Helicopters account for 5.8% of the private, certified aircraft in Canada. Their flexibility makes them useful as they can take an owner away to secret fishing spots or the family cabin – even when there is no airport nearby.
There is no doubt that the higher costs of owning and operating a helicopter has limited their popularity. Helicopters are usually found on wheels or skids and many can be fitted with skis or floats for seasonal operations.
Helicopter certification standards for Canada are found in CAR STD 527 while the US equivalent is FAR 27.
It is worth noting that liability insurance for helicopter student pilots is generally not available in Canada, except through helicopter schools. This means that buying your own helicopter and then learning to fly on it may not be an option – you must attend a certified school to complete your Private Pilot – Helicopter licence with the high costs that go with that. The high training costs are one factor in the low numbers of private helicopters in Canada.
In-flight hull insurance for helicopters is also hard to get, especially for low time helicopter pilots and this should be considered before buying one of these aircraft. You may have to be comfortable flying without that coverage.
Balloons & Airships
Balloons are quite popular in Canada and are common year-round sights in the skies near many of Canada’s larger cities.
Balloons currently account for 3.56% of the private, certified aircraft in Canada.
This category also includes airships, which are “powered balloons”. There are currently no certified airships registered in Canada.
Canadian certification standards for balloons are found in CAR STD 531 while the US equivalent is FAR 31.
So you have your heart set on a really hot airplane – something turbine powered and pressurized? There are some extra considerations there beyond the obvious requirement for a specific type rating (since it is probably “high performance”).
The most important factor to consider is that all Canadian pressurized and turbine aircraft, not in commercial or flight training use, that are used to carry passengers are
COPA Guide to Certified Aircraft 10