Pilot licensing in Canada


Pilot licensing in Canada is administered by Transport Canada under the Aeronautics Act and the Canadian Aviation Regulations (CARs).

Other than when flying a hang glider or paraglider, a person may only operate a Canadian-registered aircraft or act as a flight crew member in Canada with a licence or permit issued by Transport Canada.

At the end of 2008 there were 64,932 Canadian licences and permits held, giving Canada the second largest population of licenced pilots in the world.

A licence is issued by Transport Canada in accordance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) licence Standards And Recommended Practices (SARPs). A licence can be used to fly domestically as well as internationally, while a permit does not comply with ICAO standards and therefore can only be used within Canada, unless accepted by another country.

Pilots with licences from foreign countries that are ICAO contracting states may apply to Transport Canada for a validation of their foreign licence. This allows them to fly Canadian registered aircraft in Canada. A foreign licence may be used to fly an aircraft registered in the same state as the licence while in Canada.

The term licence in Canada is equivalent to the term certificate in the United States. The term licence is also used in the United Kingdom. Under the ICAO they are all legally equivalent.

The most common type of Canadian licence is the private pilot licence—aeroplane, which is used to fly light single engine general aviation aircraft privately and recreationally. At the end of 2008 there were 27,138 aeroplane and 596 helicopter private pilot licences in force in Canada. The rarest licence or permit in Canada is the gyroplane pilot permit, with only 29 in force at the end of 2008.

Ratings

Every permit and licence has at least one or more ratings. A rating is a Transport Canada endorsement that grants additional special privileges. For example, a night rating allows a pilot to fly at night.

Each aircraft model requires different knowledge and skill to fly. For example, a single engine general aviation aircraft's design and operation is fundamentally different from a gyroplane. Type ratings allow a pilot to fly a specific aircraft model. The CARs use the term type instead of model.

Some aircraft are covered by a blanket type rating which is applicable to a grouping of aircraft types. For example, the aeroplanes blanket type rating covers all non-high performance, single engine aeroplanes that have a minimum flight crew requirement of one pilot. Examples of this type of aircraft are the Cessna 172 and the Piper Cherokee. These are considered similar enough that specific ratings are not required for each type.

Other aircraft types are covered only by individual type ratings that apply to a single specific model of aircraft. For example, all helicopters are significantly different that each one requires an individual type rating. A person with a private pilot licence—helicopter with a rating for the Bell 407 helicopter may fly only that type of helicopter. The specific privileges and requirements for each rating are detailed in the CARs.

Other than aircraft type ratings there are ratings that allow instrument flying, night flying, VFR over-the-top, ultra-light passenger carrying and other pilot privileges.

Private pilot licence—aeroplane
A Canadian private pilot with his Jodel D11-2.

The private pilot licence—aeroplane allows the holder to fly as pilot or co-pilot of an aeroplane. This is the most commonly held licence in Canada and is generally the first licence earned by the aspiring professional pilot. Generally, the landplane aeroplane class rating is included in the training for this licence and this rating is issued with the private pilot licence—aeroplane. Only day flying of a single engine non-high-performance aeroplane in accordance with VFR is allowed, unless other ratings have been earned.

A pilot with this licence cannot work for "hire or reward", although reimbursement for some costs is permitted.

A pilot with this licence may also act as a pilot of an ultra-light aeroplane.

The following endorsements can be added:

    Landplane rating
    Seaplane rating
    Multi-engine rating
    Multi-engine centre line thrust rating
    Night rating
    VFR-Over-the-Top rating
    Instrument rating

Private pilot licence—helicopter

The private pilot licence—helicopter licence allows the holder to fly as pilot or co-pilot of a helicopter. Only day flying under VFR is allowed until other ratings are added.

There is no blanket type rating for helicopter aircraft types and a type rating must be earned for each type of helicopter. A helicopter type rating for the specific helicopter used during training is issued with the private pilot licence—helicopter.

A pilot with this licence cannot work for hire, although reimbursement for some costs is permitted.

The following endorsements can be added:

    Individual type rating for each model of helicopter
    Night rating
    VFR-Over-the-Top rating
    Instrument rating

Commercial pilot licence—aeroplane

The commercial pilot licence—aeroplane licence allows the holder to fly professionally as pilot of a single pilot aeroplane, or as copilot on a multi-crew aeroplane.

