Guy Leitch

Pooleys Air Pilot Manual. Volume 4H The Helicopter – Technical

British based Pooleys have become the industry standard for ab-initio flight training books in the UK and Europe. This month I look at Air Pilot Manual #4H: The Helicopter – Technical

Despite the high costs of helicopter training and the general decline in affordability due to the weak Rand and high cost of maintenance and fuel, ab-initio helicopter training has shown a steady growth in South Africa. Further, South African flight schools are increasingly becoming the preferred training ground for students from across Africa, the Middle East and India.

When Pooley’s books launched their Southern African series at the AERO Expo at Wonderboom this year, I was intrigued by how Pooleys has tackled the daunting challenge of becoming the standard reference work for the specialist market of helicopter training, particularly in South African conditions.

The requirement for success in producing standard reference works are an excellent authoritative text, plus great diagrams and layout, especially for the more technical aspects of helicopter operations – which is what Book #4H covers.

A quick flip through all the Pooley’s books will show that the layout and diagrams have elevated this niche publishing art to a new level. The diagrams, in particular, are models of simplicity and clarity. Importantly too, the text is organised into clear topics with headings and introductions that take the student seamlessly from one subject to the next.

The technical aspects of helicopter operations can be a daunting subject for non-aviation minded people who have always wanted to become a real helicopter pilot.

Pooleys has not yet released a Southern African edition for ‘The Helicopter – Technical’ but the lessons are universal, and the book covers everything you need to know – either in South Africa – or the UK.

Pooley’s the helicopter is presented in five clearly defined sections:

The first section is an overview covering the forces of flight, being Weight Lift, Airspeed and Drag.

The next section is called Section 1 and covers the complex subject of Principles of Flight for helicopters. Section 2 covers Helicopter General Knowledge with chapters on Transmission systems tail rotors and engines. Section 3 covers Operational Procedures. Section 4 covers Flight Performance and Planning.

These are all complex subjects. Topics such as vortex ring state, translational lift and loss of tail rotor effectiveness, are presented with great clarity and are easy to comprehend.

The book includes practice questions. This is important because the SACAA exams come in for steady criticism for their sometimes confusing questions. In the bad old days this may have been because the exams were first posed in Afrikaans and then translated into English. Nowadays the exams are set in English, but there’s still plenty of room for confusion. So the inclusion of typical industry questions is an essential for an industry standard international reference text.

Pooley’s has been publishing these books for more than thirty years. The content has thus had the benefit of decades worth of refinement. The book has a comprehensive index which makes it easy to find specific subjects and thus is an invaluable ready-reference work.

The books are available online, or from any good pilot supplies shop. Or order online from:

The Pooley’s Air Pilot Manuals

The Pooley’s Air Pilot Manual series is a world-renowned reference for both the student pilot and instructor.

The Air Pilot’s Manuals aim is to standardise the quality of flying training, teaching and learning equipment through schools and their instructors. Pooley’s says that all the aviation training publications they produce have been closely scrutinised by leading schools and instructors.

Over 35 years more than 200,000 copies of Pooleys manuals have been sold. There are five SA volumes covering all the key aspects of the Private Pilots syllabus – excluding South African licence radio patter. Their textbooks are constantly updated edited and revised.

The key volumes published for Southern Africa so far are:

• Volume 1: Flying Training

• Volume 2: Human Performance and Meteorology

• Volume 3: Navigation

• Volume 4: The Aeroplane: Principles of Flight and Aircraft General

• Volume 5: Air Law and Flight Planning.

Volume 4H The Helicopter Technical is not yet available in a southern Africa edition.

Pooleys does not only produce books – they also have a strong online digital product range. Students are able to download the new SA manuals through the free Pooleys eBooks App and then in-app purchase the manuals.


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