Private Pilot Helicopter


Any student commencing a training regimen leading to (a) a sport pilot, recreational pilot, or private pilot rating; (b) a multi engine rating; or (c) an instrument rating, must prove U.S. citizenship or receive TSA clearance prior to beginning flight training.


To be eligible for a private pilot certificate, a person must:

  • Be at least 17 years of age.
  • Be able to read, speak, write, and understand the English language.
  • Receive flight training
  • Meet the aeronautical experience requirements (Airplane license not required)
  • Pass the required knowledge test (Find testing centers here)
  • Pass a practical test
  • Hold at least a Third Class Medical (Pass a flight physical) Find a ME here
  • Aeronautical Experience:

    For a helicopter rating a person must:

  • *log at least 40 hours of flight time
  • including at least 20 hours of flight training
  • 3 hours of cross-country flight training in a helicopter;
  • 3 hours of night flight training in a helicopter that includes--
    (i) One cross-country flight of over 50 nautical miles total distance; and
  • (ii) 10 takeoffs and 10 landings to a full stop (with each landing involving a flight in the traffic pattern) at an airport.
  • 10 hours of solo flight time in a helicopter, consisting of at least--
    (i) 3 hours cross-country time;
    (ii) One solo cross-country flight of at least 75 nautical miles total distance, with landings at a minimum of three points, and one segment of the flight being a straight-line distance of at least 25 nautical miles between the takeoff and landing locations; and
    (iii) Three takeoffs and three landings to a full stop (with each landing involving a flight in the traffic pattern) at an airport with an operating control tower.

  • Note: You do NOT have to have a fixed wing license to obtain a helicopter license. *These are the minimums required by law. Most people take an average of 60 hours to obtain a private pilot certificate.