Flying School

Private Pilots Licence PPL(H)

Learning to fly helicopters will be one of the most rewarding and satisfying experiences ever. It will become addictive, rewarding, challenging and fun. It is not difficult, but it does take some getting used to, as you will be learning a new skill like learning to ride a bike. You will probably feel frustrated at some point in the course; at other times you will be on cloud nine with what you have achieved. You will almost certainly enjoy the flying the most, but do not neglect the ground school which is there to give you essential knowledge.

The first step in learning to fly is known as the Helicopter Private Pilots Licence, otherwise know as the PPL (H). It is the basic licence that allows a person to fly helicopters for his or her own pleasure.

The Course is set out by the CAA (Civil Aviation Authority) as a minimum training course to which all training schools must adhere. This is now becoming the same licence throughout Europe so you may use it equally in other countries. The requirements are:

• Minimum age of 17 to fly solo (no minimum age to start training)

• Min 45 hours instruction of which 10 must be solo

• Pass 7 written exams

• Obtain a Class 2 medical

• Pass a Radio practical exam

• Pass a flight test

The 45 hours should be viewed as a minimum requirement and the hours required will vary from individual to individual.

Flight Training

You can learn to fly in whichever aircraft you choose. Different aircraft have different characteristics and we offer training on four different types, the R44, Enstrom (piston series), Enstrom 480 and the Bell 206. You can see more on these aircraft on our gallery page. Our lessons are normally offered in two hour sessions, entirely flexible around your lifestyle. The courses are not fixed and you can choose to dothree lessons a day or one a month. Each lesson includes one hour of flying and one hour pre- and post-flight briefing. The aim of the pre-flight briefing is to ensure that you know in detail the flying exercise before you fly so that there is a greater understanding of the flight to be conducted. The post-flight briefing gives you the opportunity to discuss the exercises you have just performed, which are very important, with your instructor. At Shoreham Helicopters we prefer you to train with one instructor and will not change that unless agreed with you or you don’t mind training with others.


Ground School

You will need to learn some technicalities of helicopter flying in order to be a safe and competent pilot. There are also seven subjects to cover each with a written exam.

• Aviation Law

• Human Performance and Limitations

• Navigation

• Meteorology

• Aircraft (General and Type)

• Flight Performance

• Radio Communication

This is not as daunting as it may sound as aviation is one subject simply divided into several topics. The exams are multiple choice so they give you the questions andfour answers to choose from. The pass mark is 75% and the papers are done in-house and will be given to you by your instructor when you are ready. For PPL we tend to tackle the subjects one at a time, moving onto the next once one is done. You must have passed Air Law before going solo and should have passed both Meteorology and Navigation before you complete your Cross Country qualifier. In most cases, the subjects are directly relevant to your flying so most students find them of interest.

In addition you will take a Radio Telephony Practical test which gives you a licence entitling you to talk on the aviation air waves to Air Traffic Control Services.

Don’t be too put off by the learning. Remember this will be your hobby and we will help you through a programme of guided study recommending which books to buy and discuss the topics with you. The syllabus is generally straightforward.

Contact Information

  • Telephone
+44 (0) 7739403247
  • Address
Shoreham Helicopters Limited
Highdown House
Shoreham Airport
West Sussex
BN43 5FF

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