Flight Training

Canadian Helicopters believes that excellent training creates excellent pilots.

It’s why our instructor pilots are among the world’s most experienced and are renowned for their outstanding skills and ability to challenge students to achieve their full potential.

Canadian Helicopters’ flight school, Topflight, offers training programs to both company pilots and external (third party) clients.

Canadian Helicopters also provides ground based and simulation instruction for Royal Canadian Air Force pilots as a subcontractor to Allied Wings Flight Training Services. This facility is located at the Canada Wings Aviation Training Centre near Portage La Prairie, Manitoba.

Contact Topflight Elite Training

3130 Airport Road
Penticton, BC
V2A 8X1

Tel +1 250 492-0637
Fax +1 250 492-6544
Email us

Hours of Operation:
Monday to Friday
8:00 am – 4:30 pm PST


Since its origin in 1954, Topflight Elite Training & Charter Services, formerly known as the Canadian Helicopters School of Advanced Flight Training, has established a world-renowned reputation for the caliber of its training programs. Located in British Columbia, Topflight offers mountain and advanced flight training.

Over the past 60+ years, the school has trained thousands of military, police, corporate and civilian pilots from all over North America and around the world.   Clients include the Royal Canadian Air Force, the United States Navy Special Forces, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, and the Royal Danish Air Force, to name just a few.

Aircraft Types

Both day and night/NVG Training is available on the following aircraft types:

  • Airbus EC120B
  • Airbus AS350B3/H125
  • Bell 407

Topflight can also provide training on customer-provided aircraft.

Challenging Terrain

Located in Penticton, British Columbia, the school is within minutes of the mountain training area. The diverse terrain and variable winds of the Okanagan Valley and surrounding mountain areas provide flying challenges that are ideal for the study of the mechanics of mountain winds and advanced flying techniques.

Comprehensive Ground School

All ground school courses, briefings and reviews are conducted by flight instructors using SMART Board technology, provided tablet with digital training manuals, computer airflow simulations, and specifically developed training aids. Sessions are enhanced by the wealth of flying knowledge that instructors bring to the classroom.


The School’s flight instructors are among the world’s most experienced. They consistently provide positive and challenging flight training sessions geared to the experience level of the student. By flying operational assignments from time to time, the instructors keep in touch with the “real world” of helicopter flying to ensure that courses reflect industry needs. Our 8 full time instructors have an average of 10,000 flight hours.

NVG Training

Training Courses

In addition to the following courses, custom courses can be developed to meet specific requirements. All of the below courses are offered in English.  Flight instruction is also provided in French, German and Spanish, upon request.

  • Mountain Flight Training – approved by BC Forest Service, HAC, USDA
  • Day Recurrent Training – All emergencies done to touchdown, including full-on Autorotations
  • Night Recurrent Training – Including full-on Autorotations, un-aided and aided with NVG
  • Advanced Operational Flight Training – including advanced confined areas
  • Slinging
  • Water Bucketing
  • Vertical Reference
  • Private and Type Endorsement Courses
  • Night ratings
  • Night Vision Goggle (NVG) initial training
  • NVG advanced mountain training

Client Comments

“The Mountain Flying Course offered by Canadian Helicopters [Topflight] has enabled a generation of Canadian Forces rotary-wing pilots to hone their skills in the challenging mountain flying environment. The success of this course has been entirely due to the professionalism and dedication of the Canadian Helicopters’ [Topflight] Penticton staff.”

– Commander, 1 Canadian Air Division

“Through your efforts, this unit has been able to expand its response to numerous emergency hoist rescue operations in the high altitude environment.”

– Search and Rescue Unit, Ventura County Sheriff’s Department

“As a result of your ‘best in the world’ mountain flight training, we have successfully responded to numerous, emergent, contingency operations all over the world, many of these dependent upon the skills we acquired at your school. Without your help, these critical operations would not have been completed as successfully as they were.”

– Department of the Navy, U.S. Department of Defense

“The program and quality of instruction exceeds the factory training we were previously taking.”

– Flight Operations Manager, Edmonton Police Service

“[Topflight] should be highly commended for their professionalism, enthusiasm, and high-quality instructional capabilities. Returning trainees have consistently reported that the course of instruction has provided the most intensive and beneficial flight training they have ever received.”

– Commander, U.S. Naval Reserve

“It is our opinion that every rotorcraft pilot should attend your training facility. We left there much better pilots than when we arrived…”

– Aviation Unit, Memphis Police Department

Endorsements & Awards

Airbus Helicopters Canada Endorsement

In February of 2009, Airbus Helicopter Canada announced its endorsement of the Penticton School’s EC120B Advanced Mountain Flying Training program. This agreement underlines Topflight and Airbus Helicopters Canada’s joint commitment to improving flight safety. Through partnerships and endorsements from industry leaders like Airbus Helicopters, Topflight can continue to promote advanced flight safety.

Bell Helicopter Endorsement

Topflight is an Approved Bell Training Centre for the purpose of offering Mountain Flight Training on Bell Helicopter models.

BC Export Award

Topflight Elite Training & Charter Services was the recipient of the 38th Annual (2020) BC Export Award in the Professional Services category.   The BC Export Award in the Professional Services category is presented to a company that has provided expert advice, technical support or educational programs to international customers.

Contact Topflight Elite Training

3130 Airport Road
Penticton, BC
V2A 8X1

Tel +1 250 492-0637
Fax +1 250 492-6544
Email us

Hours of Operation:
Monday to Friday
8:00 am – 4:30 pm PST