External Load

Age – 18 years +
Flying experience – None
Medical – Must pass a class 1 aviation medical exam

Requirements

  1. Commercial Helicopter Pilots License
  2. Current Category 1 Canadian Medical Examination
  3. Minimum of 100 hours flight time

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We’ll give you a call to discuss the best flight training options:

    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 Access 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 – Course length can vary. Contact
    2. Upcoming classes – On request
    3. Location – Okotoks
    4. Class schedule – Daylight hours
    5. Astar 350 – $2200/hr
    6. Robinson R44 – $750/hr

    External Load Licence

    $7,500 - 22,000

    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

    Learn More

    Mountain

    Learn More

    Commercial Licence

    Learn More

    Private Licence

    Learn More

    Frequently Asked Questions

    This all depends on the type of machine you do your training on. For the Robinson fleet, you are looking at anywhere from $59k to $78K 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.

    Testimonials

    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

    Start Flying Today

    Give us a call to schedule your first flying lesson