Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Below are answers to some of the most common questions and enquiries we receive from our customers. If you can not find the answer to your question here or in the relevant section within the website, please do not hesitate to contact us at Northumbria Helicopters Limited.

Trial Lessons & Pleasure Flights

Is there an age limit?

At Northumbria Helicopters we have no upper age limit. So long as you are fit and agile, e.g. that you can get in and out of a family car without assistance, then you will be able to fly with us.

However, please be aware that participants on the Trial Lessons must be 12 years of age or older. Also PPL(H) flight training cannot be logged towards a licence until the participant is 14 years old. Participants cannot undertake in a solo flight until 16 years old, and a pilot's licence will not be granted until the participant is 17 years old.

Is there a height restriction?

To fly in any of the aircraft at Northumbria Helicopters, you need to be a minimum of 5' tall.

Is there a weight restriction?

For flights in the Robinson R44 Raven I there is a 280lbs (20 stone or 125kg) weight limit. Participants should notify Northumbria Helicopters Limited prior to booking the flight date if a member of their party is over this weight.

Can I bring passengers along?

The Robinson R44 has four seats and so it is possible for you to bring along INTERESTED PARTIES to observe your Trial Lesson. If travelling in the R44 on a Pleasure Flight, each seat must be individually purchased.

Can I bring a camera along?

Flying in a helicopter is an amazing experience, so yes please feel free to bring along a camera. You can also ask friends to photograph/film you with the helicopter and watch you take off and return to the field.

How do I book my flight?

If you have received a gift voucher for a flight experience with Northumbria Helicopters Limited, you will need to contact us to arrange a mutually convenient date and time for your flight.

How long is my voucher valid for?

Trial Lesson vouchers are valid for 6 months and Pleasure Flight vouchers are valid for 9 months. Vouchers may be extended for a period of two months at an additional cost of £20 payable prior to the voucher expiry date.

Can I upgrade my voucher?

Yes, you can. If you would like to add extra time to your voucher or fly in a larger aircraft, all you have to do is let us know when you contact us to arrange your lesson. You can then pay the additional cost incurred when you come to see us.

Can I transfer my voucher?

Yes, your voucher is transferable. You can change the name on the voucher and tranfer it to another person, but you must notify Northumbria Helicopters Limited at least 24 hours before the flight.

Can I book more lessons?

You certainly can! If you enjoy your experience in a helicopter, then why not continue your learning and train for a Private Pilot Licence PPL(H)? Your trial lesson will even count towards your total hours required to gain your licence.

How fit do I need to be?

When flying with Northumbria Helicopters Limited it is expected that you are agile - i.e. you should be able to get in and out of a family car unassisted. The flight may not be suitable for persons who are pregnant, suffer from epilepsy, recent head injuries, recurrent fainting, giddiness, blackouts, high blood pressure, heart conditions or back problems. If in any doubt participants should seek the medical advice of their GP prior to booking.

What forms of payment do you accept?

We can accept credit and debit cards, as well as cheque and cash payments.

Pilot Training

How many hours of flight training will I need to gain my licence?

To gain your Private Pilot Licence PPL(H) you will need a minimum of 45 hours of flight training, at least 10 of which must be pilot in command (i.e. Solo). There are also 9 ground exams to pass.

Can you tell me about the ground exams?

There are 9 ground exams you will need to pass in order to gain your PPL(H). These are multi-choice exams with a pass mark of 75%, and are all taken at Northumbria Helicopters with our own examiners. These are not difficult and the content of the syllabus is highly relevant to you becoming a safe and proficient pilot.

Is there a medical requirement?

If you are training to become a pilot PPL(H), you will require a Class Two aviation medical, showing that you are in reasonably good health. We can provide details of CAA approved doctors in your local area who can issue medicals. For commercial pilot CPL(H) training you will require a Class One aviation medical.

How long will pilot training take?

Each person is different and you can train for your pilot's licence at your own pace. However, you must complete a minimum of 45 hours of flight training and 9 ground exams. There are some time limitations regarding the ground exams and we do recommend that you fly as regularly as you can to achieve a satisfactory progress rate.

I've gained my PPL(H). What can I do next?

Congratulations! Now that you have gained your PPL(H), you need to build up flying hours and experience. You can hire our helicopters and enjoy flights with friends and family. You can also continue your training to a more advanced level or gain a Commercial Pilot Licence CPL(H) or add Type Ratings to your licence, so that you can fly a range of different helicopters.

Our instructors are on hand to offer advice to keep you safe.

Why do I need a Proficiency Check?

To keep your licence current you must fly a minimum of 2 hours for each helicopter type rating on your licence, within its validity period. You must also complete a Proficiency Check flight test each year which you can complete at Northumbria Helicopters Limited.