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Private Helicopter Pilot Licence

Learn everything you need to know with HeliTrain and become a certified PPL helicopter pilot - we’ll take you from start to finish with expert training that can take you across the country and around the globe.


This is where it all starts and the foundation training you receive at the early stage of your helicopter career is vitally important. This is where the core helicopter flying skills are mastered and along with the fundamentals of airmanship, shape the pilot you will be throughout your helicopter pilot career. This alone is why we believe it is so important to have an experienced pilot with advanced instructor skills and qualifications actively directing theses core skills and attitudes.

To be eligible for a PPL, you need to meet the following criteria:

  • Be at least 17 years of age

  • Hold at least a class 2 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

  • Pass an English language test

PPL Examinations

You also need to sit and pass 6 exams which are relatively straight forward and will teach you all the things you need to know about safely flying a helicopter. These exams are as follows:

PPL Flight Radio

How to operate your helicopters radio to communicate with other aircraft in the air and to air traffic control on the ground

PPL Human Factors

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



3 friends out fishing for the day


PPL Aircraft Technical Knowledge (Helicopter)

Learn how the helicopter works otherwise known as Helicopter Principles of Flight


Learn the rules that govern us as pilots and aircraft operators

PPL Navigation

Manage the aircraft and learn how to navigate the skies

PPL Meteorology

About the weather and how it affects us as pilots

PPL Flight Time

The minimum experience required for the issue of a PPL(H) is 50 hours of flight time. This time is made up of the following minimum requirements:

  • 20 hours dual instruction

  • 15 hours of solo flight time

  • 10 hours of cross country navigation

  • 5 hours of mountain flight

  • 5 hours of advanced dual instruction

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


PPL Training Details

We can provide a clear overview of the costs associated with your PPL Licence. Sometimes a unique scenario is required so please contact us to find out more.

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Private Helicopter Pilot Training Costs

Approximate Cost of Flight Training based on CAA Minimum Requirements for a Private Helicopter Pilot Licence

  • 52 hours in an R44 @ $900 = $46,800

  • Medical fees – $617 (incl CAA fee)

  • Books, maps, publications etc – $440

  • PPL Issue & Flight Test fee – $575 plus travel cost for testing officer

  • Navigation Computer, Scale, Rulers, Protractor – $154

  • Exam fees 6 @ $85 = $510

  • Total $49,096 NZD

Additional Flying: extra tuition, revision @ $ 900 – per hour

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

Please be aware that whilst the CAA minimum hour requirement to sit the Private Helicopter Pilot Licence Test is 50 hours, most students find they sit the test between 60 and 65 hours.


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Helicopter Confidence

We’ll teach you how to have full control of your helicopter