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Checkout Australian Helicopter Pilot School Watch Video

Helicopter Pilot Training

Helicopters are powerful, fascinating machines that are a source of wonder for all ages. If you have always dreamed of gaining your helicopter pilot licence, either for pleasure or to develop a career as a pilot, kick-start your training with professional flight lessons at one of our three modern training schools.

Get started with a Trial Introductory Flight

If you have no previous flying experience, a Trial Introductory Flight is the best way to spend time in the air with one of our fully qualified flight instructors. This hands-on helicopter flight lesson is obligation-free and includes a comprehensive pre-flight brief and an opportunity to handle the controls of the aircraft, giving you an exhilarating taste of what it’s like to fly a helicopter.

If you are serious about getting your helicopter pilot licence, the Flight Discovery Experience offers a more in-depth trial flight. This advanced option includes up to two hours of instructional flying as well as thorough pre- and post-flight briefings, providing a unique insight into what it takes to become a professionally trained pilot.

Download a PDF Brochure | Read our pilots account of obtaining his license

Which licence suits you?

In Australia, there are two types of licences available: Commercial Helicopter Pilot Licence (CPL(H)) and Private Helicopter Pilot Licence (PPL(H)). The CPL(H)qualifies you to work as a helicopter pilot anywhere in Australia, while the PPL(H) allows you to enjoy flying helicopters for leisure.

Both licence types require you to obtain a Student Pilot Licence (SPL) before completing between 50 and 125 hours of flight training time. You are then required to complete the appropriate Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) theoretical examinations before a flight test with an authorised testing officer.

Private Helicopter Pilot Licence

If you’re interested in flying a helicopter for pleasure and taking on passengers for no financial reward, you will need to obtain your Private Helicopter Pilot Licence (PPL(H)). This licence will enable you to fly any Australian-registered helicopter, subject to endorsements and ratings. The requirements for obtaining a PPL(H) are as follows:

  • A minimum of 50 hours flight experience in accordance with the CASA-approved flight training syllabus.
  • A Class 2 Aviation Medical Certificate.
  • Demonstration of adequate aeronautical knowledge in a PPL helicopter theoretical examination.
  • Successfully passing a practical flight examination.

Commercial Helicopter Pilot Licence

If you are interested in a career as an Australian helicopter pilot and wish to fly for financial reward, you will need to obtain your Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL(H)). The requirements for a CPL are as follows:

  • A minimum of 125* hours flight experience in accordance with the CASA-approved flight training syllabus.
  • A Class 1 Aviation Medical Certificate.
  • Demonstration of adequate aeronautical knowledge in seven helicopter-specific theoretical examinations.
  • Successfully passing a practical flight examination.

*Flight experience for the CPL(H) can be reduced to 105 hours if the last 30 hours are completed within 90 days and the licence is completed on a maximum of two aircraft types, with a minimum of 20 hours on each aircraft.

Please note: The flight experience required by CASA does not take into consideration the individual progress of each student, so as a precaution we recommend budgeting for additional hours above the minimum required.

Do you already hold a fixed wing licence?

The minimum flight experience required for students with an existing fixed wing licence is as follows:

  • Private Pilot Aeroplane: 80 hours for a CPL(H) and 38 hours for a PPL(H).
  • Commercial Pilot Aeroplane: 70 hours for a CPL(H) and 38 hours for a PPL(H).
Q How long does it take to learn to fly a helicopter?

To attain a helicopter pilot licence, part-time students generally undertake approximately one to two hours of instruction per week. Full-time students can undertake up to three hours per day of flight instruction, after an initial qualifying period. The flight time required to obtain your licence is determined by your instructor and dependent on the time it takes you to reach the standards required by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA).

Q How can I find out if becoming a helicopter pilot is for me?

A Trial Introductory Flight is the best way to discover whether you are suited to a career as a professional helicopter pilot. You will be guided by one of our experienced flight instructors and experience the exhilaration of handling the controls mid-air as a taste of what it’s like to train for a helicopter pilot licence.

Q What are the medical requirements for becoming a helicopter pilot?

A medical certificate from a Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) approved doctor is required before you can begin your pilot training. You will require a Class 2 Medical Certificate for a Private Helicopter Pilot Licence (PPL(H)) and a Class 1 Medical Certificate for a Commercial Helicopter Pilot Licence (CPL(H)). If you are reasonably healthy you should have no problems and we are happy to provide recommendations of CASA-approved doctors for your convenience.

Q How long has Australian Helicopter Pilot School been operating?

Australian Helicopter Pilot School has been in business for over 30 years and has trained more than 800 Students. Chief Flying Instructor and Chief Pilot Bill Miller has over 11,000 hours of instructional helicopter flight experience and over 4,000 hours of commercial flight experience.

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