Most questions will be answered here if you still need information feel free to call me @ 519-637-0711

1. Do you require an airplane license to get a helicopter license?

NO! You can start your helicopter license without any previous aviation experience.

2. I was told that helicopters fall out of the sky if the engine quits, is this true?

No.  Helicopters enter into autorotational flight when the engine quits.  The helicopter can “glide” with the power off.  As the helicopter is decending air moving up through the blades creates lift and the helicopter is completely maneuvourable right to the ground.  You as a pilot will be trained to be able to complete autorotations in many different configurations making helicopter flight safe.  Properly maintained helicopters rarely experience engine failure although they have happened.

3.  What do I have to do before I start my helicopter training?

Not a thing.  There are no prerequisites required for training.  You can start your license the minute you decide that is what you want to do.  Central Helicopters offers a “intro” flight which will allow you to take control of the helicopter and see if it is something that you want to do.  You need to be at least 14 years old before you can start training and you must be 18 years old before you can be issued a commercial license.

4.  Do you offer an introduction flight at your school?

Yes.  CHTA offers an intro flight.  You will spend approximately 30 minutes with the instructor learning about the helicopter on the ground then you will spend approximately 20 minutes in the air, you will be able to take control of the helicopter under the instructors supervision and see what it feels like to fly the machine.  You will spend some time in the upper air and some time trying your hand at hovering.  This 20 minutes is loggable if you start flight training.  The value of this flight is $280 plus HST on our R44.

5.  How many hours does it take to get a license?

It depends if you are taking a private license  (for pleasure flying) or a commercial license (to be for hire). If you are doing a private license the minimum hours required by Transport Canada is 45 which is split up between Dual (with an instructor) and solo (fying by yourself).  If you are doing a commercial license the minimum amount of time is 100 and is split between 55 dual and 35 solo with the remaining 10 at the instructors descretion. The 45 hours for Private licence and 100 hours for Commercial licence are Transport Canada minimum requirements for licensing, it may take longer for an individual to reach the standard for the licence.

6.  What rate do you charge for your helicopters?

Our Robinson R22 is charged out at $510.00 per hour including the fuel and instructor.  Our Robinson R44 is charged out at $750.00 per hour including fuel and instructor.  If you are doing training towards a instrument rating our Robinson R44 Raven II with a sagem™ glass cockpit or our Raven I with full IFR panel then the rate is $850.00 per hour including fuel and instructor.  There is a 3% discount for paying cash.

7.  How long will the training take?

This depends on how often you are training.  If you attend school full-time your commercial license could take as little as 4 months but because flying is weather dependant it could take longer.  On average most commercial students complete their training in around 6 months.   If you are flying on a part-time basis it would depend on how often you are attending school.  Some students fly as little as 2 hours per week and some students fly as many as 10-15 hours per week. We set your schedule of flying to suit your needs.

8.  What type of helicopters can I fly when finished my training.

There is a requirement in Canada to be type rated on each and every type of helicopter that you fly.  The type rating usually takes between 3-5 hours of flying with a qualified person before you receive the go ahead to have the rating added to your license.  After that you can fly any helicopter as long as you are type rated.

9.  Is training available year round?

Yes we do training 52 weeks of the year.  Southern Ontario weather can be challenging at times, but the student learns to fly in many different types of weather.

10.  Do you do training on weekends?

Training is available on weekends and/or holidays when arrangements have been made with the instructor.

11.  Does CHTA accept foreign students?

Yes, see the side menu button labelled international students.

12.  What is the process for starting my training at CHTA?

You need to come into CHTA and meet with us and decide that CHTA  is the school that you would like to take your training with.  At that time we will require you to make a $1000.00 deposit with us to confirm your training.   CHTA is a private career college registered under the Private Career Colleges Act, 2005 .  As such, there is a requirement to complete a contract and enrollment documents.  Before training starts we suggest that you attend one of the Transport Canada medical examiners (there is a list of available Doctors on our links section) and have your medical completed before you start training.  Then all you have to do is pick a start date as CHTA is an open enrollment school and you can start whenever you are ready.

