On this pages you will find a selection of the questions that we are often asked about our services and courses and the appropriate answers. Please do not hesitate to contact us if there is any further information you require.
Q. Do I need an aeroplane licence or any previous experience?
A. No, you need no previous experience before starting your helicopter course, however if you do hold a current fixed wing licence the minimum hours requirement for the course is reduced and credits are given against some exams.
Q. Will I automatically get my licence after 45 hours flying training?
A. No, 45 hours is the minimum requirement as laid down by the Civil Aviation Authority for a person to hold a Private Pilots Licence. It can sometimes take people a few more hours to meet the standard required by your examiner. It is not in the interest of safety for a flying school to guarantee a student a pass in a certain amount of hours. At Phoenix we treat safety with paramount importance and therefore our students will only pass a test when their flying is up to a suitably high standard.
Q. How long does the course take?
A. There is no set time over which you must do the course, we can tailor a course from a full time (3-4 days a week) up to spreading it over 2-4 years if you so desire. There is a time limit on the written exams of 18 months from when you start your first exam. If you haven’t finished all your exams in this time, any exams more than 18 months old will have to be re-done.
Q. How old do I have to be?
A. The minimum age requirement for a holder of a PPL (H) is 17, however if someone younger than 17 wished to start and learn, this is no problem but he/she would not be able to fly solo or pass his/her test until their 17th birthday.
Q. Do I automatically get a licence when I have completed the course?
A. No, just as when you learn to drive you will take a test at the end of the course.
Q. Where do I go to take my test?
A. At Phoenix we have our own ‘in-house’ examiners and can take you right from scratch through to passing your Private Pilots Licence.
Q. What are the medical requirements?
A. You may start the course without holding a medical but before you fly solo you must pass a C.A.A. Class 2 medical that must be conducted by a C.A.A. approved doctor. We have a list of the approved doctors and can steer you towards the nearest. The medical is not as stringent as many insurance check-ups but pays close attention to hear, blood pressure, hearing, eyesight etc.
Please note colour blindness does not necessarily preclude you from holding a medical.
Q. Can I get a job as a pilot when I have my PPL (H)?
A. The holder of a PRIVATE Pilots Licence is entitled to fly a helicopter for his/her own private use with family/friends etc. or on his/her own family/friends etc. or on his/her own business trips. In order for you to work as a pilot and receive revenue for your services you must become a commercial pilot or instructor.
Q. How long is a licence valid for?
A. A new EASA PPL (H) is valid for life provided the holder maintains a current medical. The types on your license are valid for one year and you must fly a minimum of two hours per year per type plus a mini test.
Q. Can I fly different machines during my training?
A. You can fly up 5-hour on other types during your 45 hours PPL course with no requirement for additional hours.
Q. If I learn on the R22 and wish to fly a different sort of helicopter what must I do?
A. You can do a type rating of 5-hour conversion onto each particular type you require to add to your licence having initially passed the flight test.
Q. When I have my licence do I have to buy a helicopter?
A. No you can simply self-fly hire one of our aircraft for your own use when you have your licence. It’s just like hiring a car.
Q. Where can I take a helicopter and can I land it anywhere?
A. You can take the helicopter almost anywhere you wish and land at any civil airfield subject to its terms and conditions, but more importantly you can land in anybody’s field or private site, e.g. hotel, restaurant, golf course etc., provided you have the owner’s permission and you do not violate any Air Traffic Rules whilst doing so (you will be taught the rules on the course).
Our experienced staff will be pleased to assist with site selection and the relevant permissions.
Q. Your price list quotes by the hour, what does this mean?
A. You only pay for the hours you fly, if you hire a helicopter for the day you will only pay for the time it flies, subject to a minimum of 1 hour. When you are learning you will spend a considerable amount of time on the ground being briefed by your instructor, this time is not chargeable.
