I was 17 years old when I started at Helicopters Canada in September of 2003. I spent 8 months at the school and thoroughly enjoyed my experience there. The instructors were knowledgeable about the expectations in the helicopter industry and prepared me well for it. The landscape around North Bay offered the perfect training ground to introduce me to the "bush flying" that I would later work in. Landing on log pads and flying with sling loads was definitely beneficial training for me.
After graduating from Helicopters Canada, I moved to BC and initially worked as a ground crew member for a helicopter spraying company. The next year, I started as a dispatcher for a bigger helicopter company in Alberta that I soon began to fly doing pipeline patrols. I flew the R22, R44 and B206 over thousands of pipelines throughout Alberta, BC, Saskatchewan and Manitoba.
In 2012, I broadened my flying skills by getting on with another company and flying the AS350 doing a variety of different work including: Forest fire operations, water bucketing, fish and wildlife surveys, geophysical surveys, oil and gas support, water sampling and more. I flew through all four seasons, landing in hundreds of unprepared sites either flying passengers or slinging equipment with a long line.
After completing my IFR and night rating, I starting working for an air ambulance company in Alberta from 2016 until today. I fly the BK117 with another pilot and a medical crew. The job is very rewarding for me, as I know that every mission we are helping someone in need of medical attention.
I would just like to start out this testimonial by saying thank you to Helicopters Canada for getting me started in an industry full of excitement and adventure. When unsure of the helicopter industry at the beginning of 2010. I researched the different schools across Canada. When I met with Helicopters Canada the positive vibes and honesty right from the start was a great feeling. They have great connections with different helicopter companies across Canada, which other schools claimed they did but did not. When the time came to try to find a job in a difficult market at that time they had me set up. During my time there I was able to customize my training to what would work best to get me into the job market, and the training staff molded me into what the helicopter industry needed.
The location is great in North Bay, Ontario as there are different terrain options to learn on, and being a bush pilot that helps develop skills right from the start. The smaller class size was really nice as it was a more 1 on 1 feeling so you could work at your own rate to learn.
It is a big decision to make when looking at schools and I am extremely happy I chose Helicopters Canada. It is like a big family there and they are always ready to listen and push you in the right direction.
Thanks again Helicopters Canada as it has been going on an eventful 9 years in the industry.
After researching different helicopter flight schools, I decided on Helicopters Canada. Flying in the north, great instructors, smaller class sizes and one on one ground/air training were just a few of the benefits I saw in training with Helicopters Canada. The instructors challenged and pushed you to be better in every category along the way and would cater to your style of learning.
Flight training in North Bay prepares you for flying in remote areas, and the instructors would gear the training flights toward commercial operations, preparing you to work in the industry. The time that was put into preparing you along the way made the final steps in acquiring your license quick and relatively pain free… I found that the pre exam/flight test were harder than the actual tests.
Helicopters Canada continues their support after finishing school with years of knowledge in the industry.
I had the pleasure of working two summer seasons, flying a few hundred hours with them. When I meet employers or other pilots I am always proud to say that I trained at Helicopters Canada with great instructors and flight training that goes above and beyond anywhere else in the industry.
After many months of research into various flight schools around the world, I eventually chose to train at Helicopters Canada in North Bay in January of 2007 and thankfully my experience there turned out to be a very good one. The bush north of North Bay is full of real world confined areas, the cross country flying is done across some really spectacular country and the full-on autorotations are invaluable.
Also, the opportunity to get ratings on the R44 and 206 during training was an added bonus as were the hours of slinging, log pad landings etc.
My original plan was to return to Europe after finishing at Helicopters Canada to convert to a JAA license and HeliCanada were extremely accomodating in addressing my needs to qualify for the JAA conversion. In the end however, I ended up getting a Canadian work permit and, with the help of Helicopters Canada, looking for work in Canada. I'm now with a company out in Western Canada and I have Jeff Sullivan and the people at HelicoptersCanada to thank for that.
Overall, a good school, a relaxed atmosphere, and professional instructors with thousands of hours of experience.
Hi, my name is Ryan. While I was researching training facilities to get my commercial helicopter license I talked to a few pilots, and looked at several other training facilities in Ontario. I came to the conclusion that Helicopters Canada was my best option.
While attending school I learned at my own pace in a relaxed atmosphere and always had my questions answered by knowledgable instructors.
At Helicopters Canada I learned how to land on log pads, manouver in confined areas with unprepared landing sites, and navigate in remote areas all within minutes from the airport. This meant no wasted time flying to and from training areas. I also recieved sling training, which in most schools you might receive at the end of your course, time permitting.
A few months after my training I was hired as a ground school instructor at Rotorworks in Whitecourt Alberta. On a daily basis I apply the skills and knowledge that I learned at Helicopters Canada, and I realize that this facility was definetly the right choice for me.
