Helicopter Private PTS
by Philip Greenspun and Kasim Te; updated December 2008
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Used in helicopter training
at East Coast Aero Club in Boston.
This is intended to be used during a stage check for a Private
applicant in a Robinson R22 or R44. It is a condensed version of the
FAA standards effective July 1, 2005. Where the PTS does not
specify an airspeed, the number is from the Robinson POH or FAA
Rotorcraft Flying Handbook (RFH). Use a red pen to mark an
applicant's performance next to the FAA standard.
Areas of Operation and Tasks
- Preflight Procedures: cockpit management; passenger briefing; before takeoff
- Radio Communications and ATC Light Signals(!)
- Traffic Patterns: corrects for wind drift; altitude
±100';"appropriate airspeed" ±10 knots. Applicant: ___________
- Airport/Heliport Runway, Helipad, and Taxiway Signs, Markings, and
Lighting: emphasizes runway incursion avoidance.
- Vertical Takeoff and Landing: ± half of intended altitude;
max. 4' lateral/forward movement; no aft movement; heading within 10
degrees. Applicant: ___________
- Slope Operations: considers wind, obstacles, passenger unloading;
recognition when too steep; heading ±10 degrees.
- Hover Taxi: forward, backward, sideward; ±4' ground track;
constant rate of turn; ±4' of pivot point; heading ±10 degrees
after pedal turn, ±1/2 of "recommended hovering altitude" (Robinson suggests 5'). Applicant:
- Air Taxi: "safe airspeed and altitude"
(suggest 50 KIAS and 70'; RFH says < 100'); altitude
±10'. Applicant: ___________
- Normal and Crosswind Takeoff: "manufacturer's
recommended airspeed" (60 knots) ±5kts; wind shear/wake
turbulence awareness. Applicant:
- Normal and Crosswind Approach: wind shear/wake
turbulence/settling-with-power awareness, arrival ±4'. Applicant: ___________
- Maximum Performance Takeoff: checks mags (not in PTS); uses max
power; after clearing all obstacles, transitions to normal climb attitude,
airspeed (60 knots ±10), and power.
- Steep Approach: 15° maximum; avoids
settling-with-power; arrival ±4'. Applicant:
- Confined Area Operation: "proper high and low recon" (we suggest
500' AGL, 60 knots for high; slower than normal approach speed for low
recon); "avoids situations that can result in settling-with-power"
(RFH says "no steeper than necessary"); terminates in hover or on
surface "as conditions allow"; ground recon; selects "suitable takeoff
- Pinnacle/Platform Operations: same as confined; pay attention to "acceptable
approach angle and rate of closure"
- Shallow Approach and Running Landing: knows purpose of maneuver,
effect of landing surface texture; reduces carb heat before landing;
ETL during surface contact; landing gear parallel with ground
track. No standard for arrival spot.
- Go-Around: makes timely decision to discontinue approach; "proper
control input to stop descent and initiate climb" (pull in power, lift
to 60-knot attitude); 60 knots ±10.
- Rapid Deceleration ("quick stop"): maintains tail boom clearance;
heading ±10 degrees.
- Straight-in Autorotation: selects "suitable" touchdown area; R22
65 knots; R44: 70 knots; ±5 knots; RPM "within normal limits";
arrival within 200'. Applicant: ___________
- 180-degree Autorotation: selects "suitable" touchdown area; 65/70
knots ±5; RPM normal; arrival within 200'. Applicant: ___________
- Pilotage and Dead Reckoning: identifies landmarks; makes en-route corrections to
fuel, ground speed, and heading calculations; position ±3NM of
planned route; arrival ±5 mins. of initial or revised ETA;
"appropriate" altitude ±200 ft; heading±15
degrees. Applicant: ___________
- Navigation Systems and Radar Services: signal loss recognition;
intercepts and tracks a given course, radial, or bearing; waypoint
passage recognition; "appropriate" altitude ±200 ft;
"appropriate" heading ±15 degrees. Applicant:
- Diversion: accurate estimation of heading, groundspeed, arrival
ETA, and fuel consumption to alternate airport
- Lost Procedures: "maintains an appropriate heading and climbs, if
necessary"; identifies landmarks; plans precautionary landing for weather or fuel
- Power Failure at a Hover: heading ±10 degrees; minimum
sideward movement; no aft movement. Applicant:
- Power Failure at Altitude: selects "suitable landing area"; 65/70
knots ±5; compensates for wind speed and direction to avoid
undershooting or overshooting; terminates approach when directed by
- Systems and Equipment Malfunctions: analyzes the situation and
takes action in at least 3 of the following areas: engine/oil and
fuel, hydraulic, electrical, carburetor or induction icing, smoke
and/or fire, flight control/trim, pitot-static, rotor and/or
anti-torque, various frequency vibrations.
- Settling with Power: selects altitude to permit recovery > 1000'
AGL; prompt recognition and appropriate recovery.
- Low Rotor RPM Recovery: detection and prompt recovery.
- After Landing and Securing: minimizes hazards of
rotor downwash; considers safety of persons and property; checklist
usage; conducts postflight inspection.
Copyright 2008 Philip Greenspun.