converting Australian CPL(H) to Canadian CPL(H)

Looking for some info on converting to or from an Aussie Flight Crew License?
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converting Australian CPL(H) to Canadian CPL(H)

Postby gadget » Tue Apr 4 2006, 05:55

whilst in the process of looking for a start I investigated the process required to go to Canada & convert my CASA license to the Canadian equivalent.

Under the recommendation of some decent CHC fellows I met, several of whom had done the exact same thing, I contacted the the Heli College & received the following response, which I now post so that others might benefit. Whilst it is slightly dated now, I am unaware of there being any drastic changes to it.

my plan was to study the theory, go over for 6 months (visit visa, don't need any special visa from australia & can travel without a visa from australia - i think), sit the exam, the medical & do the flight test, then spend the remainder of the time scoping for an employer to sponsor me with a work permit, relocate outside canada, apply for a working visa with the employers sponsorship (apparently takes around 6 weeks) then enter with a big smile

hope this helps, cheers :wink:

August 3, 2005

"Dear A:

Sorry for the delay in getting back to you.

Following is our conversion information. With regard to a good portion of
the books you will need for the course, we would be able to send them on to
you. The price of the books would be approximately $170.00 CDN. The cost
of sending express post tends to be approximately $90.00, however regular
ground delivery should be less, but would take about six weeks to arrive.

Canadian Air Regulations require that an applicant for a Commercial Pilot
licence needs a total of 100 hours of flight time to qualify for the
Commercial Pilot Licence. This must include a minimum of 5 hours of
Helicopter Instrument flight, 5 hours of either simulator or aircraft
instrument flight, 55 hours dual total, 35 hours solo total, and 10 hours
solo cross-country including 1 trip of more than 2 hours duration with 3

Until we see your log books, it is difficult to tell exactly how many hours
you may require, but if you currently hold a Commercial Rating, then you
most likely meet all of the basic requirements. Any previous instrument
flight experience will be credited toward the Transport Canada requirements
provided it is properly documented and certified in your log book.

You will be required to take the written examinations in the following

Canadian Commercial Examination
1) Air Law, Regulations, Air Traffic Services & Licensing
2) Navigation, Radio & Electronic Theory
3) Meteorology
4) Theory of Flight, Commercial Operations & Flight Instruments

We estimate that you will require a minimum of 3 weeks to cover this
material. It is difficult for us to know exactly how long you will require
as we have no way of determining your present level of knowledge with
regard to the ground school material.

You will also be required to take the Commercial Flight test. Most
conversion pilots require between 2 - 5 hours of preparation for the fight
test. Since the flying is the most costly portion of the training, a
certain additional amount should be budgeted in case extra time in the
aircraft is
required to meet the Canadian standards. Please bear in mind that we
tailor every course to suit the needs of the individual and that the
figures quoted in the accompanying material are based on the requirements
of those with limited previous experience. Also, as the use of the flight
simulator may greatly reduce the cost of instrument flight portion of the
training, we suggest that 5 hours of training in our ATC112H Helicopter
simulator be included in the course.

Our IFR (instrument) aircraft are equipped with a King Avionics Package
including VOR, ILS, RMI, and HSI. Providing you have no instrument time,
the package cost of our complete conversion course is approximately
(RH22)?2,500.00 - $4,500.00.

This course includes up to a maximum of 10 hours of individual Ground
School instruction, the use of computer and video facilities, 5 hours of
Dual Simulator, 8 hours of flight time including instrument flight, flight
tests, flight test fees, Transport Canada licence and permit fees, and books.

If you do have instrument flight experience, the cost of the course would
be reduced to approximately $2200.00.

Additional time may be purchased according to the following rates:

Flight Training IFR R22 (IFR) $475.00/hr.
Flight Training VFR R22 $475.00/hr./$460.after 1st
Individual Ground School Tutoring $40.00/hr.
Group Ground School Classes $30.00/hr.
Dual Simulator (ATC 112H) $70.00/hr.
Use of Ground School facilities $400.00
(computers, video library, books, and references)
*prices are quoted in Canadian Dollars unless otherwise noted.

A deposit of $1,000.00 is required to hold a space for you in the
Conversion course.

If you wish to work in Canada, there are some Canadian operators who may be
prepared to sponsor pilots requiring a work permit. Unfortunately, most of
these operators will not consider sponsorship until you actually hold the
Canadian licence.

The most popular student accommodation is a kitten in the Langley
Travelodge, which is located just across the street from the airport so
transportation is not required while on the course. We also have a list
of families who offer a room or suite as a homestay arrangement with prices
ranging from $25.00 per day to $700.00 per month, depending upon the
services eg. meals, laundry etc., required by the student.

We trust this information will assist in your decision. If you have
further questions, please do not hesitate to contact us by phone or email.


Lyle C. Watts
Chief Flight Instructor"
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Postby havick » Mon Jun 11 2007, 11:18

G'day Gadget,

Thinking of doing something similar myself, would you mind posting the details of that particular flying school so I can get in contact with them?


