Courses and Fees

Wanaka Helicopters offers world class flight training at a cost and in an environment that many other countries and flight schools can not provide.

As stated elsewhere, we can arrange study visa’s a for full-time students. You can visit the New Zealand Immigration Service website ( for more information on this.

An international student on a study visa is required to meet certain obligations in order to complete the full-time course. When enrolled as a full-time student there is a requirement to attend the flight school at least 10 per week, under take 10-15 hours self-directed theory study per week and fly 5 hours per week. Students need to complete their theory exams (which can be taken in Wanaka) at regular intervals throughout the program.

Wanaka Helicopters’ training program does not include a theory ground school. Students are expected to complete a self-directed program of theory in conjunction with practical flight training. We do provide support through one-on-one tuition and an e-learning system.

Trial Lesson

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to actually fly a helicopter?

Maybe you have always wanted to learn to fly but never got around to it. Perhaps you are just inquisitive and want to know what makes them work!

For whatever reason, you can take a trial lesson with one of our experienced instructors who will show you most of the exercises involved in learning to fly, and you will get to fly the helicopter yourself for most of it. You will start with trying to hover the helicopter, which seems impossible at first, but practice makes perfect! You will be shown some emergency drills, which will dispel any thoughts you may have had that helicopters are unsafe.

Not only is a trial lesson a lot of fun, it actually counts towards your helicopter license should you decide to continue with learning to fly.

So stop dreaming, come and do it. It may be the start of a new career!


Please Contact Us for costs which are based on your prior training, knowledge and personal course requirements.

Wanaka Helicopter will assist you with your student visa (full time students only), any accommodation requirements and English language support (to ICAO English Proficiency Level 4 and IELTS 6.5) should you need it.


Once you have decided that you would like to train to become a helicopter pilot we will need you to complete an Enrolment form. Please contact us for this. Some of the Enrolment requirements and information needed, will include the following:

  • An idea of the training program you would like
  • An idea of the aviation career you wish to pursue
  • Whether you will study full-time (5 flight hours per week) or part-time
  • An IELTS test result of 5.0 if English is not your first language
  • Proof of an ICAO English Proficiency test to level 4. If you haven’t taken this test, it can be taken in Wanaka. You can find more information here. If you need aviation English language training in Wanaka, you can contact the Lake Wanaka Language Centre
  • Appropriate medical and travel insurance for helicopter flight operations

Once training has begun and before the completion of flight training and before a license can be issued, a New Zealand Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) Fit and Proper Person (FPP) form must also be completed. For this you will need to supply:

  • A police or Justice Department/Ministry report of any criminal convictions you may have (if you have no convictions, then a report that states this)
  • Proof of address for service
  • Proof of identity


Wanaka Helicopters protects all training fees using a Government-approved Trust Account. All full-time and international students must use the trust account. In some cases, where the training hours required are less than 10 and you are not planning to apply for a NZ CAA licence, casual trainees may be approved for a pay-as-you-go option

International Students

Wanaka Helicopters is a nationally accredited training provider with the New Zealand Qualifications Authority and is a signatory to the Code of Practice for the Pastoral Care of International Students.

The Code of Practice ensures that:

  • high professional standards are maintained
  • the recruitment of international students is undertaken in an ethical and responsible manner
  • information supplied to international students is comprehensive, accurate, and up-to-date
  • students are provided with information prior to entering into any commitments
  • contractual dealings with international students are conducted in an ethical and responsible manner
  • the particular needs of international students are recognised
  • international students are in safe accommodation
  • Wanaka Helicopters has fair and equitable internal procedures for the resolution of international student grievances

Please note that before an application for a student visa can be made to the New Zealand Immigration Service, all mandatory paper work must be completed, in English. Wanaka Helicopters staff can assist you will all of the above


Wanaka Helicopters can assist in arranging accommodation for your stay in Wanaka for the duration of your course. Accommodation in Wanaka can vary considerably in price and type, and will vary depending on the season or the holiday period

Code of Conduct

As with any Government-related courses, Wanaka Helicopters is required to advise that if, in the unlikely event a student doesn’t meet certain standards or seriously breaches rules relating to the course or the country, that this could result in exclusion from the program. Wanaka Helicopters Student Handbook explains this more fully