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How To Go Ifr


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Still a low timer (<500) and interested to know how you get a foot in the door to fly an IFR machine in Canada.


Is it a matter of getting a group IV rating and go knocking on doors?


Any reply is greatly appreciated!


Like TTT mentioned, a solid VFR experience is very very beneficial in so many ways. Maybe target companies that do a bit of both? That's more/less how I got started in the IFR world.


If you do your IFR straight out of school, DO NOT let it lapse. Considering your first IFR gig may not come in your first few years/decade, rewriting the INRAT would not be a fun experience. :blink:

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Sounds good! I would like to be able to ravel with my license, end up offshore somewhere!


I'll look into the FAA license, is it a matter of going to chinook to get the FAA then find a school in the states?


After some thought I think this will wait till I hit the 1000 hour mark, still nice to know there are options.


Any suggestions on companies that run both VFR and IFR ops? I know Canadian would be one.

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There is also more and more 2 pilot multi engine VFR work happening in Canada and abroad with Canadian companies. You'll have to stay in the VFR bush world for a lot longer than 1000 hour though, because all that work seems to be in 212s with two PICs. There are many oil companies that require two pilot crews to move passengers on seismic jobs.

The times are a changing.

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  • 5 weeks later...

You can take them at 500 hours, but remember they expire in 2 years if you haven't fulfilled the requirements to hold an ATPL. *There was talk or dropping this requirement, but I haven't heard the official word on this.*


The HATRA might be a better option if you don't have anything lined up right away.

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  • 4 weeks later...
  • 3 months later...

Curiosity question to your last post Amphibious. I see alot of job ads for Medivac and Offshore pilots in the states. As a Canadian who wants to one day stay in a warmer climate for 365 days a year I figured once my ifr/night/twin hours all increase to meet the requirements of these postings would it not also increase the opportunities of a Canadian to recieve a work visa for the USA

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  • 4 months later...



Forget about the FAA. Most of the countries in the world are members of ICAO. The US of A is not. I have been working internationally for 26 years now and I have yet to see one FAA registered commercial helicopter working outside of the US. There are hundreds of Canadian registered helicopters out there working in just about every third world s**thole there is.


If you are really interested in flying IFR and/or Internationally:


1. Get as many hours as you can, as quickly as you can,

2. Get as many Multi-Engine hours as you can,

3. Get as many multi-crew hours as you can,

4. Get your Instrument rating asap (it will only make you a better pilot even if it takes awhile to get that IFR job),

5. Get a Night rating.


Start looking and applying now, even if you don't have the qualifications. You never know, you might get lucky. Hiring in the helicopter business is based on the operator's need. If he needs someone to fill a seat and you are available they will make you qualified for the position.



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