The commercial pilot licence—aeroplane includes more advanced piloting knowledge, skill and experience than the private pilot licence—aeroplane. A private pilot licence—aeroplane is a prerequisite to earning a commercial pilot licence—aeroplane. A commercial pilot licence—aeroplane is in turn a prerequisite to earning an airline transport pilot licence—aeroplane or any class of flight instructor—aeroplane rating. The privileges of the ultra-light pilot permit, private pilot licence—aeroplane, and VFR-Over-the-Top rating and night flying are included in this licence.

The following endorsements can be added:

    Landplane rating
    Seaplane rating
    Multi-engine rating
    Multi-engine centre line thrust rating
    Instrument rating
    Second officer rating
    Flight instructor rating

Commercial pilot licence—helicopter

The commercial pilot licence—helicopter licence allows the holder to fly professionally as pilot of a single pilot helicopter or as copilot of a multi-crew helicopter.

The commercial pilot licence—helicopter involves more advanced piloting knowledge, skill and experience than the private pilot licence—helicopter. A private pilot licence—helicopter is not a prerequisite to earning a commercial pilot licence—helicopter, however, the requirements for knowledge and experience are greater. A commercial pilot licence—helicopter is a prerequisite to earning an airline transport pilot licence—helicopter or any class of flight instructor—helicopter rating. The privileges of the private pilot licence—helicopter are included in this licence.

The commercial pilot licence—helicopter is restricted to daylight unless endorsed for night flying. The CARs provide for a number of significant options for credit in terms of knowledge and experience for pilots with previous experience flying with other permits and licenses.

The following endorsements can be added:

    Night
    Instrument rating
    Flight instructor rating

Airline transport pilot licence—aeroplane

The airline transport pilot licence—aeroplane allows the holder to fly professionally as pilot or co-pilot of a single pilot or multi-crew aeroplane This licence is required in order to be a professional airline captain.

The airline transport pilot licence—aeroplane involves more advanced piloting knowledge, skill and experience than the commercial pilot licence—aeroplane. A commercial pilot licence—aeroplane, multi-engine rating and a Group 1 instrument rating are prerequisites for the airline transport pilot licence—aeroplane. The privileges of the ultra-light pilot permit, private pilot licence—aeroplane and commercial pilot licence—aeroplane are included.

The following endorsements can be added:

    Second officer rating
    Flight instructor rating

Airline transport pilot licence—helicopter
A Canadian pilot who holds an Airline Transport Pilot Licence - Helicopter, flying a Bell 212 on a medevac mission.

The airline transport pilot licence—helicopter allows a pilot to fly professionally as pilot or co-pilot of single pilot or multi-crew helicopters.

The airline transport pilot licence—helicopter involves more advanced piloting knowledge, skill and experience than the commercial pilot licence—helicopter. A commercial pilot licence—helicopter is a prerequisite to the airline transport pilot licence—helicopter. The privileges of the private pilot licence—helicopter and commercial pilot licence—helicopter are included.

The airline transport pilot licence—helicopter is restricted to aerial work only if the night and instrument flight time requirements are not met. This means that the licence is restricted to commercial flying that does not include air transport (transportation of commercial passengers) nor flight training.

The following endorsement can be added:

    Flight instructor rating

Flight engineer licence

Some airliners are flown by a third crew member in addition to the pilot and co-pilot, a flight engineer. The flight engineer is responsible for monitoring aircraft systems in flight and for inspecting the aircraft before and after each flight. The Boeing 747-300 is an example of an airliner that employs a flight engineer. Recent airliners from manufacturers such as Boeing and Airbus are designed for a two pilot crew with flight management functions previously the responsibility of a flight engineer now handled by automation. Many older airliners flying require a flight engineer.

The flight engineer licence allows the holder to be an aeroplane flight engineer. Generally, this will be on a large transport aircraft. Being a pilot is not a prerequisite to earning a flight engineer licence, though many flight engineers do hold a commercial pilot licence—aeroplane or airline transport pilot licence.

