Course Info

Flight Training

Rotorworks offers full time and part time courses with fixed and flexible start dates and schedules. The part time training works well for people that have rotating schedules and a number of days away from work such as working for a week or two and getting a week or two off.

Rotorworks full time courses start every September and February/March but we are flexible with start dates. Rotorworks instructors do work operationally on a part time basis for other companies during the summer months but the school is open year round for instruction.

The full time course will take 4 – 5 months and the part time course is usually completed within a year depending on scheduling. We are a designated school with Alberta  Advanced Education and funding for our courses is available through them.

Rotorworks does annual training for commercial companies and this is busiest in the late winter and spring. Rotorworks instructors will occasionally be needed for short periods of time to work with these long term clients. Our students will be meeting some of these operational pilots as they work with Rotorworks. These clients have hired our graduates in the past.

Rotorworks promotes our graduates to the helicopter companies in Alberta and Western Canada for employment and have a very good success rate in getting people into the helicopter industry. A number of our graduates are employed by companies in Western Canada.

Accommodations: Whitecourt has many rental options available to students. From renting a single room to apartments or renting an entire house. Many are advertised on Kijiji, facebook groups or If you require accommodation in Whitecourt let us know, we have a few locations in town that rent to us on a regular basis.

Introductory Flight: Rotorworks offers an Introductory Flight that includes a walk-around of the helicopter, a pre-flight briefing with a flight where the potential student flies the helicopter with one of our Instructors. Robinson R22 – $394.00 and Robinson R44 – $735.00.

5% GST is included.


Robinson R22 Courses Flight Time Price
Private Pilot Course 45 hours $29,478.75 incl GST
Commercial Pilot Course 100 hours $57,500.00
Commercial with Night Rating 110 hours $62,850.00
Commercial Alternate
(already hold fixed wing commercial)
60 hours $34,600.00

Night Rating (October to March)  

Commercial courses are GST exempt 

10 hours

$6,562.50 incl GST


The courses include:

  • Robinson R22 flight time 
  • Ground School
  • Books and Pilot Supplies
  • These prices are all based on the Transport Canada minimum hour requirements

Robinson R44: The Robinson R44 is often the helicopter that pilots will be flying with their first job. The R44 can be substituted for R22 time during the course for an additional $315.00/hour. An endorsement on the R44 will take 10 flight hours and is much more reasonable to obtain during the course than after. We recommend that a student consider this option during the course.

Commercial Pilot Course with R44

Endorsement: R22 – 90 hours & R44 – 10 hours $60,650.00 based on Transport Canada minimum hour requirements and the flight test is not included in the above cost.


  • 150 hours (approximately) of ground school and ground instruction
  • Reference books, maps and materials in the classroom
  • Helicopter static displays and parts
  • Flight in various types of weather including adverse conditions; snow, wind, mist.
  • Application of theory and exercises for operational flight
  • Practice Exams prior to the Transport Canada Written Exam
  • Off airport/bush operations
  • Practice Flight Tests prior to the Transport Canada Flight Test
  • Visits to the Flight Service Station at the airport
  • Visits to the Aircraft Maintenance Organization
  • Mentoring for gaining employment

Requirements for Training

There is no minimum educational requirement to train for a helicopter pilot licence.

  • Work in the English Language
  • Work with basic math
  • Prior to starting at Rotorworks obtain a Transport Canada Medical: Category 1 for a Commercial Licence or Category 3 for a Private Licence
  • 14 years of age or older to start training
  • 17 years of age or older to hold a Private Helicopter Pilot Licence
  • 18 years of age or older to hold a Commercial Helicopter Pilot Licence

To Enroll in one of our classes, please email Rotorworks through our Contact Us page and ask for an Application form. Fill this out and return it to us by either email, fax or mail.

Course Structure

Rotorworks ground school and instruction runs Monday to Friday from our facility at the Whitecourt Airport. The day starts at 8:00 AM and goes to 4:00 PM with time for lunch. Saturdays require advance notice for any training and Sundays we are closed.

A standard day would include: pre-flighting the helicopters, weather interpretation, pre-flight and post- flight briefings, refuelling the helicopters, assignments, lessons and tests as needed.

Flight Training involves the basic exercises of circuits at the airport, emergency exercises, navigation and confined area work in off airport operations. Landings will be conducted in prepared and unprepared areas, various heli-pads and different airports.

Flights will be conducted in all types of weather as pilots will find themselves working in these conditons.

The Transport Canada Exam is written when the student has reached 1/2 their flight hours. Once this is completed there will be time spent working off the airport at the Rotorworks Operational Site. This is where the student will support the helicopter working with drummed fuel and battery operated pumps, covering the helicopters at night and pre-heating them in the morning using small heaters and generators. This will simulate an operational site working away from town and airports.

The last 2 – 3 weeks is spent exercising your flight skills and ground knowledge for your Transport Canada Flight Test. The flight test is normally completed when you are 90 – 95% complete so you have some time to enjoy the last hours of flying. External Load Slinging will be done here if it hasn’t already been completed.


The Transport Canada requirement of 80 hours of ground school is well exceeded with Rotorworks ground school and instruction.

This is a “Hands On” Course. Rotorworks students will be working with the helicopters, pre-flight inspections, moving in and out of the hanger, fueling, heli-cover installation and removal, pre-heating and other operational tasks.

The Confined Area training starts on the Whitecourt Airport property and continues in all directions There is little or no ferry time for this training. They vary from oilfield well sites, gravel bars on the Athabasca and McLeod Rivers, swamps and cut-blocks from logging operations.

Off-airport operations teach the students what to expect in an operational environment.

Rotorworks works with a number of helicopter companies conducting their required annual training and Pilot Proficiency Checks. These companies have hired our students in the past and continue to do so as additional pilots are needed.

Other Training

1. Initial and Recurrent Company Training
2. Pilot Proficiency Checks
3. External Load Training
4. Vertical Reference – Long Line Training
5. Operational Training
6. Off Airport/Bush Operations
7. Canadian Licence Conversions
8. Initial Mountain Training
9. Type endorsements on the Robinson R22, R44, Bell 206, AStar and other as needed.
10.Training on personal helicopters
11. Private and Commercial Flight Tests
12. Aviation Language Proficiency Tests