Canada has a lot of flight schools equipped with the latest facilities and large fleet
At least 17 years old, High School Graduate, Able to write, read, and speak in English Language, Pass Medical Examination
With its population of over 37 million, Canada has more than 10 airlines. The country is known for its Niagara Falls, coastlines, and so much more. The country's aviation industry contributes great impact in its economy generating hundreds and thousands of jobs.
One of the main questions we received is How to become a Pilot in Canada. Hence, we've created the below Step by Step Guide to assist aspiring pilots from Canada.
Step by Step Guide on How to become a Pilot in Canada
Step 1. Research
Research the different options you have to become a Pilot in Canada. Start of by researching online thru Aviationfly.com, Google, YouTube, Transport Canada Civil Aviation (TCCA), Facebook Pilot Groups and others. The more research you do initially, the more you will know all your options and the process of how to become a pilot in Canada.
- Different Pilot Training Options
- Flight School: Take your flight training with a Flight School in Canada or abroad (if you want to learn more about the options of doing your flight training, please send us a message).
- Aviation related College Degree Program: This allows you to combine a college degree with flight training.
- Airline Cadet Pilot Program: These are flight training programs which include guaranteed employment with the airline upon successful graduation (and some of these programs are sponsored by the airline).
- Join the Military (Royal Canadian Air Force): Get your flight training sponsored by joining the Military - you will have to stay with the Military for around 12 years after completing your training before you are allowed to apply to commercial airlines.
Step 2. Basic Requirements
- Age: The minimum age to start your pilot training is 14 years old when you can receive a Student Pilot License and the retirement age for airline pilots actively flying is 65 years old.
- Medical Certificate: In order to start your pilot training, you will need to secure a Medical Certificate - in order to get this, it is best to speak with the Flight School you want to start with and they will help arrange it for you.
- Educational requirement: It is important to note at this point that you can get a Student Pilot License, Private Pilot License, and Commercial Pilot License, with a High School Degree.
- English Proficiency: The language of Aviation internationally is English and it is recommended to meet a Level 4 English standard before receiving your Commercial Pilot License - if you are looking to improve your English, you can send us a message and we will give you tips on what courses to take.
Step 3. Training Stages
- Student Pilot License (SPL): Allows you to start your flight training. To get a Student Pilot License, you should:
(a) be at least 14 years old;
(b) Civil Aviation Medical Declaration, Medical Certificate (Category 1,3, or 4), or Medical Assessment Letter (Category 1,3, or 4).
- Private Pilot License (PPL): This license will allow you to fly solo or fly passengers or cargo but without receiving any money for it. To get a Private Pilot License, you should:
(a) be at least 17 years old;
(b) shall hold a Category 3 Medical Certificate;
(c) shall have completed a minimum of 45 hours private pilot flight training in aeroplanes under the direction and supervision of the holder of a Flight Instructor Rating - Aeroplane. A maximum 5 of the 45 hours may be conducted on an approved aeroplane simulator or flight training device.
The flight training shall include a minimum of:
(i) 17 hours dual instruction flight time, including a minimum of 3 hours cross-country flight time and 5 hours of instrument time of which a maximum of 3 hours may be instrument ground time; and
(ii) 12 hours solo flight time, including 5 hours cross-country flight time with a flight of a minimum of 150 nautical miles which shall include 2 full stop landings at points other than the point of departure.
- Commercial Pilot License (CPL): License will allow you to earn from flying and be a paid professional pilot. To get a Commercial Pilot License, you should:
(a) be at least 18 years old;
(b) shall hold a Category 1 Medical Certificate;
(c) have completed a minimum of 200 hours flight time in aeroplanes, of which a minimum of 100 hours shall be pilot-in-command time including 20 hours cross-country pilot-in-command flight time, and
(d) have completed 65 hours of commercial pilot flight training in aeroplanes consisting of a minimum of:
(i) 35 hours dual instruction flight time, under the direction and supervision of the holder of a Flight Instructor Rating — Aeroplane, including:
(1) 5 hours night, including a minimum of 2 hours of cross-country flight time;
(2) 5 hours cross-country, which may include the cross-country experience stated in subclause (I); and
(3) 20 hours of instrument flight time in addition to the experience stated in subclauses (1) and (2). A maximum 10 hours of the 20 hours may be conducted on an approved aeroplane simulator or synthetic flight training device.
