Theory Subjects

Commercial Helicopter Theory

For a Commercial Pilot Licence you need to complete 7 theory exams, each one covering a subject in general aviation. Students typically conduct home study and occasionally come in for a one-on-one theory lesson with a flight instructor.

The subjects are Aerodynamics, Meteorology, Air Law, Aircraft General Knowledge, Human Factors, Performance and Planning, and Navigation. Click the arrow to see a list of text books we recommend to conduct your studies; we are able to order these for you at our flight school. We also offer classroom courses – it’s a 3 day intensive course per subject with a course fee of A$700 (inclusive of GST). Please contact us for course dates and availability.

flight theory


Aerodynamics looks at the relationship between the helicopter and its changing environment and how pilot control inputs affect that relationship.

air law

Air Law

Air Law details the rights and responsibilities of all those involved in the aviation industry. We as pilots focus on those laws pertaining to us; our obligations as pilot in command, flight and duty times, and how we are allowed to operate in Australian airspace.



Aviation relies heavily on weather, therefore, understanding how it affects us in flight is of great importance. Meteorology looks at the formation of weather, varying atmospheric conditions, international weather standards, and forecast interpretation as it relates to flight planning and operations.

Cabri Engine2

Aircraft General Knowledge

AGK focusses on basic helicopter systems; the engine and drive system, instrumentation and warnings, electrical, fuel and oil, cooling, hydraulics and other moving parts. Understanding your helicopter’s working systems is essential for safe operation.


Human Factors

Human Factors studies the human element in aviation; it describes how flying at varying altitudes affects us physically and mentally and draws attention to the importance of monitoring your health and personal limitations.



Manual navigation allows pilots to fly a course effectively whilst becoming attuned to their surrounding environment. We teach you to orient the aircraft using map and compass and apply any course corrections that may be needed in flight.


Performance and planning

Before each flight we must determine whether it is safe in terms of weight limits, fuel supply, and helicopter performance on any given day. Performance and planning outlines how pilots compute the operational limits of the helicopter in flight.

Recommended Texts

Advanced Flight Theory CPL(H) – Distance Learning Course

W. J. Wagtendonk – ‘Principles of Helicopter Flight’

Federal Aviation Administration – ‘Helicopter Flying Handbook’

Info pack