Jump to content

Which School Is The Best?

A-Star Leader

Recommended Posts

That is a good question too. Things are changing quickly these days. It almost seems that no matter where you train, if your timing is right you may just walk into a job.


But... it is still to early to count on that so you are on the right track with your research into job placement vs. numbers trained.


In the past E&B used to hire one or sometimes two new pilots from their ground school each year. I don't think this is still the case but I do know that if Ed is going to hire anybody it will likely be someone from his own school. Just like all the others, he likes to pick from a group of people that he already knows. Most helicopter operators are big on appearance, work ethic, keeness, personality, ect... If they have 5 months to get to know you while you train then this is a good thing for them and you. They are not taking such a big chance on you that way. (Sorry, I'm going off topic) Great Slave seems to hire a few of their students too. As far as Canadian goes, I just don't know. I do know that they are hungry for pilots right now. I can't think off the top of my head who else has a operation/school.


One common thing you will here from heli pilots is that if you want it bad enough it will happen for you. I know some out there will have many stories that say otherwise, but I do feel that "where there is a will, there is a way". With this in mind, it is not essential that you train with an operator. Most schools are well know and well conected throughout the industry. The same thing goes with them; if they like you they are usually willing to go to bat for you and find you a few oporrtunities. Its good for their schools rep and also good for you.


Even if a company does not have a school or hire low timers, there is almost always a willing individual around who will take the time to help you in your search. Operators have their ear to the ground even if they don't need anybody themself. My own mentor in the heli industry is a guy who I met before I started training. I made a point to stay in touch with him and he has been very helpfull to me throughout my career. He has nothing to do with a school and works at a high-time base but he still knows what is going on and is very willing to offer his opinion if I ask for it.


Anyway, being just one of a large number of keen low time pilots, you will have to find a way to make yourself stand out. If you are just another in the long parade of low-timers coming through the door, most C.P.'s and owners will soon forget you. But, if you don't work there how can you expect to stand out in a 5 minute face to face first meeting. This is why training with an operatoior is a popular option. But even still, you will likely have several other fellow students that will be pushing hard for the same position. So it will then be up to you again to be the chosen one. Most schools won't let you on the hanger floor anymore so cleaning windows, sweeping floors or washing machines isn't always an option. That used to be a great way to show you were driven.


Oops, I have to go flying. Will post agin later...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 20
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

I trained at chinook. finished in june last year. did three months with western arial in chilliwack BC on the ground and now im flying a jetbox with 700h'sPIC, 600+ this season (not at western arial). Great school, good people, and awsome instructors. but you still have to get lucky and work hard to get started in the drivers seat.


my 2cents



Link to comment
Share on other sites

SUPERB comments by Coastal........this question gets asked alot here.......we should just have Coastal paste these replies each time.



Also, in my opinion, don't put too much thought into getting hired by your school after training. If it happens, that's great, you are one of the lucky few.

If you don't get hired, you will be out knocking on doors with all the others, and the school you went to will be a big factor.


Concentrate on a good school that suits you, work hard and.........actually, just read Coastal's replies again. He said it all.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Gateway Helicopter/Canadore College in North Bay, Ontario is another school that has a Ops Division....or is it the other way around...


They have a great program with top notch A/C and they have a maintenance school next door so the instructors teach the pilots a airframe course on the 206 as well as a abreviated Allison engine couse. It's a bigger investment than some other courses but you get your moneys worth have a look; http://gatewayhelicopters.com/


In the summer of 2005 they hired 7 of their graduates and 3 of them were flying this summer. That's a pretty good rate!


What ever school you choose will probably be good but remember;

Show up ever day and work hard like your job depends on it because the instructors worked ops before they were teaching(With some exceptions) and they n know people and can help you out if your worth puting their names behind you.


And have fun man, flyin is the bees knees!!!!





Link to comment
Share on other sites

Currently, I am at 75 hours in my commercial training preparing for my flight test.

A year ago I set out to select the school I was going to train at. After a quick intro flight at Chinook and than going striaght over to BC Helicopters, I knew there was no question the Bell 47 was the training machine of choice (especially now since I have been up in a friends R22). A month went by while I thought things over and did a little research. I realized the Bell 206 is the best and most likely helicopter a 100 hour pilot can hope to get into. Its forgiving, reliable, has lots of blade inertia, to mention a few. So I wanted to best prepare for my transition into the BH 206.


I decided to check out the Bell 47 G4 at Premier Helicopter Training. I realized the performance numbers were much different than the G2, but now I have experienced the difference. We cruise at 85 mph, get to cofined areas at 3500 ft. in 8 minutes with full fuel tanks (57 us/gals) upto 290 pounds of gear in the racks from the airport. We have landed at 6000 ft. with full fuel. Done sling/longline training with 200 pounds on the line from a staging area that we set up, with additional fuel drums to refuel in the field. The machine will vertical out of confined areas at 600 ft/min., two 200lbs guys, full fuel at 3500 ft. Solo, I have left the airport with noting more than a GPS coordinate, found the gear I was looking for in a confined area, shut down, loaded the gear, and set off to drop it off at the next coordinate.



I think everyone can agree that the BH 47 is the best machine for training. It teaches students power management better than anything else. Coordinating the throttle and experiencing the different requirements for additional power, teach a pilot to fly more efficient. There are many more reasons, but this thread isn't about it.


Look at the training areas, imagine the possiblities of being able to do vertical take offs and land in confined areas above 2500ft. If I trained in a G2, I would be disapointed to know that there was a BH 47 G4 in south western BC and I didn't take advantage of it. Flight training is all about experiences, and the more a pilot is exposed to the better.


I am training at Premier Helicopter Training with Rob Wood and I couldn't be happier with the training I have received.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think this is basically personal preferance.


I have been told by many pilots that the 47 translates very well to most bell platforms, but it seems to me that the same pilots can be quoted as saying the best pilots come from certain instructors/machines.


It became clear to me early that the RH22 isnt a very good option (6'2 at 200Lbs) so I narrowed it down the the 47 and s300. (Actually, I have strongly pondered (word of the day) the bell 206, but as it seems I am going to be able to go to helicopter school next year if I go with a different platform, so I ruled that out.) Then I chose some schools for a short list. in no particular order it came out like this-

Valley helicopters (I am under the impression that at this time the valley helicopters training unit is on hiatus (tomorows word of the day lol))


Kootenay valley (As this school has been mentionedcountless times talking to prospective employers and industry contacts, (plus it is where the son of my best industry contact is currently attending) Its looking like this is where I will be going next fall [side note, watched a couple 206's and an Astar at CHL today, soooooo excited])



So there you have it.


Cant really speak for RW's school as I havent heard a whole lot about it besides what Ive heard from students on hear, no word from employers or contacts yet.


From what about 6 different pilots say, the pilots coming out of KVH are very well versed and skilled.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Create New...