Helicopter Commercial Pilot's Licence

The UK CAA Commercial Pilot's Licence (CPL(H))

If you want to fly professionally as a career, you will need a Commercial Pilot’s Licence (CPL (H)). This is the standard professional licence which can only be taken at Approved Flight Training Organisations like Heliflight. 

Heliflight offers a modular flight training approach to obtaining a CPL (H) that helps you to train at your own pace and manage your finances.

Before you start training for your CPL, you will need to hold a PPL (H), issued in accordance with Annex 1 to the Chicago convention and have logged 155 hours of helicopter flying including 50 hours PIC of which 10 hours must be cross-country.

You will also be studying a range of theory in greater depth than for your PPL. This study can be done at home in your own time on a distance learning course.  Heliflight will guide on where best to complete this ground school. There is also a compulsory ground school part of the course that lasts three weeks in total. This will also give you the opportunity to make friends with fellow pilots as you work towards passing your theoretical exams. These exams must be passed prior to taking your Skills test, but Heliflight recommends that they are passed prior to commencing your flight training.

The theoretical knowledge exams cover the following subjects: -

  • Air law • Meteorology
  • Aircraft general knowledge airframe/systems/powerplant • General navigation
  • Aircraft general knowledge - instrumentation • Radio navigation
   •Mass and balance
• Operational procedures
  • Performance • Principles of flight
  • Flight planning and monitoring • Visual flight rules (VFR) communications
  • Human performance  

The flight training will comprise of at least 30 hours of dual flight instruction, including 10 hours of instrument instruction and 20 hours of visual flight instruction. Your commercial flying course will hone the flying skills you developed on your PPL and build upon them. You’ll become adept at emergency procedures including practicing landing a helicopter without power.

You will also need to complete at least 5 hours of night flight instruction, comprising 3 hours of dual instruction, which will include at least 1 hour of cross-country navigation and 5 solo night circuits, each including a take-off and landing. 

You will not need to complete the additional night flight instruction if you already hold a night rating (helicopter).

At the end of training, and when all requirements for licence issue have been met, you will need to take a skill test with an examiner.

If you would like further information about the CPL (H) course and the other training available from Heliflight, please contact us. We’ll be happy to help. For current prices please call us.


SE49, Gloucestershire Airport, Staverton, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, GL51 6SR.