Private Pilot Licence

Private Pilot Licence (H)

The Private Helicopter Licence is an exhilarating course which trains you to become the pilot in command of a helicopter. Once you have achieved your PPL, you are free to pilot helicopters for recreational purposes. The only limitation to a PPL is that you are not yet qualified to fly for financial reward. If your goal is to make helicopter flying your career, then you will need to continue on to the Commercial pilots licence.

The PPL course consists of 50 hours of flying training which is mostly done on the Robinson R22 helicopter.  Of the 50 hours flying, at least 15 hours have to be solo.  Training to be a helicopter pilot is challenging, yet extremely satisfying. The team at HPTC will give you all the support you need to excel at every aspect of helicopter flying.

In addition to the practical flying hours, the student is required to attend ground school lectures and pass 8 theoretical examinations. The Private Pilot licence training is undertaken at our home base at Port Elizabeth International Airport, providing excellent exposure to air traffic control procedures, an essential part of becoming a competent helicopter pilot. A large amount of the training is done at our GFA, which is situated less than 10 minutes from base, allowing for maximum training time per lesson.

Students may start as young as 14 years old, however Students can only go solo at 16 years of age, and need to be 17 to obtain a PPL (H). There is no upper age limit to helicopter flying. Student pilots will be provided with a full pilot kit containing all the books and equipment necessary to complete the course and this is yours to keep.

Students can book flight times (from 6am to 10pm) to suit their availability, wether full time or part time candidates. Full time candidates can expect to spend 6-7 hours a day at the flight school, while part time students can budget on spending 2-3 hours as the school per lesson.

You have to pass 8 exams during the course of your training. In house lectures are provided for all of the subjects. If a candidate is not successful on their first written exam attempt, they will be allowed to retake the exams as many times as they need to, after a 7 day period between exam attempts.  No previous matric subjects are needed to become a helicopter pilot, as all the theoretical classes are taught in detail to each student.

  • Air Law
  • Helicopter Principles of Flight
  • Meteorology
  • Helicopter Flight Planning
  • Human Performance
  • Navigation
  • Helicopter General (covering engines, airframes and instruments)
  • Radiotelephony

All the above are CAA on-line, multiple choice examinations. The pass mark for all subjects is 75%.  All examinations have to be passed at stages as advised during your course and have to be completed before you are recommended for your final flight tests. Please note that not all students are ready to undertake the final flight tests after the minimum required 50 hours. The good news is that any additional training is credited towards your total time for the commercial licence.