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Flight Training Testimonials

Foreign Conversion - 50 Hour Course – Diarmuid Oregan

I came to Air-Hart Aviation because I could do my conversion while gaining valuable floatplane hours. From the beginning I was treated like family and received the best training possible. After completing my training and getting my Canadian license I got my first floatplane job in Ontario flying a 206 on floats. This year I am in Manitoba flying a Beaver. It was my dream to be a floatplane pilot in Canada but I never thought it would actually happen. Thanks to Air-Hart, I am living my dream.​

CPL & 50 Hour Float Course – Jake Loftus

I had a great time working on my CPL with the Air-Hart crew! I was warmly received by the whole gang, flew almost every day, and worked on the ground school at my own pace, so I felt well prepared when it came time to meet all of the commercial standards. On top of that, I had the unique experience of exploring the sunny southern interior of BC from the air, and found some beautiful spots for swim-around inspections in the hot of summer. After spending the last year getting up to speed, I’ve now managed to land my first gig flying out of a lodge in North-Western Ontario.

I was drawn to Air-Hart because of their focus on float flying. They’re the only operator in Canada that offers a full commercial licenseon floats, and more importantly, they’re also the only one to offer their students the experience of true solo time. I think that most pilots would agree that time spent alone in an aircraft is an invaluable learning experience. The school has the advantage of being based downtown close to all amenities, and from there, one can quickly travel by air to countless lakes in the backcountry to hone their flying skills in real-world scenarios.

I found the quality of training at Air-Hart to be top-notch; the instructors are all very knowledgeable and well-rounded, and they each have strengths from their own experiences that any new float pilot can benefit from. They work hard – which is a huge understatement – to impart sound methods to their students on how to operate safely and proficiently, and to exercise their common sense and good judgement. Deb keeps a great handle on everything in the office so that all of the students are accommodated, and she’s a great networker who keeps in touch with past students and operators all over the country.

I feel very satisfied by my experience at Air-Hart, and I would truly recommend the school to anyone who wants to try their hand at driving floats.

Foreign Conversion & 50 Hour Course – Liam Edwards

After flying at various flight schools in the UK, Spain and USA, none of them felt as welcoming and fun as Air-Hart Aviation.The instructors and managers at Air-Hart will teach, train and help you in your career in aviation, as well as help you in all ways possible to make you feel like part of a family. You will get up each day and want to fly. And even if you are not on the flying schedule, you will find yourself down at the school just soaking up the floatplane knowledge and enjoying the friendly banter.

In the beautiful location of the Okanagan, with it’s numerous lakes, there is always a new place to fly to and new challenges to advance your skill as a bush pilot. Not only do you have the extra challenge of flying in difficult terrain and ever changing weather, the extra skill needed in decision making and to fly floatplanes is taught incredibly well at the school by each instructor.

Thanks to my great training at Air-Hart from DJ, Ryan and Dave, I completed my CPL conversion on floats on schedule and to their highly regarded standards. With an extra thanks to Deb the operations manager and her contacts in the industry, I secured my first job as a pilot flying floatplanes within three months of completing my training. I couldn’t recommend Air-Hart more highly.

CPL & 50 Hour Floatplane Course – James Dooey

Thanks to Air-Hart I now have a CPL with 110 hours on floats and I will be starting my new job in Northern Manitoba flying a 206 in a few weeks. My employer had previously hired Air-Hart students and came right back when he needed to hire a new pilot. Air-Hart recommended me for the job before I even sent my resume and this was the difference maker.

My time here has been amazing. I had done my float rating elsewhere and the customer service and quality of instruction was second to none. DJ, Dave and Ty are experienced real world instructors and I have learned more than I ever thought possible from all 3 of them. If I had stayed in Southern Ontario to finish my CPL on wheels I would be barely employable and i’m confident that I am a much better pilot because of the training I did here. From flying to high mountain lakes, landing on rivers, obstacle approaches over trees. These are things that you just don’t get to experience flying on wheels.

Deb and Dave let me stay in their pilot suite which made everything hassle free and it has been a blast. I was treated like family right from the start and I have made friends here that I will always stay in touch with.

For anyone wanting to fly floatplanes as a career there is no question that Air-Hart is the only place to go. I am extremely grateful for everything Deb, Dave, DJ and Ty have done for me and I can’t wait to go fly the 206.

