Helicopter and Full-Flight Simulator

The initial or the renewal flight test for the Instrument Rating may be conducted in a helicopter or in a full-flight simulator (FFS) meeting the requirements stated in this section.

Helicopter Requirements

  1. be equipped with suitable radio and two-way intercom voice communication;
  2. be approved for Day or Night VFR;
  3. when flown on a simulated IFR flight in VMC, be equipped with a gyroscopic direction indicator or a stabilized magnetic direction indicator, an attitude indicator, a vertical speed indicator and an outside air temperature gauge. The helicopter must also be equipped of a minimum of two different radio navigation systems of which one of the systems can be used for a precision approach, if it is an initial ride;
  4. when flown on an IFR flight, the helicopter type must be approved for IFR flight in the RFM/POH or RFM/POH Supplement (CAR 602.07 – Aircraft Operating Limitations) and must meet the requirements of CAR 605.18 – Power-driven Aircraft – IFR; and

  5. be equipped in accordance with CAR 425.23 - Training Aircraft Requirements, Subsections (1) and (2) of the Personnel Licensing Standards with the exception that helicopters equipped with an electronic primary flight display are exempt from the requirements of Paragraphs 425.23(1)




Note: If an instrument GPS approach is planned as part of the test, the GPS equipment must meet TSO requirements and be an approved installation



Crew and Examiner Requirement

  1. The examiner must be qualified on the helicopter type in accordance with the personnel licensing standards;
  2. In a single-pilot certified helicopter, the examiner will occupy a pilot seat;
  3. In a multi-crew certified helicopter the first officer will be qualify training pilot and current on the helicopter type;
  4. In a multi-crew certified helicopter, where an observer’s seat is occupied by an examiner, it will:
  1. be equipped with a safety harness installed in accordance with the Airworthiness Standards;
  2. be located to permit an unobstructed view of the helicopter instruments, radios and navigation equipment; and
  3. be equipped to monitor intercom and air to ground and air to air radio communications.

Note: In a multi-crew certified helicopter, a script describing the simulated emergency manoeuvres to be performed during the flight will be given to the first officer, who is a qualified training pilot on the type, before the flying portion of the flight test. 

Full-Flight Simulator Requirements


Where a flight test is conducted in a full-flight simulator, the examiner must either be trained in the use of the device or must monitor the candidate’s performance while an individual that has been trained to operate the device in accordance with an agreed-upon script.

Full-flight simulators used for pilot checking or testing, pursuant to Part VI of the Canadian Aviation Regulations, shall have a certificate issued by Transport Canada; as per CAR 606.03.

The full-flight simulator used for the Instrument Rating flight test shall be a Level B or higher approved in accordance with the Aeroplane and Rotorcraft Simulator Manual (TP 9685). The pilot seats will only be occupied by the required crewmembers. In the case of helicopter simulator certified single-pilot IFR, only the candidate and the examiner would occupy pilot seats. 

A flight test in a flight simulator will include all portions of a flight as conducted in a helicopter, i.e.   normal starting procedures, takeoff, landing and shutdown procedures etc.  Even though these items are not assessed as flight test items, they must be conducted in a safe manner.

Other Equipment

The candidate will supply the following publications and ancillary equipment:

  1. appropriate and current electronic data bases, and officially recognized enroute, terminal and approach charts for the area where the flight test is to occur and, if the test is conducted in Canada, a current Canada Flight Supplement; and
  2. if the flight test is conducted in a full-flight simulator, when electronic databases have not yet been updated, the deficiency must be recorded and deferred.  The matching charts must be retained until the deficiency has been rectified; or
  3. if the flight test is conducted in a helicopter, an effective means of excluding outside visual reference to simulate instrument flight conditions, while maintaining a safe level of visibility for the examiner or other flight crew.
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