Frequently Asked Questions

What if the weather is no good on the day?

Your comfort and safety is our priority. We will liaise with you in the lead up to your scheduled flight to make alternative arrangements if required. The call to fly is up to the Pilot in Command and their specialist opinion is final in this matter.

Why do you need to know my weight?

It is important we have accurate body and gear weight from every passenger, this is a CAA regulation. Helicopter weight and balance changes with every flight because of passenger weight, pilot weight, length of flight and fuel weight.

What should I wear?

Comfortable warm clothing and sturdy footwear.

Can I bring a camera or drone?

Yes absolutely, we encourage you to bring a camera and share your photos with us. Drone use is allowed under supervision of the pilot, only when the helicopter is shut down and within the immediate vicinity of the landing spot. Talk to us about whether it is suitable on your specific flight.

I have never flown in a helicopter, is it bumpy?

Our experienced pilots take every care to make your trip as smooth and safe as possible. We put customers comfort first and enjoy taking many first timers up to enjoy an incredible experience.

Is there an age limit?

Children 3 years and under fly free on an adults laps (minimum of two full paying fares). Children 4 years and above require their own full paying seat.

Can I fly to a location you haven’t advertised?

Yes absolutely! Our flights are customisable, get in touch with our team to help create your ultimate trip.

What is the easiest way to try flying a helicopter?

A 30-minute trial lesson is the first step. All trainees MUST have strong spoken English skills. Allow 60-90 minutes from beginning to end to accommodate a safety briefing and helicopter movements. Trainees must wear trousers and closed-toe shoes.

When can I start training?

Private training can start at any time subject to the existing training schedule. Please allow 2-8 weeks to make preparations (enrolment, payment arrangements, flight scheduling, etc.). Diploma applications are accepted each August for classes starting in the following January. Enrolment and initial payments must be completed by mid-December.

What helicopters can I train in at Wanaka Helicopters?

Our trainees have the options of flying in the Robinson R22 or Guimbal Cabri G2 helicopter. Type ratings are available in a range of other helicopters, after the completion of your licence.

Can I get a student loan for my helicopter training?

Our Diploma in Aviation is eligible for student loan application and Fees Free. However all private training is private funded.

How long does it take to achieve a pilots licence?

A Private Pilot Licence (PPL) requires a minimum of 50 hrs flight training. This could take approx 15 weeks flying full time. A Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL) requires a minimum of 100 hrs flight training additional to the PPL (50 hrs) taking approx 45 weeks flying full time. We can accomodate part time and full time options, get in touch to discuss your requirements further.

How much does it cost to get a pilots licence?

A Private Pilot Licence (PPL) minimum cost is $30,000 and a Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL) minimum cost is $90,000. This is based on the absolute minimum hours flown but additional costs will be incured, including living costs, medical fees, exam fees, flight test fees etc. An allowance of an extra 10-15% should be made for these additional costs mentioned.

Diploma of Aviation Costs
For our Diploma of Aviation candidates with fewer than 60 post-secondary academic credits may be eligible for the provider-based Fees-Free programme. Visit www.feesfree.govt.nz or talk to us to see if you are eligible. Individual course costs are fixed each year, but any annual increases are limited to 2% or less. For domestic students (NZ/Aus) the cost of the course in 2022 is $115,000 ($103,000 if you are eligible for fees-free). The international student cost is $138,000. Any shortfall from StudyLink student loans (typically $43k-$45k) needs to be deposited as your ‘personal contribution’ to study. A second year student loan depends upon satisfactory academic and flight progress in year one. All funds are deposited into a Public Fee-Protect Trust fund account for your peace of mind.

You can read more on the specific costs involved and what funding and scholarship options there are available for studying a Diploma in Aviation (Helicopter) here.

How experienced are your instructors?

Wanaka Helicopters has the most experienced helicopter flight instructors of any flight school in NZ.  Check out our instructor biographies for more information.

Terms and Conditions

Pricing and GST
All prices are in New Zealand Dollars and inclusive of 15% GST (Goods and Service Tax). We do not accept payment in any other currency. Your card issuer may apply charges for converting currency. These charges are applied by your card issuer therefore we accept no responsibility for these fees.

We reserve the right to change our prices however we will not change the price without prior notification. This may only happen in the unlikely event that a typing error has occurred and the price has been displayed incorrectly. In this instance, we reserve the right to withdraw your booking/order and offer at the correct price. Any unlikely occurrences will be dealt with at our discretion.

To secure your booking we require your Credit Card details. Payment will not be processed until the day of your flight. You may send through your credit card details via email (we have a secure email system) or please give us a call between 8.30am-5.00pm Monday-Sunday.

Credit Card Payments
Payment made by credit card will incur a 3% surcharge. We accept Visa, Master Card and Debit Cards, but cannot take Amex.

Cancellation and Refund Policy
Cancellation – 48 hours notice of cancellation is required. If 48 hours notice is not given 15% will be charged to your Credit Card.

If for safety or any other reason Wanaka Helicopters cancels a trip a full refund will be made. If a trip needs to be shortened for any reason then the difference of any monies paid will be refunded to the client upon return.

Privacy Policy
Any personal information supplied to us will only be used to process your booking/order. We do not share your information with any third-parties. View our website privacy policy.

Client to phone Wanaka Helicopters the morning of flight for a weather check. And one hour prior if further requested. Client shall arrive ten mins prior to departure time.