Operational Courses


Our operational courses are designed to fully prepare you for the aviation industry. These programs are available to anyone who feels this knowledge would benefit them and their lifestyle.  Any applicant accepted into the Helicopter Flight Training Program partnered with Canadore College to include the Pilot Preparedness Program are automatically enrolled in all of the operational courses offered, unless otherwise specified.


Essential Helicopters Underwater Egress Program is designed to provide aircraft crew and passengers travelling over water, the knowledge and skills necessary to react to an aircraft ditching emergency. The course has been designed for workers traveling via aircraft on a regular basis, to provide vital safety information, procedures and potentially life-saving knowledge. Regrettably, many passengers do not survive during a ditching emergency because of a lack of knowledge and practice of emergency Underwater Egress scenarios.

The Underwater Egress Training Program is given in two parts; Theory in a classroom and practice in a pool with a submersible aircraft simulator and sea survival equipment. Our program content includes the following:

  • Surface and Underwater Egress Training
  • Emergency Ditching and Evacuation
  • Pre-ditching procedures
  • Survival and Water Rescue Skills
  • Cold Water Emersion
  • Hazards related aircraft and personnel operating over water
  • Safety and survival equipment requirements and utilization

Duration: 1 day


Essential Helicopters Winter Survival course is designed for students or employees who must face these conditions as part of their everyday job duties. Our week-long training session includes one day of classroom instruction at the Canadore College Aviation Campus and five days out in the wilderness with hands-on practical training. Students will learn essential safety skills such as the recognition, prevention and treatment of frostbite, hypothermia, and other cold weather injuries as well as the skills necessary to quickly locate or improvise effective shelters to survive an unexpected situation.

Our extensive ground school includes the following:

  • Shelter Building Methods
  • Fire Lighting and Signal Techniques
  • Search and Rescue
  • Map and Compass Navigation
  • Survival Kit Contents
  • Trapping and Snaring Techniques
  • Remote Winter Helicopter Operations

The skills and knowledge gained during this course will help prepare you with the understanding and confidence that you have the will to survive an outdoor emergency situation. If you find yourself in a survival situation, you’ll be grateful you know what to do.

Duration: 6 days


Essential Helicopters’ experienced flight instructors work together with our students to assure they are well educated on not only how to fly, but what they are flying. Thorough daily inspections, passenger briefings, systems analysis, procedures review and so much more are all part of the day to day practice of being a competent pilot who is confident in their aircraft. When our flight instructors are not in the air teaching lessons, they are spending their time on the ground doing pre-flight and post-flight briefings so students can confidently understand the flight exercises they put into practice while flying.

Proper ground handling and hangar procedures are skills passed down to students from our flight instructors after years of experience in the aviation industry. Being able to safely move and operate around expensive and delicate aircrafts is a talent highly valued on a resume and necessary for newly licenced pilots looking for their first job.

Our Duty Pilot Program teaches the basics of flight following, flight dispatch and aircraft airworthiness. Our students can take what they have learned through an analog system and apply it to the latest technology being utilized at any company they work for after graduation. All students are required to get involved with fueling operations of their own and other aircraft to familiarize themselves with both Av Gas (100LL) and Jet Fuel (Jet-A) procedures – another skill that makes them invaluable in the workforce.

Duration: Course Entirety


Offered by Canadore College Professors with their Aircraft Maintenance Engineer certification. The basic aircraft maintenance course takes years of experience from AME professors and incorporates the content most applicable to the pilot’s relationship with their aircraft.

Students learn about recognizing trends of their aircraft’s structure, engine and performance and apply their knowledge to make informed “go or not go” decisions. Basic maintenance techniques such as dual control installation and removal, door configuration, changing navigation lights, etc. are demonstrated to make pilots more competent without relying on engineers while out on secluded flying jobs.

Over the two-semester course, visual and classroom lessons are reinforced using experimental demonstrations, tangible learning aids and “cut-aways” are donated to the college from retired aircraft.

Topics covered further within the course include:

  • Piston Engine Familiarization
  • Turbine Engine Familiarization
  • Proper Cleaning Techniques
  • Airframe Structures
  • Materials Usage
  • Corrosion Avoidance
  • Fueling Operations
  • Human Factors

DURATION: 2 Semesters


The goal of Essential Helicopters’ commercial flight training program is to take any student with no aviation experience and make them a pilot who meets the Transport Canada standards for licencing. Because of this lenient admission requirement, we take on students from various educational backgrounds. Basic Math and English courses are incorporated into the Pilot Preparedness Program so each of our graduated pilots have the basic skills to take on many roles in an aviation workplace.

Basic Math teaches number fundamentals, structure of equations and solving problems without the use of a calculator. These lessons help students to practice mental math skills which sharpens their ground speed checks and other calculations they exercise while flying.

