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Atpl Helicopter

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I'm a little uncertain about the ATPL H and am hoping to get some clarification. I'll make some statements and hopefully you guys can tell me if I'm right.


1. An ATPL H is required to pilot a multi-crew helicopter


2. Part IV, Standard 421.35 lists the requirements and you don't need an IFR rating to get one.


3. If you don't have an IFR rating (or you do but don't meet the time requirements for IFR under 421.35.4.d) then 421.35.6, Restricted Licence - Aerial Work Only applies.


I have no idea what Aerial Work Only implies. Can someone explain?


Also, what are some examples of helicopters used in Canada that require an ATPL?


Here is a link to the standards:


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1. For a Helicopter type rating - Two pilots:

An applicant for an individual aircraft type rating for a helicopter with a minimum flight crew requirement of 2 pilots shall have completed a programm on ground and flight training on the helicopter type and for the endorsement of a PPL or CPL, obtained a minimum of 70% on the ATPL-Helicopter Category written exams (HARON and HAMRA) within the 12 months preceding application for the 1st endorsement of the rating.

An applicant shall have completed flight training on the helicopter type and have completed a minimum of 250 hours pilot flight time on helicopters.

An applicant shall have passed a PPC on the helicopter type within the 12 months preceding the application for the rating.

(ref: CARs 401.40 & 401.40)


2. Right! You can hold a VFR ATPL.


3. Too lazy to check! lol! ;-)))


ATPL examples in Canada: CHC, CHL EMS, Cougar, Helijet, ... Usually every medium or heavy helicopters (somebody stops me if I'm wrong).



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So really, without an ATPL, you're mostly limited to flying light helicopters?


In practical terms, does it make much sense to have an ATPL and no IFR rating? I wouldn't think skycrane pilots (which I think need an ATPL) would need an IFR rating to do their work. If that's true, are there any other situations anyone can think of?


It would be nice if TC had a list of aircraft that required an ATPL under VFR or IFR. I looked for about a half hour but couldn't come up with anything.

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Here goes!

An ATPL-H is normally meant for helicopters flying IFR,which require two crew, therefore the IFR requirement.

You can get a restricted ATPL-H, which is for helicopters reqiring two crew, flying VFR only.

Typical example of helicopters that require two crew are S-61, S-64 and Puma, one person to fly, and one person to handle the throttles.

I beleive, all lights only require one pilot,when flown VFR, therefore, a CPL is the normal requirement.

I beleive all mediums only require one pilot, when flown VFR, therfore, a CPL is the normal reqirement.

Therefore, to answer your question, your CPL is good for lights and mediums, VFR, a ATPL-H restricted, is good for helicopters that require two crew, VFR, such as the Crane, and a ATPL-H with a valid IFR is good for a IFR helicopter requiring two crew, being flown IFR.

Hope this helps!

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In Canada and Europe, you will not be able to get an ATP without working in a company - although there are slight workarounds for the type - for example, there are technically only 4 helicopters in Canada that you can use for the type rating for an ATP (S-92, Puma, 61, etc), but if you have an IR as well you can include the 212 or 76, since they require 2 crew for IFR work.


In the US, you can have an ATP for a 206.


Aerial work only means slinging, photography, etc - anything without traditional farepaying passengers.



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Hello JWRalph,


Well... I just wanted to say in my last message that "within the 12 months preceding the date of application for the licence, an applicant shall demonstrate in flight and on the ground familiarity with and the ability to perform, as pilot-in-command of a helicopter required to be operated with a co-pilot, both normal and emergency procedures and manoeuvres appropriate to the privileges of an Airline Transport Pilot Licence - Helicopter".

But you're right, the written exams can be hold for 2 years.


But even if the applicant needs 30 hours instrument time (I mean even for a CPL an applicant needs a minimum of instrument flight time), I'm not sure that the INRAT is mandatory: "where an applicant has not completed the instrument flight time requirement or the night flight time requirement, the licence shall be issued restricted to aerial work only and the total dual and solo flight time requirements for the issue of the licence shall be met". Nobody talks about an instrument rating group 4...


Here is the official link to CARs, Part IV (Personnel Licensing and Training), Division VIII (ATPL), #421.35 (Helicopters - Requirement):



But maybe I misunderstood something...


Have a good day!

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Full list of minimums are:


1000 hours pilot flight time (600 hours in helicopters)


250 hours pilot in command time in helicopters


50 hours pilot in command night flying time


200 hours cross country flight time


30 hours instrument flight time

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