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Private Pilot Helicopter: What are the requirements?

Helicopter private pilot? What is required and what do I need to get started, what do I need to do to get started? I'm Kenny Keller, creator of Helicopter Online Ground School. This is one of our most frequently asked questions that people ask all the time. Well, what do I have to do to get the rating, how do I go about it?

Private Pilot Helicopter: What are the requirements?

What I tell them is, the first thing you want to do is schedule an introductory flight. Most people don't realize that all you have to do is call up your local flight school and get an introductory flight schedule. You don't have to go through any specific training, you don't have to do a bunch of study. Schedule an introductory flight and go out and give it a try.  Call them up, tell them you've never been up, you're interested in learning to fly helicopters, and that you want to go up for an introductory flight. That's how you get started.

                                                Once you get that introductory flight in, if you decide, "Hey, this is something I really want to do. I want to keep going. I want to chase after this dream." Research the flight schools in your area. Depending on where you live you might have several choices or you might have to travel quite a distance to get to a helicopter flight school where you can take lessons. I'd get the introductory flight in first, go check it out see what you think of it. Make sure it's something that you think is going to be as cool as what you think it is because it is. Once you get there and you do it you'll love it, but that will be the next step.

Private Pilot Helicopter: What are the requirements?

                                                Then, if you decide that you're going to continue on, I wouldn't spend a bunch of money right after that, I would get the Rotorcraft Flying Handbook to start with. It's a $15 or $20 book, you can order online at many different places. You just search Helicopter Flying Handbook. You can also download a free PDF copy from They will give you a free copy so you could start kind of learning there. You could also use our Helicopter Online Ground School. I started this March 1, 2012. We have had huge member success. We have people all over the world using our training and it's been pretty awesome. We have people that have used our training prior to going to the flight training, so that you use the ground training to get the knowledge before you go start flying. That's another option for you is you can use our ground school to help learn the information.

                                                Then, once you get a few lessons going you want to get a medical certificate fairly early on, which is basically a flight physical. You have to go do an aviation flight examiner to have this physical. The only reason I say do it fairly early is if you find out you have a problem with vision or some other problem then you have some time to correct that prior to soloing and trying to get the license. Also, in the event you did have some kind of medical problem, it's better to find out before you spend a bunch of money and then be frustrated and upset later because a medical condition is holding you back. It's a good idea to get that medical certificate done pretty early in the training.

                                                Next, the FAA requires a minimum of 40 hours of flight training. This is the minimum. Most people take more like 60-70 hours. Keep in mind that if you get done in 40 great, but in 15 years of doing this I haven't seen very many people get done in 40. I've seen 41, 42 a couple of times but it doesn't happen very often. Don't feel bad because, again, the average person takes 60-70. Just because of time, commitment, school, family, other activities you have going on, it's hard for a person to always get done in 40 hours.

                                                Next, you have to have a minimum of hours. A minimum of that 40 you have to have 20 hours of dual instruction and then you also have to have 10 hours of solo time. Now, if you're an airplane pilot doing an add on you have to have the 20 hours of dual, the 10 hours of solo. If you're coming off the street, you have to have the minimum of the 20 dual, 10 of solo, and that other 10 or more is going to be with your instructor prepping for the check ride. You can always solo more than 10 hours if you like. If time and money permits you could always go more than 10, but that's the minimum.  To get to the private, minimum 20 dual, 10 solo, and the other 10 can be determined as you're going along.

Private Pilot Helicopter: What are the requirements?

                                                Then, next you're going to have to have a pre-solo written test issued by your instructor. You start flying, he's going to get you proficient to take the aircraft out alone and fly those 10 hours. Before he can do that he has to go through the FAR/AIM Manual, which is our regulations. He has to go through and cover a certain amount of things with you, ground and flying-wise, before he can let you go. Once you've completed those items in the FAR/AIM Manual and feels that you're competent and he feels good about your abilities, he can let you go solo.

                                                Then, during this time of doing dual instruction and solo instruction, or solo time, solo flight, you're going to have some cross country requirements, some night flight, dual with your instructor, and maybe a few other things there that your instructor will go through with you and cover these things that you have to have prior to taking the test. There are some requirements that you'll cover during that 40 hour minimum, things that you'll go out and you'll do.

                                                Then at some point before you take the actual practical test to go get the license, you're going to have to take an FAA written test. You must score 70% or higher on that test. Now, you can get different software, there's manuals out there. There's also online software, there's a ton of different things. I recommend ASA, I like ASA materials a lot. I believe now you can get a written test manual to work through manually and then they have, like, five free exams you can use online to test yourself. Then there's another one called that's been around for years. I've actually communicated with the gentleman that runs that and he's planning on keeping that alive for quite some time so you can always test yourself at

                                                Also, the ground knowledge. For the written test you can also use Helicopter Online Ground School, it will help with the written test. There we're back to ground knowledge. Most people struggle with the ground knowledge, not many people struggle with the flying. Know starting out that if you want to save time and money and you want to make your training go better, the more you learn ahead of time before you start flying or the more you learn while you're flying the better off you're going to be.

                                                Most people drag their feet on the study and that, in turn, is going to take more time for you to get your rating and it's going to drag that training out. The more knowledge that you can get the better off you're going to be. Again, Helicopter Online Ground School I recommend. Again, I created it March 1, 2012. I've been helping people all over the world get ready, learn the knowledge. It's just a great way to really prep for the flight lessons and accelerate your training. That's my suggestion there.

Private Pilot Helicopter: What are the requirements?

                                                Then after all the solo and the dual and all the requirements, and the written test is done, then you're going to take what we call the practical test. Right now it's based on the Practical Test Standards. It's going to be moving to what they call the Airman Certification Standards. It's going to be just changing a little bit. Just know that when you go to take the test there's going to be this guideline from the FAA, whether it's the PTS or whether it's moved to the ACS, you're going to have to complete these certain maneuvers and certain knowledge areas to a standard in order to get the license.

                                                The practical test, also known as the Check-Ride, once your instructor deems that you're ready. You've filled all your requirements, you have everything ready, your instructor will make a date with you to meet with either an FAA examiner or an FAA designated examiner. Only difference, one guy works for the FAA, the other guy isn't an FAA employee but is authorized by the FAA to give you the test. That is how you will get the license if you successfully pass that test. During the Check-Ride you have to go in and pass the oral portion of the Check-Ride before you can go out and do the flight.

                                                Many years ago I failed my oral before I went out to fly. Which years later is why I'm doing what I do now, helping people with the ground knowledge that you need because, again, you have to pass the oral first. If you don't have the knowledge you don't even get to go fly. Once you get through of all that and you pass the flight portion that is when you have the time to go and enjoy yourself as a rated helicopter pilot. You will have your license, then you can go out and fly for fun with your friends and your family. You can't do anything for hire. You can't do anything to make money. You can go out and fly by yourself, again, take up friends, take up family, fly to eat, just go joyride and go out, enjoy the license and have fun.

                Hopefully that helps. If you have any questions put them in the comments down below. Please give us a like and share. If you want to learn more about our ground school go to, there should be a link somewhere near this video, up above, below or beside. Click that link and go there or type www.helicopterground in your browser. If you're interested in learning more about online ground school, do it. If you're interested in taking helicopter lessons and you haven't started yet I highly suggest, get a hold of the local flight school or wherever that may be. Call them up and tell them that you want to get started with an introductory flight.

Private Pilot Helicopter: What are the requirements?

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