The Gyrocopter Experience

Training for a Gyrocopter Pilot Licence

These are the most common questions that we are asked about training to be a Gyrocopter pilot. If you have a question that is not answered on this page, please contact us here. If you register and log into this website, you will be able to access information about training to be a Gyrocopter Instructor.

How much training will you need?

Everyone differs in their learning ability. Legally you require a minimum of 40 hours of training. Of these 40 hours at least 15 hours must be under dual instruction and at least 10 must be flown solo under the supervision of an instructor. The other 15 hours can be dual or solo as required. These are minimum requirements but a student with good aptitude, enthusiam and dedication should expect to train for between 40 and 50 hours. In general if you spread the training over too long a period or have long gaps in between periods of training, it will take you longer. You should ideally expect to take between 6 months and a year to train.

If I already have a Pilots Licence do I still have to train for 40 hours?

No. If you have a Microlight or Fixed wing licence (it does not matter which licence, an ATPL and a PPL count the same in this instance), the required number of training hours is reduced by 15 to a minimum of 25 hours. This is split into a minimum of 15 hours of dual instruction, and 10 hours of supervised solo flying.

Is it correct that you get to fly solo before you get your licence?

Yes. The PPL(G) is actually a licence to carry passengers. As a student you must fly at least 10 hours solo in a Gyrocopter before you get your licence and at least 3 of these hours must be away from your home airfield (cross country). Your solo hours can only be flown with the permission of, and under the supervision of, a qualified Instructor.

What is the complete list of things I have to achieve before I can apply for my licence?

You must have:

  • Completed the required number of dual training hours (15 unless you hold a Helicopter licence)
  • Completed the required number of supervised solo training hours (10)
  • Completed the overall minimum number of hours of training (40 if you don't hold any kind of pilots licence already, 25 if you hold a PPL(H) , a PPL(A), an NPPL(A) or NPPL(M).
  • Completed two cross country exercises and landed at other airfields.
  • Passed a General Flying Test (GFT) conducted by a CAA approved Gyro examiner.
  • Passed an oral test relating to the type of Gyro that you use to sit your GFT (key performance criteria relating to the specific model of gyro)
  • Passed the following multiple choice groundschool exam (pass mark 70%) before you can fly solo:
    • Air Law
  • Passed the following multiple choice groundschool exams (pass mark 70%) before you can fly cross country:
    • Meterology (the weather)
    • Navigation
    • Human Performance
  • Passed the additional multiple choice groundschool exam (pass mark 70%):
    • Gyroplane Technical

If I already have a different form of Pilots Licence, do I still need to do the cross-country Navigation exercises?

Yes. Navigation in a Gyrocopter is different from other forms of aircraft. You are generally flying much closer to the ground, therefore you have to be able to identify landmarks differently from the 'birds eye' view that you would expect to get from other forms of aircraft flying which are generally flying at over 1500 ft.

The other main difference is what to do with your map! In an open-cockpit Gyrocopter you cannot easily get a map out and refold it. You cannot also spread it across your lap in the same way that you can do in a flex wing microlight because you have a stick between your knees!

If I already have a different form of Pilots Licence, do I still need to sit the ground exams?

You will get an exemption from all the written exams with the exception of Gyroplane Technical.

Can I sit my ground exams at a non-Gyro training centre?

You can sit all of the exams with the exception of Air Law and Gyroplane Technical at any other flying school that offer the UK NPPL exams. The Meteorology, Navigation and Human Performance exams are the standard NPPL exams.

What are the medical requirements for flying Gyros in the UK?

You will need a medical self declaration of health. This is a form that can be downloaded here. There is a set of guidance notes produced by the CAA for yourself and also for your doctor. These can all be found here.