Everything You Need to Know About Helicopter Flight Training

Are you interested in learning how to fly a helicopter? Do you want to know how long does it take to be a pilot? Helicopter flight training can be a thrilling and fulfilling experience, but it’s important to have a good understanding of what you’re getting into before you start.

This FAQ page covers all the basics of helicopter flight training, from the requirements and costs, to the different training programs available and what to expect during your lessons. Whether you’re just starting to research or you’re ready to take the plunge, this guide will provide you with the information you need to make informed decisions about your training.

Australian Helicopter Pilot School has been in business for over 40 years and has trained more than 1000 Students. Chief Flying Instructor and Chief Pilot Bill Miller has over 15,000 hours of instructional helicopter flight experience and over 5,000 hours of commercial flight experience.
Completing your flight training with an established school like Australian Helicopter Pilot School means you will have access to an extensive fleet and highly-experienced flight instructors. It also gives you peace of mind that your qualifications will be recognised in the industry.
A Commercial Helicopter Pilot Licence (CPL(H)) qualifies you to work as a helicopter pilot anywhere in Australia, while a Private Helicopter Pilot Licence (PPL(H)) allows you to enjoy flying helicopters for leisure, so you can take on passengers for no financial reward.
To attain a helicopter pilot licence, part-time students commonly undertake approximately one to two hours of instruction per week. Full-time students commonly 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). Being that we do not run set date courses but operate our training schools seven days a week, students can ultimately choose the frequency of their training for both part-time and full time training, which means they can progress through the licensing process at the speed they are most comfortable with.
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.

Our Central West school offers in-house accommodation, while our Queensland and Bankstown schools have motel-style accommodation nearby. Bankstown also has a caravan park close to the flight school. For the Bankstown and Queensland base we can provide support to find the accommodation that is most suitable for students that is both cost-effective and close as possible to our bases.

No, various payment options are available.

Yes, full-time students can undertake up to three hours per day of flight instruction after an initial qualifying period.
A night rating is available which requires a minimum of 10 hours flight time plus a practical flight test. This training must be in addition to the hours required for your helicopter pilot licence.
Yes, Australian Helicopter Pilot School is one of the few flight schools that provide remote training facilities. To date, we have trained over 250 pilots at stations and private properties throughout Australia. To qualify for remote training, you need to be located further than 100 nautical miles from a registered training school’s fixed base operation.

Due to the impressive reputation of Australian Helicopter Pilot School, many of our Commercial Helicopter Pilot Licence (CPL(H)) students go on to achieve incredible career goals, such as working with Childflight, Westpac Rescue, Bristows, CHC (Lloyds), NSW Police, rescue charters, film services, oil rig transfers and aerial surveying locally and internationally. There are a wide range of opportunities to turn your passion for flying into a successful career.

You must be at least 16 years old to be able to go solo, at least 17 years to obtain a Private Helicopter Pilot Licence (PPL(H)) and at least 18 years to obtain a Commercial Helicopter Pilot Licence (CPL(H)).

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.

Helicopters have the ability to glide with the engine off. Gliding exercises are conducted in your flight training. Unlike fixed wing planes, helicopters can land safely with the engine off in a confined area with no forward speed.