Private Pilot – Helicopter

The Private Pilot License is for individuals who plan to fly for personal business and/or pleasure and not engage in work for compensation or hire. With your Private Pilot Certificate you are allowed to take family, friends and co-workers on board your aircraft or the aircraft you are renting while acting as Pilot in Command.

privatelicense_03privatelicense_02Happy helicopter student at ROTOR FX

To be eligible for a Private Pilot Certificate, a person must:

  • Be able to read, speak, write, and understand the English language, or have such operating limitations placed on his/her pilot certificate as are necessary for safety
  • Be a US citizen or pass an online TSA security assessment
  • Hold at least a valid third-class medical certificate
  • Ground School (Approx. 10 hours)
  • Obtain a minimum of 40 flight hours:
    • Dual – 20 hours
    • Solo – 10 hours
    • Solo or dual – 10 hours
  • Pass a FAA written, oral, and flight examination

Average course completion time: 4 to 6 weeks with 55-60 hours

Immersion training completion time: 15 to 20 days

 

§61.103   Eligibility requirements: General.

To be eligible for a private pilot certificate, a person must:

(a) Be at least 17 years of age for a rating in other than a glider or balloon.

(b) Be at least 16 years of age for a rating in a glider or balloon.

(c) Be able to read, speak, write, and understand the English language. If the applicant is unable to meet one of these requirements due to medical reasons, then the Administrator may place such operating limitations on that applicant’s pilot certificate as are necessary for the safe operation of the aircraft.

(d) Receive a logbook endorsement from an authorized instructor who:

(1) Conducted the training or reviewed the person’s home study on the aeronautical knowledge areas listed in §61.105(b) of this part that apply to the aircraft rating sought; and

(2) Certified that the person is prepared for the required knowledge test.

(e) Pass the required knowledge test on the aeronautical knowledge areas listed in §61.105(b) of this part.

(f) Receive flight training and a logbook endorsement from an authorized instructor who:

(1) Conducted the training in the areas of operation listed in §61.107(b) of this part that apply to the aircraft rating sought; and

(2) Certified that the person is prepared for the required practical test.

(g) Meet the aeronautical experience requirements of this part that apply to the aircraft rating sought before applying for the practical test.

(h) Pass a practical test on the areas of operation listed in §61.107(b) of this part that apply to the aircraft rating sought.

(i) Comply with the appropriate sections of this part that apply to the aircraft category and class rating sought.

(j) Hold a U.S. student pilot certificate, sport pilot certificate, or recreational pilot certificate.

 

§61.105   Aeronautical knowledge.

(a) General. A person who is applying for a private pilot certificate must receive and log ground training from an authorized instructor or complete a home-study course on the aeronautical knowledge areas of paragraph (b) of this section that apply to the aircraft category and class rating sought.

(b) Aeronautical knowledge areas. (1) Applicable Federal Aviation Regulations of this chapter that relate to private pilot privileges, limitations, and flight operations;

(2) Accident reporting requirements of the National Transportation Safety Board;

(3) Use of the applicable portions of the “Aeronautical Information Manual” and FAA advisory circulars;

(4) Use of aeronautical charts for VFR navigation using pilotage, dead reckoning, and navigation systems;

(5) Radio communication procedures;

(6) Recognition of critical weather situations from the ground and in flight, windshear avoidance, and the procurement and use of aeronautical weather reports and forecasts;

(7) Safe and efficient operation of aircraft, including collision avoidance, and recognition and avoidance of wake turbulence;

(8) Effects of density altitude on takeoff and climb performance;

(9) Weight and balance computations;

(10) Principles of aerodynamics, powerplants, and aircraft systems;

(11) Stall awareness, spin entry, spins, and spin recovery techniques for the airplane and glider category ratings;

(12) Aeronautical decision making and judgment; and

(13) Preflight action that includes—

(i) How to obtain information on runway lengths at airports of intended use, data on takeoff and landing distances, weather reports and forecasts, and fuel requirements; and

(ii) How to plan for alternatives if the planned flight cannot be completed or delays are encountered.

