FAQ – PPL(H)

ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW FOR YOUR FUTURE PILOTS LICENCE 

Do you offer Trial Lesson?

Yes, we do and we highly recommend it as your first step during the decision making process. During the trial lesson, you will not only get an idea of how it feels to control a helicopter in real life, but you will also meet your future instructor, get to know your school’s facilities and get a chance to ask all the questions that you may have. This first personal impression is very important since you will spend quite a lot of time in the small environment of a cockpit with your instructor, and around our school.

Do I need an advanced English language level to train with you?

Not at all. Our main instructor is a Swiss native so you can train in either German or French with him. But of course, you can do your training in English or Spanish as well.

Do I need any special talents to fly a helicopter?

No, but as with every new activity that requires a certain level of concentration and coordination, it would be a lie to say everyone learns at the same speed. Some students may have practised some activities before, that may help to learn faster, but on the other hand, the helicopter training and learning to fly is quite a diverse training.

You will develop a variety of different new skills which combined to the full skill set, are required to fly a helicopter on your own. Sometimes students are more talented in some parts of the training, but at the same time take longer on other parts.

As an average we can state that everyone can learn to fly; independent of age, prior knowledge or state of mind and that the training is an adventure for everyone individually. Every student will grow not just as a future pilot but even its personality. As part of the process of learning to fly on your own, you will develop new levels of self-confidence as well.

How many Hours does the PPL(H) Licence include?

According to EASA (European Aviation Safety Association), the minimum requirement is 45 Hours. Since “Safety First” is the most important parameter for any serious flight school most students will take a little longer to meet our standards required to pass the final test. It is difficult to mention an average because the individual learning curve varies from student to student. Though it is fair to say that most students reach our high standards in roughly 50-60 hours.

I already have a PPL(A) Licence for fixed wings - how many hours will I need?

In this case, the minimum hours are reduced from 45 hours to 40 hours and you only have to pass 5 written exams. Other than that the structure of the course and what we offer you is basically the same as for non-pilots. However, since every course is adjusted to your individual needs some parts will be completed in much faster steps, as you are already familiar with air rules.

For example, we don’t have to explain to you how to fly a circuit pattern, or how to speak on the Radio or how to prepare your navigation chart. But like every other student, you will have to learn how to hover and develop the general handling skills all the way to the helicopter specific emergency landing skills.

Is there a minimum age limit?

You can start as early as 15, but the minimum age requirement for a PPL (H) holder is 17 years of age. You can not fly solo or pass your general skill test until your 17th birthday.

What are the medical requirements?

You may start the course without holding a medical but before you fly solo you must pass a medical test (CLASS 2) which must be conducted by a doctor approved by the aviation authorities. You can have it done in your home or directly here in Palma de Mallorca.

Why is there a Medical CLASS 1 and CLASS 2? What is the difference?

In general, it is worth to mention that for a PPL(H) Licence you only need a medical CLASS 2 whereas for a CPL(H) you need the more restrictive medical CLASS 1. 

One major difference is the colour blindness test. If you struggle to distinguish red and green you may be colour blind and will not comply with the medical CLASS 1 requirements. If you consider heading for a CPL(H) Licence we strongly advise you to pass a Medical Class 1 Test right at the beginning of your training, to avoid later disappointment.

I wear Glasses. Is that a problem?

No, in civil aviation the majority of pilots above 45 years wear glasses. In within certain limits, glasses are not a problem. There are special rules in regards to colour blindness though, see the question above difference medical CLASS 1 and CLASS 2.

Do I have to pass a flight test after completing the course?

Yes, you will have to pass a general skill test with an examiner to become a private pilot.

Where is the final test conducted?

Your final test will be conducted here in Mallorca with our examiner.

What am I allowed to do resp. fly with my PPL(H) Licence?

You can fly alone and take your family & friends along. For that purpose, you are allowed to share the costs with them. But you are not allowed to fly with paying clients. That means once you don’t pay any more or even earn money with your flying you need a CPL(H) Licence, (Commercial Pilot’s Licence). Same is true if you want to get hired as a pilot to fly for a company.

What is the difference between PPL(H) and CPL(H)?

