PPL(H) Requirements

Updated on 3rd March, 2017


Anyone thinking of starting training for the Private Pilots’ Licence (PPL) should be aware that there are some requirements to be met.

  1. There is no minimum age but many schools will have their own minimum age requirements.
  2. The minimum age to go solo for a PPL in Europe is 16 years old.
  3. The minimum age that you can actually obtain your PPL(H) licence in Europe is 17 years old.
  4. Before going solo in Ireland, you must have a Class 1 or a Class 2 medical certificate (issued by approved medical examiners).
  5. Before going solo you must achieve a minimum of Level 4 proficiency in an English language test. (This is required before going solo and there are no exceptions to this rule).
  6. You must pass 9 EASA (multiple choice) ground exams during the course of your training.

A Class 1 medical is required if you intend to become a commercial licence. If you only intend to get a PPL(H), then you only require a Class 2 medical which is much cheaper and a lot easier to get. I would advise anyone thinking of training to get their medical done early as it would be very disappointing to have completed 10 hours flying only to find out that you have a medical problem that would prevent you from completing your training.

The PPL(H) syllabus states that you must fly a minimum of 45 hours before doing your flight test. Realistically, you will require 55 to 65 hours training (some people require more – some require less). This figure varies a lot depending on the individual, age and frequency of training.

Of the 45 hours minimum requirement, you will have to fly 10 hours solo and 5 of these solo hours will be solo navigation. You can fly more than one type of helicopter during your training but before doing your flight test, you must have flown at least 35 hours (inc. 10 hours solo) on the type of helicopter you are going to use for the flight test.

Of the 45 hours minimum requirement, you will have to fly with an instructor by sole reference to the instruments. This means that you cannot see outside as you will be wearing a hood or other apparatus to restrict your vision to inside the helicopter only.

All of this information is available on a document called Part-FCL but it is not an easy document to read. It is part of the Basic Regulation Regulation (EC) No 216/2008 of 20/02/2008 and a copy of this is available on the EASA website. Click Here

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