 

§61.107   Flight proficiency.

(a) General. A person who applies for a private pilot certificate must receive and log ground and flight training from an authorized instructor on the areas of operation of this section that apply to the aircraft category and class rating sought.

(b) Areas of operation. (1) For an airplane category rating with a single-engine class rating:

(i) Preflight preparation;

(ii) Preflight procedures;

(iii) Airport and seaplane base operations;

(iv) Takeoffs, landings, and go-arounds;

(v) Performance maneuvers;

(vi) Ground reference maneuvers;

(vii) Navigation;

(viii) Slow flight and stalls;

(ix) Basic instrument maneuvers;

(x) Emergency operations;

(xi) Night operations, except as provided in §61.110 of this part; and

(xii) Postflight procedures.

 

(3) For a rotorcraft category rating with a helicopter class rating:

(i) Preflight preparation;

(ii) Preflight procedures;

(iii) Airport and heliport operations;

(iv) Hovering maneuvers;

(v) Takeoffs, landings, and go-arounds;

(vi) Performance maneuvers;

(vii) Navigation;

(viii) Emergency operations;

(ix) Night operations, except as provided in §61.110 of this part; and

(x) Postflight procedures.

 

§61.109   Aeronautical experience.

(c) For a helicopter rating. Except as provided in paragraph (k) of this section, a person who applies for a private pilot certificate with rotorcraft category and helicopter class rating must log at least 40 hours of flight time that includes at least 20 hours of flight training from an authorized instructor and 10 hours of solo flight training in the areas of operation listed in §61.107(b)(3) of this part, and the training must include at least—

(1) 3 hours of cross-country flight training in a helicopter;

(2) Except as provided in §61.110 of this part, 3 hours of night flight training in a helicopter that includes—

(i) One cross-country flight of over 50 nautical miles total distance; and

(ii) 10 takeoffs and 10 landings to a full stop (with each landing involving a flight in the traffic pattern) at an airport.

(3) 3 hours of flight training with an authorized instructor in a helicopter in preparation for the practical test, which must have been performed within the preceding 2 calendar months from the month of the test; and

(4) 10 hours of solo flight time in a helicopter, consisting of at least—

(i) 3 hours cross-country time;

(ii) One solo cross country flight of 100 nautical miles total distance, with landings at three points, and one segment of the flight being a straight-line distance of more than 25 nautical miles between the takeoff and landing locations; and

(iii) Three takeoffs and three landings to a full stop (with each landing involving a flight in the traffic pattern) at an airport with an operating control tower.

 

§61.113   Private pilot privileges and limitations: Pilot in command.

(a) Except as provided in paragraphs (b) through (h) of this section, no person who holds a private pilot certificate may act as pilot in command of an aircraft that is carrying passengers or property for compensation or hire; nor may that person, for compensation or hire, act as pilot in command of an aircraft.

(b) A private pilot may, for compensation or hire, act as pilot in command of an aircraft in connection with any business or employment if:

(1) The flight is only incidental to that business or employment; and

(2) The aircraft does not carry passengers or property for compensation or hire.

(c) A private pilot may not pay less than the pro rata share of the operating expenses of a flight with passengers, provided the expenses involve only fuel, oil, airport expenditures, or rental fees.

(d) A private pilot may act as pilot in command of a charitable, nonprofit, or community event flight described in §91.146, if the sponsor and pilot comply with the requirements of §91.146.

(e) A private pilot may be reimbursed for aircraft operating expenses that are directly related to search and location operations, provided the expenses involve only fuel, oil, airport expenditures, or rental fees, and the operation is sanctioned and under the direction and control of:

(1) A local, State, or Federal agency; or

(2) An organization that conducts search and location operations.

(f) A private pilot who is an aircraft salesman and who has at least 200 hours of logged flight time may demonstrate an aircraft in flight to a prospective buyer.