Private Pilot License

Whether you want to fly a helicopter for fun, or to eventually become a professional pilot, you’ll need to earn your private pilot license first. No previous experience is required; our Private Pilot course is designed to help you start your journey to becoming a pilot even if you haven’t flown before!
helicopter pilot with scenic landscape in background


We are a Part 61 and Part 141 Flight school with 2 locations in New York State. Our Certified Flight Instructors will not only teach you the basics of flight, but also the nuances that only an experienced pilot can convey.

During the Private Helicopter Pilot Course, you’ll become familiar with the helicopter, flight controls, the flight environment, and a multitude of maneuvers learned over the course of instruction. At the end of the Private Helicopter Pilot Course, you will have acquired the aeronautical knowledge and flight proficiency necessary to be a rated helicopter pilot, and be able to fly on your own for fun!

The first step to earning your private pilot license is to schedule a discovery flight, which includes 30 minutes of ground instruction–the discovery flight will even count toward the minimum flight time required for your license!

Ready to become a pilot?

  • Must read, write, understand, and speak English
  • Must be 17 years old to take the flight test
  • Obtain an FAA Medical Certificate before your first solo flight
  • Pass the FAA written “Knowledge Test” before taking the FAA Practical Flight Test
  • Complete 40 hours minimum flight time
  • 20 hours of dual flight instruction
  • 10 hours of solo flight
  • 3 hours dual instruction at night
  • At least 3 hours of cross-country solo flight
  • 1 – 50 nautical mile cross-country solo flight with a 25 nautical mile leg
  • 3 solo take-offs and landings at an airport with an operating control tower
  • Pass the FAA Oral and Practical Flight Test

Questions about getting your private pilot license? Check out our FAQ!

No! Needing flight time in an airplane before getting your helicopter private pilot license is just a myth. Even if you’ve never flown any aircraft before, you’re ready to start learning to fly a helicopter.

Although you need to be at least 17 years old to take the flight test and get your private pilot license, you can begin training to fly a helicopter at any age, as long as you can reach the controls! There’s no upper age limit to begin training for your pilot license. If you begin pilot training after fifty, it may take you a little longer to feel comfortable with the controls.

How long it takes to earn your helicopter private pilot license depends on your budget and schedule. With unlimited budget and time, you could complete the minimum 40 hours of flight time in as little as a couple of months. However, most students take a little longer.

Helicopters are sensitive to weight and balance. The Robinson R22 can carry up to 240 pounds per seat, but we recommend being no more than 220 pounds. The R44 can carry up to 300 pounds per seat; again we recommend that the passenger/student weigh no more than 260 pounds. These numbers are based on fuel, balance, flight time, etc.

As long as you can correct your vision to 20/20 or near 20/20 with glasses or contact lenses, you can obtain a medical certificate. Some examples of what will prevent you are diabetes that requires insulin, coronary heart disease, or certain mental conditions.

Typically the flight school carries insurance that covers you, however, they may require you to obtain aircraft damage insurance or deductible insurance to cover the cost of damages incurred up to the deductible.

We recommend 3 days a week, roughly 2 hours a day. We suggest that if the student is not able to keep that pace that they fly once a week at a minimum to maintain proficiency. In addition to actually flying and receiving ground training, self study and time to absorb your experiences between lessons is an essential part of the learning process.

We accommodate any schedule and are very flexible with mornings and evenings. Currently we have 4 instructors who are able to meet the needs of our students. Most schedules need to be booked a week in advance, but occasionally we are able to arrange something within 24 hour notice.

If you’ve never flown before, your first step is to take an intro flight, also known as a discovery flight. During your intro flight, your instructor will spend 30 minutes on the ground teaching you the fundamentals. In the air, your instructor will take the controls so you can feel what it’s like to fly. If both you and your instructor are both comfortable, you may even have a chance to take the controls for yourself during the 2nd half of your flight!

Not sure if the pilot life is for you? Try an intro flight!