Commercial Pilot License-Helicopter

Upon completion of a PPL-H you can fly helicopters all around the country with friends and family, however you cannot accept money or rewards for the flight (you can’t be paid). To be paid as a helicopter pilot you require a Commercial Pilot License. The following is a guideline in addition to the requirements of a PPL-H.



Continuing from your PPL-H there are another 6 exams. Many of them the same as PPL exams, but studied in more depth. Exams such as Air Law are tested on the commercial aspect of flying rather than the recreational/private rules tested in the PPL Air Law exam.

These exams are also attainable for those who apply themselves and study well. As with the PPL syllabus, we can help you with ground theory tuition if required

We recommend Waypoints text books for the complete syllabus.

  • Air Law (Helicopter, Commercial)
  • Flight Navigation
  • Meteorology
  • Principles of Flight & Aircraft Performance (Helicopter)
  • General Aircraft Technical Knowledge (Helicopter)
  • Human Factors
  • Basic Gas Turbine (optional)


A Class 1 medical certificate is required to gain a Commercial Pilot License. A Class 1 medical is a more thorough screening process than a Class 2. Contrary to common belief, you can still gain a class 1 medical wearing glasses or contact lenses! General good health and fitness is a key part of gaining, and keeping a Class 1 medical. It is valid for 12 months until the age of 40, after which it is valid for 6 months. Upgrading from a Class 2 to a Class 1 medical is a simple process followed through Skycert with your Aviation Doctor.

Flight Experience

In addition to the minimum 50 hours required for the PPL, another 100 hours is required to make a total of 150 total time minimum to sit the Commercial Flight test. At Aviation Training we put a very strong focus on commercial operations type flying with these extra 100 hours. Because we do recurrent training for many commercial operators around NZ, we are very in-touch with what prospective employers are wanting from their pilots, and this is what we teach! Real, hands on, operational experience.

  • 35 hours Dual Instruction (This is made up of the below flying)
  • 35 hour Pilot in Command (This is made up of the below flying)
  • 20 Hours Cross-country (only 16 when Cross-country PPL has been completed)
  • 10 hours Sling Flying (7 dual instruction)
  • 10 hours Mountain Flying
  • 10 hours Night flying (plus 2 hours Instrument)

Why Robinson R44?

  • Greater power margin- allowing for sling training, advanced mountain training, and more exercises in a lesson
  • More comfort-the cabin is larger and has 4 seats meaning friends and family can come along on non-critical flight lessons
  • Faster airspeed-we waste less time getting places, and you get to fly further for the same amount of time, and have greater range.
  • Practical-you will complete your license in an aircraft that you can hire and take friends and family around.
  • Finishing your helicopter pilot license in the R44 greatly increases your chance of employment as you will already have experience on the helicopter type that will 99% of the time be your first commercial job (mainly due to experience requirements for insurance)
  • These reasons all lead to greater overall safety!


You are a proud Private Pilot ready to take on flying for a living! As a licensed pilot your Commercial training takes a slightly different route. We put a large focus on commercial operations and Pilot in Command (PIC) flight time. When flying by yourself (PIC) the rate is reduced because the instructor is not required. The R44 PIC rate is $1000+ GST per hr while flying with an instructor it is $1100+ GST per hour. We include CPL students on as many of our commercial operations as possible meaning occasional bits of free ferry flying to and from jobs, usually in the bigger helicopters!

  • R22 $700+ GST per hour
  • R44 $1100+ GST per hour
  • B206 Jetranger $1750+ GST per hour
  • Hughes 500 D/E Model $2500+ GST per hour
  • AS350 B2 Squirrel $3200+ GST per hour

**Solo rates on R22, R44 and B206 are available and reduced by $100/hr+ GST for any pilot in command hour building towards CPL where the instructor is either not on board or not required to supervise towards a specific licence requirement.

We have a minimum of 2 hours for any turbine ratings even if you have already done one. Flight training rates are cheaper and may not be reflective of the commercial charter rates for these aircraft, usually charged at a higher tariff. 

  • Minimum 65 hours Solo
  • Minimum 35 hours Dual instruction
  • 7 exams ($144.53+gst each) – $1163.47
  • Flight test fees $774.77+gst
  • Medical costs $400