Learn to Fly

Private Pilot’s Licence (Helicopter)

Due to limited instructor availability, only shorter term instruction is currently available such as BFRs and Cabri type ratings. Unfortunately we are not able to accept new PPL students at the moment. Please call us on 04 902 6536 to discuss.


A Private Pilot’s Licence (PPL) is the entry level pilot’s qualification and allows you to fly an aircraft anywhere in New Zealand and carry your friends as passengers.


To gain a PPL you will need to acquire particular flying skills, complete a certain amount of flight time, pass theory exams and undergo a practical flight test. You must also have passed an aviation medical examination.


The full list of requirements to achieve your Private Pilots Licence includes:


  • Passing examinations in six subjects.
  • Passing an English Proficiency assessment
  • Passing a flight test which will include all normal and emergency flight manoeuvres
  • This will also include a test on your ability to comply with Air Traffic Services practices and procedures


You must also complete at least 50 hours total flight time of which:


  • 20 hours must be dual instruction
  • 15 hours must be solo flight time
  • 5 hours mountain flying
  • 10 hours cross-country navigation training


Note: You may not operate an aircraft for hire or reward without achieving your Commercial Pilot’s Licence (CPL).


Lessons are generally 90 minutes long, and consist of:


  • Pre-flight briefing (25 mins)
  • Flying the exercise (45 mins average)
  • Post flight de-briefing (15 mins)


Lessons are charged by the hour for the type of aircraft you are operating, and there are different rates for flights with an instructor (dual) or just yourself (solo). Note other applicable fees may apply depending on the lesson (e.g. landing fees).


As the instructors time can be limited you should arrive at the club in good time and prepared for the lesson.



Theory Exams

The six theory exams that are part of the syllabus are set at about the level of high school exams. A score of at least 70% is required for a pass in any subject. You can study for the exams on your own, using New Zealand textbooks.


The exams are:


  • Flight Radio Telephony
  • Air Law
  • Aircraft Technical Knowledge
  • Human factors
  • Meteorology (Weather)
  • Air Navigation and Flight Planning


PPL exams are held by ASPEQ. Once you register for each subject, exam papers are sent to a nominated exam centre for you to go and sit. See https://www.aspeq.com/ for details.


Any incorrect answers in the exams are noted as ‘knowledge deficiency reports’ (KDRs). Before you sit your flight test you must have demonstrated to a flying instructor that your knowledge of these aspects of the subject have improved.



To qualify for a PPL pilots, should pass a Class 2 Aviation Medical conducted by a CAA authorised medical practitioner or hold a Waka Kotahi NZTA DL9 Medical with a Passenger endorsement. You can see a current list authorised medical examiners (AMEs) at the CAA website.


Providing you continue to meet the legal medical requirements, there is no upper age limit for holding a PPL.

If you are ready to start working towards your PPL, give us a call on 04 902 6536 or visit our clubrooms where one of our staff will be more than happy to discuss your training in more detail.