Ratings & Endorsements

Please give us a call on 07 4772 4998 to book in any training - we generally require a week or two notice to fit you in for low level or sling training.

Low-Level Rating

The rules that govern flight in a helicopter in Australia stipulate that the pilot cannot fly his helicopter at a height below 1000ft above the highest terrain or object on that terrain in a town or city. At any other times the helicopter cannot fly below 500ft above the ground. Often as a helicopter pilot employed by a company that conducts commercial operations, you will be required to go below the minimum altitudes, in order to complete your task. Some of these operations include filming, mustering, agricultural operations and survey work. The low level rating gives you the authority to conduct low level operations and is a very valuable skill for a pilot to have listed on their licence.

Townsville Helicopters offers low-level rating training to commercial and private pilots (this is included in our 105 hour CPL course). The course consists of 5 hours of training followed by a CASA low-level flight test. The flight test is conducted by the CFI of Townsville Helicopters. The flight training course consists of  a classroom brief which covers of important topics such as risk management, environmental considerations and planning followed by the flight component. This module teaches you how to conduct quicksteps, downwind turns, ag. turns, toque turns, low level terrain flying, low level autorotations and many other aspects of low flight


Vertical Reference (Sling) Endorsement

Vertical reference flight, or flying a sling load, as it commonly referred to, is a very valuable skill for a pilot. Helicopter pilots who are proficient in the art of vertical reference are sought after in the industry and this skill generally attracts a higher income. Vertical reference flight is used in numerous operations throughout the world including, fire-fighting, drill movement, construction and exploration, to name but a few.

Townsville Helicopters offers vertical reference training to commercial or private pilots. You must hold a low-level rating to complete this training (see above). The instructors have thousands of hours of slinging in commercial operations both in Australia and overseas, and this is an important asset when teaching a pilot the skill.

The training is conducted in our R44 helicopter. CASA does not stipulate a minimum requirements for the training, as it is a competency based training program, however, our training program sets out a 2 hour course as a minimum. A CASA flight test is required after the training. This is conducted by Townsville Helicopters CFI. The training course utilises a 50 foot line and a 100 foot line ( a line that is over 50 feet is classed as a "longline" ).The course covers the following topics

  • Classroom tutorial
  • Rigging the load
  • Hooking up the helicopter
  • Lifting the load
  • Flying the load
  • Hovering with the load including how to steady the load
  • Various landing techniques

Mustering Endorsement

To muster livestock in a helicopter, you require a low-level rating & a mustering endorsement. Mustering training & endorsements are conducted in the field, in your own helicopter.

Townsville Helicopters can conduct mustering training for commercial or private pilots. You will require a minimum of 5 hours training followed by a flight test. With 11 years of mustering experience under his belt, our CFI conducts mustering training across Australia.

As this training takes place in the field, we will need plenty of notice if you are interested in this course to arrange travel & suitable dates.