NZ Diploma Aviation Rotary Wing

Congratulations on taking your first step towards becoming a pilot.

Ardmore Flying School delivers the New Zealand Diploma in Aviation for Rotary Wing / Helicopter Training. This level 5 DipAv includes all the base training required to achieve a role in general aviation as a helicopter pilot. The course takes approximately 57 weeks to complete.

To be eligible for the Professional Airline Pilot Programme, you must:

  • At least 18 years old at course commencement.
  • English Language Proficiency
    • IELTS (Academic) score of 6 (no bands less than 5.5) for the Diploma Programme
    • IELTS (Academic) score of 5.5 (no bands less than 5.0) for the Recreational Programme
  • Immigration - All international students must hold a Student Visa to study in NZ. This can be obtained via upon receiving your Confirmation of Placement from Ardmore Flying School.
  • Medical - Students must obtain a Class 1 Medical. Please see the list of approved doctors in your area at CAA or discuss with our enrolment team.
  • Logbook of any previous flight training
  • Complete an interview with our recruitment team

For more detailed information please view our International Students page or contact Enrolments.

All fees paid in advance are placed in a government guaranteed trust in the students name and not directly into Ardmore. Ardmore Flying School then bills the student’s trust account for training after it has been completed. Contact us to find out more.

1Private Pilots License PPL(H) and Commercial Pilots License CPL(H) - Integrated Theory

12 weeks

This initial theory course covers basic and professional knowledge levels in the following subjects:

  • Air Law (H)
  • Meteorology
  • Navigation
  • Human factors
  • Flight ready telephone operator
  • Principles of flight (H)
  • Aircraft technical knowledge (H)

This is a combination of classroom and online material with examinations conducted by Aviation Services Limited. Rotary specific course material will be taught by our experienced rotary instructor pilot.

2Basic Practical Phase (Rotary)

16 weeks

This phase is included in your Private Pilot License PPL(H) and enables you to fly for pleasure with friends and family.

Whatever your aspirations, we believe that good solid training at a basic level is imperative. Our training programmes are designed to go well beyond the minimum standards required for a Private Pilots License. This ensures you are well equipped to handle all situations with confidence and continue on to a professional level.

Once the PPL(H) is achieved in this basic phase of training, students will be able to take passengers and fly anywhere in New Zealand, but students are unable to be employed on a PPL(H).

Flight Time Requirements

Minimum 50 hours of flight experience

3Commercial Pilot License CPL(H) Practical - Advanced Phase

20 weeks

This second phase of CPL(H) training hones the skills of advanced aircraft maneuvers including:

  • Cross country flying
  • Sling load flying
  • Night flying
  • Mountain flying
  • Low flying
  • General helicopter handling skills

It is focused on operating the aircraft professionally and incorporates all technical and non-technical skills learned to date. It culminates with the CPL(H) license skills test conducted by Aviation Services Limited (ASL).

Flight Time Requirements

180 hours minimum including:

  • 50 hours Pilot in Command
  • 100 hours Dual Instruction
  • 30 hours Cross Country Navigation

This includes flying time built during PPL level.

4Instrument Rating Theory

4 weeks

This course covers three subjects that will allow the professional pilot to fly in Instrument Meteorological Conditions (IMC) under Instrument Flight Rules (IFR). The subjects are:

  • IFR Law
  • Instrument and navigation aids
  • IFR Navigation

The course incudes training on modern navigation aids including GPS and remote navigation procedures (RMP) as well as traditional navigation aids. This course is a combination of classroom and online learning.

5Airline Transport Pilot License (ATPL)

5 weeks

This is a theory course covering the following subjects at the highest level:

  • Basic Gas Turbine
  • Dangeours Goods
  • Human Factors
  • Navigation
  • Meteorology
  • Air Law


  • At least 18 years of age
  • English Language Proficiency
  • Class 1 Medical (A list of approved medical examiners is on the CAA website)
  • ADAPT test results with a minimum score of average
  • NCEA Level 2 English, Maths and a science
  • Complete an interview with our recruitment team