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HNZ Topflight

The world's most respected advanced helicopter pilot training programme can now be completed in New Zealand.

HNZ Topflight

HNZ Topflight is modelled directly on the highly successful School of Advanced Flight Training run by Canadian Helicopters for over 60 years. The calibre of the training programmes is indisputable. Combine this with the comprehensive operational experience of the instructors, excellent training facilities and terrain that contains both geographical and meteorological challenges and you understand why HNZ Topflight in Nelson is the perfect learning environment for advanced flight training.

HNZ Topflight Advanced Training

This is a very important course for any helicopter pilot particularly those operating in high density altitude conditions. Candidates will be challenged and gain a newfound respect for the intricacies of advanced flying, particularly in an environment where power and height above the ground are limited.

Not only will the training help to develop judgment, planning, and decision making skills, it will teach respect and combat complacency. 


World Renowned Programme

The calibre of this programme is undisputed. Finely tuned from decades of experience, this programme is the proven foundation from which the instruction and subsequent learning are enabled. Other factors include;

  • Comprehensive operational experience of all instructors
  • Excellent training facilities
  • Ideal training terrain for learning advanced flying techniques and the mechanics of mountain winds

HNZ Topflight Advanced Training Courses 

Courses are intended for the more experienced pilot who requires higher level and role specific training. HNZ Topflight also offers introductory training and is currently developing custom courses.The HNZ Topflight advanced programme includes:

  • Mountain Flight Training
  • Day Recurrent Training
  • Night Recurrent Training
  • Advanced Operational Flight Training - including advanced confined areas
  • Sling and water bucketing
  • Vertical Reference
  • Type Endorsement Courses
  • Night Ratings 


HNZ Topflight History 

Since its inception in 1951, HNZ Topflight (formerly known as Canadian Helicopters School of Advanced Flight Training) has established a worldwide reputation for the calibre of its programmes.

Over the past 60 years HNZ Topflight has successfully trained thousands of military, police, corporate and civilian pilots from all over the world.

These same quality, role specific  programmes can now be completed at HNZ New Zealand's Nelson base.


HNZ Topflight Instructors

HNZ Topflight utilises instructor pilots who regularly fly operational assignments in the most extreme and mountainous environments on earth.

Beginning in New Zealand in 1955, with continuous operations in the Antarctic since 1979 and South East Asia since 1991, the experience of the instructors covers the full spectrum of climates and terrains. By combining this operational 'real world' experience with the proven HNZ Topflight programme the direct benefits to students are great and many.

Every flight training session is challenging, positive and geared to the experience level of the student.


Optimum Challenging Terrain

HNZ Topflight is located in Nelson at the top of New Zealand's South Island. Within just a few minutes of the mountain training environment.

Nelson has a reputation for fine weather, ensuring reliable flying weather. The diverse terrain and variable winds of the region and surrounding mountain areas make it the perfect learning environment.

Nelson is the ideal location to study and learn the mechanics of mountain winds and the advanced flying techniques required to safely operate in them.


Smart and Dedicated Ground School

All ground school courses, briefings and reviews are conducted in the dedicated HNZ Topflight premises in the HNZ Nelson base. These sessions are all conducted by flight instructors using SMART Board technology and training aids specifically designed for the courses.

These theoretical sessions are greatly enhanced by the wealth of flying knowledge and real life experience that instructors bring to the classroom.


HNZ Topflight Aircraft

HNZ Topflight operates its fleet of helicopters to the highest safety and maintenance standard. Utilising the power, reliability and light weight of turbine engine helicopters the transfer of knowledge is made easier and safer. For that reason alone, these are the commercial world’s most popular helicopter type. Proven on the peaks of Mt. Everest, the AS350 helicopter has a rotor head well suited to dealing with the turbulence so often unavoidable in this environment.


Nelson Covers Australasia and the Pacific

Nelson is the oldest city in the South Island of New Zealand and has an urban population of just over 42,000. It is the geographical centre of New Zealand and is well known for its thriving local arts and crafts scene, its glorious weather that has seen it become New Zealand's Sunshine Capital and is famous for being home to three spectacular National Parks that are renowned.

HNZ Topflight is located at the Nelson Airport.


Contact HNZ Topflight NZ

Dave Sowman

HNZ Topflight Senior Flying Instructor & Manager Utility Operations

HNZ Building, Nelson Airport, NZ.

Email Dave Sowman here

Head Office: HNZ Building, Trent Drive, Nelson Airport, Nelson 7011, New Zealand  |
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