The private rotorcraft license is the first step to an exciting hobby or career. The private license will allow you to fly for fun, take friends and family for rides, provide yourself with aerial transportation, and/or build flight time for future ratings
During the process of achieving your private license, you will receive both flight and ground instruction in multiple areas from meteorology to the operations of helicopter systems. You will start out in the cockpit from day one getting hands-on practical experience which coincides with your ground training
Your first major milestone in flight training is your inaugural solo flight. This experience will always be a cherished memory when looking back on your training. In preparation for your solo flight, you will become competent performing maneuvers such as hovering and normal airport operations as well as various emergency procedures. Once you solo, you will move onto more advanced lessons covering areas such as night flight, cross country flights, and landing away from airports
During the final stage of training, you will sharpen and polish your practical skills and knowledge in preparation for your private pilot checkride (oral and flight test). It is on the successful completion of both the written and practical examination, you will be issued a private pilot rotorcraft helicopter license
The FAA requires a person seeking a private pilot rotorcraft helicopter license to have 40 hours of flight time but the national average for completion of the private pilot rotorcraft-helicopter license is in between 50-60 flight hours. The reason is flying a helicopter requires a great deal of hand-eye coordination and multitasking skills which can take time for some to learn.
What do you need to get a private pilot license?
- Be at least 17 years of age.
- Read, speak, and understand English.
- Obtain at least a 3rd Class Medical Certificate.
- Receive 30 hours dual instruction in a helicopter.
- Fly 10 hours solo in the helicopter including 3 hours cross-country.
- Take the written FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) Private Pilot Rotorcraft-Helicopter Test.
- Complete your final exam, called a “check ride” which includes an oral and practical (flight) test administered by an FAA-Certified Examiner.