There is simply no better environment to learn to fly than the enviable rural setting of Leeds East Airport.
We teach in the Robinson R44. The most popular helicopter worldwide without a shadow of a doubt. So why learn in anything else? All our aircraft are cared for to the highest standards in helicopter maintenance.
We did away with shirts and ties, it just isn’t us – but this doesn’t mean we don’t take what we do seriously. It just means we achieve results in a more informal and relaxed manner.
The Private Pilot’s Helicopter Licence is known as a PPL(H). It is a Civil Aviation Authority approved helicopter training course. The CAA is the regulatory body for aviation in the UK. Regardless of where you choose to learn to fly, the same syllabus must be taught to achieve your objective of becoming a helicopter pilot.
Once completed and passed, your PPL(H) will allow you to pilot a helicopter for your own business or pleasure with friends and family. Your PPL(H) allows you to fly throughout the UK and Europe.
The PPL(H) Overview
- The minimum number of flight hours for the issue of PPL(H) is 45, of which 25 must be dual instruction and 10 solo.
- Of the 10 hours solo flying, five have to be navigational practise including a ‘cross country’ exercise of at least 100 nautical miles. For this part, you will be landing away at two alternative airfields.
- During your 45 hours training you will learn a variety of different air exercises, from the obvious achievements such as learning to hover a helicopter, through to navigation and landing at off airfield landing sites such as hotels and restaurants.
- You will have successfully completed nine multiple-choice theoretical knowledge examinations, plus you will have a radiotelephony licence for using the radio to communicate in flight.
- A Class 2 Medical Certificate will be required before you fly solo. We can help arrange this with a local Medical Examiner.
- Once you have accomplished a competent level of flying, you will gain your PPL(H) after successful examination with our CAA approved examiner.
Of course, this is merely an overview of the basic requirements. There are so many amazing experiences to be had if you become a helicopter pilot, either as your new profession or as a whole new means to travel. You will, without doubt, have a great many questions. Our ever-evolving helicopter pilot FAQ can be found below to help cover just some of the questions that prospective helicopter pilots often ask us. However the best way to learn more is to simply give us a call, arrange a convenient time to visit and chat about your ambitions to become a qualified pilot and perhaps even take the first step with a trial lesson.
The New Helicopter Pilot FAQ
Q. Where Will I be Learning?
A. Our home base is Leeds East Airport. A former RAF base, Leeds East is now privately owned and ever evolving. Now the home of an array of businesses, both aviation and non-aviation related, there is always something interesting happening. The airfield is not ‘controlled’ but does have an ‘air-ground’ radio which means pilots can quickly learn the art of the radio talk without the pressure felt at busy international airports.
Q. How Long Will It Take?
A. The minimum number of hours to legally hold a helicopter licence is 45 hours. Some pilots manage to qualify in this time though the majority of pilots take a little longer for a whole variety of reasons.
Everyone is different, with differing demands on their time and varying learning rates. It may well take you a little longer and that doesn’t make you an less of a helicopter pilot.
Think of your new helicopter licence in the same way as your driving licence – You’ve passed a test that enables you to begin an entirely new era of experiences and learning. Your PPL(H) is simply the start, there is so much more to experience and learn. Above all, enjoy the journey.
Q. How Much Will It Cost?
A. Our pricing will vary from time to time depending on fuel pricing. We try to remain as competitive as possible and we won’t change your rate half way through training. This means that what you start to pay will remain the same with no surprises. There are no membership fees and no landing fees so you only pay when you fly, this includes time on the ground for briefing and debriefing.
You can either pay as you go or you can save by going for a prepayment block of 10 hours.
Q. What are the Medical Requirements?
A. You will need a Class 2 Medical Certificate before your first solo flight. If you are generally in good health and there is no reason to suspect you would not pass a medical then it is generally ok to begin training.
There are many locations across Yorkshire to obtain a medical and indeed, your own doctor may well be qualified to do this. We can advise on this if you need assistance.
If you wear prescription glasses or contact lenses, again this is perfectly fine for flying.
Q. What about the Exams?
A. Everyone hates exams. And they can sometimes be the element of learning that new helicopter pilots dread the most. Yet in fact, the nine tests you need to pass for your licence are easily within reach of anyone of average aptitude. You don’t need any special academic qualifications and while the studying may be one of the less exciting parts of flying, it isn’t as difficult as it may seem.
Q. Will I Need Any Other Study Materials?
A. On commencement of training we will advise you the best materials to buy which can be purchased online or on occasion we may have a few in stock. This usually comes in the form of a flight bag containing a book dedicated to each theoretical knowledge subject, a blank logbook, a ruler, protractor, etc. Try and bring these with you each time you are booked in.
The best way to learn more about becoming a helicopter pilot is to get in touch and book a trial lesson. You will experience the unique view from the cockpit of our Robinson R44 helicopters and actually try flying for yourself alongside one of our instructors.
You will, by now, have many questions of your own and choosing the best helicopter training school is an important decision. Feel free to call us on +44 (0) 1937 858 121 or use the contact form below to send us a message and we will get right back to you.