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Postby nzl75 » Mon Jun 11 2007, 19:23

Heli-College Canada
Hangar #2 - 5333 216th Street,
Langley Municipal Airport,
Langley, British Columbia,
Canada V2Y 2N3
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Postby havick » Tue Jun 12 2007, 23:24

Is it possible to sit he Canadian CPL(H) written exams in Australia at all?
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canada license

Postby efilnikufesin » Wed Jun 13 2007, 01:24

HI guys ,i have been thru the conversion process and i would highly recommend using chinook helicopters or possibly great slave helicopters as these companies use high time instructors that fly thru the summer season and have good stuff to offer you.

they are also more in touch with the job market than Mr Watts.

if you are under 31 you can get the working holiday programme and start working when the season starts too.
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Hour req for Canada

Postby NEWBIE » Fri Aug 24 2007, 09:36

Has any one converted to Canadian CPL recently??
Just a couple of quick Q's
How many hours did you have before you made the big move?,

What time of the year you would suggest doing the training eg Just before the season started or when the schools are in there slow session?.

And whether if you did it again any tips you now know that you would do differently?,

Thanks, any info is appreciated,
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Postby mdav » Fri Aug 24 2007, 12:18

Looking at those prices, i think your better off getting your oz cpl, the doing there theory over again and 10 hours of instrument to get there licence. Then you finish with dual oz and canadian.
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yeah i did it last year

Postby Vorticey » Fri Aug 31 2007, 03:07

i went over with 1900hrs piston in march. went to chinook helicopters and had to do 10 hrs "instrument time" to bring it up to canadian standard. at that time 2006 it cost 7000 dollars au for everything(450 hr) but will be cheeper now. emailed a couple of companies and started work in april in a b206 where i stayed till work diminished in december so i came home (after a snow bourding holiday of course.) great experiance and always have that canadian licence if i decide to go back one day.

if your under 31 you can get a canadian working holiday visa and work for anyone for as long as a year, but if your over 31 you need a sponser to work any spacific company.

its a bit like going back to the northern territory though, as most work is up north when the ice melts in the summer time. lots of mud and mosquitos and bears and did i mention mosquitos.

tips, you can get the medical in australia, get the social insurance number while your in vancouver, chinook does not have EFTPOS, bears do eat people and icy roads are more slippery than you think!
professionally unprofessional
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Postby NEWBIE » Fri Aug 31 2007, 08:22

Thanks Vorticey, I will only have 1500 hrs but have been talking to people and they said that this will not be a problem.
Just a quick Q's, Did you have the Turbine endorsment before you started?, Just chinook suggested just do the license and a company will put you through on there training program. And were in Aus did you get your medical done?.
If you dont mind me asking how many hours were you doing over there.
And I am not to worried about the Mozzies or the cold, Ex mil and I came to the understandind that the army would not send us anywhere that did not have at least one these,
Thanks again,
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canadian medical

Postby smalltorque » Sat Sep 1 2007, 05:04

quote-newbie " And were in Aus did you get your medical done?. "

I don't know where you are newbie, but if you're in victoria the guy I use to renew my canadian medical is Dr Ivor Davis at the Queen St Medical Clinic in south melb. Real nice bloke & I think the only CAME in victoria. If you're somewhere else try the
CASA (why do I grind my teeth when I type that?) website. They have a list of CAME's. There's one in Sydney & one in Brisbane
region that I know of.
Good luck buddy. -- ST
If it's got wings that spin, it truly flies.
But if they're stiff, it only tries.
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Postby Vorticey » Mon Sep 3 2007, 10:51

they gave me a 206 endorcement after i rocked up to the job. there's less of a step up to turbines in canada i found. i got my medical over there but found out i could have got it in australia by a friend that did just that, im sure he got credit on the canadian medical for the time he still had on his aussie one.
professionally unprofessional
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Postby scobie » Wed Nov 14 2007, 10:14

Vorticey would you mind if i PM'd you with a few questions about heading over seas. Cheers. :D

Re: converting Australian CPL(H) to Canadian CPL(H)

Postby nlnnOOnnln » Fri Jul 23 2010, 12:30

Last edited by nlnnOOnnln on Thu Jul 29 2010, 06:33, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: converting Australian CPL(H) to Canadian CPL(H)

Postby Twistgrip » Fri Jul 23 2010, 14:13

I did my cplh conversion with chinook in 2008 with a mate of mine. At the time we had about 14yrs exp in the Oz industry and a few hrs. I found the instructors at chinook to be terrific and learned alot whilst over there. the school itelf is a saussage factory and you have to pay CASH. There were no credit card facilities, so meant going into town (abbotsford...S%^tH&le) to get cash out every second day. I found the owners to be professional and fair and they commented on how well Aussies fly! it was a compliment.

