What could be better than getting paid to fly?! Whether your dream is to fly corporate VIP charters, give breath-taking tours, or save lives with the air ambulance, ICE is well suited to provide lots of advice for commercial pilot training requirements to suit any career path.
ICE Helicopters conducts Commercial Pilot training at Elstree Aerodrome. Get in touch now to book in your flight training course.

Holding a Commercial Pilot Licence (Helicopters) allows you to fly as Pilot-In-Command on any single pilot helicopter that you hold a rating for, and receive payment for your duties. You are also able to act as Co-pilot in multi-pilot helicopters.

After obtaining your PPL(H), your next challenge is to complete the ground school theory exams and then you can begin the 35 hour practical flying course to attain the CPL(H). Unlike for the PPL, the commercial theory exams are not taught in-house but can be done with one of our recommended providers. As soon as you’ve passed your last exam, you can start the flying course.


The minimum requirements to begin the course are:

– Hold a PPL(H).
– A total of 155 hours on helicopters (Including 50 hrs as PIC).
– Hold a valid UK Class 1 medical.
– Completed and passed all of the CPL or ATPL theoretical knowledge examinations (see below).

Theoretical Knowledge Exams (Ground School)

Before beginning the CPL course you must have completed the theory exams. The modular ground school generally consists of a distance-learning period followed by a revision course with the training provider prior to taking the exams. You must complete all the exams within 18 months of sitting the first one.

You can either take 13 CPL(H) theory exams or 13 ATPL(H) theory exams. If you initially take the CPL(H) exams, you will be able to obtain a commercial licence but not able to add an instrument rating in the future unless you then additionally take the relevant ATPL exams. If you initially take the 13 ATPL(H) exams, these go into slightly more detail about some aircraft instruments and systems which gives you the option to do an instrument rating within 3 years without sitting any additional exams. We recommend the latter as it keeps all possible options open for you.

The course consists of theoretical knowledge instruction and self-study, followed by examinations in the following subjects:

  • Air law
  • Human Performance and Limitations
  • General Navigation
  • Radio Navigation
  • Meteorology
  • Flight Planning
  • Flight Performance
  • Principles of Flight
  • Operational procedures
  • Communications
  • Mass and Balance
  • Instrumentation
  • Aircraft General Knowledge

Course Information

The CPL(H) Modular Flying Course consists of 35 hours of flight time. This includes 10 hours mandatory instrument flying with the other 20 hours divided between navigation and general handling. A further 5 hours is required for the night rating qualification if not already held.