Q. Is a helicopter safe?
A. Yes, air travel generally is statistically far safer than road travel. In the hands of a sensible and well-trained pilot, the helicopter is an excellent form of transport, which can be safely landed in the rare event of an engine failure. Many people think that if the engine fails in a helicopter the situation is dire, this is not the case. During your course your instructor will demonstrate and subsequently teach you how to land the helicopter safely without the engine running.
Q. Can anybody fly a helicopter?
A. Helicopter flying is a skill that most people can achieve to a satisfactory level after sufficient practice. There will always be certain people who find controlling a helicopter a little too difficult but generally 99% of people who start the course do complete it to a safe standard.
Q. What prior knowledge of the helicopter, navigation, air law etc. do I need?
A. None as long as you are willing to learn and have a good degree of common sense we will teach you all you need to know.
Q. Can I use my license in other countries?
A. Yes your license will be the new EASA (European Aviation Safety Authority) license so you can use it anywhere in Europe. Most schools in the world including America, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand accept EASA licenses although you will probably have to do a test flight with that school.
Q. Why should I learn to fly a helicopter with Phoenix?
A. We have been operating for a number of years and have a 100% pass rate. We are a very friendly school and treat students on a one-to-one base. Our instructors are very experienced and will provide a fist class, professional package to suit each person’s own particular requirements.
Q. I am learning with another school, can I move to Phoenix and keep my hours?
A. Yes we will simply write to your school asking for a copy of your training notes. Everything you have done including exams will count.
Q. Do I have to pay all the money up front?
A. No, we have various pricing schemes for a simple way to pay as you fly to discount schemes if you wish to pay for bulk hours. However the chose is all yours.
Q. What’s the first thing I must do to start?
A. The first thing to do is actually have a flight to see if you like it. This is called a trial lesson. They are ether and hour or 30 minutes. Because it is a one-to-one with an instructor he can do through all the requirements and answer any questions you may have. This does count towards your training and if you decide it’s for you the instructor can go through what to do next.
Clive Stewart Morrison
Just a short note to express our thanks to all at Phoenix Blackbush,for a truly enjoyable experience.Our special thanks go to Simon Halfpenny not only for his cheerful sense of humour but also for his skill as a pilot,over the last 25 years I have flown with many pilots most being military or EX.& I can say that Simon ranks amongst the best that I have had the pleasure to fly with. (London Helicopter Tour)
Kim and David Edwards (Pleasure Flight)
We both had a fantastic flight and thoroughly enjoyed it. It was a lovely clear day which helped make the views over West Sussex stunning.
Having a flight in a helicopter is something I have wanted to do for years, it was great to enjoy such an experience.
Vanessa & Ravi (Wedding Charter)
We would like to say a huge thank you for all your help and service on our big day. It was an amazing day and your contribution helped our wedding be the day we wished for and a success. We appreciate all your efforts on the day. Lots of Love Vanessa & Ravi
A very enjoyable flight. A birthday present for myself and friend and trial first flight. Hoping to do the flight down The Thames next year for our 40th and 60th birthdays!
Thank you for a fantastic experience. It was very well organised and I thoroughly enjoyed myself.
Kevin Piotrowicz (Student)
Phoenix Helicopter Academy at Goodwood is a great place to learn to fly. Relaxed, yet totally professional. The instructors go out of their way to ensure you get the best training. Highly recommended!
Easy to find with excellent parking. All staff, including Toby, our pilot, were very approachable and happy to chat. Great atmosphere. A thoroughly enjoyable experience all round.
Sean Larsen (Student)
I really enjoyed my training with Phoenix Helicopters (even with the stresses of a tight budget and timescale!), and having now passed my PPL I will definitely be continuing my training and self-fly hire there.
Aimee and Matt (Charter)
Thank you all at Phoenix, SO much! I think it's finally sinking in for Matt exactly what went on yesterday. His maiden chopper flight was wonderful and he had a great day. Such a smooth flight. Really can't thank you enough for making the day so special
Stuart Russell (Student)
Phoenix for me is now more than just a school to learn how to fly, it has a very homely feel to it, where students and the staff have become a family.