13.  When do you offer ground school and do I have to complete it before I start flying?

We offer ground school on a “one to one” basis.  It is held when it is convenient for both parties.  Ground school does not need to be completed before flying as before each lesson the instructor will cover the items that are going to be taught during that particular lesson.

14.  Are there accomadations available?

We have arrangements with local motels at reduced rates and we also have available a few placements with local homeowners renting out rooms.  Housing is very affordable in the St. Thomas, London corridor.  Lake Erie is only a few minutes drive away and there are many leisure activities and things to do in the area.

15.  Is helicopter training tax deductible?

Commercial helicopter training is tax deductible as is licensing that will be used for employment.  Private helicopter training is not tax deductible and will have HST added to the hourly rate.  CHTA will provide TL11B tax forms for each license that you are working towards.

16. I already have a fixed wing commercial license are the hours of training reduced?

Yes the license that you would be taking is the commercial alternate.  The hours are reduced to 60 which is 37 dual and 23 solo and your ground school requirement is reduced to 20.  Also the test that you will write with Transport Canada has only 35 questions.

17.  Does CHTA hire pilots that they train?

CHTA is the training division of Zimmer Air Service and when they are looking for pilots CHTA graduates that show the right attitude and skill set are always considered for available positions.

18.  What type of jobs are available to commercial helicopter pilots?

There are many different flying positions that are available to commercial helicopter pilots some of them are listed below:

Mining support, Aerial construction,Search and rescue, Offshore oil support, Air ambulance, Executive transport, Geophysical survey, Powerline patrol, Aerial application, Law enforcement, Forest fire suppression etc

19. Will mechanical breakdowns cause a delay in my training?

CHTA has at least 2 aircraft maintenance engineers available at all times and if the parts are in stock most issues are resolved quickly causing no delays in the students progress.

20.  Is financial assistance available to students through CHTA?

Financial assistance is not available directly through CHTA.  CHTA is a private career college registered under the Private Career Colleges Act, 2005 .  Financial Institutions recognize this and usually offer “student lines of credit”  to those that qualify.  You may also qualify under “second careers” or through private insurance if you have been injured and are being retrained.

21.  Will finding employment be easy?

Depends.  For some students they are able to find employment immediately after finishing there training.  However finding your first flying job usually requires one to have a lot of persistence.  Many have found work by being at the “right place at the right time” and by using a lot of networking.  Once pilots have managed to attain approximently 1000 hours jobs are usually easier to come by.   Students are advised that if they really want to be a helicopter pilot they will be.   No different then if you want to be a train engineer you will do whatever it takes to become one.

22.  When do courses at your school start?

CHTA is an open enrollment training facility and as such you can start your training whenever you are ready to.

23.  What factors should you consider when choosing a helicopter flight training school?

Some of the things that you should consider before choosing a flight school;

Is the location of the helicopter school  located at an uncontrolled airfield or controlled airfield, uncontrolled airfields mean the students have no waiting for clearance to leave the area or re-enter.

What is the experience of the flight instructors, do they have real flying experience or are they low time instructors trying to get enough hours so they can go find a flying postion.

What is the reputation of the school,  try and talk to past graduatse and see how they felt about their experience while attending.

How many helicopters are available for training on, will you find that  your schedule never fits theirs, do they have maintenance engineers on staff.

What type of facilites does the school operate from, is it the back of a hangar or do they have plentiful space, good classrooms, facilities, parking etc.

Does the school hire from their graduates or are they just a flight training school.

24.  Am I required to pay for the whole training program before I start?

No.  CHTA requires a $1000 deposit to get you started.  After that we require you to pay as you go.  We accept debit, credit and cash/cheque.  You may put money on account and be assured that it is protected as we are a Registered Career College in Ontario,  however you are not required  to keep any money on account.

25.  Does CHTA offer  training on a simulator?

CHTA has a “FLYIT” simulator and it is used for instrument training during commercial or private licensing.  The simulator is also used for students whom are working towards a instrument rating.

26.  Are helicopters restricted by high winds or bad weather?
No, helicopters’ inherent agility allow for safer maneuvering and landing in poor weather. In fact, helicopters are permitted to fly in conditions that Transport Canada regulations restrict fixed-wing aircraft by visual flight rules (VFR).  Helicopters have lower visibility requirements than fixed wing.