If you are looking to start a career in aviation, Rotorworks is a great place to start. Jim Hofland and his instructors, Ryan Cluff and David Buckland’s knowledge of flying and the helicopter industry will give you a great base of skills and knowledge to begin your career as a commercial helicopter pilot.

David’s teaching background makes learning air law, meteorology, aerodynamics, navigation and the helicopter systems a lot less intimidating. You will be confident when you write your Transport Canada written test and do your oral flight test exam. Ryan’s skills in long lining and slinging made me comfortable flying with an external load in a short amount of time at the end of my training. All three instructors have their own teaching methods so if you you don’t understand the first or second time you  will definitely understand the third. Since there are usually other students attending and learning from each other, it is very much a team atmosphere, whether it be in the classroom, in the hangar or in the student house. Working pilots also attend Rotorworks for recurrent training so you are always meeting other pilots and learning from them as well. Maintenance on Rotorwork’s fleet is done at Northwest Helicopters, and going there with the instructors is a good opportunity to learn from their three flight engineers. One engineer also stays at the student house and has over 40 years experience in his field and is more than willing to share his wealth of knowledge with anyone who asks. There is no shortage of resources to help you learn every aspect of the industry at Rotorworks.

Their bush camp operations facility is a good change of scenery from the classroom. Teaching you to fuel from a barrel and getting external loads ready are skills you will surely need working as a pilot or ground crew in this industry. The Whitecourt area offers diverse landscapes and plenty of oil and gas lease sites for realistic training. Harsh winters and hot summers will prepare you for different situations that you may incur in Canadian climates you will likely work in.

I attended Rotorworks to become a pilot in the oil and gas industry and that’s exactly what Jim has prepared me for. If you would like to become a commercial or private helicopter pilot I suggest you give him a call or if you can, go to the school and do an introductory flight. Even if you decide not to pursue a career in aviation you will remember that flight for the rest of your life.

                Tom heading out for a solo flight.                 Hooking up for some sling training.
              Getting ready for some long line work.                            Tom working the line