This guide is designed to help a student helicopter pilot prepare for the oral portion of their check ride. The guide is set up on the following manner for each section.

  • Question
  • Brief statement
  • Expanded explanation
  • Reference(s)

This format was chosen so the student can provide brief initial answers to questions. Then, if additional detail is needed, the student can further expand on the concept. It is recommended that students keep their initial answers short and then expand on the topic as requested by the examiner.

Many people find it more difficult to answer questions verbally than when answering questions on written tests. Do not forget to practice answering questions verbally.

Everything described in this guide relates to counter-clockwise rotating rotor systems, as these are the predominate types of rotor systems used in the United States. Many of the principles described would be the opposite if the pilot was flying a helicopter with a clockwise rotating main rotor system. In addition, all descriptions presented assume a helicopter has a tail rotor for anti-torque control, as this is the most common anti-torque method used on training helicopters. There are designs, such as the NOTORĀ® system, that use different methods for anti-torque.

Other relevant concepts in this guide are explained in relation to the northern hemisphere. Some concepts would be reversed in the southern hemisphere.