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Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL-H)

Commerical Pilot LicenceNever "work" another day again!

If you wish to progress from flying for pleasure to a career as a professional pilot, we have the best option for you!!

The most cost affordable way for eligible students to gain their commercial or instructors pilots license is to apply for student loan funding through the Student Loan Studylink assisted loan funded places scheme. Please see our NZQA Diploma courses page for full information.

Obtaining your helicopter commercial pilot licence will open up a new chapter with continual challenges and stimulation on a daily basis.

Based from North Shore Airport, once you have passed your PPL-H your commercial course can begin. You will build on the achievements to date and begin with underslung load training.  This will fine tune your hovering skills and teach you the importance of power management.  Together with advanced navigation exercises and the intricacies of mountainous terrain flying you will be well on your way to obtaining your commercial pilot licence and the start of a new career.

An average Commercial Pilot Licence - Helicopter will take up to one-year full time (including the PPL-H), but dependant on your commitment and budget can be achieved in a lot less than that.

To obtain a Commercial Pilot Licence - Helicopter you must:

  • Be at least 18 years of age
  • Hold a current NZ Class 1 Medical Examination
  • Hold a current NZ Private Pilot Licence - Helicopter
    • Pass CPL-H written exams in Meteorology, Navigation, Air Law, Human Factors, Principles of Helicopter Flight and Helicopter Technical Knowledge.
  • Have a minimum of 150 hours of total flight experience in the following:
    • 35 hours dual instruction
    • 35 hours pilot in command
    • 10 hours underslung load training
    • 10 hours mountainous terrain experience
    • 20 hours cross country navigation which must include:
      • 7 hours dual
      • 8 hours pilot in command
      Night and Instrument flying are optional

NB - All students must join and maintain membership of the North Shore Aero Club throughout the period of any training with NSHT or thereafter if they continue to fly at North Shore Airfield

The CPL (H) standalone is not part of the NZQA approved diploma course. Full details of the approved course requirements can be found on the NZQA Approved Courses page and reading the Diploma Student Handbook

NSHT Student Handbook - All Courses 


Job Prospects (2017+)

With a global shortage of experienced personal, it has never been a better time to think about a career as a Helicopter Pilot!

A few things to consider...
  • In NZ we now have over 850 helicopters used in a variety of roles and we lead the world on per capita ownership of just over 4 million people.
  • To compare - China has 465 (21 in HK) civilian (644, military) with a current growth of 20% and India has 639 civilian and 644 military helicopters and will over take China in the next 10 year. Both countries military fleets though will need seriuos updating over the next few years.
  • Australia has 2100; Brazil 2000; Canada 1600; Europe (21 countries) 4225; Russia 2443; Japan 800, Thailand 100, PNG 200
  • Military trained pilots used to account for 80% of active pilots, now its just 20% and diminishing.
  • The average age of a helo pilot is still an amazing 54yrs old and getting older.
  • With the global demand increasing and growing between 6-20% in some countries there is a 2-3 yr waiting list for some new machinery and the time delay for parts for some helos, are a source of concern for operators.
  • With 8% of pilots retiring in the Australiasian region, an increase of new machines between 6-20% - it means theres a demand of over 20%+pa for new pilots
  • Prior to the recession, oil and mineral exploration in Canada, USA, Australia and PNG to name just a few,were swallowing up experienced pilots with 1000+ hour. Commodity prices are volitile and there will always be peaks and troughs in this sector.
  • With that demand at the experienced level increasing, it will leave a huge gap for local operators and training schools - it increases the opportunity for the less experienced pilot to advance more quickly. However there are no guarantees and the industry will ebb and flow to market forces. 

 

OK, that all sounds great but what about the down side??

Its not all roses and certainly will not be an easy ride. You really need to consider whether a career in this fabulous industry is for you. First and foremost - you have to be committed.

Gaining the license is not an easy path for most. You have 12 exams to pass, 150 hrs of flying and not all of it will go the way you thought it would. Most people can be taught how to fly, but sometimes you will plateau and not advance as quickly as you would like. It doesn't matter which school you went to, how much money you have or how good you are at playstation - the challenge of flying, with all of its multi-faceted considerations, is a great leveller.

You have to think about your personnel circumstances - the impact on your family and friends - how much time you can dedicate to study and flying - the financial cost - are you prepared to travel to study, or once you get your license, to work - are you prepared to sweep the hanger floors for nothing before the boss gives you those first few precious hours to get you started - are you prepared to earn as little as $20k NZD (if your lucky!) in those early years until your experience builds up before you became marketable?

The best career in the world...

Its not all doom and gloom!!!! Sure there is an awful lot that you need to consider before you start spending a lot of money - but once you have made that decision and you are working as an instructor, or a charter pilot, or filming for the evening news, or spraying, or rescuing someone... then you will know you made the best decision you ever could have and it was all so worthwhile...

Please don't hesitate to call us with all your questions.

We really want you to make the right decision and help your dreams become a reality!

 

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