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Helicopter means machines (other than those used in military, customs or police services) lifted by power-driven rotors and which are certified by a competent authority (in Australia this is the Civil Aviation Safety Authority) to transport:

  • at least five persons including crew, or
  • goods in excess of 450 kg.

See definition of 'helicopter' in the Regulations.

Aircraft that is further described as helicopter must be described by serial number in a registration. The serial number for helicopter comprises:

  • the helicopter's manufacturer's number; that is, the serial number attached to the helicopter by the manufacturer
  • the manufacturer's name, and
  • the manufacturer's generic model description.

A HIN is the nautical equivalent of the VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) on your car. Most Australian boats will have a HIN attached or stamped into the hull. This is usually a 14 character alphanumeric code containing letters and numbers that identify the country, manufacturer, serial number and date of manufacture.


Current HIN format - AU-TRX48119H765
AU-  TRX  48119 C7 65
country of origin   manufacturer’s identity code (MIC)  serial number month and year of manufacture model year
Australia TELWATER (USA) LLC unique identifier March 2007 1965

Other HIN formats (12 characters)

Pre August 1984

Format 1 – no country prefix - ABC 12345 1278
ABC        12345 1278
manufacturer’s identity code (MIC)  serial number certification date
Format 2 – no country prefix - ABC 12345 M78D
ABC 12345 M78D
manufacturer’s identity code (MIC)  serial number alternative certification date

(the ‘M’ is an indicator that the characters following it indicate year and month of production – so in this case it would be November 1978)

Month encoding A – L
Month Table 1 Table 2
  1972 – 1984 1984 +
January F A
February G B
March H C
April I D
May J E
June K F
July L G
August A H
September B I
October C J
November D K
December E L