50 Hour Floatplane Course – Darrel Stierle

Thank you to all the staff at Air Hart, for their hard work and dedication in getting me back up to speed, after a seven year break from flying. After getting my CPL on landplane, I was unable to get that first job and put my aviation career on hold. I was nervous about re-acquiring the necessary skills needed for my first job within the aviation industry, but after only three and a half weeks Dave and DJ had me feeling confident and had improved my skills immensely in real world scenarios. Air-Hart gave me a line on employment and just two weeks after finishing the 50hr floatplane bush course, I had offers from two different employers and currently flying in Ontario and Manitoba.

Foreign Conversion & 50 Hour Course – Rob Bown

I arrived in Kelowna from Manchester, England, and I was a little apprehensive as to what I might find as this has been my first trip to Canada. Air-Hart was immediately a hit, everyone was accommodating, friendly and helpful. It doesn’t take long to feel like you belong there, and the banter between everyone is great. I don’t think I could have found somewhere with a better atmosphere.

Make no mistake though, as lighthearted and fun as the guys are, they will, and do, expect the best out of you in the plane. I completed my Commercial in Florida, so flying around BC and its unpredictable weather, challenging terrain and in a float plane to boot was a big learning curve .

Two things seem to stand out most about Air Hart though, and that is genuine Solo time, and their efforts to help find their students work. Air-Hart kindly put my name forward for a job in Manitoba, flying a Cessna 185 on floats, and a Cherokee 6 on wheels. The owner asked me to phone him, and once my working visa comes through, I will have my first ever flying job.

I simply could not have done this without the instruction of Dave, Ty and DJ, the well maintained and safe planes, the challenge of British Columbia and the experience that all these things amount to. I cannot begin to thank them enough and I cannot recommend Air-Hart any more highly.

PPL/CPL & Bush Course – Dakota Thompson

First off my time at Air-Hart was amazing. Everyone was very friendly and great to fly with. You really felt like part of a family there. The instructors Ty, Dave, Jamie were great instructors who knew how to train you for real world experience. And Deb in the office was a lot of help she got me set up quickly and had me flying everyday even with a hectic schedule. Thanks to all the float time I got doing my PPL and CPL with them, I was hired quickly right after finishing my CPL and moved up to flying both a 185 and 206 on floats within a month. I’m loving my job here in Northern Manitoba. Thanks Air-Hart for all their hard work and helping me get my first float job. Update: After one season flying 185 and 206, Dakota moved up to Beaver with same company.

CPL Program – Charity Hagen

I recently finished my CPL out of Air-Hart Aviation in Kelowna, BC. I decided to finish there to build extra float time as my career goal is to fly floats. Not only was I pleased with the type of real world bush training I recieved, but I also encountered the best instructors I”ve had thus far. Only a few months after finishing my CPL I got an interview for a float/wheel pilot position. The employer was very impressed with my training and mentioned that even though I had less total time than other pilots applying, my high float time caught his eye (over 100 hours) . He also called Air-Hart for a reference and to find out if my PIC time was true solo time as that was important to know I could fly safely and confidently myself as I was starting flying right away not working a dock. I was really glad I trained at Air-hart cause other places don”t offer true solo. …A couple days after the reference callI got the job. Thanks to Air-Hart I got a jump start on my career! Update: after one season flying a 206, Air-Hart was contacted by a Northern Manitoba operator to see if we had any previous students with at least one season of working to fly their Beaver. Air-Hart recommended Charity and she got the job!

50-Hour Bush Course – Chris Ward

I started my flying career in October 2011. I completed all my training, PPL – MIFR – CPL out of Harv’s Air in Manitoba. During the time building stage I decided a float rating would probably be a good idea that could help with a job.

After Checking out a few companies online I came across Air-Harts website and read about the actual solo time, not just “PIC”, and read in a testimonial that you would be greeted by an energetic and very knowledgeable Deb when you would call them, this did happen. After a brief talk and learning more about the 50 Hour Bush Course and how it could be the difference in getting that first job, I decided to go for it. Best choice I could have made! Besides finishing my CPL on floats. The course is everything you read about and more.

Three months after my CPL flight test I have finally found my first job. Without any exaggeration, I couldn’t have done this without Air-Hart. I’m not only saying this because I took the 50hr course, but originally my employer wanted 100Hr on floats since I would be flying immediately and not working on the dock/ramp. Air-Hart contacted my employer recommending me for the position before I even applied. My employer has previously hired other Air-Hart grads and believes they are running a solid program, which is why he backed off his 100hrs and hired me with 50hrs. I would like to thank everyone at Air-Hart and can”t wait till I”m back in Kelowna so I can take DZC for a rip around the Okanagan again.