In Basic English, students focus on stories, statistics and history of the aviation community to report and reflect their own experiences in flight training. Presentation skills are also practiced to develop strong communication habits that are vital when working with aircraft and personnel in the air and on the ground.

Both of the Basic Math and English Courses are designed with pilots in mind; experienced Canadore College Professors merge their most effective lessons with the demands of a helicopter pilot’s lifestyle. All of the material is presented in a way that can be relatable to a pilot and utilized in the air and on any job in the industry.

Duration: 1 Semester Each


Standard First Aid is a practice that pilots should not take for granted when operating in remote areas with risk of injury. Our two-day First Aid course is unlike any basic course offered; students are given scenarios to put their classroom lessons and decision-making skills into practice to develop hands-on solutions.

Day One: Our certified instructor teaches the theory and procedures involved in treating all types of first aid situations. PowerPoints and demonstration videos are discussed as students read along with the workbook, including guidance and references for emergencies that they can keep with them in their aircraft.

Day Two: All the teachings from the previous day are practiced first hand. CPR and AED responses are utilized on dummies, and first aid crisis’ are demonstrated on our staff and student “dummies.” Students are divided into groups and are given surprise scenarios they must react to in real time to make life-saving decisions using their new first aid training.

Not only is our certified instructor an experienced paramedic, but also a special effects makeup artist with a talent of making fictional scenarios seem frighteningly realistic. These aspects of real-life storytelling and convincing scenarios grasp the attention of our students and make them react as realistically as possible when dealing with a first aid emergency. That is what makes this a First Aid Course unlike any other.

Duration: 2 Days


Majority of helicopter operations take place in heavily forested areas. Majority of work in heavily forested areas involve tree felling. Therefore, majority of helicopter pilots are savvy with a chainsaw. That is why we have made this Chainsaw Safety and Tree Felling Course part of our Pilot Preparedness Program.

The first day of this two-day course begins in a classroom setting where our experienced instructors review the storage, upkeep, mechanics and safety practices of chainsaws. Students are also familiarized with how to identify tree types and their best usage, properly fell, prune and buck the wood yielded from their cut.

Day two takes place outdoors where students practice the lessons they learned in class. Divided into groups, the students are assigned an instructor who walks them into the bush and are given the opportunity to identify, select, fell, trim and buck their own trees. Then when it comes time, students must utilize the necessary tools to sharpen, file, clean, oil and refuel their chainsaws to keep them serviceable.

This course most accurately represents real experiences helicopter pilots face when working in remote forested areas. These skills help our graduates meet the demands when expected to create helicopter log pads, survival shelters, firewood and so much more.

Duration: 2 Days


The perfect opportunity for helicopter students to marry their chainsaw safety and winter survival training; our Helicopter Log Pad Construction Course is the best way to test the future pilots on their ability to retain knowledge and act quickly under high demand.

At some point throughout their winter survival experience, one of our helicopters pays a visit to the secluded area on short notice and needs a place to land to keep them out of the snow. It is at this point our group of students must work as a team to assemble a safe log pad in a suitably determined landing site.

By selecting sturdy lumber trees, making clean cuts, thoroughly pruning, and bucking into appropriate sizes, this is the perfect culmination of the students’ chainsaw training while dealing with the winter environment under high pressure.

All done under the supervision of experienced instructors with the familiar chainsaw equipment and safety gear, the students are not given the chance to lose any of their past training by applying it to a real life scenario with a real life reward. This may be the first time a student builds a helicopter log pad, but after getting a job in the aviation industry it most likely will not be their last!

Duration: 1 Day


Developed by a Canadore College Avionics Professor, the Global Positioning System Course is to allow our students to familiarize themselves with the many different types of GPS’ used in the industry today. The basic principals and functions are discussed and demonstrated in a classroom environment to give students the basics that can be applied to any device they find in their career.

The course begins with an introduction to GPS and the history behind how it fell into the hands of everyday civilians. Portable dashboards are then used in the classroom as learning aids for students to be guided along basic models to understand and navigate the system under supervision.

Once comfortable with their progress, the professor then moves the class into an avionics lab with more advanced models to show that if you can grasp the general concept of a GPS, you can apply the same functions to any system, no matter how complicated it seems. Students are then asked to plan, map and virtually navigate their own flight route on different models to demonstrate the cumulation of knowledge they have retained throughout the course.

Technology in aircrafts is advancing more and more by the day, and by the time our future pilots learn the systems we can teach them in school a newer model is sure to be released before we can catch up. By teaching the theory and establishing the basics, we are setting up our students to be confident in their GPS when they find themselves in an unfamiliar aircraft at their first job.

Duration: 1 Semester

Interested in operational training? Sign up for our courses now!

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