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Confined area - R44

Practical Skills - Post PPL/CPL

Being awarded your hard-earned private or commercial pilot’s licence is only the start of the journey. Outside the comfort of a training school or club environment, a great number of helicopter pilots fall into a routine of flying back and forth to the places they know well, instead of exploring further afield.


Worse, many are missing out on the unique capability of the helicopter; landing in tight spots like you would mostly find at wineries and various other scenic locations. We have designed this ‘real world flying’ course focussing on safely getting in and out of confined areas whilst giving you the chance to brush up on other required skills such as navigation and weather planning, if needed.

Detailed Overview

Most pilots receive excellent training in the lead up to their flight test, however, due to time constraints for the syllabus only a few hours are typically spent training for confined area (off-airport) landings. In addition, outside of the flight school environment, supplementary skills such as weather forecasting, navigation, flight planning, weight & balance and other abilities tend to deteriorate, leading to further reluctance of going on longer flights.

This course will be a combination of classroom and flying exercises, using the Robinson R44 aircraft. For an additional fee, students can opt to fly in the Robinson R66 Turbine. Owners can fly in their own aircraft, subject to the aircraft being insured for flight training.


*Note: This course does not cover other flying techniques such as low level manoeuvres, advanced autorotations or Vortex Ring State (VRS) as these are covered elsewhere.

Suitable for

  • New PPL/CPL graduates

  • Pilots of all ages and capability who may have had a licence for a while but lack recent experience or confidence

  • Current PPL students who question whether training along the CPL track would be beneficial to them


Course Content

Students have the option to undertake modules as required depending on their own level of experience as well as time or cost constraints. Modules are taught in a combination of classroom lectures and air exercises.

Classroom Lectures

  • Confined Areas

Towering TO, Max performance TO, Power checks, Wind direction and speed estimation, Recces, Landing site selection, Six S’s, SWWATC, TEM.

  • Weather Forecasting

TAF, Metar, GAF, Rain Radar, Webcams, AWIS.

  • Flight Planning


  • OZ Runways Tutorial

Learn how to use this app to plan and navigate through your journey.

Air Exercises

Flights to visit local confined area locations:

(Estimated ENG time; Level of difficulty)

• Clyde Park [1.3 hrs EASY]

• Plumton Windmill [0.9 hrs EASY]

• Mt Duneed [1.5 hrs EASY]

• Max’s Restaurant [1.4 hrs EASY]

• Napoleone Brewery [1.1 hrs MEDIUM]

• Balgownie Estate [MEDIUM]

• Levantine Hill [1.2 hrs MEDIUM]

• De Bortoli [1.1 hrs MEDIUM, SLOPED LZ]

• Chateau Yering [0.9 hrs HARD]

Further navigation/scenic destinations:

(Estimated ENG time)

• Philip Island [1.2 hrs]

• 12 Apostles [3 hrs]

• Mt Hotham [3.3 hrs]

• ‘Students own choice’ – own home, mates, family, work location etc.

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