Flight Training – Pre-requisites
Many members of the public are more familiar with fixed-wing aviation than the helicopter industry, so those interested in a career as a helicopter pilot often don’t know where to begin. We are here to help. One common misconception is that you must get a private helicopter license before progressing to a commercial license. This may be true for the fixed-wing license, but not for a helicopter license.
Another misconception is that getting some fixed-wing experience is required before converting to helicopter training. If you choose to train as a commercial helicopter pilot you do not require any previous flying experience. In fact since flying helicopters vs. fixed-wing is quite different, fixed-wing flying may add some confusion to students at the beginning of their helicopter training.
The only formal pre-requisites required to obtain a private or commercial helicopter pilot license are:
- You must be a Canadian citizen, landed immigrant, or lawfully admitted to Canada as a student.
- You must be at least 14 years of age at time of first solo flight, and 18 years of age to obtain a Commercial Licence, 17 years of age to obtain a Private Licence.
- Hold a valid Transport Canada medical certificate – Category 1 for Commercial, or Category 3 for Private.
- Training may commence before obtaining the medical exam, but we recommend this as a first step to your aviation career to avoid delays.
There are no academic prerequisites, although we do suggest completion of high school. A Discovery Flight combined with a tour of our facility is a great opportunity to introduce you to the world of helicopter flight. This will provide a good understanding of what is required to become a helicopter pilot and help you determine if it is the career for you.