UKFlying recommends Vantage Aviation at Old Sarum (they also have a base near Bath and in Florida) for this training. We recommend them as they are owned and operated by ex-military pilots, have modern glass cockpit (Garmin 650) aircraft with electric trim and are ELCAS approved for this training. They have a 100% first time pass rate for military pilots converting to a civilian licence. They will offer you the most expeditious and cost effective route to gaining your civilian licence with years of experience of assisting military pilots.  They also provide accommodation!

Use the Vantage Aviation contact form at the bottom of the page for more information and they'll be in touch. 

Here is a summary of the costs from the ATPL(H) page:

First step is to enrol on a QMP CPL course.  This single course will have 2 elements;

Firstly you will complete a TR course (not including the test). This is usually 5hrs on a SE helicopter and 8hrs on a ME helicopter. If you fly a similar military type then this may be reduced, e.g. Gazelle / Squirrel pilots could fly a 2hr TR course.

Secondly, now you have completed the TR syllabus you’ll need to complete CPL training as required to pass the CPL skills test. This isn’t defined but you will normally require enough training to be competent with the low level IP-to-tgt navigation, EOLs etc. This training is usually between 3-10hrs on top of the TR but depends heavily on your previous experience. The average is 5hrs for the TR and 5hrs for the CPL, making 10hrs of training before the combined CPL TR skills test.

Step Two is to add an IR (if required). There are 3 starting positions, no military IRT, Restricted Green IRT (non-procedural) and Unrestricted Green IRT.

No military IRT.

2 options, SE or ME.

SE – 35hr sim, 10hrs aircraft, SEIR test (at the point of licence application must hold the test pass for  PPL with night rating or CPL)

ME – 40hrs sim, 10hrs aircraft, MEIR test (at the point of licence application must hold the test pass for PPL with night rating or a CPL)

(to add a MEIR to a SEIR – 3hrs MEIR sim, 2hrs MEIR aircraft, test)

Restricted Green IRT

Training as required, but this is what the CAA wants:

10hrs sim


ME – 5hrs aircraft and test


SE 2hrs aircraft and test

Unrestricted Green IRT

Trg as required before test, depends on your military experience.


To give you an idea of costs, here are some average prices:

SE Bell 206 VFR only £650/hr

SE Bell 206 IR £999/hr – (this aircraft is PBN compliant so no extra sim rides at the end of the course)

SE Cabri £335/hr

Sim £399/hr

ME 109 £1750/hr – (some ME are not PBN compliant so require extra sim package at end)

With the SE only being almost half of the cost of the ME option, its clear why we recommend this route. The Cabri actually works out cheaper than the simulator!

Average course costs with Vantage Aviation:

SE TR and CPL including test with CAA examiner (10 hour course and hire of aircraft for test) £3834.

Full SEIR (2 TR, 35 sim, 10 aircraft and 1.3 test) £25,250.

Full MEIR £ (8 TR, 40 sim, 10 aircraft and 1.3 test)  £49,735

Restricted Green IRT to civilian SEIR (10 sim, 2 aircraft and 1.3 test) £7295

Restricted Green IRT to civilian MEIR  (10 sim, 5 aircraft and 1.3 test) £15,000

Unrestricted Green IRT to civilian SEIR (3 sim, 2 aircraft and 1.3 test)  £4493

Unrestricted Green IRT to civilian MEIR (3 sim, 2 aircraft and 1.3 test)  £6972

This is from the Vantage Aviation website:


An internationally diverse team of experienced aviators delivering specialist helicopter instruction – operating globally with the understanding of different safety regulations, and respect for the important cultural differences of our students and clients from around the world.

We pride ourselves on trusted team spirit with highly professional approach, and proven success bourne from exceptional aviation pedigree, across many disciplines.

Capable under pressure and able to focus on output to a higher standard, Vantage Aviation puts safety and client care at the very forefront.


CEO / Accountable Manager

After joining the Royal Navy as a Commando Helicopter Pilot in 1991, James has since flown 16 different types and amassed over 6000 hours as an Aircraft Commander.  He saw Operational Service in a number of capacities, and in March 2004, was awarded a Distinguished Flying Cross– the first in over 60 years to a Fleet Air Arm pilot.

During his career in the Royal Navy, James was appointed to a number of key positions, including Commanding 845 Naval Air Squadron, CENTCOM in the USA, Advanced Rotary Training Officer for 848 Naval Air Squadron, Naval Flying Standards Officer (CFS), Operations Officer for the Commando Helicopter Force (while deployed in Afghanistan and Iraq), and throughout his career was also involved in worldwide Counter Terrorism operations. He served in Iraq and Afghanistan.


CFI / Safety Manager

Captain Ric Fox has over 12,000 hours on 32 types, CAA examiner and Instructor.  His long and varied career in the Commando Force started in the Falklands war flying Wessex helicopters and included appointments as a Training Officer, Senior Pilot, Commanding Officer, as well as ‘Wings’ of the largest Royal Naval air base.  His civilian experience is as broad and long – he has been the primary lead in the delivery of Chinese Rescue and Salvage contract; zero to EASA CPL/IR plus 100 hour SAR course in 12 months… there is no one better suited to be a CFI or teach you to fly…


All aircraft Commanders and Instructors with Vantage Aviation have a helicopter Commercial Pilots Licence with Flying Instructor rating (ATPL (H) FI)), as well as a commercial Aeroplane license with instrument rating (CPL (A)), and have in excess of 5000 hours total time.

Our instructors are vastly experienced  – they have significant hours by day and night in many types of Helicopters.

Previous appointments have included; Base and Squadron Command.  Central Flying School Examiners, Test Pilots, Operational pilots in Apache, Wildcat, Sea King, Merlin, Lynx, King Air, AW109, AW139, Sikorsky S76C++ and D,  Sea Harrier and Opsrey.  All have impeccable safety and experience record.  All have EASA licences and many have Dual EASA and FAA.  Key post holder has EASA, FAA and Fixed and Rotary Wing licences.

Vantage Aviation average course costs are listed here: ATPL(H)

Please use the form below to contact Vantage Aviation: