Flying a helicopter


Canada operates the highest per capita number of helicopters in the world. Most of these machines are operated commercially in the country's remote areas to support the resource industries.

Private Pilot- Helicopter applicants must obtain a Category 3 Medical Certificate from a designated civil aviation medical examiner, complete a minimum of 40 hours private pilot helicopter ground school instruction, take a minimum of 45 hours private pilot flight training in helicopters and pass a flight test.

Pilots with a valid Gyroplane Permit or Private Pilot Licence may reduce their ground school hours and credit up 15 flying hours. The Private Pilot - Helicopter licence is the minimum required to fly a homebuilt helicopter or private certified helicopter.

Commercial Helicopter Pilot applicants take more ground school, pass another written exam, complete a minimum of 100 hours pilot flight time in helicopters and pass a flight test. It is possible to bypass the Private Helicopter Licence and go straight to the Commercial.

Commercial airplane pilots may credit up to 40 hours of their flight time although the reduced rotary wing flying may make them less employable in helicopters.

For more information, contact one of the helicopter flying schools listed in this section.

For more information on all the permits, licences and endorsements, contact Transport Canada Aviation licensing office in your region.