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The Private Pilot License Written Exam – Air Law

Air Law

The Air Law section of the private pilot license written exam can be divided into 19 sub-sections:

  • Issue of a private pilot license;
  • Privileges of holding a Private Pilot License for Aeroplanes;
  • Flying at night, VFR over the top and in instrument conditions;
  • Aircraft classification – categories, types and classes;
  • Class ratings;
  • Type ratings;
  • Individual type ratings;
  • Maintaining the validity of your license;
  • Minimum visibility requirements for VFR flight;
  • Aircraft equipment requirements;
  • Right of Way;
  • Airspace division and classification;
  • Interception rules;
  • General Operating Laws;
  • Filing flight plans;
  • Uncontrolled aerodrome operations;
  • Wake turbulence separation;
  • Useful definitions, and;
  • Accidents;
  • Crusing Altitudes.

Issue of a private pilot license:
(Sharper Edge questions: 1,2,6,7,8,40,41)
The Test:

  • You need 60% over all to pass, and you need 60% in each section. Let’s just say you need 60% everywhere, minimum
  • If you fail the written test on your first attempt you need to wait 14 days to re-write. 14 days. 2 weeks. One half a month;
  • If you fail a second time you must wait 30 days to re-write;
  • Subsequent failures require a 30 day wait, plus an additional 30 days for every failure in excess of the first two, up to a maximum of 180 days. Just pass it the first time!

Private Pilot License Exam
Cross Country

  • You need 5 hours cross country time
  • During that 5 hours you must fly at least one solo cross country flight that covers at least 150 nm and has 2 full stops. 150 nm and 2 stops


  • Category 3 Medical is required. Category 3!
  • ECGs are required for every pilot 40 years of age and older on the first medical, and then every 5 years thereafter. 40 or over needs an ECG on first medical and then every 5 years.
  • The medical is valid until the 1st day of the next month after the period of validity. For example, a 60 month medical is valid until the 1st day of the 61st month. A 24 month medical is valid until the 1st day of the 25th month;
  • If you’re under 40 the medical is valid for 60 months; 40 and over it’s valid for 24 months.

Ground School and Flight Training

You need:

  • 40 hours of ground school
  • 45 hours of flight training
  • 5 hours of that can be in a simulator

Age, Experience, etc.

  • The minimum age for a private pilot license is 17. 17. Not 14. 17.
  • You need at least 17 hours dual flight instruction, 12 hours solo time and a 150 nm cross country flight with 2 full stops. 17, 12, 150, 2
  • You must report an address change to Transport Canada within 7 days. address change – 7 days, 1 week.

These quizzes are similar. Pick one and do it, then do the next one the next time.

Issue of a Private Pilot License Pop Quiz – Quiz 18

Issue of a Private Pilot License Pop Quiz – Quiz 19

Issue of a Private Pilot License Pop Quiz – Quiz 36

Privileges of holding a Private Pilot License for Aeroplanes
(Sharper Edge Question 9)

You can fly as PIC or co-pilot of:

  • An airplane of a class and type for which you have the appropriate ratings (duh);
  • An ultralight (ok, as PIC, not as co-pilot);
  • Any aircraft for the sole purpose of flight training, under direction and supervision of a flight instructor and without passengers;
  • Any aircraft for the sole purpose of your flight test.

Flying at night, VFR over the top and in instrument conditions
(Sharper Edge questions 14,77)

You can’t fly at night without a night rating, so you need to know when day starts and ends and when night starts and ends.

  • Night starts when civil twilight ends;
  • Civil twilight ends when the sun is more than 6 degrees below the horizon;
  • Night ends when civil twilight begins;
  • Civil twilight begins when the sun is 6 degrees below the horizon;
  • In practical terms this is 1/2 half hour after sunset and 1/2 hour before sunrise.

To land at night you need to be able to see a few things, like, the runway, the airport, where NOT to land, and the wind. For an aerodrome to be usable at night CARs requires:

  • A lighted windsock (how else will you see the wind?);
  • Fixed white lights to mark take-off and landing areas, and;
  • Fixed red lights to mark unserviceable areas.