CPL Program / 50 Hour – Louis Dionne

Thanks Air-Hart! Before end of season last year I completed my CPL with Air-Hart Aviation and this season I will be flying a C-206 on float for fishing camps as my first aviation job! My new boss chose me over pilots with more total time, including some with a thousand hours but a lot less float time, because I had 130 hours on floats through Air-Hart. The professionalism of Air-Hart’s staff, their high safety standards and the family feel of Air-Hart provided me with a well structured and positive environment to complete my CPL with marks and within a time frame that exceeded my expectations. Their priority is the safety and the success of their students.If you want to become a bush pilot or just learn how to safely fly a float plane Air-Hart Aviation is the way to go. They flew the extra mile for me! Thanks a lot guys to make my dream come true. UPDATE: After flying one season on the 206, Louis is now flying a Beaver for the same operator.

Seaplane Endorsement – Scott Blue “Ice Pilots”

It was the middle of February and I needed a float rating. Fast. I was planning a quick vacation from flying WW2 era prop planes around the arctic and I needed to acquire the rating in order to gain the opportunity to possibly fly a Water Bomber. I knew somewhere in BC was my only option! I”d heard Kelowna was a beautiful town and Air Hart came highly recommended from my co-worker and friend Dan Cattoni.The plan was set and off I went, with one small change of plans. The camera crew from Ice Pilots decided to film me doing my training. Great I thought, more pressure to do a good job!

I arrived at Air Hart and was pleasantly greeted by Dave and Debra. We quickly moved into the briefing, and not long after headed out to the 180. I loved the fact that we were steps away from Downtown Kelowna! I was absorbing all that I could from Dave”s excellent instruction and before I knew it we were heading out on the lake. After getting familiarized with the machine, we were off on our first take off. AWESOME was the only thought going through my head for the first take off, and that feeling remained for my entire rating. I loved every bit of the training and quickly realized how great an instructor Dave was. My biggest fault was being heavy on the rudders, but after flying a 48,000 pound tail dragger for the last three years I felt it was understandable. The only bad part of flying the 180 at air-hart was the fact that it had to end. After that we had some good laughs, maybe a brown pop or two and soon I was on my way back to Yellowknife with my Air Hart float rating in hand. A few weeks later I returned to Kelowna, this time with a couple of great big Yellow and Red flying fire trucks. I wouldn”t have been there without Dave and Debra”s help. Of course after having a look at the ducks, my so-called heavy feet made sense to Dave. Controlling over 15 tons of airplane requires a little bit of a different technique then dancing lightly on the 180”s rudders.

I would recommend Air Hart aviation to anyone looking to do any rating with a seaplane. The machinery was in excellent shape, the instruction fantastic and Dave and Debra are two very nice, honest people. I hope to visit them anytime I”m back in B.C.

CPL Program/50 Hour – Nicolette Burley

The day I first contacted Air Hart I was sitting in front of my computer surfing the web trying to figure out what would be the best place for me to get my float training done. My goal was to become a floatplane pilot by June 2011, finish my CPL and get a job this coming season. At the time I had completed my PPL, my night rating and had 142 hours of flight training over the last 2 years working full time and doing my flight training evenings and weekends and praying for good weather everyday. Almost two months had gone by in Nova Scotia without any good flying days.

Debra had answered the phone at Air Hart when I called and we spoke for about a half hour. She was more than helpful and very knowledgeable regarding the industry and the options available. One phone call and two emails later I had decided that Air Hart was the best option out of all the float plane training operators I had contacted for the following reasons:

TRUE SOLO TIME Air Hart’s insurance allows them to offer their float students true solo time. Most places with 50 hour courses are only able to offer one hour of true solo time whether it is the 7 or 50 hour course due to insurance. This is valuable when looking for employment as a float pilot. Some employers will ask.

DOUBLE UP MY LAST 50 HOURS & COMPLETE MY CPL. At Air Hart if you still have 50 hours to complete to attain your CPL and still have CPL requirements to meet, Air-Hart has “real” instructors so you can actual finish your CPL on floats. I had the option of completing my CPL at Air Hart after I got there and I did!

WEATHER & TERRAIN Coming from Eastern Canada when Debra told me I could likely fly everyday I was thinking “No way! Impossible!” Most days I was flying twice a day everyday and it was AWESOME! Lake Okanagan is beautiful and for someone used to Nova Scotia the experience of flying around “the rocks” as Dave likes to call them is invaluable.