I came to Canada from the U.K. to pursue a career in rotary wing aviation and spent 8 months training with Helicopters Canada from summer of 2017 to spring of 2018. Helicopters Canada has a number of international students so my situation wasn't unique to them and the support in getting myself to the point where I could start flight school was greatly appreciated. The method used and the delivery of both the flight training and ground school is excellent. I finished my Commercial Helicopter Flight training with a little over 100 hours spending approximately 60 hours on the R-22, 35 hours on the R-44 and 10 hours on the B206 Jet Ranger.
This was the most practical arrangement for me given my budget and the school works hard to ensure you can fit the right training into your available budget.
The solid delivery of the syllabus both in ground school and flight I thought was superb with the right amount of carrot and stick and plenty of enthusiasm. Every student having their own cubicle space and flights being restricted to once a day helped towards creating a comfortable learning environment only further enriched by the quality of the instructors. At no point did I feel the instructors were 'just doing their job' they all want you to be a safe and professional pilot who can pass their flight test.
The school is very accommodating if you need to take time off for work or personal reasons, in fact I took all of December off to travel back home and my flight training and ground school were adjusted to fit around this so as to have as little impact on my development as possible.
During my time at Helicopters Canada there was plenty of opportunity to gain work experience by accompany the company helicopters on jobs and scenic tours they operate around Ontario. This gave me an insight into helicopter operations outside the school and away from an airfield, I was fulfilling ground crew duties in assisting the pilot with aircraft preparation, refilling and marshalling passengers around a running aircraft, all adding value to my potential as a new pilot into the workforce.
The students have an interesting relationship at Helicopters Canada in that you are both customers and students (and potential employees for the helicopter industry) and you will be treated as such. Standards must be maintained, tasks must be completed and a certain level of maturity is expected and it is this attitude that will stand you in good stead with any future employers. I was fortunate enough to find employment straight out of school (the timing was ideal as I finished my flight training as the hiring season began) as a scan operator for the summer fire season with Taiga Air Services and have since been hired on with that company full time as their junior pilot.
I thank Helicopters Canada for not only a great flight training program but the opportunities for personal and career development as well as imparting the right attitudes towards working and flying in the industry. I made many friends there and will remain in touch with them and the school for a long time to come.
My experience at Helicopters Canada has been unforgettable. The hands-on nature and small class sizes makes learning very accessible. The instructors are professional and provided an environment in which students are able to reach their full potential. The techniques and maneuvers I learned are put to use every day in the real world. After studying at Helicopters Canada I successfully obtained employment at Apex Helicopters where I am now a full time pilot.
I attended Helicopters Canada in 2009. The one thing I can say about my experience with this particular flight school is their upfront honesty. Not only was I supplied with a proper skill set and understanding of aviation and flying techniques, I also was given a very realistic expectation of what the industry has to offer for low time pilots just starting their career. They prepared me to put my best foot forward to jump into the helicopter industry, and it was this attitude preparation that has allowed me to flourish in my career.
After completing my license the staff were always there to answer any questions I had with my initial job search. They even helped me find my first job, and I still to this day keep in touch with the staff. At Helicopters Canada you will find everything you need for this career choice, all the basics, realistic confined areas, sling training, ground support, long line and vertical reference and so much more.
With these skills I have gone onto to work for numerous jobs such as hydro projects , diamond drill moves, live animal capture, forest fire suppression, aerial spray, and so much more. If you are considering a helicopter license be it private or commercial it would be a mistake to not call Helicopters Canada to see what they have to offer.
My name is Carlos, and I attended Helicopters Canada from May to December 2003. Being from Mexico, it was a big step for me to go to another country to get the training necessary to become a helicopter pilot.
Back then I didn't fully realize the importance of this decision, but now, some years later and trying to start a successful career as a pilot, I know that I made the right choice.
The training I received at Helicopters Canada was exhaustive, complete and, most of all, extremely personalized, one of the advantages of not having too many students at the same time. I learned to fly both in airports and out in the bush in all kinds of weather; from sunny days with clear skies, to cold, snowy and windy days with low clouds, which really came to be useful once I started flying for a company.
When I came back to Mexico to start my career, having in my resume training in Canada has proven to be the advantage necessary to get the job amongst other pilots, some of them with actual work experience in the helicopter industry. Once I started flying for a company, I happily realised that I was better prepared than other pilots that went to flight schools in my own country.
I am happy to say that in the couple of years that I've been flying in the industry I've been fortunate to fly in different places and kinds of operations; from geosurvey studies in the mountains of Nicaragua, to overflying mines in Panama and Mexico. Right now I'm working for Transportes Aereos Pegaso, in the south of Mexico, taking personnel and equipment to oilrigs off-shore. I am sure that the training I got at Helicopters Canada gave me the skills necessary to make it possible.