Privileges of holding a Private Pilot License for Aeroplanes and Flying at night, VFR over the top and in instrument conditions Pop Quiz – Quiz 37

Aircraft Classifications – Categories, Types and classes -and- Class Ratings -and- Blanket Type Ratings -and- Individual Type Ratings -and- Maintaining the validity of your license
(Sharper Edge questions 3,4,5,16,63,76)

Categories divide into classes divide into types.
(Go from longest word to shortest word to remember the order; BIG to small).

Categories: Ultra-light, aeroplane, gliders, balloons, gyro-plane, helicopters. Categories are used for the big divisions.

Classes of aeroplane: Seaplane and land plane, further divide by engine type (centerline thrust, multi-engine, single engine).

Types: high performance, minimum 2 crew airplane.
TO keep type and class clear remember that different types of classes – a 2 crew land plane or a single crew land plane. Land plane is the class, crew number determines type. Or, single engine high performance vs. single engine regular plane.

Ratings are for classes and types. They come as blanket type ratings (all single engine land planes, all single engine seaplanes) and individual ratings (high performance, etc).

  • One crew member land plane to one crew member seaplane rating requires 7 hours of training, 5 hours dual instruction and 5 take-offs and landings. Land plane to seaplane: 7,5,5
  • One crew member seaplane to one crew member land plane rating requires 3 hours of training, 2 hours of dual flight instruction and 5 take offs and landings. Seaplane to land plane: 3,2,5
  • Blanket ratings can cover all aeroplanes with a minimum of one crew member EXCEPT high performance airplanes. Remember “except high performance”.
  • The PPL without extra ratings allows you to fly as PIC or co-pilot of any airplane of a class or type for which your license is endorsed with the appropriate ratings. Remember “class or type for which your license is endorsed with the appropriate ratings”
  • A individual type rating on a high performance aircraft requires 200 hours experience on airplanes. Think about it: you’ll have the better part of 100 hours when you do your flight test (probably 60 at a minimum). You’re not ready for high performance airplanes with 100 or 150. YOU NEED 200! Logic!
  • a high performance plane is one with a stall speed of greater than 80 KIAS and a Vne of greater than 250 KIAS.
  • A high performance airplane rating also needs complete ground and flight training (duh!), and completion of a qualifying flight. (You need that for the private pilot license too, right? Ground school flight instruction and flight test);
  • For a two crew aeroplane rating you need even more: 250 hours in airplanes, ground and flight training, 70% on IATRA test within 24 months, and a pilot proficiency test within 12 months of applying for the rating.

To maintain your private pilot license you must have:

  • Flown as PIC within the previous 5 years;
    Successfully completed both a flight review conducted by a flight instructor and written the appropriate exam within the previous 12 months;
  • -and-

  • completed a recurrent training program within the previous 24 months;
  • -and to carry passengers-

  • 5 take offs and landings within the last 6 months (and do them by night if you want to carry passengers by night).

So – keep flying regularly, do the recurrency program every 24 months and 5 take-offs and landings, or take the flight review and write the test and do the recurrency program every 24 months and 5 take-offs and landings.

Who can ask for your pilot documents? Peace officer, immigration officer or the Minister of Transport (meaning, his employees).

PPL Written Test Prep Quiz #3 – Quiz 20

Aircraft Classifications, Class and Type Ratings, and Maintaining your Private Pilot License Pop Quiz

Minimum visibility requirements for VFR flight
(Sharper Edge questions 10,54,56,57)

  • Uncontrolled VFR requires different visibility by day than by night. You need more by night. It also requires different visibility depending on altitude. Higher altitudes give you a wider safety margin, so you can have less visibility.
  • Daytime, uncontrolled, over 1,000 AGL: 1 mile flight vis, 2000 feet horizontally from clouds, 500 feet vertically from cloud.
  • At night, uncontrolled, over 1,000 AGL, you need 3 miles flight vis., 2,000 feet horizontal and 500′ vertical separation from cloud requirement remains the same;
  • Below 1,000, uncontrolled, daytime, you need 2 miles flight vis., and clear of cloud. At night it’s 3 miles flight vis., clear of cloud.
  • It’s not practical to require 500 vertical separation from cloud if you’re under 1,000 AGL. That’s why it’s “clear of cloud” when you’re under 1,000 AGL.

