Private / Commercial Training


Private Pilot Licence PPL(H)

A PPL(H) licence enables you to act as pilot in Command of a helicopter privately and for non-fare paying passengers.
PPL licencing requires a minimum of 50 hours of flight training of which at least 20 hours is flown
dual with an instructor and 15 hours is flown solo. The first 15 to 25 hours training covers basic air exercises and generally learning to operate the helicopter. As a trainee you then progress to compulsory advanced exercises including 5 hours mountainous terrain flights and 10 hours of cross country flying (navigation).

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In conjunction with the flight training, six theory exams have to be passed including  air law, meteorology, navigation,  air technology, flight radio and human factors. A spoken English examination is also required. Private training students undertake self-directed study and schedule their own theory examinations.

Every trainee and training schedule is different, but we pride ourselves on a high flight test success rate for trainees with 50-60 flight hours experience. Age and training flight frequency are important components for success so we support a personalised approach to training programme design.

We welcome trainees from anywhere in the world for private training. The official global language of aviation is English, so spoken English and English comprehension standards apply.


Commercial Pilot Licence CPL(H)

A CPL(H) licence permits you to be pilot in command of a single pilot aircraft, or as co­-pilot of a multi­-pilot aircraft and be paid for this work.

A minimum of 150 flight hours of training is required, of which 35 hours must be solo flight. Similar flying exercises are covered as in a PPL(H), but to a much higher standard and in a broader range of environmental conditions. In addition, 10 hours of sling (external load) training must be completed.

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During the 100 hours required over and above the 50 hour PPL(H) requirement, additional advanced training can be done depending on the student’s ability and progress such as advanced mountainous terrain, advanced sling load operations, type ratings and some practical ‘in the field’ operational flying.

Six additional CPLH examinations must be passed with advanced topics in aviation law, meteorology, navigation, helicopter principles of flight, helicopter technology, and human factors.

Trainees find that earning their CPL(H) from Wanaka Helicopter opens doors to employment through our industry reputation and trainees regularly take advantage of instructor references to gain their first position.


Fixed Wing / Overseas Licence Conversions

Our instructors are experienced in the CAA of NZ rules and training processes for the following pilot license conversions:


Helicopter Type Rating/Endorsements

Further your helicopter flying career!

Type Ratings
At Wanaka Helicopters we operate a fleet which includes the following aircraft:

  • Robinson R22, Beta & Beta II
  • Robinson R44 Raven I & Raven II
  • Eurocopter AS350 Super D (Squirrel)
  • H369D (Hughes 500)
  • Guimbal Cabri G
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Type ratings are possible in the above aircraft at short notice and by arrangement in the following:

  • Eurocopter EC130 B4
  • Eurocopter EC120
  • BO 105
  • Bell 206 Jet Ranger
  • Bell 206 Long Ranger
  • Bell 47
  • MD520N
  • H296 (Hughes 300)
  • Robinson R66
  • Westland Scout


Sling Ratings
Many NZ pilots use sling-related skills for both private and commercial work. Wanaka Helicopters offer the full range of sling training (including long-­lining) in several helicopter types.

Many international students come to us to hour build and develop skills in the carriage of sling loads.

We can offer:
– PPL(H) 5 hours of sling training (not a PPL(H) license requirement)
– CPL(H) ­10 hours of sling training (this is a CPL(H) license requirement)

Night Ratings
Night ratings are not required as part of the NZ pilot license, however, we offer night flying training if desired. If you are thinking of undertaking frost protection flying then a night rating is required.

For night operations within 25 nm of a lighted heliport or aerodrome these requirements apply:
– PPL(H) ­ Two hours simulated instrument followed by 5 hours night training
– CPL(H) ­ Two hours simulated instrument followed by 10 hours night training

Instructor Ratings
Wanaka Helicopters has been training flight instructors since the early 1980’s. We are passionate about flight training and pride ourselves in producing exceptional instructors. We have three instructors who can deliver the 25 hour flying course and associated Helicopter Principles of Flight theory requirement.

Courses are run by arrangement on an individual basis. More information on the requirements for Flight Instructor ratings can be found on the CAA website, follow this link.

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