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I'm currently in the search for a flight school in either BC or Alberta to acquire my commercial license. I was wondering if people would be willing to provide any positive or negative feedback about the flight schools they attended and the instructors they studied under. I've done a fair bit of reading on the internet, but the testimonials on the flight school websites are only one side of the coin. I'm simply trying to obtain the full picture before making a decision.


Many thanx.

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Guest Angry Egg Driver

Not to dampen your spirit to be a helicoopter pilot but i would do some research into how possible it will be to find a job in the current market conditions.Its going to be a very tough go for a lowtimer in the next few years.

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I went to Chinook in Abbotsford. From what I hear I think only a couple of the same instructors are there as when I attended, but it was a good operation with good equipment. I was flying a few months after I graduated but having a hard time finding work now the way the economy is.

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one more vote for training with Bob and AB.

And yes, being a lowtimer this season is not looking good so far. At least all the people ive met so far have been really nice, and sympathetic to my cause.

But ya, coast was a great experience, i would say worth it even if i never do manage to scrounge up a job in the industry... not that i would ever stop trying.

my $0.02


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George - whilst taking on the comments about employment above, it also needs to be pointed out that you have to think anything about 6 months to a year ahead in this industry - frequently you are doing stuff for which you have no valid reason, only to find later that it was exaclty the right move! Go figure and follow your heart.


When companies are taking on pilots, they're not going to wait while you get your licence - they will want you to start NOW, if not sooner, so you need all your ducks in place. Having said that, there's no need to rush right now - take your time and do the job properly.


There are tons of good schools, some mentioned above - ones I have personal experience of and can recommend are Bighorn at Springbank, Premier at Pitt Meadows and the Central Helicopter Academy in Ontario, in no particular order. Convenience plays a big part.


Good luck



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Thanks for the advice. Very much appreciated. If I could extend the question a little more, I'm wondering about the advantages of training on different machines at additional cost for a fresh pilot. I'm wondering if a course such as KVH, which offers training on the R44 (80 h) and Bell 206 (20 h), provide better employability than some of the courses that offer 90 h on the R22 and 10 h on the R44 or Bell 206. That said, I'm sure that the quality of training makes a difference in the job hunt, and potentially the instructor's network.


As for trouble finding work, I can assure you that it's in every industry. After 6 months of unemployment with three engineering degrees, I'm considering pursuing my childhood dream.


Thanks again to everyone for their replies.

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