THE PEOPLE At Air Hart you become family from the moment you arrive. I stayed in Dave and Deb’s the pilot suite, which was great since I didn’t have to worry about anything when I arrived from Nova Scotia. Deb picked me up from the airport and immediately I knew I had made the right choice. My training started the very next morning with Dave Stein. He is an amazing instructor who is always cheering you on and pushing you to be your best. Dave and Deb constantly go out of their way to ensure you have a great experience during your time with them in Kelowna. I feel that after my experience at Air Hart I am a more confident pilot and that I have acquired skills that I otherwise may not have had the opportunity to learn.

Result of my training at Air Hart in Kelwona, BC I have achieved my goal, made great friends and contacts and had numerous job offers despite coming in a little late in the hiring season. I am still deciding which one to take. UPDATE: Nicolette received a job as a tour pilot in P.E.I.!

50 Hour Bush Course – Mike Marceau

My name is Mike R. Marceau, I am aholder of a CPL(A) SMELS, the S at the end of the acronym stands for Seaplane, thanks to Air-Hart Aviation. Let me just say that it will be very difficult to describe my experience at Air-Hart with just words. I developed a very special bond with the owners Debra and Dave and also with my instructor on the C-180J Ty Ruff. They are the greatest people I have had the pleasure of meeting in my aviation adventure thus far. With that said let me try and elaborate.

I heard about Air-Hart Aviation through a good friend and fellow pilot in Grande Prairie, AB who brought forward some advantages of taking my float rating in Kelowna, BC rather than on the West Coast somewhere, advantages being no “Olympics” and the biggest one being the weather.I had a great feeling the moment I contacted Debra for more information on the 50hr Professional Seaplane Course, shehad an answer for every question I had about the course and their operation, and more importantly, to me, very enthusiastic. The optional pilot suite that they offer was much more than I ever expected, and very reasonably priced. I felt right at home the moment I arrived.

I started my training at 0800 the morning after my 12hr drive from Grande Prairie, with an extensive brief on floats and float planes with Ty, followed by a heart felt “are you sure your not too tired from the drive” to go for my first set of circuits on the beautiful Lake Okanogan. This told me that my instructor cared about how Ifelt and was very safety conscious. After the first take off inthe C-180J I was hooked,the 51.7hrs of training that followed were by far the most detailed and precise attitude (eyes outside) flying I have ever had the privilege to learn. Ty has attributes as a pilot, that in my opinion, every pilot should strive for, a very high level of professionalism and a wicked sense of humor, this makes flying with him a treat.I”m confident in stating that I am a better pilot following this 50hr course. I also have to mention the scenery is breathtaking. Air-Hart has come up with a very diverse set of x-c trips to teach their students the skills of not only flying float planes, but also the navigational, and decision making skills a pilot needs to fly in the mountains. This terrain can be very very unforgiving if not given the utmost respect, and am proud to say that Air-Hart taught me a great deal about this respect for the mountains.

So, if your thinking of flying floats, I highly recommend, not only the 7hr float rating, but the 50hr Professional Seaplane Course@ Air-Hart Aviation, it “will” make you a better pilot.Thank you soooo!!! much Dave, Deb and Ty. UPDATE: Mike got a job a couple months after leaving Air-Hart and writing this testimonial.

CPL/50 Hour Float Course – Jamie Coxall

After completing my private pilot license in Vancouver, I had some decisions to make about where to take my commercial training. I got into aviation to fly floatplanes, so it only seemed obvious to take a large portion of my training on floats. From there it came down to a couple things. The types of aircraft operated by the flight training unit and the attitude of the instructors and the institution.

Air-Hart offered constant speed prop time on all aircrafts. This was a big plus when trying to get a job later on. As well, very few other places offered true solo time. Most offer supervised solo, which doesn’t give you that same confidence over time that is required of you as a pilot. It’s a lot different without someone “looking over your shoulder”. The comfortable setting and the approach of the instructors really had me interested from my first contact with them. They want you to leave confident and competent in all aspects of what they teach. Rough and glassy water, external loads, various types of step work. It is all taught here with safety and the student’s thorough understanding in mind.

My CPL training went very smoothly. I was happy with the input and timely fashion that they were able to accommodate me with. The in depth and personal approach of the instructors made sure I was at a comfortable level of proficiency for my flight and written tests. Kelowna is an ideal place to train. Not only is it a beautiful place to stay, but you get the added advantage of the mountain flying experience as well.

Another point I’d like to make is the operator that hired me chose me over other applicants that had higher total times. The difference was that I had more float time and the 50 hour float course and CPL training I received at Air-Hart really gave me an edge to get my first flying job. My experience there was something I will always remember and appreciate.

