FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
I am ready to begin my flight training, where do I start?
We strongly recommend that you get your aviation medical certificate prior to beginning flight training in case there are medical reasons that might preclude you from flying.
If you are planning to get your Private Pilot Licence (PPL), you will want to get a Category 3 aviation medical and if you are planning to train for the Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL), you will need to get a Category 1 aviation medical. Civil aviation medical examiners in the London area are as follows:
- Office: 519-438-5101
- Address: #208-190 Wortley Road
- Office: 519-461-0776
- Address: Box 130, 21816 Fairview Road (Thorndale)
- Office: 519-455-1990
- Address: 1033 Dundas Street
- Office: 519-245-3590
- Address: 31 Caradoc Street North
- Office: 519-858-4694
- Address: 827 Richmond Street
Once you have your aviation medical arranged, you can register for a Private Pilot Licence (PPL) ground school to help prepare you to write the Transport Canada written examination. Our Private Pilot Licence (PPL) ground school runs continually so there is never a bad time to register.
You can also schedule your introductory flight at any time and take control of the Diamond DA20 aircraft to experience the thrill of flight for yourself. Time flown during your introductory flight can be logged in your pilot training record and personal pilot logbook - you are well on your way to becoming a pilot!
How long is a typical flying lesson?
A typical flying lesson booking is two hours consisting of 30 minutes on the ground in a briefing room going over the flight (preparatory ground instruction), 15 minutes for the aircraft preflight inspection, 60 minutes for the training flight and 15 minutes for the post-flight briefing where your flight instructor will discuss what went well during your training flight, items that you can improve on and specific suggestions for improvement to help you improve for next time.
How long will it take to finish my training?
You can fly once a month, once a week or several times per day. The more often you fly, the less you will forget between lessons, the less review you will require and the sooner your training will be complete (flying more frequently saves you less money in the long run!).
What if the ground school training doesn't fit my schedule?
Ground school can be done in a group setting, one on one with a flight instructor, or online as a distance learning course. The best method for ground school depends on the schedule you can maintain, the start day, and how you learn best. Once registered for our ground school classes, you can make up any classes missed on the next ground school (they run continuously) - please contact us for more information.
Will my Class 1 drivers licence medical suffice for flying?
While it may be a similar test, a Canadian aviation medical must be completed by a Transport Canada-approved Civil Aviation Examiner (CAME).
Is there an age that is too old to fly?
No, there is no maximum age to learn to fly - the only requirement is that you pass the aviation medical. The oldest student we have trained was 79 years young!
Is there an age that is too young to fly?
No, there is no minimum age to learn to fly. The Student Pilot Permit (SPP) can be issued at age 14 which permits the holder to fly solo under instructor supervision. You can get your Recreational Permit (RPP) at 16 years of age, your Private Pilot Licence (PPL) at 17 and your Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL) at 18 years of age. You can start to learn to fly before the age of 14, however you may not solo until your 14th birthday. We have had several students fly their first solo flight on their 14th birthday!
Is it difficult to learn to fly?
Anything in life that is valuable takes some effort. Flying the airplane is similar to driving a standard shift car in terms of hand/eye coordination. The ground school material is written at a grade 9 high school level. There is nothing in the ground school that is rocket science… what surprises people is how much has to be learned and then incorporated into practical flying use.
Does previous flight training count toward my training?
Yes, as long as those flight hours have been certified in your pilot logbook and/or pilot training record. Your instructor will help determine where you left off in the training process and will get you back up and flying in no time!
Is flying safe?
Yes! A well-built and well-maintained aircraft flown by a competent and safety conscious pilot is as safe or safer than most other forms of transportation - statistics don't lie!
Is my flight training tax deductible?
Portions of the Private Pilot Licence (PPL), Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL) and other additional ratings can be claimed if you intend on pursuing a career in aviation and you are a Canadian citizen. We encourage you to contact your local accounting professional to seek specific advice in this area.
Is financing available for my flight training?
We do not currently offer financing, but we can assist with any required documentation for your bank or financial institution showing that you are registered in a flight training program at DFC London.
I have not flown as Pilot in Command for several years - what do I need to do?
The Canadian Aviation Regulations (CARs) say that, in addition to having a valid licence or permit and a valid medical certificate, there are some things that pilots need to do every five years, every two years and every six months if they wish to exercise the privileges of their licences or permits.
Every Five Years
Pilots must fly as pilot-in-command or co-pilot at least once in a category of aircraft for which they are licensed. Pilots who do not meet this requirement must successfully complete a flight review with an instructor and pass the Student Pilot Permit Air Regulations (PSTAR) examination.
Every Two Years
Pilots must complete a recurrent training activity. In order to satisfy this requirement, pilots can choose one of the following activities:
- complete a flight review with an instructor
- attend a Transport Canada safety seminar
- participate in a Transport Canada approved recurrent training program
- complete the self-paced study program available each year in the Aviation Safety Letter
- complete a training program or pilot proficiency check (PPC) required by the CARs
- complete the requirements for the issue or renewal of a licence, permit or rating; or
- complete the written exam for a licence, permit or rating
Every Six Months
Pilots who wish to carry one or more passengers must complete at least five takeoffs and five landings in the category and class of aircraft in which the passenger is carried. “Category” refers to whether the aircraft is a glider, airplane, helicopter, balloon, gyroplane, etc.; “class” refers to whether the aircraft is meant for land or sea, whether it is single-engine or multi-engine, etc.
Pilots wishing to carry passengers at night must complete five takeoffs and five landings at night every six months.
Beyond meeting the recency and currency requirements, pilots must ensure that their Aviation Document Booklet has not expired. The booklet’s expiry date is indicated on the identification page. Pilots who don’t yet have an Aviation Document Booklet should consider applying for one by contacting their regional Flight Crew Licensing office.