Commercial Pilot Licence

Commercial Helicopter Pilot Licence - CPL (H)

A commercial licence (CPL-H) allows you to fly an helicopter for financial reward (i.e. to work as an helicopter pilot).

A minimum of 105 hours flight training is required before you take a flight test, as well as passes in the 7 CPL theory exams.

Upcoming course dates can be found here.

Course Structure

Non-Integrated CPL (H) - 105 hours minimum. 

  • 6 months (approx) full time (part time training is also an option)
  • Students must undertake flight training at Townsville Helicopters in order to access the theory course
  • Also offered as the AVI50319 Diploma of Aviation (Commercial Pilot Licence - Helicopter) through Tafe Queensland - more information here.

* students may be eligible to transfer flight training hours and exam results from another school to complete their training with us. Please get in touch to discuss your options.

The 105 hour CPL training course has a restriction that the last 30 hours of training must be completed within 90 days which is easily completed under a full time course. As standard, we include 5 hours of low-level flight training in this course (followed by a low-level flight test) so that you come away with a low-level rating attached to your licence. For both CPL & Diploma students: You can complete your training in up to 2 helicopter types under the 105 hour course - with a minimum of 20 hours in the second type. We offer training in R22, R44 and the turbine AS350 helicopters. 

Enquire now!


You will need to obtain the following in order to gain your licence. Information on these, and how to complete your applications is available with our course information package.

  • Aviation Reference Number (ARN) 
  • Class 1 Medical Certificate
  • Aviation Security ID Card (ASIC)

Please contact us using the enquiry form for details on how to apply for each, or give us a call on 07 4772 4998.

Previous experience?

You will be glad to know that no previous flying experience is needed before you start to learn to fly a helicopter.

A sense of adventure and being prepared to put in a little effort is all you require. Previous flying experience, in some cases, will allow for a reduction in the amount of flying hours you will need to complete toward your aeroplane pilots licence. 

That said, if you would like to experience flying before you commit to a course, you may be interested in a Trial Introductory Flight 

Commercial Theory

Commercial theory consists of seven exams. You must achieve a pass in all 7 exams to gain your Commercial Licence (a pass is 70% in all subjects except Flight Rules and Air Law which requires 80%). The 7 subjects are:

  1. Human Factors
  2. Aerodynamics
  3. Aircraft General Knowledge
  4. Meteorology
  5. Navigation
  6. Operations, Performance and Planning 
  7. Flight Rules & Air Law
There are two main options for you when it comes to the theory aspect of your licence:
  • Full time classroom theory. Our CPL theory is run as a 12 week intensive course, taking you through all 7 subjects and exams. This option gives you a focused, classroom environment and the support & experience of our instructors to help you get the most out of your studies. Classes run Mon-Fri 7:30am - approx 2:30pm.
  •  If you are self-motivated, and pick things up easily, you may be able to self-study the theory components of your course. We can provide you with the materials & books you will need to go this route. Please contact us at [email protected] to find out more.
Employment options

There are a variety of employment options available to a commercial helicopter pilot;

  • General Charter (Aerial Work, Photography, Tours, etc)
  • Fire Fighting
  • Instructing
  • Construction
  • Corporate Charter
  • Emergency Medical Services
  • Agricultural and Mustering

Approximate total cost = $65,000 with minimum flight hours in an R22. Get in touch for a full Schedule of Fees.

If you would like more information about our courses, and information on how to enrol, please fill out our enquiry form and we will get in touch with more information about the course. Alternatively, please give the office a call on 07 4772 4998 to discuss any of your training questions!

Have a Question? Contact Us