We won’t pretend they are the most fun part of training, but PPL(H) ground exams are a vital component of the process, so there’s no getting away from them.
The knowledge that you gain from studying for your PPL(H) ground exams will greatly enhance your overall understanding of flying, making you a better and safer pilot.
Here at Central Helicopters we are approved by the CAA to offer the exams in-house, which is what we have been doing for 10-plus years. Our ground school programme is run by a team of instructors who are experienced in teaching all PPL(H) subjects. So, what are the subjects, and what’s covered in the exams?
What are the exams?
The PPL(H) exams are split into nine sections, and all the exams are multiple choice. The exams do vary though on number of questions, and overall exam time.
You must complete and pass all required theoretical knowledge exams within 18 months, counted from the end of the calendar month in which you first attempted one of the required exams.
If you fail an exam you will need to undertake further training at an ATO, and how much training you will have to take will be at their discretion.
What do I need to score to pass the PPL(H) ground exams?
The pass mark for each exam is 75%.
What are they, and what’s covered?
Aviation law is very important for any pilot, as it can be used in all types of aviation. The subject includes topics such as rules of the air, lights and signals, emergencies, legislation, airspace, and PPL Licence.
This looks in detail at helicopter specific operating procedures, such as dynamic rollover, blade sailing and ground resonance, as well as airfield operating procedures such as signage and signal squares.
Aircraft General Knowledge
Aircraft General Knowledge tests your basic understanding of the helicopter, and its components. Pilots are expected to understand the basics about an aircraft’s electrical, mechanical and hydraulic systems, as well its engine and instrumentation.
Flight Performance and Planning
Do you know how your helicopter is performing at all times through-out your flight? Performance and Planning includes assessments of weather and possible danger areas, but you’ll also need to perform specific calculations based on areas such as weights and balances, and navigation plots.
Human Performance and Limitations
Human factors, both physiological and psychological, influence all aspects of flying a helicopter. Pilots will need an understanding of specifics like illusions by day and night, as well as a broader knowledge of the body, such as the respiratory and nervous system.
The Communications subject focuses on the theory behind using the aircraft’s radio. The Communications exam is the shortest, and considered one of the simplest. Expect questions on VHF (Very High Frequency) radio communications and radio telephony (RT) equipment.
The weather can be an important factor when flying, so pilots must be capable of making informed decisions based on weather forecasts. Pilots should possess an excellent knowledge about weather theory, and be able to interpret weather briefing forms and documents.
Principles of Flight
Pilots must understand the principles behind ‘flight’. The subject looks at why aircraft fly, lift, drag, helicopter rotor dynamics, as well as specific flight conditions.
Pilots must be able to navigate the aircraft, so developing good navigational skills is essential.
Need some additional help?
At an additional cost, our skilled, knowledgeable pilots can provide tuition either as part of a group, or one-on-one. For further details, call 01664 823846. Find out more about PPL(H) training.