There is no blanket aircraft type rating associated with the flight engineer licence. The licence must be endorsed with an individual type rating for each aeroplane type. When issued the flight engineer rating for the aeroplane type used by a person for training is issued.

The following endorsements can be added:

    Flight engineer rating

Ratings
Aeroplane class ratings
Further information: Class rating

Aeroplane class ratings are specific to fixed-wing aircraft. These include:

    Seaplane rating
    Landplane rating
    Multi-engine rating
    Multi-engine centre line thrust rating

Aircraft type ratings

Aeroplane licences may be endorsed with individual aircraft types or with blanket ratings for groups of aircraft, for instance "All aeroplanes with a minimum flight crew requirement of one pilot excluding high performance".

Other blanket type ratings available for the respective licence or permit include:[38]

    Gliders
    Balloons
    Ultra-light aeroplanes
    Gyroplanes

Individual aircraft type ratings required for the respective licence or permit include:

Each aeroplane with a minimum flight crew requirement of at least two pilots
Each aeroplane with a minimum flight crew requirement of at least two pilots utilizing a cruise relief pilot
Each high performance Aeroplane type to be endorsed on a pilot licence - aeroplane category
Each aeroplane type to be endorsed on a flight engineer licence
Each aeroplane type to be endorsed on a second officer rating
Each aeroplane type to be endorsed on a licence for which no blanket type rating is issued
Each type of helicopter
Each type of power driven balloon or airship
Each type of gyroplane other than single seat gyroplanes
Restricted Licence - Individual aircraft type ratings for certain medically restricted licences

Night rating

The night rating allows a pilot to fly in VMC and navigate in visual reference to the ground, at night. This is different from instrument meteorological conditions (IMC) where the pilot flies and maintains situational awareness strictly by using instruments and avionics.

The night rating is available only for the following permits and licences:

    Gyroplane pilot permit
    Balloon pilot licence
    Private pilot licence—aeroplane
    Private pilot licence—helicopter

For the commercial and airline pilot licences (aeroplane) it is expected that the night rating will have already been earned. If not, a restricted licence may be issued for day flying only.
VFR-Over-the-Top rating

The VFR-Over-the-Top (VFR OTT) rating allows the holder to fly above and between cloud, without visual reference to the ground under visual flight rules during the daytime. Pilots are required to takeoff from an aerodrome in normal VMC and VFR and land at the destination aerodrome under VFR. The cruise flight in between may be flown under VFR OTT flight rules.

This rating is an intermediate step between piloting privileges that allow only for VFR flying and an instrument rating. This rating is included in the privileges of an instrument rating, as well as the Commercial Licence.[41]

The VFR OTT rating is available for the following licences:

    Private pilot—aeroplane
    Private pilot—helicopter
    Commercial pilot—helicopter
    Airline transport pilot—helicopter

Instrument rating

The instrument rating allows a pilot to fly in instrument meteorological conditions (IMC), for example when cloud layers obscure the pilot's view of the ground. An instrument-rated pilot is able to fly and maintain situational awareness strictly by using instruments and avionics. This rating is one of the more complex ratings and is a major step toward earning more advanced licences such as an airline transport pilot licence—aeroplane. It can be added to any aeroplane or helicopter licence and is a requirement for the issue of an Airline Transport Pilot Licence - Aeroplanes.

The rating may only be exercised for aircraft in the group endorsed. An instrument rating is often combined with other ratings to form a set of piloting privileges. For example, the multi-engine rating is required in addition to an instrument rating to fly a multi-engined aircraft under instrument flight rules.

VFR-Over-the-Top privileges are included in an instrument rating.

The requirements for an instrument rating are the same for both a private pilot licence—aeroplane and a private pilot licence—helicopter. Helicopters certified for IFR operations are generally complex multi-crew and multi-engine aircraft, so a helicopter instrument rating is generally issued in conjunction with other ratings.

Transport Canada issues distinct instrument ratings for each of the following four groups of aircraft types dependent upon the nature of the training for the instrument rating and the associated flight test.

    Group 1 for multi-engine aeroplanes
    Group 2 for multi-engine centre line thrust aeroplanes
    Group 3 for single engine aeroplanes
    Group 4 for helicopters

From Wikipedia

28/05/2011


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