Learn to Fly – The Basics

Learn to Fly with Canadian Flight Trainers

We at Canadian Flight Trainers offer students the opportunity to complete their required theoretical ground school training before completing their Private Pilot License. To earn your license, you will need to do ground training as well as in-flight training. We do not do any in-person or in-flight training, we only do our ground training online. To find a flight school, click here.


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You may feel overwhelmed in this process, but we are here to help and make it easy.

How to Get Your Private Pilot License

The steps to getting a private pilot license in Canada is fairly relatable to getting a driver’s license. There are many legal requirements which must be met before you are allowed to fly an aircraft in Canada, just like driving a car.

Introductory Flight

You may want to learn to fly and aircraft right now, but before you do that we suggest you take an introductory flight at a local flight school. If this is a life long dream and you’ve been dwelling on this for a long time, this probably does not apply to you. In any case, it is very important to get a feel for flying and seeing if you are able to commit to the process of learning. These introductory flights, also known as discovery flights, can be booked at a local flight school for around $100 – $200. This is also a good time to learn about the flight schools near you so you can choose an instructor and school that makes the most sense for your journey.

Pilot Training Basics

When you learn to fly and aircraft, you will go through two main processes: ground school instruction and flight instruction. Just like the process of learning to drive a car, you may enrol in a driver’s education course which has a school component and a driving component. Pilot training is the same.

Ground School

In ground school, you will learn the necessary theory as it relates to flying. Topics like weather maps, landing on slippery runways, and other theory that will be applied to practical flying. The main sections are air law, meteorology, navigation, and general aviation knowledge. Our Private Pilot Ground School allows you to do this comfortably at home, or at the beach, and it is accepted at all flight schools and by Transport Canada.

In-Person Pilot Training

Learn to fly? Learn to drive first, or don’t. When beginning driver’s education, you may do ten hours in a car before completing a road test. Learning to fly is again, very similar. In driving, your first few lessons may be about putting the car into gear, stopping at stop signs, lane changes, etc,. Training progresses to highway driving, parallel parking, and more difficult maneuvers once the basics have been mastered.

In pilot training, the syllabus is designed in a similar way. The early lessons are fairly simple and lay the foundation and as you build skill in the aircraft, you will be taught more advanced maneuvers. There are many stages of flight training that a student would go through, and this varies depending on the program you have enrolled in. Below is a typical syllabus we see with pilot training across Canada.

A typical Pilot License Canada Outline

We have included a blog page on the typical private pilot license timeline you can expect in your pilot training.

How much does it cost to learn to fly in Canada?

The average cost for pilot training is around $15,800 for a private pilot license in Canada. The breakdown is as follows:

Time spent with the instructor:

  • Average of 40 hours of dual time (time spent in the airplane with an instructor) = $3200
  • Aircraft rental for 40 hour = $7600
  • Ground briefings before and after the flight for 15 hours = $1200

Solo time in an aircraft (time you are by yourself in an aircraft practicing in-flight maneuvers)

  • Average of 20 hours in the aircraft = $3800

Total cost for a private pilot license Canada is a minimum of $15,800.

First Steps to Beginning Pilot Training

Pilot training can start at the age of 13 years old, or 2 if you know someone with an airplane.

PSTAR Preparation Course

The PSTAR is one of the first written exams you will be required to complete in your pilot training process. Completing the PSTAR exam allows you to earn a Student Pilot Permit which is required for you to fly an aircraft by yourself in Canada. Fortunately, we offer a PSTAR preparation course for FREE. The course offers video instruction by our expert airline pilot and flight instructor Daniel as well as reference notes for your studying. For your practice, we offer sample exams and questions which are identical to the real exam you will be writing. As you learn to fly, let us help you make your pilot training easier.

Questions? We can help!

Canadian Flight Trainers has a team of professional flight instructors, commercial pilots, and airline pilots on staff to answer all your questions. Not only are our ground schools recognized by all flight schools in Canada and the federal aviation regulator Transport Canada, our school is backed by a diverse group of experienced aviation professionals and curriculum developers. We ensure you are not alone in this process of learning and have your back in all aspects of pilot training.


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