Yellowhead Helicopters logo

Yellowhead Helicopters Wiki

Welcome to the YHL Wikipage!

Got a question about Yellowhead Helicopters?  We've taken some of them and created a Wiki for you.

Yellowhead Helicopters Ltd. (YHL) is a privately held Canadian commercial helicopter company with bases in British Columbia and Alberta, Canada. The fleet of 44 of aircraft work across Canada from BC to Ontario and into the Yukon, Northwest Territories and Nunavut for contracts in wildfire suppression and natural resource exploration. YHL provides helicopter services in support of specialty operations including wildfire suppression, natural resource exploration, wildlife conservation, avalanche control, heli-logging, powerline construction.

Company History

The company started operations in Valemount, BC in 1975 when Garry Forman purchased his first helicopter, a Bell 206 Jet Ranger.[1]

Over the years, the company has expanded from its corporate offices in Valemount to include more bases throughout northern and central BC. In 2012, they further expanded with the acquisition of  Vancouver Island Helicopters’ (VIH) base, aircraft and contracts in the nearby Northern BC hub city of Prince George and soon thereafter shifted their operations centre to PG.

In 2013, Mike Wiegele Helicopter Skiing announced its new partnership [3] with Yellowhead Helicopters. Mike Wiegele (of MWHS) and Garry Forman (of YHL), had worked together in the 1970s to develop heli-skiing in the BC interior. Prior to Yellowhead Helicopters, Vancouver Island Helicopters’ northern division based in Prince George was the primary provider for the Wiegele Lodge.

YHL has remained a private company owned by the family, passing down into the capable hands of the descendants of Nicki & Garry Forman. His son, Carl Forman is chief financial officer. Son, Jacob Forman is chief executive officer and past Chair for the board of directors of H-A-C, the Helicopter Association of Canada. And daughter, Sarah Gibson, is a CPA, CA and past HR director.

A number of the company directors and managers have current or past positions with H-A-C.

At the H.A.C. 28th Convention in November 2023, Jacob Forman was presented with an Honorary Life Member Award.

logo file
Bell 212HP addition to fleet

Air Operator Certificate

Yellowhead Helicopters is approved to operate under Transport Canada AOC No. 5075 with CARs Rules 702 Aerial Work & 703 Air Taxi. 

The company is limited to flying Day VFR only. Our pilots and aircraft are not approved for night flying or flying instruments only.  VFR operations dictate minimum flight visual weather requirements and considerations.

The AOC contains specific approvals for transportation of dangerous goods. 

More information regarding our specialty helicopters services can be found on our Solutions page.


As of August 2023, the company has 12 bases.

British Columbia


  • Hinton (private heliport) (acquired in 2020 from Peregrine Helicopters)

To find out more about the aircraft safety & operational equipment, visit our Fleet page. and our Safety page.


Yellowhead Helicopters fleet of aircraft registered with Transport Canada as of 2024.

Aircraft Type

No. of Aircraft



Aerospatiale AS350


AS350 BA, AS350 B2, AS350 B3, AS350D

Also listed as Eurocopter

Bell 206


206B, 206 L3, 206 L4


Bell 212


212HP & 212



5 (4 serviceable)

BK117 B2 also known as EC145 and H145

New fleet additions in 2022

Accidents and Incidents

On June 28, 2021, a YHL Bell 212 registration C-GYHQ broke up in-flight on approach to the landing area to pick up a wildfire crew. The pilot was the only fatality. The investigation found the cause to be failure of a main rotor hub strap retaining pin that was not manufactured to quality standards.  [2]  The investigation shut down most 212, 204B & 205 operations across North America for a couple of days until they were inspected and any other defective pins were removed and replaced.

Skip to content