Helicopter Training

Welcome to Helistar Aviation, and congratulations on taking your first steps towards becoming a pilot. We take this opportunity to assure you that our approach to your training will always be professional, thus guaranteeing you the maximum benefit from the time spent with us.

Helistar Aviation is a CASA (Civil Aviation Safety Authority) approved training organisation, providing the highest standard of instruction. Based at Parafield Airport, north of Adelaide, we offer the ideal training location, as it allows pilots to fly in controlled airspace with student friendly air traffic controllers.

We operate in conjunction with a maintenance organisation, ensuring that aircraft “down time” is kept to a minimum. Equally important, the presence of the engineering facility gives you the opportunity to learn more about the aircraft while you are on the ground.


An introductory flight provides prospective students with the opportunity to see how it feels to be a pilot and take the controls of our training helicopter. During the lesson, the instructor will guide you through the pre-flight inspection and explain how the aircraft’s controls and instruments work. If you feel comfortable, you will actually do most of the flying yourself. Once you’ve decided that this is for you, the trial introductory flight will count towards your Private Pilot Licence.


At the flying school, your training will be completed on the Robinson R44 or the Bell B47 helicopter. Both have proven themselves over many decades at flying schools worldwide and are extremely reliable. Should you wish to train on your own aircraft, or learn to fly another type of aircraft, chat to us and we will gladly accommodate where we can.

Once you decide to continue with your training, you will need to apply to the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) for an Aviation Reference Number (ARN), a flight medical and an Aviation Security Identity Card (ASIC). You may start your training without these items, but you will require them before you are able to do any solo flying, which is roughly 15-20 hours into your training.

In the following order you will need;

  • an Aviation Reference Number (ARN). The form can be found at www.casa.gov.au/ » manuals and forms » Form 1162
  • a Class 1 or 2 medical certificate from a Designated Aviation Medical Examiner (DAME). Class 2 medicals are required for private pilots and Class 1 medicals are required for Commercial Pilots. A list of DAMEs for your area can be found at www.casa.gov.au/ » operations » individuals » medical certification
  • a security check for an Aviation Security Identity Card (ASIC). For further information and for the forms for applying for the ASIC can be found at www.casa.gov.au/ » operations » individuals » ASIC and AVID » application for aviation security check » form 498

You will also need to be:

  • fluent in English and
  • at least 15 years old

Before your first solo flight, you will be required to pass the pre-solo theory exam, and before your first area solo flight, you will be required to pass the pre-area solo theory exam. These exams cover the basics in air-law, procedures, aerodynamics and aircraft general knowledge, and are conducted at the flying school by your instructor. It is strongly recommended that you purchase a student pilot study kit in order to prepare for these exams; your instructor can introduce you to this, and they are available for purchase at the flying school.


Some students choose to achieve the RPL prior to achieving their PPL. Pilots who have their RPL may:

  • fly solo in the circuit area or the designated training area with only one passenger
  • fly Day VFR private operations in a single engine helicopter.

To be eligible, applicants must:

  • have at least 25 hours flight time which must include 5 solo hours
  • pass an RPL theory exam
  • pass a flight test;
  • have a current Recreational Aviation Medical Practitioner Certificate
  • be at least 16 years of age.


This will allow you to fly to destinations within Australia during daylight hours for pleasure or for personal transportation. Training can be conducted on a casual or full time basis, depending on your time and situation.

Private Pilot Licence training is divided into two phases:

1. General Flying

This part of the syllabus teaches the basic flying skills and theoretical knowledge necessary to fly solo with passengers from your base aerodrome and within the training area.

2. Navigation Training

This is conducted as a series of cross country navigation exercises, and these flights are designed to develop the confidence and skills necessary to become a Private Pilot.

Before you can attempt a Private Pilot Licence practical test (PPL Test), you must have a minimum of 40 hours of aeronautical experience, which must include the following:

  • at least 30 hours of flight time in a helicopter of which 10 hours are as pilot in command
  • at least 10 hours of cross country flight time of which 5 hours are as pilot in command

You must also have achieved a pass in the CASA PPL Theory Exam (70% Pass Mark).

The practical flight test is conducted by a CASA approved testing officer.

To qualify to hold Private Pilot licence, you are required to;

  • have an ARN
  • hold a Class 1 or 2 medical certificate
  • hold or be qualified to hold a flight radiotelephone operator’s licence
  • pass a security check (ASIC)
  • be at least 17 years old and
  • be fluent in English


If you wish to pursue a career as a Pilot or you wish to take your flying to a higher level, then you may choose to train for your Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL). The syllabus includes a series of lessons structured to hone your skills and knowledge and to develop a commercial attitude towards your flying. All are prerequisites to passing a CPL test and improving your employment prospects.

The Commercial Pilot Licence course involves a significant theory component, comprising seven theory subjects with an examination required for each subject. Subjects include Aerodynamics, Helicopter General Knowledge, Air Law, Human Factors, Navigation, Meteorology, Performance and Flight Planning. Exams are conducted by a private company and booked online. Theory studies may be completed as self-study but attendance at specific courses is a good option for many students, and your instructor can discuss these various options with you.

A Commercial Pilot Licence will be issued after you have passed all of the written theory examinations, and a practical flight test with a CASA approved testing officer.

To be eligible to hold a CPL, you must:

  • be at least 18 years of age when the commercial licence is issued but training may commence prior.
  • pass a security check (ASIC)
  • hold a class 1 medical certificate.
  • hold or be qualified to hold a flight radiotelephone operators licence
  • 125 (105)* hours aeronautical experience


Night Rating (NVFR)

A night rating gives you the flexibility to fly after dark or to depart before first light. The course includes additional training in instrument flying, night circuits, night navigation and the use of radio navigation aids.

Training for the night rating is open to eligible PPL holders, but may also be included as part of a CPL course. It will take a minimum of 10 hours and is competency based.

Flight Instructor Rating

A flight instructors rating course is 40 hours of flying and approximately 40 hours of ground theory, in developing a unique skill set so you can instruct helicopter students and qualified pilots. CASA require 250 hours total flight time in helicopters, (of which 40 hours may be part of the instructor course) for the issue of the instructor rating.

The information contained on this page is designed to give you a basic idea on the courses we offer within the minimum legal training hours required for each licence or rating. For pricing details, please contact our office on the details below during business hours.