  • Controlled VFR you need 3 miles flight visibility, 1 mile horizontal separation from cloud and 500′ vertical separation from cloud;
  • Special VFR (SVFR) allows for the rules to be relaxed by ATC. 1 mile flight visibility, clear of cloud, in sight of the ground and any other restrictions ATC applies;
  • Special VFR must be requested by the pilot;
  • Class C airspace becomes Class E when the tower closes. To fly SVFR in Class E you need permission, but with a closed tower you need to contact ATC through the appropriate FISE (Flight Information Services En-Route).

At night and in controlled airspace you require 3 miles flight visibility! That’s uncontrolled at night (over or under 1,000′ AGL) and controlled airspace.
Private pilot license exam

    Flight Vis:

  • Over 1,000′ AGL uncontrolled-1 mile visibility by day, 3 by night;
  • Below 1,000′ AGL uncontrolled – 2 miles visibility by day, 3 by night;
  • Control Zone – 3 miles by day.
    Cloud separation:

  • Over 1,000′ AGL uncontrolled -2000′ horizontally, 500′ vertically by day and night;
  • Below 1,000′ AGL uncontrolled – clear of cloud by day and night;
  • Control Zone – 1 mile horizontal separation from cloud, 500′ vertical.

Minimum Visibility Requirements for VFR Flight Pop Quiz

Aircraft Equipment Requirements
(Sharper Edge questions 51,55,59,72,73,81,89,90)

Survival Equipment

  • You must have a PFD, life preserver or individual flotation device for each soul on board if you are beyond gliding distance to shore. If you ditch in water you need a PFD, IFD, of life preserver.
  • Don’t think of distance in miles. Think of it in gliding terms. You can glide farther if you are higher up
  • You do not need survival equipment if you are operating within 25 nm of the aerodrome and have radio contact with a surface radio station for the duration of the flight.


  • Over 10,000 ASL you get starved for oxygen. The maximum you can fly without oxygen in an unpressurized airplane between 10,000 and 13,000 feet is 30 minutes. 30 minutes max without O2.
  • If you exceed the 30 minutes maximum above 10,000 you need to provide some oxygen. You get 30 minutes free, but every minute over 30 you need TO USE oxygen for all crew members and 10% of the passengers (not less than one person). This applies for altitudes between 10,000 and 13,000 ASL;
  • 10% means in a 4 seat plane you have 2-3 passengers and 1-2 crew. O2 for all crew and 10% of 2-3 passengers means 1 full person (10% of 3 people is 30% of a person, but remember “not less than one person”);
  • Over 13,000 ASL you need TO USE oxygen for everyone for the whole time! Remember “carry” but also “use”.


  • You must have a serviceable tachometer to fly (one for each engine, btw);
  • You need an altimeter to tell how far off the ground you are;
    • In uncontrolled airspace it’s just any old altimeter (it’s up to you to stay aloft);
    • In controlled airspace it must be a sensitive altimeter adjustable for barometric pressure (ATC needs you at a precise altitude, so you need precise altimeter readings).
  • You need an airspeed indicator (how else do you navigate?);
  • You need a fuel gauge;
  • You need radio communication equipment for use in Class B,C or D airspace, MF areas, and ADIZ;
  • You need a magnetic compass;
  • You need an oil pressure indicator (you need to predict engine failure);
    • Oil cools an engine, and air and liquid help with that;
    • Lack of cooling kills an engine;
    • Liquid cooled engines therefore need coolant temperature gauges for each liquid cooled engine;
    • An oil temperature gauge (for each air-cooled engine)
  • You need landing gear indicator if you have retractable gear (remember the YouTube videos of guys landing with gear up);
  • If you have variable pitch prop or a super-charged or turbo-charged engine you need a manifold pressure gauge (again, for each of those engines).

The main things? Remember “AFTRAC-OPT”:

  • Altimeter
  • Fuel
  • Tachometer
  • Radio
  • Airspeed
  • Compass
  • Oil Pressure and Temperature


To fly you need

  • CofA;
  • CoR;
  • POH;
  • W&B certificate;
  • airplane logbook;
  • your license, medical and radio operator license;
  • insurance papers.


