Commercial Helicopter Pilot Training

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The commercial pilot’s course is designed for pilots that have already completed their PPL and required constructive hour building and who have all their CPL or ATPL Theory Exams completed. The course is 30 hours day and 5 hours night for those who have not obtained a night rating. The fundamental elements of the course is to take a good and progressed PPL student and refine his or her skills to what is required for the Commercial Helicopter World.

The course can be completed over a six month period but to maintain a good degree of progress we recommend you do the course as intensively as possible.

This course is not simply designed to place you in a position to pass a CPL Skills test but more fundamentally to give you the necessary skills that will become invaluable for your future working environment whether that be in the North Sea, Police Services or whatever Commercial Helicopter Role you find as your final ambition.

This course is not an easy one, it’s intense, difficult and will make you appreciate areas you may have not considered. There is a large emphasis on safety, threat and error and is generally designed to make you think.

If you’re interested in becoming a commercial pilot and you haven’t completed the Private Pilot’s Licence (PPL) we recommend you have a look at our Professional Pilots Course. This is a tailored course from start to finish.

Pre-Course Requirements

• 155 hours total time with at least 50 hours PIC (pilot in command).
• ATPL or CPL Theory Exams completed.

Course Structure

The CPL course can be structured around your personal schedule to a maximum of six months, however the majority of students wish to do the course intensively and with suitable weather this could be completed in a month or less.

The course itself consists of three main elements, approximately 10 hours on basic skills, 10 hours on instrument flying and 10 hours on navigation. Additionally for those who don’t have a night rating there is five hours of night flying.

For those who have a non EASA License and qualify for the course, a bridging course is available. This is based on hours required to bring you up to a sufficient level to pass a CPL Skills Test.

Full Time Course:

The full time course is a 2 month intensive course. There will be either 1 or 2 hours flying each day, depending on what exercises you are doing at the time. In addition to this there will be up to 4 or 5 hours ground school each day, focussing on the lesson briefs and also on flight planning and weather briefings. We would also expect you to do some reading at home as well, and we recommend allocating up to 3 or 4 hours a week for this. This will done 4 or 5 days a week, depending on the student's circumstances and also on weather, so expect to be busy up to 30 hours a week! The 2 months allocated for the course takes into account that not each day will have suitable weather for flying, and also the 2 days that will be taken to complete the night rating. 

Part Time Course:

The part time course consists of the same elements as the full time course, but spread over a period of up to 6 months. A popular way of doing this is by flying on the weekends, especially if you have work commitments etc. This would mean you would be flying 2-4 hours a week, with around 6-8 hours ground school a week, so a total time of up to 14 hours per week. We recommend the full time route if at all possible, because the increased intensity will keep you in the mindset a lot better and you wont have to revise as much to keep it fresh in your head. 

The Course can be conducted on any aircraft type however we generally use either the Robinson R44 or the Robinson R22. All daytime flying will take place out of Goodwood Aerodrome, West Sussex or Blackbushe Aerodrome, Hampshire.

Essential Pre Course Reading - Click to view


Click below to download our CPL PDF




If you are interested in becoming a Commercial Pilot then this is your best first step. A completely free seminar with like-minded people where we simply give you the facts in helping you make up your mind.

The seminar is normally a half day event with a presentation followed by a tour of our fleet. Hopefully we will be able to answer all of your questions regarding licences, training, careers and the industry itself.

Please register your interest as there are limited places available.

The next seminar dates are as follows

Blackbushe Airport:

2017 -  3rd September and 1st November.

Goodwood Aerodrome:

2017 -   6th August, 1st October and 3rd December.

If these dates are not suitable we are more than happy to arrange a one to one at a time that best suits you, so please do contact us if this is the case.

Click here to contact us and register your interest for attending our seminar.


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Phoenix for me is now more than just a school to learn how to fly, it has a very homely feel to it, where students and the staff have become a family.

Stuart Russell (Student)

We both had a fantastic flight and thoroughly enjoyed it.  It was a lovely clear day which helped make the views over West Sussex stunning. 
Having a flight in a helicopter is something I have wanted to do for years, it was great to enjoy such an experience.

Kim and David Edwards (Pleasure Flight)

Just a short note to express our thanks to all at Phoenix Blackbush,for a truly enjoyable experience.Our special thanks go to Simon Halfpenny not only for his cheerful sense of humour but also for his skill as a pilot,over the last 25 years I have flown with many pilots most being military or EX.& I can say that Simon ranks amongst the best that I have had the pleasure to fly with. (London Helicopter Tour)

Clive Stewart Morrison

I really enjoyed my training with Phoenix Helicopters (even with the stresses of a tight budget and timescale!), and having now passed my PPL I will definitely be continuing my training and self-fly hire there.

Sean Larsen (Student)

A very enjoyable flight. A birthday present for myself and friend and trial first flight. Hoping to do the flight down The Thames next year for our 40th and 60th birthdays!

Groupon Customer

We would like to say a huge thank you for all your help and service on our big day. It was an amazing day and your contribution helped our wedding be the day we wished for and a success. We appreciate all your efforts on the day. Lots of Love Vanessa & Ravi  

Vanessa & Ravi (Wedding Charter)

Phoenix Helicopter Academy at Goodwood is a great place to learn to fly. Relaxed, yet totally professional. The instructors go out of their way to ensure you get the best training. Highly recommended!

Kevin Piotrowicz (Student)

Easy to find with excellent parking. All staff, including Toby, our pilot, were very approachable and happy to chat. Great atmosphere. A thoroughly enjoyable experience all round.

Groupon Customer

Thank you all at Phoenix, SO much! I think it's finally sinking in for Matt exactly what went on yesterday. His maiden chopper flight was wonderful and he had a great day. Such a smooth flight. Really can't thank you enough for making the day so special

Aimee and Matt (Charter)

Thank you for a fantastic experience. It was very well organised and I thoroughly enjoyed myself.

Groupon Customer