Helicopter pilots from around the world train here in Penticton

Topflight night vision helicopter training

If you’ve heard helicopters flying around Penticton at night, there is important night vision training going on. 

Topflight Helicopters, which is based out of Penticton Airport, trains top pilots in the use of night vision goggles. Their students includes members of the military and police forces, search and rescue, and firefighter pilots.

BC Forestry pilots are currently training to use the night vision goggles to fight wildfires in the dark. And local search and rescue teams are brushing up their skills ahead of the busy summer period.

Topflight night vision helicopter training

Over the past 60-plus years, the Penticton-based school has trained thousands of military and police pilots from all over North America and around the world. 

The diverse terrain and variable winds of the Okanagan Valley and surrounding mountain areas near Penticton provide flying challenges that are ideal for the study of the mechanics of mountain winds and advanced flying techniques. 

Topflight helicopter school night vision

Topflight clients include the Royal Canadian Air Force, the U.S. Navy Special Forces, the RCMP, Royal Danish Air Force, numerous aviation police force and search and rescue from across North America. 

Also based at Penticton Airport is Eclipse Helicopters, which provides a range of services including fire suppression work with BC Wildfire Service, search and rescue missions, hydro/utilities work and other precision work, as well as helicopter tours.

Eclipse Helicopter Tours


Also Flying High

There is always something interesting going on year-round in the skies surrounding Penticton Airport. We are proud to support a vibrant aviation community that includes:


Learn to Fly 

Penticton Airport is home to two flight training schools that offer training programs for both fixed wing and helicopter students. Pilots travel from all over the world to train at Topflight Elite Training & Charters, which is recognized as among the world’s premier mountain helicopter training schools. 

If fixed wing flying is more your style, you can study and train with BP Aviation. The flight school offers a range of training opportunities, including:

  • Private Pilot Licence
  • Recreational Pilot Permit
  • Commercial Licence
  • VFR Over The Top Rating
  • Night Rating
  • Various Ground School Courses

 Learn more on our Learn to Fly page


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