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Private Pilot Course 

Details of the Flying Exercises and Theoretical Instruction needed for your Private Pilots License

Helicopter Flight Training Exercises – The Flying


During your flight training, you will complete the following 30 Exercises. These will teach you all of the skills required to safely pilot the Helicopter. Prior to each flight your Instructor will give you a detailed briefing of the Exercise to be flown.


  • Familiarisation with the aircraft (Ground briefs only)

  • Preparation for action and after flight (Ground briefs only)

  • Air Experience – your first flight

  • The effects of the controls in flight

  • Attitude, speed and power changes

  • Straight and Level Flight

  • Climbing

  • Descending

  • Turning

  • Auto rotations – “Helicopter gliding”

  • Hovering

  • Take off and landing from the ground

  • Take off and landing from the hover into forward flight

  • Circuits – basic airfield traffic procedures in the air and Emergency Procedures

  • First solo flight

  • Hovering sideways and backwards

  • Turning on the spot

  • Vortex ring – the helicopter “Stall”

  • Auto rotation landings

  • Auto rotations at different speeds

  • Auto rotations to a specific “Field”

  • Steep turns

  • Precision hovering

  • Quick stops

  • Pilot navigation

  • Take off and landing downwind

  • Take off and landing on sloping ground

  • Limited power operations

  • Confined area operations (back gardens etc.)

  • Instrument Flying

Helicopter Theoretical Knowledge and Ground School


There are nine written tests to pass as well as a Skills Test before your PPL (H) can be issued. Our own CAA examiners conduct all tests here at Shobdon. The tests are multiple choice consisting of 120 questions over all nine tests.


Air Law and Operational Procedures

This subject covers all the legal requirements for flying in the United Kingdom and Europe, the rules of the air and safety procedures, or more affectionately called the ‘flyway code’!

DID YOU KNOW: If you are overtaking an aircraft in flight or on the ground, you do so on either side!


Aircraft General Knowledge and Principles of Flight

Understanding of the mechanics of the helicopter (how and why it flies).

DID YOU KNOW: On a Robinson R22's rotor blade root, there is approximately 4 TONS of outward force as a result of centrifugal force!



The art of planning a route and arriving at your destination safely.

DID YOU KNOW: The planet Earth is an ‘oblate spheroid’, meaning it is not perfectly round like a ball!



This covers basic principles of weather, and introduces you to all the information available for pre flight planning.

DID YOU KNOW: On an ‘average’ day one cubic metre of air around you weighs 1.225 kg!


Flight Performance and Planning

The loading of the aircraft and its performance relative to the conditions of the day.

DID YOU KNOW: It is illegal to run out of fuel in an aircraft!


Human Performance and Limitations

Knowing your own physical limits and restrictions with relation to flying.

DID YOU KNOW: If you dehydrate by just 2% it will cause a 20% drop in concentration!


Radio Telephony Communication

How to communicate with Air Traffic Control and other services using the aircraft radio. This consists of a practical and written test.

Example - "GOLF BRAVO WHISKEY VICTOR HOTEL, R44, 3 POB, from Shobdon to Wellesbourne, currently 5 miles west of Stratford, 1,500ft on QNH 1024, requesting joining instructions"



Having completed all of the above, your flying skills will be such that you can take the Skill Test with one of our own resident CAA examiners. After passing, you can then hire the aircraft from us and fly to wherever that may be with your family and friends!

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