CPL – Flying for a Living

CPL – Flying for a Living

Once you have gained your PPL(H) perhaps you are now considering flying as a career rather than hobby (see previous blog), your first step will be to start hour building and looking to commence training for your Commercial Helicopter License or CPL(H).

Already holding a PPL(H) means you will need to undertake what is known as a modular course to qualify for your CPL as a stand-alone license. However before you begin the course, it is recommended that you first make sure that can achieve a Class 1 medical as this is more stringent than you required for a PPL. You must also have completed:

  • 155 hours of flight time

This must include:

  • 50 hours as Pilot In Command, of which 10 hours must be cross country.

You can build these hours however you like, but keep in mind that you should try and keep refining the skills that you proved during your PPL. Try to keep challenging yourself and fly with instructors to keep you current in required manoeuvres etc. You will also need to take (and pass!) 13 exams which will need to be completed within 18 months.

Once you have these requirements you will then need to complete training towards your CPL, which must be completed in one continuous course at an Approved Training Organisation.  You will need to fly at least:

  • 30 hours of dual flight instruction (this includes 10 of instrument and 20 of visual flight instruction).

If you have not previously achieved a ‘Night Rating’, you will need to complete at least:

  • 5 hours night flight instruction

This must include:

  • 3 dual hours, 1 hour cross country navigation and 5 solo night circuits.

If you’re having trouble keeping track with the long list of requirements, in simple terms you will need to have at least 185 hours of flight time before taking the CPL(H) skills test. The breakdown of required training can be found here: www.caa.co.uk/Commercial-industry/Pilot-licences/Training/CPL-modular/CPL-(H)-modular-course—helicopters/

For more information on the knowledge subjects and tips/tricks for studying, watch out for my next post!

One response to “CPL – Flying for a Living”

  1. Eghardt Brand says:


    How many of the 155 hrs may be on a simulator?

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