Surround yourself with people who are only going to lift you higher.
Pilots are a rare kind of human. They leave the ordinary surface of the word, to purify their soul in the sky, and they come down to earth, only after receiving the communion of the infinite.
~ Jose Maria Velasco Ibarra


Your Private Pilot’s Privileges.

The Private Pilot Licence allows you to:
  • fly all single-engine aircraft that are classified as non-high performance,
  • anywhere in Canada and USA,
  • with as many passengers as the aircraft can legally and safely hold,
  • during daylight hours,
  • under Visual Flight Rules (VFR).
You may enhance your Private Pilot Licence with additional endorsements that will allow you to fly floatplane or multi-engine aircraft, as well as flying in any weather condition day or night. A Private Pilot Licence is required by all students enrolling in a Commercial Pilot training.  

Training Overview

The Private Pilot Licence program is divided into two separate related paths: ground school and air instruction. Ground school will provide you with the required background knowledge and understandings to successfully pass the written examination, while the air instruction and solo practice will provide you with the skills required to succeed at the flight test.

A minimum age of seventeen (17) years old is required for a Private Pilot Licence. However, flight training can be started as early as fourteen (14) years of age, as that is the minimum age required to obtain a student pilot permit.

All pilots are required to have a Medical Certificate. There are four categories of medical certificates and the process of obtaining a certificate will differ depending on the category and your age.

The minimum category required for the Private Pilot Licence is a Category 3. However, students seeking careers as Commercial Pilots should obtain a Category 1 Medical Certificate.

The Medical examination must be performed by a Civil Aviation Medical Examiner. The fee for the examination will vary with the individual examiner but is usually between $150.00 and $200.00. This fee is not normally covered under any medical plans.

More information about specific medical requirements based on the category you’re  applying for can be found here:

Ground school is conducted in a classroom setting. All students will be required to attend ground school for a minimum of 40 hours on the following subjects.

  • Theory of Flight;
  • Licensing Requirements;
  • Aerodynamics, Airframes & Engines;
  • Systems and Flight Instruments;
  • Canadian Aviation Regulations;
  • Meteorology;
  • Human Factors;
  • Pilot Decision Making;
  • Flight Operations;
  • Navigation Radio and Electronic Theory.

PPL Training Milestones

Students will be required to demonstrate sufficient knowledge of the required subjects by obtaining a mark of no less than 60% on the written examination. The written examination is divided into four mandatory areas.

  • Air Law: regulations, rules and orders, air traffic services, practices and procedures, and licensing requirements
  • Navigation: navigation, radio aids, and electronic theory
  • Meteorology: active weather and weather information
  • General Knowledge: airframes, engines and systems, theory of flight, flight instruments, flight operations, and human factors

The written examination is actually a computer-based exam which is administered by Transport Canada. The questions are in a multiple-choice format.


Air instruction is separated into dual instruction and solo practice. During dual instruction, students will be introduced to new exercises and practice previous exercises. Once a level of skill and competence has been reached students will fly solo in the aircraft to practice the air exercises.

Students will receive a total of 45 hours of flight training while on course. The training requirements are divided up as follows:

  • 17 hours of dual flight instruction
  • 3 hours cross country flight
  • 5 hours instrument flight
    (i) Of which 3 hours can be done in a simulator
  • 12 hours of solo flight practice
  • 5 hours cross country flight
  • Cross country flight of not less than 150 nautical miles from the point of departure with two stops other than the point of departure

The remainder of the time requirements will be made of dual and solo training and practice.

Transport Canada requires that a minimum of 45 hours of flight training be completed while on course.

Following the completion of your flight training, you will be required to complete a flight test. The flight test is conducted by a flight test examiner in an aircraft. During the flight test, you will be tested on your understanding of aircraft performance, aircraft systems, emergency procedures, and navigational skills. Additionally, your performance of the required air exercises will be tested to the standard outlined in the Flight Test Guide Private Pilot Licence – Aeroplane.

Study and Reference Guide

The latest Study and Reference Guide for the Private Pilot Licence can be found in HTML and PDF format on the Transport Canada publications website:


Flight Test Guide

The latest Flight Test Guide for the Private Pilot Licence can be found in HTML and PDF format on the Transport Canada website:


Whenever you have questions about the written examination or flight test, those two guides are the ones you should refer to first to get answers.

Books and manuals

  • From the Ground Up (StudyBook)
  • Flight Training Manual (Flight Exercises)
  • Pilot Operating Handbook (P.O.H., Aircraft Manual)
  • Basic Human Factors Manual Handbook
Optional but nice to have:

Pilot Charts

  • Vancouver VFR Navigation Chart
  • Vancouver VFR Terminal Chart
  • En route Low Altitude—LO1 and LO2

Pilot Flight Computers

  • CX-2 Electronic Flight Computer, or
  • E6-B Computer

Pilot Logbooks

  • Basic or Professional size logbook

Other Supplies

All these books and supplies can be purchased from