Resources for Helicopter Flight Training

The following items are flight training resources primarily for helicopter training. However, many of the resources provided would be applicable to students learning to fly fixed-wing aircraft as well as rotorcraft.

Helicopter Flight Principles

Helicopter Flying Handbook FAA-H-8083-21B (2019)

Helicopter Flying Handbook FAA-H-8083-21A (2012)

Rotorcraft Flying Handbook FAA-H-8083-21 (2000)

This FAA produced handbook provides an overview of helicopter flying principles.

The Helicopter Study Guide (order on Amazon)

This study guide is geared towards the oral portion of the helicopter checkride.  Written by Brad Fenster, the owner and primary instructor at ETL Aviation, it explains key helicopter principles in a question and answer format.

US Army Fundamentals of Flight (2007)

This field manual from the U.S. Army provides a good understanding of the fundamental of helicopter flight.  The initial chapters are a benefit to any helicopter pilot.  Later chapters include references to advanced helicopter and fixed wing flight.

Principles of Helicopter Flight – by Walter J. Wagtendonk (order on Amazon)

The book, Principles of Helicopter Flight by Walter J. Wagtendonk, is one of the best resources for understanding helicopter flight principles.  The book is a must for any one pursuing a career as a helicopter pilot.

General Pilot Resources

FAA Pilots Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge FAA-H-8083-25B (2016)

This document from the Federal Aviation Administration provides a compilation of information for all pilots.

FAA Chart Users Guide 2021

FAA Chart Users Guide 2013

The FAA Chart Users Guide provides information on symbols and information used in aeronautical charts. 

Weather Resources

General Aviation Pilot’s Guide to Preflight Weather Planning, Weather Self-Briefings, and Weather Decision Making (2006)

This document from the Federal Aviation Administration provides a review of weather related preflight planning.

Aviation Weather AC-00-6B (2016)

Aviation Weather for Pilots and Flight Operations Personnel AC-00-6A (1975)

This aviation circular (AC) provides information on the weather related topics for aviators.

Aviation Weather Services, Advisory Circular AC-00-45G (2014)

This aviation circular (AC) provides information on the weather related aviation products and services available to pilots.

Risk Management

Risk Management Handbook FAA-H-8083-2 (2009)

This FAA produced guide provides information on risk management and aeronautical decision making.

Weight and Balance

Aircraft Weight and Balance FAA-H-8083-1B (2020)

Aircraft Weight and Balance FAA-H-8083-1A (2007)

This FAA produced guide provides information on aircraft weight and balance, including a section specifically on helicopters.

Helicopter Flight Instructor

Helicopter Instructors Handbook FAA-H-8083-4 (2012)

This FAA produced guide provides information on teaching helicopter flight principles.

Aviation Instructors Handbook FAA-H-8083-9B (2020) 

Aviation Instructors Handbook FAA-H-8083-9A (2008)  

This FAA produced guide provides information on teaching to flight principles to prospective aviation students.

Advisory Circular-Certification: Pilots and Flight and Ground Instructors AC-61-65H (2018)

This FAA produced document provides guidance for pilot and instructor applicants, pilots, flight instructors, ground instructors, and examiners on the certification standards, knowledge test procedures, and other requirements in 14 CFR 61.

Helicopter Practical Test Standards

Helicopter Recreational Pilot Practical Test Standards FAA-S-8081-3A (2005)

This document outlines the Practical Test Standards for the Private Pilot Helicopter checkride.

Helicopter Private Pilot Practical Test Standards FAA-S-8081-15A (2005)

This document outlines the Practical Test Standards for the Private Pilot Helicopter checkride.

Helicopter Commercial Pilot Practical Test Standards FAA-S-8081-16B (2013)

This document outlines the Practical Test Standards for the Commercial Pilot Helicopter checkride.

Helicopter Flight Instructor Practical Test Standards FAA-S-8081-7B (2006)

This document outlines the Practical Test Standards for the Flight Instructor  Helicopter checkride.