(ii) 30 hours solo flight time including:
(1) 25 hours solo flight time emphasizing the improvement of general flying skills of the applicant which shall include a cross-country flight to a point of a minimum of 300 nautical mile radius from the point of departure and shall include a minimum of 3 landings at points other than that of departure; and
(2) 5 hours solo flight time by night during which a minimum of 10 takeoffs, circuits and landings were completed.
- Instrument Rating: Being Instrument Rated means that you can fly the aircraft in any weather condition (example low or zero visibility) using just the instruments.
- Multi-Engine Rating: License which allows you to fly multi-engine aircraft.
- Airline Transport Pilot License (ATPL): Is the highest level of Aircraft Pilot Certificate that allows you to act as pilot in command on scheduled air carriers. To get an Airline Transport Pilot License, you must be:
(a) at least 21 years old;
(b) shall hold a Category 1 Medical Certificate;
(c) completed a minimum of 1500 hours total flight time of which a minimum of 900 hours shall have been completed in aeroplanes. The total flight time shall include a minimum of:
(i) 250 hours pilot-in-command flight time in aeroplanes which shall include where applicable, a maximum of 100 hours pilot-in-command under supervision flight time. The pilot-in-command and/or pilot-in-command under supervision flight time shall include a minimum of 100 hours cross-country flight time of which a minimum of 25 hours shall have been by night;
(ii) 100 hours night flight time as pilot-in-command or as co-pilot of which a minimum of 30 hours shall have been acquired in aeroplanes;
(iii) 100 additional hours cross-country flight time as pilot-in-command or 200 hours as co-pilot or any combination thereof, with flight time calculated. Flight time as pilot-in-command may be part of the 250 hours pilot-in-command flight time specified; and
(iv) 75 hours instrument flight time of which a maximum of 25 hours may have been acquired in approved instrument ground trainers and a maximum of 35 hours may have been acquired in helicopters. Instrument ground time shall not be applied toward the total 1500 hour flight time requirement.
If you have any questions so far, please do send us a message or check out all the Flight Schools in Canada.
Step 4. Career Options
- Airline Pilot for the large airlines or smaller regional ones
- Corporate or Business Aviation Pilot
- Cargo Pilot
- Charter / Air Taxi Pilot
- Flight Instructor
- Medical / Air Ambulance Pilots
- Agricultural Pilot and many more options
As an Airline Pilot you will earn around 20,000CAD or US$15,200 per month plus benefits!
Tips for picking a Flight School
- Decide on your pilot goals - what are your long-term aspirations in aviation? Do you want to become a pilot in your free time (Private Pilot License)? Do you want to fly in General Aviation (Commercial Pilot License)? Do you want to become an airline pilot (airline program)? If you want to become an airline pilot which airlines are hiring? What aircraft are the airlines receiving over the next few years? Which flight schools do the airlines usually hire from? These are critical questions you should list and get answers to when asking yourself "how will I become a Pilot".
- Determine how much you can afford to spend - different schools have different costs (due to location, number of students, aircraft type and a number of other factors), find out the reasons for the price difference. Do programs have financial assistance/loan programs? Might a part time program work for you?
- How much free time do you have - different schools have different training schedules with some offering flexibility while others want the cadets to train full time and on campus (note that delaying flight training usually increases your training cost).
- What equipment does the flight school use - this is important from a training but even more importantly from a safety aspect. Take into consideration as well the equipment preference of airlines which will want new pilots to have trained on certain equipment. Find out what the difference is between training aircraft (both from a training and cost perspective). Aircraft age does not always relate to safety, this is dependent on the aircraft maintenance - ask the flight school in detail about their aircraft maintenance department? Safety features of the aircraft?
- Visit your shortlist of flight schools - speak to the instructors and management teams to learn about the training, safety policies, history and graduates of the flight school. To find all the options available to you visit this page by clicking here.