Helicopter Flight School

Helicopter PPL(H)

VVB Aviation Helicopter CPL

TrainingGaining your Helicopter Private Pilots Licence PPL(H) is a fantastic achievement and although at times challenging, a rewarding experience that will allow you the freedom to take to the skies.

PA28 Cherokee - LandedThe PPL(H) is the foundation for all your future flying, whether that be for purely recreational, private ownership or commercial purposes. It is the basic qualification that all helicopter pilots achieve first and it opens up the world of helicopter flying to you. The PPL(H) is a qualification recognised in most countries throughout the world (usually with some paperwork formalities). As a PPL(H) holder the sky really is the limit!

Training begins ensuring you can safely perform all the basic flight manoeuvres and procedures. You will learn and practice take offs, landings, circuits, and radio work whilst building your confidence to your first solo. Between solo flights you will fly with your instructor who will introduce you to the advanced manoeuvres and the principles of cross-country navigation. In the final stages your instructor assists in refining your skills in preparation for the practical examination.

There is no maximum age, but you must be 14 before any flying experience can count towards obtaining a licence, 16 before going solo and 17 before you can apply for your licence.

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Requirements & Course Duration

  • A minimum of 45 hours of flying training must be completed. For holders of a PPL(A) this is reduced to a minimum of 36 hours. Most students will complete their training in approximately 60 hours.
  • At least 10 hours must be flown solo and 5 hours instrument flying.

  • Written Examination & Subjects

  • There are seven written ground examinations with multiple choice answers, and one radio practical exam. These can be passed easily with self-study and assistance from the flying instructor. The subjects are:

  • Aviation Law
  • Navigation
  • Meteorology
  • Human Performance
  • Radio-Telephony
  • Helicopter Technical
  • Flight Performance & Planning

  • You must pass Aviation Law before flying solo and Navigation and Meteorology before the qualifying solo cross-country flight. We therefore recommend you study for the ground exams in conjunction with your flying training. Extra ground school on any subject is available from our instructors; this must be booked and paid for in addition to your PPL course. Please ask for more details.

  • Practical Examination

  • The Skill Test - On completion of your flying you will take a Skill Test at VVB Aviation. Your flying at this stage will be to a standard to enable you to demonstrate to the Examiner that you can fly safely and competently. The Skill Test consists of flying the manoeuvres and demonstrating the techniques that you have learnt throughout the PPL(H) course.
  • Once you have achieved your license you will need to fly just two hours per type, which includes a brief test, per year in order stay current.
  • expandCourse Structure
  • How often should I fly? - How frequently you choose to have your lessons is up to you, but experience tells us that continuity tends to help with progression.

  • The choice of whether the course is conducted on a full or part-time basis is yours. - A part-time course could, due to the lack of continuity, result in you needing more flying hours before your flight test. If you choose a full-time course then for instance a PPL could be completed in approximately three to four weeks, weather permitting. We find that a mixture of the two, involving an intensive week or two within a part-time course, often works well.

  • Lesson periods - Lessons are normally scheduled in two hour slots, which include flying, pre and post flight briefings and start-up and shut-down procedures. VVB Aviation is open 7 days a week, so if the working week is not suitable, the weekend could be. During the summer months we are open till late.

  • All flying is subject to current conditions. - If it is unsuitable, we will contact you immediately to re-schedule your flying schedule. We would ask that you please let us know at least 48 hours in advance if you need to cancel an appointment.
  • expandMedical Requirements


  • You do not need a medical to begin your flight training. Your instructor will advise you when you need to get a medical, however, before flying solo, you must possess a Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) Class II medical certificate.
  • Provided you are in good health, this should be nothing for you to worry about a Class II medical can be obtained locally from an Authorised Medical Examiner (AME).

