Skip links

Private Pilot Certificate

Hands-on experience starts here.

Your Private Pilot Certificate lets you fly helicopters for fun and recreation—giving rides to friends and family or flying for your own transport. It’s the first step toward building the skills needed for your Commercial Pilot Certificate. You’ll be in the cockpit from Day One!

What You’ll Learn

  • How to Fly Solo
  • Night Flying
  • Cross-Country Navigation
  • Basic Helicopter Operations
  • Airport & Heliport Operations
  • Radio Procedures
  • And So Much More

This course is the first step for every pilot. You learn how to safely conduct basic flight maneuvers and proper aeronautical decision making. After safely demonstrating selected maneuvers and sound judgment in the aircraft, you get to do something you will remember for the rest of your life; fly solo for the first time. Every detail of that experience will be vivid in your memory from what the weather was like to how the aircraft felt when you looked over and realized your instructor’s seat was empty. Soloing in a helicopter is an experience not many people have achieved and it is something to be proud of.

During the next phase of your training, you will take the helicopter on cross-country flights. Hillsboro Area Academy is uniquely positioned, located only 40 minutes east of the Oregon Coast and 45 minutes west of Mt. Hood. It’s an incredibly diverse area of the country, and you will get to see it from a perspective few people get. This part of the training also includes an amazing night flight where you can fly over a major metropolitan area and even land at the city’s downtown heliport.

Once you have completed the solo and cross country requirements, you will take the FAA practical test also known as a check ride with an FAA-designated examiner. When you successfully complete the check ride, you will be a private pilot! The FAA minimum hour requirement for a Private Pilot Certificate is 35 hours of ground training and 35 hours of flight training. Most people complete their training in 50-60 hours, but we can’t guarantee a specific minimum for completion—everyone learns at a different rate.