50 Hour Bush Course – Mike Caspar

I started flying in August, 2004 and finished my commercial license including a float rating from Brampton Flying Club in August 2005. My goal since starting to fly was to work on a float plane in the Maldives.

A friend of mine suggested I try Air-Hart in Kelowna. I looked them up and before long, I found myself booking tickets to go to Kelowna for a 50 hour professional float course. This was in November 2005. I learned from great instructors with real world experience and knowledge and not afraid to share it.

I was put into some pretty tough situations and asked to resolve them. I even experienced my first dunk in the water during an off-site docking that I did on my own when the water was 8 Celcius… Brr (I know Air-hart will be chuckling about that story).

In early December I came back to Toronto with my new float hours and commercial license. I could have waited to the spring and try and find something to do, but instead decided to get an instructor rating.. .what could it hurt. I started instructing at Brampton and when the spring rolled around, I found myself instructing on their 172 Amphib because of my float time and did that along with normal instructing for a year.

Armed and ready to go it was time to venture out. After a short job on a taildragger in northern Ontario I had the opportunity I was hoping for. A job instructing at Air-Hart in Kelowna doing Tours and Charters and training for people looking for PPL or CPL licenses on floats, as well as float ratings. Within a few weeks I was working at Air-Hart!

It was an awesome summer !.. I got to fly over the Rocky Mountains to go and be in a movie in Alberta, met lots of great passengers, flew for couple who got married in the plane and even took my wife for a swim in a remote mountain lake by floatplane. Like I said, I have fond memories of Air-Hart and always will.

The summer came to an end and I had decided it was time to give it a go to get to the Maldives. I packed my bags and traveled to Perimeter Aviation in Winnipeg where I finished my Multi-IFR and immediately applied to work at Kenn Borek Air in Calgary to fly in the Maldives.

As luck would have it, that all worked out and here I am, working as a First Officer for Maldivian Air Taxi flying a Twin Otter on Floats ! There are even a few FO’s here that I gave float ratings to ! I have lots of time now from the combination of instructing and float hours and hope to Captain here within 6-7 months. I owe Air-Hart a huge thanks for the training, experience and memories.

I hope you keep doing the same job for many years to come. :->

Mike Caspar, ATPL First Officer, Twin Otter on Floats, Maldivian Air Taxi

50 Hour Bush Course – Steve McBain

I was a commercial pilot student with 150 hours. I wanted to go the bush route for my first flying job and not the instructor route. I asked around and found out that most float companies require 50 hours of float time for an entry-level position. I heard about Air-Hart Aviation”s 50 Hour Bush Pilot Course and thought that it would be perfect for my situation. Being able to do float training in the winter would allow me to be ready for the start of the float season in the spring. The fifty hours would give me the total time requirement for my commercial licence and an edge when applying for that first job. I also needed to put in dual time; I thought I would learn more by completing my dual while flying a floatplane in the mountains instead of flying a C-172 in a practice area.I was able to complete fifty hours of float flying and my commercial flight test within one month, putting me in a good position for employment in the summer. I was employed at Courtesy Air for the summer starting the middle of May 2001. I started working on the dock and within one month I was flying there C-185 on floats. I flew 100 hours in the C-185 and a couple in a Beaver before I had to go back to school to finish my Commercial Pilot Diploma at the Saskatchewan Institute of Applied Science and Technology.If I had another chance to do it again I wouldn’t change a thing. Airhart Aviation”s 50 hour course helped me in attaining that all-important first job; the staff was always very courteous and willing to help and I had a great time flying in the Rocky Mountains.

7 Hour Seaplane Endorsement – Colin Heuven

My friend Travis Burrows” and I earned our Float Endorsements at Air-Hart. We took two weeks off work just after our high school graduation to drive from Calgary, AB and lived out of the back of his two-door Mustang in the campground down the street. We had a great time and learned alot. I have recommended your operation to anyone that I know that is thinking of a float endorsement.

My float endorsement has made me a much better pilot. I am now a certified aircraft NDT inspector and still fly regularly, and Travis flies a C206 for a regional carrier in Alberta. The following year we had two of our friends follow our footsteps. One of them is training on a C208B in the Arctic and the other is a Class 3 flight instructor in Calgary. Our float ratings have helped us get ahead of the pack in this competitive industry.

Contact Us

Address: 1348 Water St Kelowna, BC V1Y 9P3

Tel: (250) 762-9830
Fax: (250) 762-9840
Toll-Free: 1-877-766-6699