a professionally recognised licence that allows you to be paid to fly helicopters, and is a vital requirement if you intend to make aviation your career.

The course provides training for PPL(H) pilots who have completed the theoretical requirements (see below).

An applicant for a JAR CPL(H) must have completed a minimum of 185 hours of flight time that must include:

  • 50 hours as P1
  • 10 hours of cross country flight time as P1, including one cross country flight of at least 100nm and involving 2 full-stop landings at two different airfields
  • 10 hours of instrument dual instruction time
  • 5 hours night flying (for applicants who do not already hold a night rating) comprising of at least 3 hours dual instruction, including 1 hour of dual cross country navigation and 5 solo takeoffs and full-stop landings, each to include one full circuit
  • Pass a CPL(H) skills test with a CAA authorised examiner

Pre-Course Requirements

Before commencing commercial training the following must be achieved:

  • 155 hours flight time as pilot of helicopters - 50 hours P1, 10 hours must be cross country
  • CPL/ATPL Theoretical Knowledge - Air Law, Aircraft General Knowledge, Flight Performance and Planning, Human Performance and Limitations, Meteorology, Navigation, Operational Procedures, Principles of Flight and VFR Communications
  • Class 1 CAA Medical

Modular Course:

  • 30 hours flight training, of which 10 are instrument and 5 hours at night
  • 500 hours Theoretical Knowledge - obtain the 9 CPL(H) ground exams or the 13 ATPL(H) ground exams
  • Pass a 170A flight

What's next?

With this licence, you will be able to work in the commercial pilot's capacity, for example:

Charter pilot, offshore work, pipeline surveys, aerial photography, Air Ambulance, SAR.

You can go on and obtain your flight instructor rating, in order to teach fellow students, or master the art of instrument flying.