According to industry sources, there is a shortage of helicopter pilots in Canada. Industry insiders point out that it is difficult for new helicopter pilots to apprentice with more experienced pilots, citing helicopter operations where the operation or task being performed doesn’t allow for a co-pilot, despite the willingness of many of them to work for very low wages just for the experience.
Commercial helicopter pilot Mark Sribney of Edmonton, Alberta says there is a shortage of pilots with 1,000 to 2,000 hours of flight time. Exacerbating this is that the number of helicopter pilots retiring is greater than the number of new pilots entering the rotary workforce.
Aggravating the situation, according to Sribney, is that the fixed-wing industry is offering incentives for rotary-wing pilots to cross over into their segment of the industry.
Photo credit: Canadian Helicopters