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Commercial Helicopter Pilot Licence

Dreamed about getting paid to fly? That’s where our CPL will take you! Flying helicopters for a living is a great way to get involved in a wide variety of jobs and industries worldwide.


This is where the basic foundations for a Commercial Helicopter Licence begins. Learn how to operate the helicopter in real commercial helicopter situations and with commercial helicopter pilots as instructors. To be eligible for a Commercial Helicopter  Licence you need to meet the following criteria:

  • Be at least 18 years of age

  • Hold at least a class 1 CAA medical certificate

  • Pass 6 written exams which are listed in detail below

  • Meet the flight experience requirements which are also listed below

  • Meet the Civil Aviation Authority Fit & Proper Person requirements

CPL Examinations

You also need to sit and pass 6 exams as part of the Commercial Helicopter Licence,  which are relatively straight forward and will teach you all the things you need to know about safely operating a helicopter commercially. These exams are as follows:

CPL Human Factors

Gain an awareness of how your body reacts to the challenging flying environment

CPL Aircraft Technical Knowledge (Helicopter)

Learn how the helicopter systems work along with engine and airframe limits and performance


Learn the rules that govern in a commercial air transport environment

CPL Navigation

Manage the aircraft and learn how to navigate the skies to the CPL requirements


Commercial Helicopter Flight Training

Learn everything you need to become a successful commercial helicopter pilot.


CPL Meteorology

About the weather and how it affects Commercial operations

CPL Principles of Helicopter Flight

Understanding the theory of helicopter is essential to enable you to make maximum and efficient use of the helicopter.

CPL Flight Time

The minimum experience required for the issue of a Commercial Helicopter Pilots Licence – CPL(H) is 150 hours of flight time. This time is made up of the following minimum requirements, which are in additional to obtaining the PPL H Licence:

  • 30 hours of solo flight time

  • 20 hours of cross country navigation

  • 5 hours of basic mountain flight

  • 10 hours of under slung load training

Once you have completed these requirements, flying competently and have passed all your exam credits you will be able to sit your CPL flight test with a flight examiner.

Both night restricted and unrestricted training can be completed as part of the 150 hour requirement. This can easily be incorporated in the training without the need for additional training hours – we strongly encourage you to do this as it will make you more employable and improve your practical flying  skills.


To undertake the CPL Training

Find a breakdown of the requirements for your CPL training. If you have any questions, contact us anytime.

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98 hours minimum dual/solo flying instruction in a Robinson R44 helicopter @ $900 – per hour which assumes 52 previous experience gaining the NZ PPL H

  • $ 88,200


  • Class 1 Medical Examination Fee (incl. issue) – $650 approx including the CAA fee – if this medical is done you do not need to do the PPL medical.

  • Written Examination Fees (6 x $ 141 – per paper) – $846

  • CPL Flight Test Fee and Issue of Licence – $900 (plus examiner travel costs)


  • Additional text books (Meteorology, Aircraft Technology) – NZ $150

  • Personal Visual Flight Guide, Planning Manual, Maps, etc. – NZ $394

  • Total – $91,140 NZD

All prices are in NZ Dollars (includes GST) and  are subject to change



CPL Pilots often fly around mountainous areas.