When we arrived, we only had 2 days to prep for exam but got through it ok due to previous knowledge on the subject matter......i can imagine it may take longer for a fresh student going over there from a cplh oz licence. The machines are dinosaurs but well preserved at that..........Overall i had a great experience in canada and managed to do some flying whilst there also.........and if you go over include a holiday and road trip as it is such a wonderful country with so much to offer. it really was a highlight in my career/life! :D
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Re: converting Australian CPL(H) to Canadian CPL(H)

Postby Heliduck » Fri Jul 23 2010, 20:04

In fairness to nlnnOOnnln I cannot comment on his/her experience at Chinook helicopters as I don't know him/her or the details, but in fairness to Chinook helicopters I can comment on my experience there.
A few years ago I spent 2 weeks at Chinook, 1 week studying before sitting & passing the CPL(H) exams to convert my CASA licence to TC, & 1 week after that was spent doing the instrument time, emergencies & flight test to gain my licence. I was an experienced piston utility pilot when I went there & I found the training thorough & up to, if not above, any standard of training I have had in Australia. I went on to stay in Canada permanently flying both the summer & winter peak periods for a few years & managed a base for most of that period. Everyone I discussed Chinook with during that period were happy with the service they provided.
I did hear that a few months after I left Chinook a few pilots came through from Australia which Chinook told that they would not recommend for a flight test as they were not up to standard, & I'm guessing that if I spoke to those people they would not have a good reference for Chinook.
With Chinook it is not guaranteed that spending money on training will qualify you for recommendation for a flight test by the CFI, however reaching the required standard will qualify you. This is no different to Australian regs but I have not heard of it being used in Australia. You need to remember that Chinook needs to maintain it's reputation within Canada, not Australia, if it is to remain a viable business. Passing low quality pilots through the system for financial gain will come back to bite them, so they don't do it.
Having flown in the mustering industry in Australia for many years & now now the Canadian Rockies for even longer I can only defer to Chinooks judgement & say that they were probably right not to pass some people. After all, it is only there judgement & responsibility to TC not to put forward candidates for a flight test if they think they will kill themselves or others which maintains the standard in their industry. If they say you fly like a cowboy, I'd believe them.
For the number of hours flown in the mountains every year in Canada & the quantity of machines here it is a credit to the industry that accidents are as infrequent as they are. Professional pilots will be respected & do well in Canada, but those who think they can throw a machine around the bush for a few years with no self discipline & then expect to be let loose in the mountains with a 150ft longline had best prepare themselves for disappointment.
"Plan twice...Fly once"

Re: converting Australian CPL(H) to Canadian CPL(H)

Postby nlnnOOnnln » Sat Jul 24 2010, 04:27

Last edited by nlnnOOnnln on Thu Jul 29 2010, 06:32, edited 6 times in total.
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Re: converting Australian CPL(H) to Canadian CPL(H)

Postby Kiwieng » Sat Jul 24 2010, 05:07

Good luck over there,While talking to a mate who is a base Manager in Northern Alberta last week he mentioned that the government had knocked working visas on the head due to such high unemployment in the industry. I personally went up there for 3 weeks of job interviews in 2008 and got a work visa although it took 8 months and I missed a season, then the economy crashed and my opportunities dried up. That was as a Pilot/Engineer.
I recommend doing some homework, talk to some base managers around the place before committing large sums of money to a conversion, it sounds like they are still hurting big time when you have 15000hr pilots out of work.

Re: converting Australian CPL(H) to Canadian CPL(H)

Postby nlnnOOnnln » Sun Oct 30 2011, 08:39


If you want to do your canadian conversion, In my opinion Chinook in Abbottsford "sucks" and is more interested in taking your money than providing you a quality cost effective conversion. There are better places to do it QUICKER AND CHEAPER. In my opinion, Chinook is running on history. Perhaps it was good once but now I wouldn't recommend it.

"DON'T DO IT!" Oc:=
Last edited by nlnnOOnnln on Sun Oct 30 2011, 16:46, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: converting Australian CPL(H) to Canadian CPL(H)

Postby bangequalsbad » Sun Oct 30 2011, 09:17

nlnnOOnnln wrote:If you want to do your canadian conversion, In my opinion Chinook in Abbottsford "sucks" and is more interested in taking your money than providing you a quality cost effective conversion. There are better places to do it QUICKER AND CHEAPER. In my opinion, Chinook is running on history.

1) So you have been to another place and done it cheaper? :?
2)Did your opinion or your skill level not meet the instructors/testing officers? :shock:
3)Did you turn up to "get a conversion, because thats what I paid for" or "learn some new operating procedures"? :oops:

I guess you weren't offered any jobs or setup with employment by the owners contacts after training then?

Bang "Altitude, Attitude, Airspeed" equalsbad.

Re: converting Australian CPL(H) to Canadian CPL(H)

Postby nlnnOOnnln » Sun Oct 30 2011, 16:37

Doing just fine thanks.
Learn something new every day.
There are 'I hear' guys doing it on the island, in and out in a week for less than 3000.

I stand by what I said.

Chinook sucks! Oc:=

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