Pilot Training Requirements


Private and Commercial Helicopter Pilot Flight Training

Click Here to download a PDF of 'The Facts About Getting a Helicopter Licence.'

Pre-Solo Flight Requirements

Before flying the helicopter solo the student must have a medical examination by a Civil Aviation approved medical examiner in New Zealand.

For a full list of Civil Aviation Medical Examiners please visit the CAA website.

Trial Flights

Trial flights are available where you can be at the controls with one of our experienced instructors sitting beside you. Please note: Individual weight restrictions may apply. Please check with us at time of booking. Trial flights are carried out in our Robinson R22 helicopters.

Helicopters Available for Training or Type Ratings

All training for private of commercial helicopter licences is carried out in our Robinson R22 helicopters. We are also able to provide Type Ratings in our EC120, EC130 and BK117 helicopters.

Private Helicopter Pilot License Requirements

This license entitles the person to pilot a helicopter carrying non-fare-paying passengers.

  1. Must be 17 years of age.
  2. Must have passed private pilot medical by an approved medical examiner.
  3. Must have completed all theory examinations which includes:
    • Navigation
    • Principles of Flight/Air Technology
    • Meteorology
    • Radio Communications
    • Human Factors
    • Law
  4. If the applicant is the holder of valid private pilot license airplane, he/she will only need to sit and pass the written examination 'Principles of Flight/Air Technology'.
  5. Must have completed no less than 50 hours flight experience which must include:
    • 20 hours of Dual instruction
    • 15 hours Pilot in Command 
    • 10 hours of Cross Country Navigation training which must include 5 hours Dual
    • 5 hours advanced Dual
    • 5 hours of Mountain Flying, which must include 3 hours Dual

Additional Ratings (Not Compulsory)

  • 5 hours of Night Flying which must include 2 hours Dual
  • 5 hours of Sling Loads which must include 3 hours Dual

Commercial Helicopter Pilot Licence Requirements

This licence entitles the person to pilot a helicopter carrying fare-paying passengers.

  1. Must be 18 years of age.
  2. Must have passed a commercial pilot's medical examination by an approved medical examiner.
  3. Must hold a valid private pilots license (helicopter) and have completed all the theory and flying experience required.
  4. If an applicant has a valid commercial pilot airplane license will only need to sit and pass the following exams:
    • Principles of Flight and Helicopter Performance and General Aircraft Technical Knowledge (helicopter)
  5. Must have completed no less than 150 hours of flight experience which must include:
    • 35 hours of Dual helicopter instruction 
    • 35 hours as Pilot in Command
    • 20 hours of Cross Country Navigation flying which shall include 16 hours of pilot Cross Country navigation training, 8 hours of Dual and 8 hours of Pilot in Command (Must be supervised by a Category A or B Instructor)
    • Up to 16 hours cross country may be credited to a Commercial Pilot Aeroplane license holder
    • 10 hours of Sling Loads which must include 7 hours of Dual
    • 10 hours of Mountain Flying which must include 6 hours of Dual

Additional Ratings (Not compulsory)

  • 10 hours Night Flying which must include 5 hours of Dual

Credits

A credit of half the Pilot in Command time within the preceding 12 months (from Helicopter flight test date) up to a maximum of 10 hours for flight time flown in airplanes, gliders and permit to fly airplanes.

To a Private Pilot Aeroplane License Holder

A credit of half the Pilot in Command time within the preceding 12 months (from Helicopter flight test date) up to a maximum of 50 hours. This would reduce the total helicopter flight time to a minimum of 100 hours.

To a Commercial Pilot Aeroplane License Holder

A credit of half the Pilot in Command time within the preceding 12 months from helicopter flight test date up to a maximum of 70 hours.

Note: The flying time must be either aerial work or air transport. This would reduce the helicopter flight time to 80 hours.

Study Reference and Resources

The following are suggested study materials for PPL Exams:

Private Pilot Licence

  • Aircraft Technical Knowledge Vol 1 – Waypoints Aviation/Pilot Books
  • Principles of Helicopter Flight – W J Wagtendonk
  • Navigation and Flight Planning Vol 2 – Waypoints Aviation/Pilot Books
  • Weather to Fly Vol 3 – Waypoints Aviation/Pilot Books
  • Flight Radio Vol 4 – Waypoints Aviation/Pilot Books
  • PPL/CPL Air Law Vol 5 – Waypoints Aviation/Pilot Books
  • NZ Civil Aviation Rules and AIP Vol 1 and Vol 4
  • Aviation Medicine and Other Human Factors for Pilots – Dr R Ewing
  • EASA PPL Training – Human Performance – Jeppesen

Commercial Pilot Licence

  • Mechanics of Flight, Introduction to Aeronautical Engineering Series – A C Kermode
  • Rule Part 135
  • Principles of Helicopter Flight – W J Wagtendonk
  • Basic Helicopter Handbook – FAA Publication AC-61-13
  • General Aircraft Technical Knowledge Vol 8 – Pilot Books
  • Aircraft Reciprocating Engines – Jeppeson
  • Principles of Helicopter Flight – W J Wagtendonk
  • Navigation and Flight Planning Vol 2 – Waypoints Aviation /Pilot Books
  • NZAIP – Vol 1 and Vol 4
  • Aviation Medicine and Other Human Factors for Pilots – Dr R Ewing
  • Human Performance and Limitations – R D Campbell & M Bagshaw
  • EASA PPL Training – Human Performance – Jeppesen
  • Meteorology for Professional Pilots Vol 6 – Pilot Books
  • Manual of Meteorology, Parts I and II – published by the Australian Publishing Service
  • Aircraft Icing Handbook – published by CAA NZ - can be printed free from www.caa.govt.nz

Current Legislation:

  • Civil Aviation Rules
  • AIP New Zealand
  • Aviation Information Circulars
  • Civil Aviation Advisory Circulars
  • PPL/CPL Air Law Vol 5 – Waypoints Aviation /Pilot Books

The “Pilotbooks” series and some others can be purchased from the Waypoints Aviation website. Further information is available on the CAA website.

It is recommended that you base your study on the exam syllabuses, which are available on the CAA website under “Advisory Circulars”. AC61-3 contains the PPL written exam syllabus, while AC61-5 contains the CPL syllabus.

Pilot's Log Books

These are available from the Government Book Shop Section in selected Whitcoulls stores. They are also available from the Canterbury Aero Club, and some are kept at the Garden City Helicopters base at 515 Memorial Ave. Please call prior to your visit to ensure stock is available.

Civil Aviation Authority bulletins, rules and advisory circulars can be obtained from the CAA website  - Licensing information is in AC61.

Canterbury Aero Club holds theory classes for PPL students. If you would like to know more about these please contact the Aero Club Ph (03) 359 2121.