Canada’s Premier Flight Training Facility.

Start training at Chinook & end with successful placement in the aviation industry. 

Chinook Helicopters began training operations in 1982 at the Abbotsford Airport and quickly became one of Canada’s busiest and best known helicopter training schools. Chinook’s training policy has always been to rise above the existing standard and to commit to the development of student skill levels to match those used in the industry today. 

Chinook Aviation Group is a privately owned and operated flight training organization located in Abbotsford, BC, providing a full spectrum of basic and specialized advanced flight and ground training to the global community since 1982. Chinook is well positioned to meet and exceed the upgrade and recurrent aviation training needs for pilots at commercial helicopter and airplane flying operations around the world.

To maintain pace with changing industry trends and evolving technology, Chinook is continually developing innovative helicopter related training projects. Advanced computer programming, machine learning, robotics and UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) are sectors under development that will enhance and expand on the traditional forms of training we have offered over the years.

Chinook’s student industry placement rate is approximately 75%, making us #1 

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Chinook Aviation Group’s training fleet are much more modern and newer than other flight schools. New aircraft means they spend less time in maintenance than older aircraft, cost less to operate, saves on fuel and put you at the forefront of the industry with the latest training on the most modern machines available.

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First opened in 1982 and lead by Cathy Press – the first female flight instructor in Canada, Chinook Aviation Group has become a national leader in flight training. As one of Canada’s oldest and largest training facilities, Chinook has the most experienced instructors in the country, with average flight times of over 10,000 hours each. Pilots in training will receive full advantage of this extensive industry experience to ensure their success.

#1 Industry Placement

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Chinooks mandate is to prepare you for an exciting career in the aviation industry. Our graduates have embarked on rewarding careers as charter pilots, IFR offshore, ambulance, rescue and scheduled airline work. Other career opportunities exist in middle management, administrative positions, and helicopter flight instruction.  

Diverse Venues

Our location is ideal for year round helicopter training. We utilize the expansive Fraser Valley for all initial flight exercises, and the Coastal Mountain Range for intermediate and advanced exercises. Due to the extensive commercial helicopter activity in southwestern British Columbia, most of our approaches and landings are to actual industry helipads.

One-on-One Training

We want our students to know that we are a family run business and every student receives personalized one-on-one training; no one being “just a number”. In the words of owner Cathy Press: “even though our facilities have greatly expanded, we haven’t lost the personal touch.”

Flight Simluator

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Chinook’s training program includes simulator time, of which there are two available for student use. Sim 1 is free for students to use anytime, but only accumulates training hours with an instructor present, and Sim 2 is solely for instructor led use, being much more advanced with greater training capabilities. Both of these simulators are certified by Transport Canada as level 2 flight training devices.

Glass Cockpits

glass cockpit is an aircraft cockpit that features electronic (digital) flight instrument displays, typically large LCD screens, rather than the traditional style of analog dials and gauges. Glass Cockpits prepare you for the environment you’ll be working in. Future employers prefer recruits who have trained on Glass Cockpit aircraft.

Hangered & Well-Maintained

Our aircraft are exceptionally well-maintained. We are an authorized service center for all the aircraft we own and operate. This means no delays due to lack of access to maintenance and our aircraft are consistently cared for by licensed mechanics. Our aircraft are all hangared which protects them from the elements and ice in the winter.

State-of-the-Art Training Facility

Our 22,000 square foot facility was carefully designed to provide the best teaching environment while also allowing us to increase operational safety. We are well equipped to facilitate the training of our student body, and provide all of the necessary services to keep our fleet operational and safe during training. This facility includes a large classroom, rooms with PC access for private study, a student lounge located next to the flight instructors office area which helps build Chinook’s unique relational environment.

Canadian Owned, Family – Run Business

Award-Winning Aviation Training Since 1982

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The Press Family began Chinook Helicopters training operations in 1982 at the Abbotsford Airport and quickly became one of Canada’s busiest and best known helicopter training schools. As the First Female Flight Instructor in Canada, Cathy Press is CEO of Chinook Aviation Group. Cathy Press began flying airplanes and helicopters at an early age and has considerable experience in both piston and turbine helicopters. Cathy has flown charter in southwestern BC for many years in areas of electronic news gathering, aerial survey, search and rescue, forestry, and air taxi. She is a FAA CFI, a Class 1 helicopter instructor, and holds Transport Canada Pilot Examiner status in both airplanes and helicopters, which gives her the ability to licence new instructors and pilots, as well as provide pilots with foreign licence conversions and IFR certification for both commercial and private endeavors.  Cathy maintains quite a diversified workload in administering the flight school which she owns, engaging in student flight instruction, conducting ground air lesson briefings and ground theoretical instruction, and leading final exam preparation and flight testing.

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Chinook partners with BCIT

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Canadian & Chinese Pilot License

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 Innovation and Global Growth Award

2015 Flight Instructor Safety Award

2017 Enterprising Woman of the Year

Fly in Style with Safety & Comfort

Our Well Maintained & Modern Fleet

With a showcase fleet of over 15 aircraft, Chinook Aviation Group is the largest flight training facility in Canada.  As Canada’s premier flight training facility, the company provides a full spectrum of basic and specialized advanced flight and ground training to the global community since 1982.

Bell 206

Bell 47

R44 Raven

Cessna 172

Diamond DA42

Learn More About Our Fleet

Experience Like None Other

As one of Canada’s oldest and largest training facilities, Chinook has the most experienced instructors in the country, having an average flight time of over 10,000 hours each. Pilots in training will receive full advantage of this extensive industry experience to ensure their success.  Our staff manages every aspect of the training program as the learning pilot progresses towards licensing or advanced accreditation.

Cathy Press

CEO

Jamie Sibley

IT Developer

Tracy Tonnesen

Office Manager

Andy Roe

Career Hours: 22000

Instructor

Angela Sevensma

Career Hours: 4000

Instructor

Bob Fatkin

Career Hours: 2500

Instructor

Wayne Cave

Career Hours: 1000

Instructor

Clayton Reid

Career Hours: 10000

Instructor

Craig Joiner

Career Hours: 16000

Instructor

Dave Liscombe

Career Hours: 16000

Instructor

Ernie Saunders

Career Hours: 35 years

Instructor

Ray Curry

Career Hours: 8800

Instructor

Rich Witman

USAF Captain

Instructor

Kevin Peters

Maintenance Director

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Robert Williams

Aircraft Maintenance

Robin Ostertag

Aircraft Maintenance

Roger Bellevance

Aircraft Maintenance

Zach Hossmann

Aircraft Maintenance

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Robert Best

Aircraft Maintenance

Regulatory Documents & Certificates