PRIVATE Pilot LICENCE (PPL) – Aeroplane

Ref. CAR 421.26

If you are looking to fly for pleasure, the Private Pilot Licence (PPL) is what you are looking for!  With a Private Pilot Licence (PPL) you may carry as many passengers as the aircraft can accommodate and fly during the day in VFR weather conditions.

Holders of a PPL can add ratings to their licence which allow them to fly at night, in cloudy weather, on floats or on multi-engine aircraft. If you intend on pursuing a career as a pilot, obtaining your PPL will be your first step. Pilots must hold a PPL before obtaining a Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL), the licence required to be employed as a pilot.


You must be a minimum of 17 years of age to be issued a Private Pilot Licence (PPL), but you can begin flight training at a younger age. The Student Pilot Permit (SPP) can be issued at the age of 14 which allows the holder to fly the aircraft solo (without an instructor on board)!


Prior to beginning your flight training for your Private Pilot Licence, you will need to get a Category 1 or 3 aviation medical certificate from a Transport Canada-approved Civil Aviation Medical Examiner (CAME). If you are not planning to fly professionally as a Commercial pilot, a Category 3 medical is all that you need. Below is a list of approved list of medical examiners in the London, Ontario area:

Dr. Bates

  • Office: 519-438-5101
  • Address: #208-190 Wortley Road

Dr. Chapeskie

  • Office: 519-461-0776
  • Address: Box 130, 21816 Fairview Road (Thorndale)

Dr. Malizia

  • Office: 519-455-1990
  • Address: 1033 Dundas Street

Dr. Marshall

  • Office: 519-245-3590
  • Address: 31 Caradoc Street North

Dr. Siu

  • Office: 519-858-4694
  • Address: 827 Richmond Street

If you are from outside the London area, a list of Civil Aviation Medical Examiners can be found here on the Transport Canada website


  • You must have a minimum of 40 hours of private pilot ground school instruction including at least the following subjects:
    • Canadian Aviation Regulations
    • Aerodynamics and theory of flight
    • Meteorology
    • Airframes, engines and systems
    • Flight instruments
    • Radio and electronic theory
    • Navigation
    • Flight operations
    • Licensing requirements
    • Human factors including pilot decision making
  • You will be required to get a minimum of 60% in each of the following four mandatory areas as well as in the overall written examination on the Transport Canada PPL (PPAER) exam:

    • Air Law: Regulations, rules and orders, air traffic services, practices and procedures, and licensing requirements relevant to the permit

    • Navigation: Navigation, radio aids and electronic theory

    • Meteorology

    • Aeronautics - General Knowledge: Airframes, engines and systems, theory of flight, flight instruments, flight operations and human factors

The ground school training can be completed before, during or after the flight training portion. We recommend that ground school be taken at the same time as flight training so that you can apply the knowledge learned in class to your flying lessons. What you learn in theory in ground school you can put to practical use in the airplane and the lesson will be better remembered.


A minimum of 45 hours total flight training time including:

  • Minimum 17 hours Dual including a minimum of 3 hours Dual cross country time and a minimum of 5 hours of instrument training (maximum 3 hours in an approved flight simulator)

  • Minimum 12 hours Solo flight training including a minimum 5 hours of solo cross country time (with a minimum 150nm cross country with a minimum of 2 enroute full stop landings)

The average time to get the PPL in Canada is currently 71.3 hours (based on December 2018 data) and completion time varies from student to student. If you do your training on a part time basis (i.e. once per week) you can expect to finish within one year and approximately 71 hours. If you do your training on a full-time basis (a minimum of three flights per week), you can expect to complete your training in 4 months or less and take less total time overall. You can help the process along by doing the assigned flight training readings as well as completing the assigned ground school quizzes when assigned.


You will be required to successfully complete a PPL flight test as pilot-in-command with a Transport Canada-approved pilot examiner


A Private Pilot Licence allows you to fly single-engine, single pilot non-high-performance aircraft during daytime hours (unless a night rating is added), under Visual Flight Rules (VFR) weather conditions. You may not fly for hire or reward.


4 Months if flying 5 days per week

12 Months if flying 1 day per week


Candidate must hold a Category 1 or 3 Aviation Medical

Minimum 17 years of age (14 years of age for first solo)

Your Flight Training

Flight training consists of dual training (where you fly the aircraft with an instructor) and solo training (where you practice flying the aircraft on your own under the supervision of your flight instructor). Before every flight, you will sit down with your flight instructor for a pre-flight briefing where you will discuss what air exercises are to be flown and how you will perform them. Training flights generally last about one hour and how much of that time you will spend at the controls yourself depends on what phase of your training you are in. Both you and your flight instructor have full sets of aircraft controls in front of your seats. Your first few training flights will familiarize you with the controls of the aircraft and you will have control once the aircraft has reached a safe altitude. After a few more training flights you will learn how to conduct the takeoff and landing and will very quickly start to do all of the flying.

Once you are comfortable and safe with the airplane (usually after about 15 hours of flying), your instructor will send you up flying on your own for your first solo flight. Your first solo is just a short flight, but any pilot will tell you that their first solo is one of the most exciting and memorable experiences of their life. Before you can go for your first solo you must have obtained your aviation medical, radio licence and passed a short exam on air regulations (called the PSTAR exam). After you have gone solo, the remainder of your training will be a combination of dual training to learn more advanced sequences and solo training to practice what you have learned. As soon as you and your flight instructor agree that you are ready, you will complete a practical PPL flight test with a certified examiner. If you are successful with the flight test and also pass the Transport Canada written exam, then you will be issued with your Private Pilot Licence!


Minimum requirements - additional training may required

Prices are subject to change without notice

Average time to PPL in Canada is approximately 71 hours
(December 2018 data)