Flight Training – f.a.q.

 Q.  How long does it take to get a licence?

  • Well, that depends on a number of factors, most notably how often you come out to fly!  Weather delays and varying student abilities will also play a role, but as an idea if you come out once a week it will take you about a year to complete a Private Pilot Licence.  If you could come out 6 days a week, you could finish in as little as 8 weeks!

Q.  Do I have to do groundschool before I start flying?

  • No, not at all.  There is a common misconception that you need to start, or finish the groundschool before flying, but this is simply not true.  You will at some point have to complete the groundschool, however you can start flying at any time!  Realistically you could do around 20 hours of flying before requiring the information obtained in the groundschool, this is because before each flight we will cover all necessary information in a Pre-Flight Briefing.  We do however recommend if you are in the groundschool, to do a little bit of flying, as the time in the air will give you a better understanding of the topics we cover in class.

Q.  How often do I have to fly to keep my licence valid?

  • This is a classic question that is often circulated through misinformation.  Your licence will never become invalid, as long as your medical is current.  There are however Currency Requirements for licensed pilots who are renting airplanes.  For insurance purposes our renal pilots are required to fly once every couple of months, otherwise they just need to do a few circuits with an instructor to get back into the swing of things.  This requirement is not the same if you own your own aircraft.

Q.  What are the medical requirements to be a pilot?

  • There are different medical requirements depending on your age and the medical category you are maintaining.  Different licences require different medical categories.  A Recreational Pilot Permit requires a category 4, Private Pilot Licence a category 3 and Commercial Pilot Licence requires a category 1.  For a thorough summary you can look at the Aeronautical Information Manual.  If you find this difficult to interpret don’t fret, your flight instructor will help guide you in the right direction!

Q.  How old do I have to be to fly a plane?

  • You can start flying at any time! We even have special cushions for anyone young and old to assist with reaching the controls and seeing over the dash for flight training. At 14 years old you can get a Student Pilot Permit which allows flying solo without an instructor on board the airplane, this happens approximately halfway through the training. There is a minimum age of 17 to finish the Private Pilot’s License.

Q.  What if I wear glasses, can I still be a pilot?

  • Absolutely!  There are pilots all over the world flying with glasses or contacts.  Your vision does not have to be 20/20, but it should be corrected sufficiently through some kind of corrective lens or procedure.  Even pilots who suffer from color blindness can still fly, they just may have some restrictions like daylight flying only.

Q.  If I want to buy my own airplane, can you teach me to fly it?

  • Most probably.  If it is a type we are familiar with than there is no issue, we would be happy to teach you in your own aircraft.  There are a lot of variables to consider, and you can review our policies and procedures for training in private aircraft in our Private Aircraft Handbook.

Q.  How much does it cost to get a pilots licence?

  • Getting a  pilots license is a big financial commitment, but not much more than a decent used car or a year away at university.  Our pay as you go program makes getting a licence affordable as you only pay for each lesson after each flight. For more information on cost check out the licensing programs we offer, and our guide how to save money on flight training.

Q.  Why does it appear that your school costs more to learn to fly?

  • Short Answer: Some schools are not being entirely truthful with you.  It will cost you more.
  • Long Answer: Many schools are quoting minimum times, which are unrealistic.  Transport Canada sets the minimum flight time for a Private Pilot Licence at 45 hours, however it is extremely rare that anyone would be able to complete the course in that time.  A more realistic timeline to complete a Private Pilot Licence would be around 65 hours of flight training, about 45 Dual and 20 Solo.
  • What you really need to look at are the Hourly Rates.  What is the cost of the Aircraft per hour, and what is the cost of the Flight Instructor per hour.  This is where you can start to do the math and figure out truly what the costs might be.  However even still, it’s hard to say how much Dual vs. Solo time you will need.  Will you learn how to execute a Steep Turn in 1 hour, or 2 or 3?  How many take-offs and landings before you have it mastered, 5 hours or 15?  The student comprehension and ability is a huge factor in the cost incurred, but ultimately it again comes down to the hourly rates that will dictate what your final costs will be.
  • Don’t forget to factor in the other costs, that most schools advertising happen to conveniently leave out of their quote…such as Groundschool, Books and Maps, Taxes, Fuel Surcharge Fees, Insurance Waiver Fees, Membership Fees, Headset Rental Fees, Short Notice Cancellation Fees, Medical Examination Fee, Written Exam Fee, Flight Test Fee, Licence Processing Fee, Varying Rates for different Instructors.
  • It’s important to ask lots of questions when searching for the truth in costs.  Owen Sound Flight Services strives for transparency in our rates, while offering a superior service to our clients, this is why it appears that we are more expensive, when in reality not only are we cheaper, but we are straight up more forthcoming with the information you are looking for, and we refuse to play the cheap bait game.
  • Our industry is changing fast, and in reaction we periodically update our rates slightly. Here’s our latest rates.

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