top of page

Sling/External Load Rating


Fascinating &
challenging skill

A Sling/External Load Rating allows a CPL(H) or ATPL(H) pilot to lift cargo that is attached underneath the helicopter rather than held internally. This ability is unique to helicopters and is essential when the intended loads to be carried are bulky or the destination is remote and not easily accessed by roads.


Relay masts or antennas are also often built by helicopters acting in an ‘aerial crane’ role. External load flight is some of the most fascinating and challenging helicopter flying available, drawing on all of the pilots experience and skill. Practical external load experience is highly sought after both domestically and internationally. Henley Air’s External Load Rating exposes students to 30, 60 and 90 foot lines with heavy, light and irregular shaped loads.

Everything you need to know about your External Load/Sling Rating

What you will learn

•Load Configurations •Pre-flight – Aircraft and Lifting Equipment •Weight & Balance Considerations •Complying a Safety Plan •Civil Aviation Rules & Regulations •Circuit and Confined Operation •Live-Line Rescue •Civil Aviation Rules & Regulations •Load Handling •Long-Line Operations •Rigging

Description of our External Load/Sling Rating

Helicopter sling load training is a specialized program that trains pilots and crew members on safely and efficiently handling external loads suspended beneath helicopters. Some examples are Air Rescue training and live load slinging - onshore and offshore- and in firefighting, search and rescue and the mining industry. The training combines theoretical classroom sessions and practical exercises to teach participants about load stability, rigging techniques, and safety procedures. They learn to attach, secure, and release various loads while maintaining balance and communication with ground personnel. Emphasis is placed on safety, hazard identification, and risk mitigation. By the end of the training, participants are equipped with the skills to execute sling load operations in diverse scenarios, including disaster relief, construction support, and emergency rescue situations.

The South African minimum requirements for our External Load/Sling Rating

•18 Years or older •CPL(H), with min 250 hours as PIC (Pilot in Command) •Fluent in English (Speak, read, write, and understand) and pass the English Proficiency Examination •Pass a skills test by a Gr I Instructor •A Class I or II Aviation Medical. oWe will assist you with booking your Aviation Medical appointment.

Ground School Subjects: approx. 2 hours

approx. 2 hours

Our Preferred Helicopters for our External Load/Sling Rating

Our preferred helicopters for sling rating training can vary depending on several factors, including the specific requirements of the training program, the location, and the budget. However, some popular helicopters we use from our fleet for sling rating training include: •Robinson R44: The R44 is a widely used helicopter for training purposes. It is relatively affordable, has a good payload capacity, and is commonly used for various operations, including sling load training. •Bell Jet Ranger: The Bell Jet Ranger is another popular choice for sling rating training. It has a proven track record, good manoeuvrability, and can handle sling loads effectively. •Bell 222: The Bell 222 is a preferred choice for sling load training due to its powerful performance, precise handling, reliable safety record, spacious cabin, and widespread availability. Its twin turbine engines provide the necessary power, while agile controls ensure accurate load positioning. With a proven track record, the Bell 222 offers a reliable and safe training environment, supported by a familiar design and accessible spare parts. •Bell Long Ranger 206: an excellent choice for sling load training. It offers exceptional stability, power, and versatility. With its powerful engine and advanced flight control systems, it easily handles heavy loads while maintaining a steady hover.

Pass Requirements for our External Load/Sling Rating

No examinations are required for a Sling Rating.

Flight Hours

•Complete 5 hours dual sling training •Sling Rating skills test

Register your interest 

To enquire about our aviation flight training, simply call  +2711 827 5503 or complete the form below:

Thanks for submitting!

bottom of page