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Uk Citizen Training In Canada


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Hi all


I am a 23 yr old UK citizen and have been exploring the possibilities of gaining my commercial helicopter licence in Canada.


I have a few questions if anyone would mind helping me out!


1. Is CAD50,000 enough?

2. Is accom/food provided in any schools?

3. Is a visa easily available for the training period PLUS employment afterwards?

4. Can I go straight into a CPL without having to do the PPL first?

5. Are there any finance options available?

6. Any other thoughts good or bad would be great!


p.s. I've tried searching through the forums but couldnt find the answers!



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1. For the course alone theres a few places that could do it for that.

2. Theres a school or two that have accomadations. Mine set me up with a room/board situation that was really affordable.

3. Not to sure, though there are a pile of foreign guys flying up here.

4. Yep, the CHPL is normally done from screatch.

5. Lots of banks will finance anyone with credit, in-house financing is very rare here.

6. Budget for everything! If you're going to budget, you need to do it very well, and remember to work here you're going to need resources to get out and find work, as redundant as it sounds, quite a few people get the licence and then can't afford to go find a job.




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I'm a British citizen and did my training in 2004/2005 for under $45K and eventually managed to get a full time flying job, although be advised it is no walk in the park (finding a job that is)!!


For $50K you should be able to get a commercial helicopter license as long as you can complete the course in the minimum 100hr transport Canada requirement on a piston helicopter (anything from $450-$500+ per hour), as a turbine helicopter is going to cost you anything from $900+ per hour. The last thing you want, however, is to get close to the end and run out of money, as I saw that happen to a couple of students when I did my training. There is no requirement to get your PPL in order to get a CPL, so it can be done in 100 hours of flight training.


I did my training in BC lower mainland and there were lots of relatively cheap accommodation around the area such as basement apartments or rooms available to rent. Your best bet is to talk to the flight schools and see what they recommend.


Getting a student visa for training shouldn't be a problem, but make sure you get the visa before coming over to start your training. Have a look at the Citizenship and Immigration Canada website http://www.cic.gc.ca. The problem that you will have, however, is trying to get a working visa. I was a permanent resident when I did my training so I was entitled to work, but if you don't have that status you will have to apply for a work visa. There are a lot of low time Canadian helicopter pilots so the government is going to be reluctant to give you a work visa if a Canadian citizen can fill that position. Also a Canadian operator is going to be reluctant to offer you a job, which you will need to apply for a work visa, if you are not a permanent resident or citizen.


With the finance question, again your status in Canada is going to cause you problems. Without any form or equity, employment, or credit history in Canada a bank will most likely not want to loan you money, especially with it being a student loan. Even if you were employed in Canada with good credit history, without any form of equity a bank would require a co-signer who would most likely have to use something like their house as collateral.


I'm not sure if you've already done this, but a good place to start is to start calling some flight schools. There are a lot of good schools in Alberta and BC and you should be able to find lots of info from this forum about them.


Hope that helps... Cheers


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