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A Private Pilot Certificate (Rotorcraft) allows you to fly a helicopter and carry passengers, although not for compensation or hire. Operating expenses may be shared with other travelers in the helicopter. The certificate (similar to a drivers license) is sent to you by the FAA upon satisfactory completion of your training program, a written test, and a flight test. There is no need to obtain a fixed-wing (airplane) rating to become a helicopter pilot. Here at SKY Helicopters, we suggest doing your Private Pilot under Part 141.


Introductory Demo Flight R22

Introductory Demo Flight R44



SKY Helicopters Demo Flights include 30 minutes of flight time and 30 minutes

of 1 on 1 course work with a designated instructor

Call to schedule a Demo Flight 214-349-7000

If you want to get started read below!

Medical Certificate

You must undergo a routine medical examination administered by FAA- designated doctors called FAA Medical Examiners.

To obtain a medical certificate, you must be at least 16 years of age and able to read, speak, and understand the English language. To obtain your private pilot certificate, you must be at least 17 years of age.

The medical certificate necessary for the private pilot certificate is called a third class medical. It is valid for 24 months and expires on the last day of the month issued - when another exam is required.

Even if you have a physical handicap, medical certificates can be issued in most cases. Operating limitations may be imposed depending on the nature of the disability.

SKY Helicopters will be happy to supply you with a list of local aviation medical examiners.

The medical certificate will function as your student pilot certificate once it is signed by you, the medical examiner, and your flight instructor.

Select AME For Designee

Student Pilot Certificate

In order to get a student pilot certificate, you'll need to complete an application through the Intergrated Airman Certification and Rating Appliaction (IACRA) website.


Once that is complete an FAA-designated pilot examiner, an airman certification representative associated with a part 141 flight school, or a certificated flight instructor will process your application and submit the required documents to the Airmen Certification Branch; once reviewed by Airman Certification Branch, the student pilot certificate will be mailed to the address provided by you on the application.

FAR 61.109 [Private Pilot Requirements]

Minimum FAA requirements for a private pilot certificate PPL(H) - Part 61.109:


• 40 hours minimum of flight time, which must include 30 hours of flight instruction.


• 3 hours of cross-country flight training in a helicopter.

• 3 hours of flight training in preparation for the practical test in a helicopter, which must have been performed within 60 days preceding the date of the test (check ride).


• 10 hours of solo flight time in a helicopter.

         - 3 hours cross-country time.

         - One cross-country flight of 100 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.

         - 3 hours cross-country time.

         - 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.

Written Test

You must pass a written test with a score of 70% or better. The test is administered at local learning centers. (Sylvan Learning Centers®, American Flyers® in the DFW area)

The test consists of 60 multiple-choice questions selected from the FAA Private Pilot Written Exam. The questions are reproduced and answered in the FAA Written Exam Study Guide by Jeppesen.

SKY Helicopters has a library of videotapes and computer-aided tests and simulation to help you prepare for the exam. There is no fee for using the training library.

The following subjects are covered in the written test:


  • Basic Aerodynamics

  • AIM and Airport Operations

  • Pilotage and Aeronautical Charts

  • Aircraft Systems

  • Meteorology

  • Dead Reckoning

  • Flight Instruments

  • Weather Reports, Charts

  • Radio Navigation & Communications

  • FAR's and the NTSB

  • Aircraft Performance

  • Rotorcraft

Flight Test

You must successfully complete a flight test which will be given as a "final exam" by a FAA inspector or designated examiner. FAA designated examiners are proficient, experienced flight instructors who are authorized by the FAA to conduct flight tests. There is a fee for the flight test.


The FAA has issued Practical Test Standards for the private pilot flight test. Each of the tasks and/or maneuvers is required to be covered/ tested on each flight test.


The FAA publishes the Private Pilot Practical Test Standards for Rotorcraft - Helicopter. 


Listed below are the subject areas discussed in the text:

Preflight Preparation

Ground References

Cross Country Flight Operations

Ground Operations

Airport, Heliport, & Traffic

Flight Maneuvers

Hovering and Maneuvering by

Pattern Operations

Emergency Operations 




The hours specified below fulfill and exceed the minimum FAR Part 61 requirements. Most students are not able to learn to fly a helicopter well enough to meet the FAA practical test standards in the minimum times required by the FAA. Our Curriculum listed below represents the "typical" student needs for ground and flight training. Good study habits, personal discipline, and aptitude are all necessary ingredients for successful completion of this course.

Initial Ratings Curriculum 

45 hours dual helicopter flight instruction - R22


10 hours solo helicopter flight - R22

52 hours individual ground instruction






(Not including books, examiner fees and aircraft rental for the practical test) 

35 additional hours home study recommended

Instruction and Rental Rates


R22 Dual Instruction

R22 Solo

R44 Dual Instruction

R44 Solo

R44 Instrument Dual

Ground Instruction​

$375.00 / hour 

$315.00 / hour 

$535.00 / hour

$475.00 / hour  

$535.00 / hour  

$60.00  /  hour  


Students are generally able to fly year round out of our Garland, TX location, due to its mild weather. This means SKY is flexible to meet a student's busy schedule and move them along at their pace.


“Great flight school with excellent instructors and training. Curriculum is well organized and thorough enough I've been able to complete private to commercial in less than a year. Helicopters are newer and maintained to the highest standard, bar none. Overall, SKY has the right balance of big school resources with the flexibility and student friendly atmosphere of a family owned operation"

Ryan S.

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