  • A list of approved AMEs is available from VVB Aviation. If you intend to make a career from helicopter flying, it may be advisable to obtain a Class I medical at this stage. Feel free to call us and make that booking at any time on 020 8953 0584 and give that special someone an experience they will always remember.
    We look forward to taking your call.

    expandLesson Plan

    Stage 1

  • Lesson 1 - Familiarisation with the helicopter
  • Lesson 2 - Preparation [before] and action after flight.
  • Lesson 3 - Air Experience
  • Lesson 4 - Effects Of Controls - Identify the effects of controls in forward flight, Cyclic, Pedals, Throttle governor Carb Heat using visual references for changes in height attitude and speed.
  • Lesson 5 - Power and Attitude Changes - Methods to change Power and Speed, identifying counter control inputs to counter secondary effects.
  • Lesson 6 - Level Flight, climbing and descending and turning - Precision flying techniques for Straight Level flight, Climb Decent + Turns Speed changes maintaining Straight and Level Flight.
  • Lesson 7 - Autorotations - How to use updraft through the rotor to turn the blades instead of the engine.
  • Lesson 8 - Hovering and Hover Taxying - Identify affect of controls in hover using visual references to hover by holding a position relative to the ground by countering factors that effect the hover.
  • Lesson 9 - Take Off And Landing
  • Lesson 10 - Transitions from hover to climb and approach to hover - Teach How To Achieve A Transition From A Hover To A Climb, and From A Descent To The Hove

  • Stage 2

  • Lesson 11 - Circuits and Emergencies
  • Lesson 12 - First Solo
  • Lesson 13 - Sideways And Backwards hover manoeuvring
  • Lesson 14 - Spot Turns - How to turn through 360° whilst maintaining a constant position and height.
  • Lesson 15 - Hover Out Of Ground Effect and Vortex Ring - Recognise the symptoms of Vortex Ring and how to recover.
  • Lesson 16 - Simulated Engine Off Landings - Teach the correct technique for making a safe autrotative landing without the use of engine power.
  • Lesson 17 - Advanced Autorotations - Teach how changes of airspeed, RRPM and turns in autorotation can vary the distance over the ground.
  • Lesson 18 - Practice Forced Landings - Teach how to make an autorotative approach to selected landing area but recovering @ 700'.
  • Lesson 19 - Steep Turns
  • Lesson 20 - Transitions

  • Stage 3

  • Lesson 21 - Quick Stops -Teach how to come rapidly to the hover into wind from cruising speed at low altitude.
  • Lesson 22 - Navigation
  • Lesson 23 - Advanced Take Offs, Landings and Transitions - Teach taking off (Cushion Creep Towering), Landings and transitions out of wind.
  • Lesson 24 - Sloping Ground - Teach correct method for taking off and landing on sloping or uneven ground.
  • Lesson 25 - Limited Power - Teach how to approach to the hover, land, take-off and climb away when power is limited.
  • Lesson 26 - Confined Areas
  • Lesson 27 - Basic Instrument Flying.
  • expandPayment Schemes & Cost
    We have several convenient ways for you to pay for your flight training. Our payment scheme works by placing money on your account in advance.

    We have a price banding system A & B as below:
    • A Band is retail pay as you fly.
    • B Band is a £ 10.00 per hr discount to be eligible for this you must place £3000.00 on your account.

    As an example these are the approximate costs of obtaining a PPL license on the Robinson R22 based on two different methods of payment.
    (Full details are set out on our price list. CLICKING HERE )

    The cost of the Minimum 45 hours required is:
    • "A" Band method, pay as you fly £ 11,250
    • "B" Band payment method £ 10,800

    The above costs include instructor, pre and post flight briefings. They do not include landing or airfield detail fees at Southend Airport, extra flying hours (if required), extra ground school (if required), books, maps, your Skills Test and ground exams, or your CAA licence fees or VAT.
    All of the necessary books, maps and equipment can be purchased from VVB Aviation that are required for the ground school and navigation exercises.

    Please note: Pre-paid flying hours are non-refundable.

    Feel free to call us and make that booking at any time on 020 8953 0584 and give that special someone an experience they will always remember.
    We look forward to taking your call.