Basically every pilot’s career starts with a Private Pilot’s Licence PPL(H). Afterwards, you can proceed and continue your training towards a Commercial Pilots Licence CPL(H). In this case, you would first collect more experience as “Pilot in Command” (PIC) during the so-called HOURS BUILDING. Then you have to pass additional theoretical exams and conduct your CPL(H) Course.

Do you offer briefings before the flight lessons?

We consider a detailed briefing before each flight, as well as a detailed de-briefing after each flight. We consider this as an ABSOLUTE MUST. We pride ourselves with our comprehensive briefings which are INCLUDED in the price, not at extra cost. We consider them mandatory and important for prosperous and efficient learning progress.

How will my course be structured?

Considering the good flying weather in Mallorca during the winter season (October until May), it allows us to train every day. Therefore we can offer you A) Full-on 7 days a week training or B) Few days every other week. Besides the diverse Mediterranean location with one of the best weather conditions of Europe, we offer you a completely measure-tailored training, according to your needs and your availability. The training will be adapted to your time and your learning progress. This way the course can be completed in as little as 3-4 weeks or more relaxed over the course of 4-8 visits on the Island.

What about written theoretical exams?

You have to finalize 9 written exams within 18 months from the start of your first exam. We will provide you with all the books you’ll need (included in your training price) and help you to prepare for the exams.

The exams include topics such as 1. Human Performance, 2. Aviation Law, 3. Navigation, 4. Meteorology, 5. Principles of Flight, 6. Flight Planning & Performance, 7. Aircraft General Knowledge, 8. Operational Procedures and 9. Communications resp.Radio Telephony (R/T).

What are the topics I have to study for the written theoretical Exams?

Human Performance – Introducing you to the physiological aspects of flying, the dangers of alcohol and medication, flying with colds etc.

Aviation Law – Flying ́s equivalent to the Highway Code

Meteorology – Learning what the weather will do and how it will affect your flying

** Navigation – Understanding the techniques involved

** Principles of Flight – A better understanding of the aerodynamics of flight

** Flight Planning & Performance – preparing for your cross country flight

** Aircraft General – General aviation principles and knowledge of how the aircraft works.

** Operational Procedures – How to really plan using your machine

Communications – Learning how to use the radio correctly

Radio Telephony (R/T) – Learn how to speak proper!!

** NOTE: If you hold a PPL(A) licence you only have to pass the Exams marked with **

Do you offer briefings before the flight lessons?

We consider a detailed briefing before each flight, as well as a detailed de-briefing after each flight. We consider this as an ABSOLUTE MUST. We pride ourselves with our comprehensive briefings which are INCLUDED in the price, not at extra cost. We consider them mandatory and important for prosperous and efficient learning progress.

You offer training in ROBINSON R22 and R44. What do you recommend?

In general, we don’t recommend but advise you to fly both machines in the first few hours of your training before you make a final decision.

The machines are both identical in regards to design (cockpit layout etc.) but pretty different concerning power available and general handling. One could generalise and say the R22 feels a bit like a Go-Kart whereas the R44 is more like a Limousine. 

After only a few hours you will know which one you prefer. For a PPL(H) you need a minimum of 45 hours and 40 hours must be flown on the type of helicopter you take the final test with.

What do I need if I want to fly another type of helicopter after passing my PPL(H)?

Every Helicopter is considered a so-called “TYPE”. So what you need is an additional TYPE RATING which is acquired by passing a 5-hour type conversion. During the conversion course, you will learn all the details different to the TYPE of that machine and safely pass a flight test in the end. The Type Rating will be written down in your Licence and has to be renewed every year. Both R22 and RR44 are considered a different type.

Once I have my Licence, can I rent a helicopter?

Yes, once you have your Licence you will be considered a so-called Self-Fly-Hire (SFH) Pilot. There are various helicopter companies and schools around the globe that offer SFH helicopters. Some of them might ask you to pass a quick check ride before they hand you over their machine.

Will I be able to land in my garden or at some other fancy places?

Generally speaking YES, but of course within the limits of the law and physical power limits of the helicopter. Once you SFH you can land at any civil airfield and in anybody’s field or private garden, e.g. hotel, restaurant, golf course etc., provided you have the owner’s permission. You will go through all of this detailed information in your training.  

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