These piston-engine helicopters have become world famous for their versatility both as a trainer, but also in game capturing and photography applications.
Current legislation dictates a MINIMUM OF FIFTY (50) flying hours before the issuing of a Private Pilot License (PPL) is allowed. This figure might, however, be more based on individual progress. Legislation furthermore requires that 35 hours must be dual instruction (i.e. with an instructor) and at least 15 hours solo flying, of which at least 5 hours must be cross-country flying time.
Students must hold a Student Pilot License (SPL) before flying solo, for which the following is required:
- An official notification of a passed flight medical examination
- Sufficient flying instruction experience as determined by the Chief Flight Instructor (minimum 15hours)
- Passed both the R22 and/or R44 Technical- and Pre-solo examinations
- Completed Part 61 paperwork formalities as required by the South African Civil Aviation Authority of South Africa (SA CAA).
Advice to new students is to complete the medical examination before commencing flight training, although it is not a legal requirement to complete a flight medical examination PRIOR to commencing flight training. The ground school and flight instruction takes place concurrently, according to a Flight Training Syllabus. It is important for students to adhere to this syllabus, especially during the first 15 hours of ab-initio training.
Typical course duration, should you be able to attend three times a week, is approximately four months. It is however possible to obtain your PPL within five to six weeks on a full-time basis. Pilots holding an aeroplane licence or other flying experience should be able to accelerate their progress. It is important to note that in all cases the flying period includes a ground lecture period of approximately 30 minutes. Students should therefore plan on a session of approximately 2 hours for each flying session booked. In addition to the ground lectures, students would need to attend at least 7 ground school lectures for theoretical PPL computer based examinations.
The requisite final PPL (H) examinations are conducted at SA CAA based in Midrand, Gauteng, South Africa. Owners wishing to train on their own aircraft are also allowed, although certain provisions will apply. Students furthermore have the option of including a turbine helicopter conversion on the Bell Jet Ranger into the initial flight-training syllabus.
Minimum requirements to hold a Private Pilot Helicopter License
Must be 17 years old
Minimum 50 hours of flight training
8 examinations passed
The exams consist of:
- Principles of Flight
- Helicopter Technical & General
- Air law
- Flight Planning
- Human Performance
- Restricted Radio License
Aviation medical certificate class 2
Language Proficiency examination