Helicopter Private Pilot Syllabus and Lesson Plans

by Philip Greenspun in March 2006

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This is a syllabus for a helicopter private pilot rating. It may be used by people who already hold a fixed wing certificate or those who are starting from scratch.

Summary of Requirements

The FAA spells it out in FAR 61.109c: If you have a pilot certificate already, you need not take a knowledge test.

As a practical matter, you will probably need 40-50 hours for an add-on rating and 50-60 hours for an ab initio rating. If you have a Commercial pilot certificate, you will still want to get the Private helicopter rating first so that you can log the remainder of your training flights as pilot-in-command time. Otherwise, you will need to fly an additional 25 hours of solo to get to the 35 hours of required PIC time to take the Commercial practical test.

Lesson Plans

  1. Bad Weather Ground: SFAR 73 Awareness Training, Aerodynamics, and Extensive Preflight
  2. Good Weather Intro: SFAR 73 Awareness Training, Quick Preflight, Intro Flight

    Cycle among the following until student is hovering reliably

  3. Minuteman and Back
  4. Norwood and Back
  5. Nashua and Back

    Student can hover now...

  6. Patterns and Hovering at Bedford (repeat until proficient)
  7. Steep Approaches
  8. Different Approach Angles
  9. Plum Island and Back
  10. Introduction to Autorotations (and quick stops)
  11. Autorotations
  12. Autorotations and Introduction to Slope Operations
  13. .... more to come as my students progress ...

Other Stuff

If you would like to adapt these plans for your own use, please feel free as long as it is within the terms of my online copyright statement.
Text and photos Copyright 2005 Philip Greenspun.