In the UK, initial training in a Gyrocopter will always be done on a 2-seat dual control machine with a qualified instructor. During the training you will reach a stage where you have the ability to fly solo. Your instructor will then supervise your "first solo".
Your training with your instructor will then continue and you will continue to fly solo under his supervision. When you have proven that you are competent you will be submitted for a General Flying Test(GFT) with an examiner. When you have passed this test, completed a number of written tests and some cross country flights you can apply for your licence, known as a PPL(G). This licence will allow you to fly unsupervised in the UK and you will be allowed to carry passengers. You will NOT be allowed to fly the general public and you will not be able to charge anyone (other than a share of true costs) for flying.
The training syllabus is approved by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) in the UK. This syllabus lists the different steps involved in the the flying part of the training. A copy of this syllabus is contained in the following link:
More facts: The PPL(G) Training Syllabus
Answers to common questions relating to obtaining your PPL(G) are contained in the following link:
More facts: Training for your Gyrocopter Pilots Licence
When you embark on a training course you will need a number of forms, books and other items. A complete list of what you will need, together with notes on how you can obtain them, is contained in the following link.
More facts: Essential things you will require during your training
When you have achieved your licence and flown a good number (50 or more) of flights you should consider advanced flying. This is not a "tricks" course but a course in improved accuracy of flying, understanding the Gyrocopter better and being able to perform more advanced manuevres which can be invaluable for being able to spot land in a smaller space than you would be expected on completion of your initial training course.
There is no official advanced flying course in the UK but almost all the instructors will be able to give you guidance on advanced flying. The main topics that are covered in advanced flying is contained in the following link.
More facts: Advanced Gyrocopter Training
Training to be a Gyrocopter flying instructor
With the increased popularity of Gyrocopter flying since "The Gyrocopter Revolution" (see About us for further details) there is a corresponding increase in the need for Gyrocopter Flying Instructors. The minimum requirements to be a Gyro flying instructor are:
- You must have completed at least 150 hours of flying as pilot in command of a Gyrocopter since the issue of your licence. You cannot count any training that you have had prior to your licence issue. You may count up to 50 hours of flying as pilot in command of microlights/helicopters or fixed wing aircraft towards this. No matter the circumstances you will ALWAYS have to have completed a minimum of 100 hours of pilot in command of Gyrocopters, even if you are a commercial pilot or an existing flying instructor.
- You will have to pass a flying skills test with a CAA Instructor examiner in the UK to prove that you are competent at flying a Gyrocopter from the rear seat. Note that unless you are a qualified Gyro instructor you may only fly from the rear seat of a Gyrocopter if there is a qualified pilot sitting in the front seat.
- You will have to sit a groundschool course consisting of a minimum of 40 hours of study. This is done before you start the flying part of your instructor training. Currently this is only available in the UK from The Gyrocopter Academy. Spaces are limited, please
for details about the course and the course schedule.
- You will have to sit a flying course of approximately 20 hours. During this course you must demonstrate that you can teach the entire PPL(G) syllabus. This includes emulating all the different flights that are contained in the PPL(G) syllabus together will all the flight briefings. You will need to be able to demonstrate that you can teach the ground school topics.
- On completion of the course you will need to pass an Instructor rating flying exam.
- At this stage you will be awarded with an Assistant Flying Instructors (AFI) rating. This will allow you to train students however you can only fly under the direct supervision of a Qualified Flying Instructor (QFI). In order to become a QFI you must have trained at least 100 hours as an AFI and you must have taken at least 1 student (who does not hold any other flying licence) through the entire course to the point where they have applied for their PPL(G) to the CAA. At that point you can sit a further Instructors test with a Gyro examiner.
It is a lot of effort....but it IS the best job in the world!
There is a LOT more to being a flying instructor than being able to fly Gyros. The Gyrocopter Experience specialises in helping people become flying instructors. For a roadmap of how to achieve this, click the link below. You must have registed on this site to activate this link.
More facts: Training to be a Gyrocopter Instructor
DISCLAIMER: All the information on this page and the linked pages are provided "to the best of our knowledge" and may be out of date or incorrect. The definitive guide to all thse facts is provided by the CAA and contained in their latest edition of LASORS. You can download a copy here.