What are the requirements to become a pilot in Canada?
If you want to become a pilot in Canada, you have a dream shared by many others. It is also probably easier than you think, but a little more expensive than you would want. In our article, we will look at the options for each pilot license: private pilot license, commercial pilot license, and airline pilot.
To become an airline pilot in Canada, you must first progress through the private and commercial pilot licenses. These are more basic licenses which allow you to build the necessary experience and ratings to become an airline pilot in Canada. Alternatively, you may not want to become an airline pilot and want to learn how to fly an airplane to fly family around, shorten travel time between work projects, or own an aircraft instead of a boat. All of these are perfect reasons to become a pilot in Canada.
Here are the requirements to become a pilot in Canada, specifically the Private Pilot License; this will apply to all Canadian and International students.
Requirement: To become a pilot in Canada you must be at least 17 years old.
Option: You must be 17 by the end of your flight training, it is possible to begin at a younger age and spread out the length of training!
Requirement: To become a pilot, you will need to book an aviation medical and complete a category 3 medical. If you wish to later become a commercial or airline pilot, we highly suggest completing your Category 1 medical. More information here.
Option: This paper work can be lengthy so do it early in your training! Here, is where you can find a Canadian Aviation Medical Examiner near you.
Flight Training Experience
Requirement: To become a pilot, you must complete 45 hours of total flight time consisting of;
17 hours dual flight time including 3 hours of cross country flight time and 5 hours of instrument flight time.
12 hours solo flight time including 5 hours of cross country flight time.
*These are minimum requirements, more realistic flight times are 60 hours total flight time, 40 dual and 20 solo*
Option 1: Contact your local flight school and begin your flight training. It really is as easy as making a phone call or sending an email!
Option 2: Buy your own airplane and find an instructor at your local airport willing to train you. This is limited by a large financial payment up front and being able to find an instructor on your own.
Requirement: At the completion of your pilot training, you must pass a flight test with a Transport Canada Pilot Examiner to become a pilot in Canada.
Option: No worries, this is why you met the flight training experience requirement. Now, you just have to show what you learned! This test will by organized by your flight school.
Requirement: Complete a minimum of 40 hours ground school including the following subject:
- Air Regulations
- Aerodynamics and theory of flight
- Airframes, engines and aircraft systems
- Flight instruments
- Flight operations
- Human factors
Option: Sign up for our amazing and convenient online ground school, and complete the course at your own pace!
Requirement: All pilots must pass the Transport Canada PPAER written exam.
Option: No worries, This is what our premium ground school will prepare you for! Now, you just prove what you learned
These are all the requirements and how to meet each one to become a pilot in Canada.
How to Become a Commercial Pilot in Canada
Once you have become a pilot in Canada by obtaining your Private Pilot license, it will be time to elevate your training and work towards becoming a commercial pilot. Following the issuance of your private pilot license, you must now build additional experience to have at least 200 hours of flight time. As part of your training towards being a commercial pilot, you will learn to fly at night, fly some flying procedures relating to flying in clouds, and learn the required knowledge to be a commercial pilot through an approved commercial pilot ground school, like ours.
You are required to do a written exam known as the CPAER exam, as well as a flight test with a Transport Canada pilot examiner. However, completing the bare minimum will not usually land you a job in aviation. Normally, pilots will seek additional qualifications by earning ratings which are added onto your license. If you want to become an airline pilot, it is recommended you incorporate some of these ratings into your commercial pilot license training. This helps make you more qualified and employable upon completing all of your licenses.
The most common ratings done to during commercial pilot license training are the night rating, the IFR rating, as well as the multi engine rating. By completing these ratings during your CPL training, you will spend more money in the short term, but be more employable upon completion of your CPL training.
Cost to Become a Pilot in Canada
Earning a private pilot license can cost between $15,000 and $17,000 in 2022. The cost can go down by completing our Private Pilot Ground School. Our ground school will give you theoretical and practical knowledge which can be readily applied in flight training, thus lowering your cost of become a pilot in Canada.
To earn a Commercial Pilot License, students should budget anywhere from $50,000 to $75,000 if starting from scratch. The large variance is due to additional training some pilots may choose not to do.
In another article, we will talk about the career paths a commercial pilot may take if they want to go from their commercial pilot license to their airline transport pilot license. As there are a lot of options, there is a lot to talk about which warrants a separate blog post.
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