A Diamond Katana on the ramp at Ottawa Aviation Services.
Private Pilot Licence
Private Pilot Licences are available for airplanes and helicopters. These licences are valid for flying Canadian certified aircraft internationally.
Private Pilot - Aeroplanes
Student pilots must be at least 14 years old to fly solo, and be medically fit as determined by a Civil Aviation Medical Examiner, a local doctor approved by Transport Canada.
The course consists of at least 45 hours flying with a minimum of 12 hours solo, and 40 hours ground school with a flight test and written exam. Licence applicants must be 17 years old. Initially, the licence is valid for day flying in good weather with passengers in airplanes.
Private pilots have the option to pursue endorsements for heavier aircraft as well as night flying, float flying, instrument flying, multi-engine flying and VFR-Over-the-Top. Additional training necessary for these endorsements is available at many of the same schools that offer the basic training.
The Night Rating is available to private pilots flying airplanes, helicopters, balloons or gyrocopters. The course is a minimum of 20 hours of pilot flight time. There is no written examination or flight test. The flight time includes not less than:
(1) 10 hours of night flying with not less than
(a) five hours of dual flight time, including two hours cross-country,
(b) five hours solo flight time, including 10 takeoffs, circuits and landings, and
(2) 10 hours dual instrument time of which not more than five hours may be instrument ground time.
(Instrument time flown on the Private Pilot Course may be counted.)
VFR Over-the-Top Rating
The VFR-OTT Rating is new. It allows Private and Commercial Pilots in airplanes or helicopters to fly on top of cloud or between layers when operating under visual flight rules. There is no written examination or flight test for the VFR-OTT rating. Applicants shall have completed a minimum of 15 hours of dual instrument time, of which a maximum of five hours may be instrument ground time. Instrument time completed on other courses may be counted.
The IFR Rating has been made easier to obtain. The holder of a pilot licence endorsed with an Instrument Rating has the privilege of acting as pilot-in-command under the Instrument Flight Rules for those aircraft of the group endorsed on the rating (airplane - single-engine, centreline thrust or multi-engine; or helicopters). For single-engine (Group 3) airplanes, the course is a minimum of 40 hours of instrument flight time with not more than 20 hours instrument ground time. The applicant must obtain at least 70 per cent on the Instrument Rating written examination and pass an Instrument Rating flight test. This rating is valid for up to 24 months, after which it must be re-flight tested.
There is no minimum flight time or written examination to qualify for a Multi-engine Rating, but five hours is considered an industry standard minimum. Applicants must demonstrate multi-engine flying skills during a flight test.
There is no endorsement required for licensed pilots to perform aerobatic manoeuvres, but specialized training is necessary. Only certain aircraft, instructors and airspace qualify for aerobatics. Check out the list of flying schools on the COPA Web site. Stretch your flying ability and experience. It's fun and educational.