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Commercial Pilot Licence

Commercial Pilot Licence

Commercial Pilot Licence

Become A Commercial Pilot!

Dreaming of a career at 1000ft? Want to learn in a supportive and immersive environment with industry experts to guide you along the right flight path?

Townsville Helicopters is Townsville's first helicopter flight school and have been training industry ready pilots since 2010. Our training facility is second to none and our program focuses on training students to the highest industry standard.

Our students also enjoy the wonderful lifestyle that Townsville has to offer. All types of accommodation are available and the city is host to a wide variety of activities, restaurants and nightlife. If you need to relax on your days off, Magnetic Island is a short 20 minute ferry ride away.

We enjoy an average of 320 days of sunshine per year here in Townsville. This translates to less interruption to the student's training program.

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The Basics

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

Under our training program, 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. Our course also includes a Low Level Rating as standard which allows pilots to conduct low level operations (below 500ft).

Course Structure:
  • approx. 6 months full time

  • start with 12 weeks of in-class theory
  • min. 105 hours flight training in up to 2 aircraft types
  • part time training also available


Also available as the AVI50322 Diploma of Aviation (Commercial Pilot Licence - Helicopter) through TAFE Queensland RTO 0275 

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The Airspace

Operating out of the city's main international airport, students at Townsville Helicopters become familiar with a variety of controlled and non-controlled airspace. We utilise an open area within the airport that often does not require a lot of radio calls, as well as uncontrolled airspace to the east and the west of the field.

This allows us to have uninterrupted training lessons and also immerses the student into the professionalism of flying in a larger city. We are the only school in North QLD that can offer this environment and at the end of the training you can be confident to take you first steps into the world of aviation as a professional pilot.

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

Your options for undertaking theory studies are:

  • 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 get in touch to find out more.

Upcoming course dates

Licence Prerequisites

You will need to obtain the following in order to gain your licence, as required by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA). 

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

Information on these, and how to complete your applications is available with our course information package.

Do I need any previous experience?

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

A sense of adventure and being prepared to put in the effort is all you require.

That said, if you would like to experience flying before you commit to a course, you may be interested in a Trial Introductory Flight to find out what it's all about!

Previous flying experience will, in some cases, allow for a reduction in the number of flying hours you will need to complete - please get in touch to discuss.

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

Enquire Now   Upcoming Course Dates

If you would like more information about our courses and how to enrol, please fill out our enquiry form and we will get in touch shortly.

Alternatively, please give the office a call on 07 4772 4998 to discuss any of your training questions!