Mountain Flying

No matter where you fly in New Zealand, at some stage your flying will be affected by the mountainous terrain that makes up over half of the country. When flying in this type of terrain, the forces of nature exert a greater influence, and pilots who operate regularly among the mountains have developed a special set of skills, knowledge, and flying techniques to help them survive.

If you wish to ensure a safe and enjoyable flight in, around, or over hills or mountains you must develop these skills, collect the knowledge and appreciate the factors involved. Above all, know your own limitations and those of your aircraft – and stick to them.

In New Zealand, in order to gain a PPL you need to complete 5 hours of Terrain Awareness flying. This training must incorporate 2 hours of low flying and 2 hours of mountain flying.

Canterbury Aero Club provides a mountain flying course which is highly recommended for PPL and is a requirement to gain a CPL. The course is carried out by experienced instructors who can guide you through the training whether it is for interest or as experience towards a qualification. Contact us for more information!

Commercial Pilot’s Licence

A Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL) allows the holder to fly an aeroplane as the Pilot in Command with passengers on board for hire or reward.

A CPL allows the holder to be employed as a pilot doing a variety of different jobs such as agricultural, freight, charter, scenic or even to become a flight instructor. Being paid to fly has to be one of the best jobs in the world!

A CPL is the gateway to a career with an airline.

Entry Requirements

  • Hold a PPL
  • Hold a Class 1 medical


Licence issues requirements:

  • Be at least 18 years of age
  • Achieve a pass in an additional six aviation theory exams
  • At least 200 hours practical flying time
  • Pass a practical flight test

Theory subjects:

  • Human Factors
  • Aviation Air Law
  • Meteorology
  • Navigation and Flight Planning
  • Aircraft Technical Knowledge
  • Principles of flight

Instructor Rating

Training to become a Flight Instructor is one of the best ways to build hours and gain pilot experience. When you finish this training program, you will be employable as a Flight Instructor by any one of New Zealand’s flight training academies. For many, this career path helps them to bridge the gap between achieving their Commercial Pilot Licence and becoming an airline pilot.

Our Instructor course is an intensive 6 week course covering several hours of flying and a wide variety of briefings as well as an ITC (Instructional Techniques Course).

For more information on the course please contact us.

Please note that the C-Cat course requires 150 hours PIC.


Here at the Canterbury Aero Club, we provide a wide variety of training. From Introductory flights to Commercial Licenses, we do it all!

Harewood Aviation Park
25 Aviation Drive
Christchurch International Airport
7676 New Zealand

Phone: 03 359 2121 (+64 3 359 2121 if calling outside New Zealand)
Fax: 03 359 2621 (+64 3 359 2621 if outside New Zealand)