Pilot Supplies to Begin Pilot Training

Pilot Supplies to Begin Pilot Training

A lot of our new students contact us for assistance because of how overwhelming the pilot training process can be. One of the most common questions stems from which pilot supplies are needed to being training. There are a lot of options out there and it is sometimes hard to know what is required, especially when money is a factor and you don’t want to overspend or buy something you may not need down the road.

We’ll break this down into what is required for ground school and for in-flight training. 

Ground School Resources

Whether you’re studying using a reputable online ground school or conducting an in-person ground school at your local flight school, the pilot supplies and books you will need remain the same. Let’s go through the minimum pilot supplies you’ll need to get through ground school, and some of the other nice to have resources that may help you depending on where you may be weak. 

For 70 years, the content of From The Ground Up has stood as a literary benchmark for the teaching of the multitude of components and complexities inherent in the challenging activity of flight learning and education.

Almost all ground schools will reference most of their material from this book.  

We offer the lowest price on this in Canada. Free shipping with purchase of a ground school.


Our opinion: an absolute must have.


Doug Morris, Captain on the Boeing 787 and Certified Meteorologist,  does a great job of combining Canadian weather theory and practical application to flying in this third edition of one of his best selling books. 

If you belong to a flying club, flight school or college don’t settle with second best. Tell your instructors there is much better material available. Learning weather from antiquated publications and so-called experts isn’t worth it, nor is it weatherwise.

Captain Doug Morris has allowed us to incorporate his book into our ground school. Therefore, if you are a student in our ground school, you may not need it.

Our opinion: buy if you might be weak on weather, otherwise it is not an absolute must have.

The publisher says this is the perfect companion to From the Ground Up. The From the Ground Up Workbook accurately reflects its status as a significant value-added partner to its source reference namesake. Each chapter of this publication refers to a specific section of From the Ground Up and provides students with challenging questions, and an excellent means, to test their knowledge and consolidate their understanding of the material covered in From the Ground Up itself.

Students enrolled in our online ground school don’t really need this book. Our quizzes and assessment tasks are aligned with our material and final exams, so this extra practice isn’t necessary.

Our opinion: if you’re enrolled in our ground school, don’t buy it. If you need a wider variety of questions to study from, it may be worth it.

Transport Canada TC AIM

The Aeronautical Information Manual (TC AIM) is a free publication available online at Transport Canada’s website. Some pilot shops will sell printed copies for those who prefer that. However, student pilots should note that the AIM is re-written every 6 months. 

The Transport Canada Aeronautical Information Manual (TC AIM) provides flight crews with a single source for information on rules and procedures for aircraft operation in Canadian airspace. 

It has been developed to bring together pre-flight reference information of a lasting nature into a single primary document.

Our opinion: get a copy, either electronic or in print.


The Human Factors for Aviation book is great for those student pilots who want to eventually pursue a commercial or airline career, but is also incredibly beneficial to private pilots just starting out. 

This book lays the foundation of the human element as we relate to interacting with our environment and each other. Important topics surrounding pilot fatigue, nutrition, human physiology, illusions encountered due to our eyes and ears, and a basic introduction into threat and error management techniques.

Note that Canadian Flight Trainers has authorization from Transport Canada to make PDF files from this book available to students enrolled in our Private Pilot License and Commercial Pilot License Ground schools. Our students do not need to purchase this.  

Our opinion: if you’re enrolled in our ground school, don’t buy it. If you want to pursue a CPL or ATPL down the road, go for it.

The RCAF Weather Manual is the official reference for meteorology for aircrew in the Canadian Forces and has been adapted by Transport Canada for civilian use.  This manual provides an introduction to weather fundamentals and more in-depth information on aviation weather in particular.

However, this book is in black and white and lacks a decent amount of practical knowledge. It has been labelled as being relatively outdated, although our understanding of weather hasn’t really changed that much.


Our opinion: We prefer Captain Doug Morris’s Canadian Aviation Weather Book.

This book provides a comprehensive summary of the knowledge essential for success in the Transport Canada Written Examination (PPAER) together with 400 typical examination questions all individually cross-referenced to the keynotes. Review the summaries to ensure that you have covered the critical areas and test yourself by answering the questions.

Our ground school includes sample examinations which were created based on Transport Canada exams – they’re as real as it gets. 

Our opinion: if you’re enrolled in our ground school, don’t buy it. At minimum, wait until you are preparing to write your exam to see if you need more practice.

These two books were published by Hammond Aviation and act as great pilot supplies to help student pilots study during ground school. They narrow down some of the wide topics to be more succinct and applicable to private pilot license and recreational pilot permit students.

If you are enrolled in an in-person ground school and have difficulty finding information in the Transport Canada Aeronautical Information Manual, these books might be for you.

Our opinion: These two pilot supplies can help students in their pilot training. Not required for ground school, but may be helpful. 

Pilot Supplies for In-Flight Training

Determining the pilot supplies required for in-fight training can be a touchy subject. There are some things that you would require at minimum, but you generally don’t really know what you need until you need it. Unless you opt for our ground school kit or will be beginning flight training soon, we suggest buying these supplies as you need it.

To abide by the Canadian Aviation Regulations, you need to buy both of these. You absolutely cannot do flight training without having a logbook or pilot training record as part of your pilot supplies.

There are more options for pilot logbooks though, more information is available here.

Our opinion: Absolute must buy pilot supplies.

All of your practical in-person flight training will be done with reference to this book.

When there is homework to be read, it will be from this book.

When you’re wondering how to take-off and landing, you’ll learn it in this book.

Additionally, Transport Canada will create some exam questions from this Flight Training Manual.

Our opinion: Absolute must buy pilot supply.

For navigation purposes, you will eventually need some type of flight computer. There are a variety of flight computers that suit everyone, from basic paper to full colour and metal. It really is up to you and there is no wrong answer here.

Our opinion: We like the metal one, but you may like the circular or paper, no wrong answer. Buy when doing navigation in ground school or navigation in flight training.

This Flight Test Notes book is a great addition to all of your other pilot supplies. It really only has one practical use and that is to get you ready for your PPL or CPL flight test. 

The Flight Test Notes gave a large sample of the types of questions which may be asked in the ground portion of your flight test and includes tips and tricks to nail each flight exercise.

Our opinion: It is a good value and a great addition. Not required, but we like it.

The knee board allows you to get organized with all your pilot supplies in the aircraft with any navigational planning, maps, flight planning notes, or even an iPad. 

We feel like you’ll need a proper kneeboard at some point in your flying and we suggest getting something.

Depending on your level or organization and dedication, you may want different products. Most students enjoy the Tri-Fold kneeboard, but we’ve seen students go from zero hours to full Flight Instructors with the basic VFR option.

Our opinion: Must buy. Maybe wait for a few flights before deciding what is right for you.

You need something to organize all of your pilot supplies. You may think a backpack will do, which it can when you don’t have a lot of pilot supplies to carry around, but as you go on in your training, you’ll realize you need a good way of organizing your books and supplies.

For more information on pilot bags, visit our blog article here.

Our opinion: You’ll need something, eventually. See what works.

Ground School Kit

If you’re looking at just getting all the basic pilot supplies which are necessary to start you pilot training, our ground school kit is a good way to get started. It has enough materials to get you studying and to get into the door a flight school near you.

The kit is made up of:

Plus, it is a really good value with our low cost shipping across Canada. Who is Canadian Flight Trainers? Canadian Flight Trainers is Canada’s best online ground school platform for private and commercial pilot licenses.