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Flight Training


It may seem daunting at first, but we are here to guide and mentor you through the process.

There are no prerequisites, however, there are general requirements:

  • not exceeding the aircraft seat load limits which are 300lb or 136Kg in the Robinson R44.

  • being physically capable of undertaking effective flight

  • not being under the adverse influence of alcohol, prescribed or psychoactive drugs.


Not only is it integral to our core values that all students undertake a medical in a timely manner, but it is also a legal requirement.

Although an extremely rare occurrence, it is prudent to eliminate any underlying health condition that may prevent you obtaining an Aviation Medical Certificate.

Not something you want to find out at the conclusion of your training.


You must also attain an English Language Proficiency (ELP) certificate, which is straightforward and arranged in house.


Your flight training then follows an orderly and approved syllabus.

Each flight and lesson is logged in your Student File and your own Pilot Logbook.


  1.        Familiarisation With The Aircraft.

  2.        Preparation For Flight And Action After Flight’

  3.        Air Experience.

  4.        Effects Of Controls.

  5.        Power And Attitude Changes.

  6.        Level Flight, Climbing And Descending Including Turns.

  7.        Basic Autorotation.

  8.        Hovering.

  9.        Take Off And Landing.

10.        Transitions.

11.        Circuits.

12.        First Solo.

13.        Sideways And Backwards Flight.

14.        Spot Turns.

15.        Vortex Ring State (Vrs).

16.        Engine Off Landings.

17.        Advanced Autorotations.

18.        Forced Landings.

19.        Steep Turns.

20.        Transitions.

21         Quick stops.

22.        Navigation.

23.        Advanced Take Off’s And Landings.

24.        Sloping Ground Off’s And Landings.

25.        Limited Power Operations.

26.        Confined Areas.

27.        Instrument Flying.

Your Flight Training begins with a Safety brief, an introduction to our Safety Manual and the importance of a Safety culture.

Remember, a day will come when the student becomes the master, so the importance of you developing a firm foundation in Safety cannot be over-emphasised.


Then onto the ‘fun stuff’, Cockpit layout, how to sit comfortably, hold the controls effectively, hand-over of controls (‘You have Control’, ‘I have Control’) and self-monitoring.

The purpose, function and effect of each of the controls, Cyclic, Collective, Throttle and Yaw pedals.


  • Cyclic gives directional and speed control.

  • Collective increases or decreases Total Rotor Thrust (TRT).

  • Throttle controls Rotor RPM (The R44 also uses a throttle governor)

  • Yaw pedals control the pitch of the tail rotor blades and Yaw of the aircraft (left pedal nose left, right pedal nose right)


You then progress through the Private Pilot Licence Helicopter PPL(H) syllabus,  from hovering, circuits, emergencies, solo flight and navigation all the way through to reaching the required standard for the flight test.


During the course, as you become more proficient,  flying the helicopter becomes second nature.

This training is normally conducted in a Robinson R44.


This helicopter is described as a four place, twin blade, single main rotor, free to teeter and cone, rigid in plane, single engine helicopter capable of producing 260BHP, with a Max all up weight of 2,400lbs and a Vne of 130KIAS.

In Ireland, to obtain a Private Pilot Licence (PPL) there is  a minimum requirement of 45 flight hours.

The actual number of hours taken to cover the syllabus will normally be higher than this, caution anyone that tells you any different.

The primary reasons for this are:

  • Frequency of flying, someone committing to flying twice a week will progress more steadily than someone flying once a month.

  • Control coordination varies from person to person and is dependent on developing new autonomic motor skills, new neural hardware, an effective site picture and external visual reference.

  • While consistency will consolidate and reinforce previous training and result in a steady progression, it stands to reason that lack of consistency will have opposite and adverse effects.


The nine (9) subjects covered in the Irish Aviation Authority (IAA) Theory Exams each have a 75% pass mark.

There is also an inhouse Tech Type Exam that must be passed for each Type of helicopter to be flown (i.e. R22, R44, R66, B206, H125 etc.) these also require a 75% pass mark.

Full-time and Part Time theory classes are held as required and also one on one instruction is available by arrangement.


There is a 100 hour ground school minimum requirement before being recommended for your IAA theory exams.

The nine (9) subjects covered in the IAA theory exams are listed below:

  • 010      Air Law and ATC Procedures.

  • 020      Aircraft General Knowledge.

  • 030      Flight Performance and Planning.

  • 040      Human Performance and Limitations.

  • 050      Meteorology.

  • 060      Navigation.

  • 070      Operational Procedures.

  • 080      Principles of Flight.

  • 090      Communications.

Initially this may seem daunting, however a few years ago there were only four (4) subjects and these subjects were then sub divided into the nine (9) we have today.


Although there are five (5) more subjects the syllabus and matter covered is largely the same.


Some of these subjects therefore complement each other. They may be grouped in two’s and three’s and multiple exams may be attempted on the same day if appropriate.


It is often the case that procrastination dissolves and a ‘just do it’ attitude emerges, so an early start at the exams is encouraged and a task that seems insurmountable succumbs to dedication and effort.

Remember the best way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time !


These exams are not difficult. If you put in a little effort, some self study and pay attention in the ground school you will produce the required results and reap the rewards.


There is also plenty of encouragement and support available from your mentors and peers within the Helicopter Club.

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