Commercial Helicopter Pilot

Efficient, high-quality flight training, competitive rates and an advancement plan into the commercial world with our tailored graduate program. Our focus is on preparing our students for the next step in the commercial helicopter industry. We carefully select our students for placement on the Graduate Mentoring program in alliance with Access Helicopters providing the opportunity to transition into employment at an established utility helicopter operation. Access Helicopters have an extensive background in commercial utility work in Canada and the USA. Our goal is to fill the gap in the helicopter industry and help graduates transition from 100-hour pilots to competent and marketable commercial pilots.


Foothills Helicopter Training Academy utilitzies the Robinson R44 as its primary training machine. The R44 is likely to be the first helicopter you will fly as a commercial pilot. This will give you an initial advantage when in competition with those pilots training on non-industry standard equipment such as the R22, Schweitzer 300 etc. The R44 is well suited to the Western Canadian environment and mountainous terrain. This will provide our students with significant commercial helicopter experience whilst challenging the pilot’s abilities in such areas as power management and differing weather which frequently changes and requires adaptability during flight.


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.


Here at Foothills Helicopter Training Academy, we believe you deserve the very best available. Our instructors all have extensive commercial pilot experience and mix instruction time with commercial operations which include forestry, oil and gas, mining, aerial surveying and personal charter operations. Our Chief Flight Instructor (CFI), has several thousand hours in instructing initial students through to company training of experienced pilots, in addition to the many thousands of hours in the commercial operating environment.


  • Train on commercial helicopters currently used in industry – Robinson R44 or the AS350.

  • Train with highly qualified and industry experienced instructors.

  • Challenging geographical location – altitude, mountains and confined areas all available within minutes from our modern base.

  • Surrounding airspace providing a variety of uncontrolled and controlled environments.

  • A training environment that provides access to a working commercial helicopter operation and not simply a training unit.

  • Structured course which allows you to complete your training, on average, within five months.

  • Full ground school and exam preparation – average ground school will be 200 hours.


  • English proficiency test

  • Category 1 Canadian Medical Examination

  • 100 hours flight training

  • 55 hours dual

  • 35 hours pilot in command

  • 80 hours of Ground School

  • At least 60% on written exam

  • Successful completion of flight test


Pricing varies depending on what machines you choose to fly and courses included within training.