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Private pilot PPL(H)

The PPL(H) license is the first step in your flying career.

Become a helicopter pilot

Private pilot training can be started at any time and lasts approx. 6 to 12 months, depending on the intensity. It consists of a practical and a theoretical part. On completion of the PPL(H) license, the holder is entitled to carry out private flights, without earning money. The key points of the training are off-airport landings, navigation flights, emergency procedures, solo flights, navigation flights and the mountain familiarisation.


Minimum age 16 years at beginning, 17 years at examination (with the consent of the legal representative)
Medical Class 2 / Aeromedical examination by a medical examiner of the FOCA


Theoretical training

To obtain a pilot's license, a theory test must be passed in accordance with the guidelines of the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA). Passing the theory exams is a prerequisite for admission to the practical exam. The theoretical training comprises nine main subjects. They are divided into five "general" and four "heli-specific" subjects. The general subjects contain the basic knowledge that is identical for all flight activities, regardless of whether you are a prospective helicopter pilot, fixed-wing aircraft pilot or balloonist. The "helicopter-specific" subjects relate to the basics of the helicopter and deal with its special features.


General subjects

  • 010 | Air Law
  • 040 | Human Performance
  • 050 | Meteorology
  • 060 | Navigation
  • 090 | Communication

Helicopter specific subjects

  • 020 | Helicopter Knowledge
  • 030 | Flight Performance & Planning
  • 071 | Operational Procedures
  • 082 | Principles of Flight

Theory exams

Each theory subject is completed by a separate theory examination. These are conducted by the Federal Office of Civil Aviation FOCA in accordance with EASA regulations. Several theory examinations can be written on the same day (one session). There is no maximum number of sessions for the PPL(H) level. Each subject can be repeated a maximum of three times.

We recommend spreading all subjects over four sessions. At least 75% of the maximum number of points per subject must be achieved in the FOCA examination in order to pass the examination. The maximum period until completion of all theoretical subjects is 18 months from the date of the first examination session. From the last theoretical subject, the practical training must be completed within 24 months. In order for us to be able to register you for a FOCA examination, you must first complete internal final tests for each subject, which you must pass with 80% of the maximum number of points.

Examination language
At PPL(H) level, you can choose between German, French, English and Italian.

Presence Learning

10 hours of theory lessons on site or virtually via Teams are required.

Creditable theory

  • with LAPL(H): full theory
  • with PPL(A): Subjects 010, 040, 050, 060 and 090

Flight training

Flight training includes at least 45 hours Rotor Turning Time (RTT) in the helicopter, of which is approximately:

7 h Basic training Knowledge about the helicopter, hovering, situation flying / basics
15 h Standard procedures  
8 h Emergency procedures Autorotations, engine failure, hover emergencies, emergency procedures
10 h Solo flights Navigation flights. Cross country and large solo flight
5 h Exam preparation  
1 h BAZL Skill Test  
45 h Total time of which 10 h solo flights under the supervision of a flight instructor

Flight training also includes technical courses and radiotelephony training.

Basic course per helicopter type

The ground course is an obligatory part of PPL(H) basic training and of retraining for a new helicopter type. The basis for this course is the manufacturer's manual (Pilot Operating Handbook). The following topics are covered in classroom instruction over a period of approx. 12-54 hours, depending on the complexity of the system:

  • General Information
  • Limitations
  • Emergency Procedures
  • Normal Procedures
  • Performance
  • Weight & Balance
  • System Description

Another important part of the ground course is the pre-flight check on the helicopter, which every pilot must complete before the flight.

Awareness course

In accordance with SFAR 73 (Special Federal Aviation Regulation No. 73 of the Federal Aviation Administration FAA), the awareness course provides training in the peculiarities of a two-blade rotor system. This course is highly recommended for pilots flying a helicopter with a two-blade rotor system. The awareness course is mandatory for Robinson R22 pilots and must be completed before the first solo flight. The following topics are covered in the classroom lessons:

  • Energy Management
  • Mast Bumping
  • Low Rotor RPM / Blade Stall
  • Low G hazards
  • Rotor RPM decay

The awareness course is part of the ground course and subsequently applicable to any helicopter with a two-blade rotor system.

VFR communication

In aviation, radio communication is mainly in the English language. In order to ensure smooth and correct communication with air traffic control, an authorization for VFR communication (radio communication) is required. Voice training consists of a theoretical and a practical part. The theory is taught in subject 090 (communication) and, like the other theoretical subjects, is completed at the FOCA with a theory examination. The practical voice training usually takes place in the classroom. Various flights are simulated there and the most common aeronautical radio procedures are practiced. During the practical examination, a simulated flight is carried out in the classroom. The candidate has the role of the pilot, while the examiners take on the roles of various air traffic control centers (tower, ground, information, etc.). Candidates must demonstrate that they know and master the standard phraseology of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) as well as the applicable regulations and procedures.

The practical voice training is mainly offered for the English language. If required, it is possible to complete the VFR communication in German. However, pilots with a German-language voice entry may only land and take off at airfields that are also served by a German radio communication.

English (language proficiency)

In aviation there are communication situations that are not covered by standard phraseology. In order to ensure adequate communication between the air traffic controller and the pilot in such situations, sufficient knowledge of English must be available. This language knowledge must be demonstrated in a so-called "Language Proficiency (LP)" test. In order to take part in the exam, the voice training must have been completed beforehand. The initial Language exam consists of a written and an oral test. The examination is deemed to have been passed if at least level 4 is achieved on a scale of 1 to 6. For a level 4, this must be repeated every four years by an oral check. As with the practical VFR communication exam, there is also the possibility to obtain a German Language Profciency. The same restrictions then apply as for
a German Language Proficiency (see above).

Creditable practice

  • with PPL(A): Total max. 10 % of the PIC (Pilot in Comand) time | but max. 6 h

Privileges & Validity

Authorizations after completion of the PPL(H)

A PPL(H) private pilot may fly with passengers free of charge within the scope of his license. They may also make external landings in accordance with the Swiss External Landing Ordinance (AuLaV).

Validity of the license

The license never expires, only the type ratings, license proficiency checks and the medical. Each type rating acquired is entered in the license and must be maintained and/or renewed accordingly:

  • at least 2 h RTT per helicopter type within the last 12 months before the expiry date or according to the conditions in the helicopter rental contract from Mountainflyers
  • Annual proficiency check according to the type rating entry in the license with a FOCA examiner
  • valid medical class 2

VR motion simulator

Our EASA-certified simulators open up new perspectives, enabling us to make our training programs sustainable, safe and affordable.

Get started with your first five flight hours on the virtual reality simulator at an unbeatable price with our 5-hour package.

Learn more


You can find an overview of the costs for the entire PPL(H) training in our training brochure.

Depending on the intensity, previous experience and the type of helicopter selected, prices are calculated individually. We will be happy to provide you with a non-binding consultation and prepare a customized offer for you.

Download our training brochure here

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