External Load/Long Line

Course Length – 21 Hours (6 Hours Ground 15 Flight Time)
Upcoming classes – On request
Location -Okotoks
Class schedule – Daylight hours
Aircraft – Robinson R44

Grant Applicable Course Information Here

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External Load Helicopter Pilot

Reach your maximum potential, catering for new or seasoned pilots, our external load course gives pilots the long line skills that are a necessity in the Canadian commercial utility environment.

Partnered with Exploration Helicopters, Foothills Helicopter Training Academy provides training for pilots with current commercial experience in drill moves for mining, fire fighting for Alberta and British Colombia forestry, bird towing and more, giving a unique real-world perspective on external load training.

We also offer training on the versatile AS350. Choose your training program to suit your budget and give yourself the best possible advantage in the real world of the commercial helicopter pilot.

Course Details:

  1. Course Length – 21 Hours (6 Hours Ground 15 Flight Time)
  2. Upcoming classes – On request
  3. Location – Okotoks
  4. Class schedule – Daylight hours
  5. Aircraft – Robinson R44

External Load Licence

$15,000 +
Grant Applicable Course Information Here

Other Courses

Foothills Helicopter Training Academy offers industry led, real world commercial pilot training, accelerating your career progression with our graduate mentoring program.

Flex Training

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Commercial Licence

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Private Licence

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Frequently Asked Questions

This all depends on the type of machine you do your training on. You are looking at anywhere from $17k + depending on the hours you fly on each.

Training for your commercial helicopter pilots license can take an average of 4-6 months.

We do our best to set each and every student up for success, but passing your written exam and flight test comes back onto the student themselves.

Our operating classroom hours are Monday to Friday 0800 – 1700.

If you don’t pass your flight test or your written exam you are allowed a retake.

As we are a registered educational academy, you are able to apply for Alberta student aid to help cover the cost of your tuition.

Not to worry, if something comes up and you can’t make it to class just let us know and we will catch you up the following day when you come in.

We supply all the text books and tools that you will need for your training.

This depends on how much of your training you have completed. You may get a refund of 25% – 100%

We are located at the airport in Okotoks Alberta.


Here’s what our happy graduates have to say about our services:

I began my training at Foothills Heli in October 2020 and finished in March 2021.

Thanks to the great instructors and foothills operational connections I landed a job right after I graduated.

Shane, AAA - Heli Pilot

I’m so thankful that I went to FHTA for my CHPL. The small class size makes for a personalized learning experience where everyone truly wants you to succeed. From trying out long-lining, night flying and landing on mountain tops, I couldn’t have asked for a better experience

Andrea, Access Heli Pilot

I could not have wished for a better experience than what I had at Foothills Helicopter Training Academy. FHTA provided thorough flight training, an intimate classroom setting, competent ground/flight instructors and a friendly, supportive environment. The program provides a comprehensive, bridged version of the heavily, loaded subject of helicopter flying.

Stephanie, Access Heli Pilot

I always felt that I was a top priority to all of the instructors and staff, the environment at Foothills Helicopter Training Academy made it a breeze to get into my dream career!

Chase, Commercial Heli Pilot

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