  • Everyone on board must have seat belts fastened whenever the aircraft moves, except infants.

3 types of docs:

  • 1 type to prove the plane can fly (CoA,CoR,POH,W&B,logbook);
  • 1 type to prove you can fly (license, medical and radio operator license);
  • and 1 type to prove you’re responsible for damages (insurance proof).

Right of Way
(Sharper Edge questions 85,88)

  • When you are converging with another aircraft the aircraft with the other on it’s right gives way. Think “right of way” – the guy on the right has the right of way.
  • “Converging” includes “overtaking”-
    • you alter heading to the right, meaning:
    • you overtake on the right;
  • Power driven aircraft must give way to gliders and balloons;
    • BUT – the head on rule over-rules;
    • so, if a glider and power driven aircraft converge head on, see the next rule!
  • When 2 aircraft are approaching head on each must alter heading to the right.
    • When there is no right of way both planes go right! It doesn’t matter what type of aircraft.
    • Glider and power driven aircraft head on? Both alter heading to the right! HEAD ON RULES!
  • When two airplanes are approaching to land the plane below has the right of way (the guy below probably can’t see the guy above, right?)
  • You also give way to anyone you know is having an emergency.

Aircraft Equipment Requirements and Right of Way Pop Quiz

Airspace Division and Classification
This is a big section!
(Sharper Edge questions 11,18,27,28,29,32,33,34,35,36,43,58,60,61,62,70,71,78,80,84,86,98)

Transponder rules

  • Below 12,500 AGL set the transponder to 1200;
    Over 12,500 (like, say, 14,000?) set it to 1400. 14 is higher than 12. Use 1400 when you’re high, and 1200 when you’re low;
  • For military interception squawk 7700. Biggest problem, biggest number – they’ll shoot you down;
  • For emergencies squawk 7700. Biggest problem, biggest number.
  • 7600 is a comm failure. If you’re in the circuit and you have a comm failure set the transponder to 7600;
  • You need a transponder in A,B and C airspace, and in D and E when its designated as transponder airspace. ABC&DE;
  • 7500 is for hijacking. Don’t make a mistake. You’ll get shot down. You’re not likely to get hijacked in a single engine plane in Canada.

Forest Fires

  • You cannot fly closer to a forest fire than 5 nm and not below 3,000 AGL

Standard Pressure Region vs. Altimeter Setting Region/Northern Domestic Airspace and Southern Domestic Airspace

  • Southern Domestic Airspace and Altimeter Setting Region are the same place;
  • Northern Domestic Airspace and Standard Pressure Setting Region are the same place;
  • Therefore, 2 large airspace divisions with four names;
  • However, everything, north and south, over 18,000′ is included in Standard Pressure Region;
  • Therefore, if you get your Cessna above 18,000′ you need to reset your altimeter to 29.92 just after entering the SPR;

Altimeter Differences

  • There are lots of altimeter pressure reporting stations in the south, not in the north;
  • In Altimeter Setting Region/Southern Domestic Airspace, set your altimeter to the pressure of the nearest station on route;
    If the stations are more than 150 nm apart use the nearest station, even if it’s not on route.
  • In the south/Altimeter Pressure Region you have the data for pressure;
  • In the north you don’t;
  • If you’re in the north, use what you know you have – take off at airport altimeter setting or elevation;
  • Just prior to cruise altitude change to standard pressure (29.92);
    If you level off first you’ll be at cruise altitude based on the airport setting, not the standard setting;
  • Standard setting (29.92) is the whole point- you want all pilots in the area on the same page;
  • Just before descent change the altimeter to the destination airport altimeter setting or elevation;
  • When transitioning from Altimeter Setting Region to Standard Pressure Region make the change just after entering the Standard Pressure Region;
  • Make the change between altimeter setting and standard pressure setting in the Standard Pressure Region;
  • You have to be at the right altitude when you get into the altimeter setting region, so you have to make the change before you enter; otherwise you could enter the altimeter setting region (SDA below FL180) and find that you’re at the wrong altitude;
  • When entering the SPR make the change just after entering, and when leaving make it just before leaving.

Compass Challenges

  • Magnetic compass works in the south, not so well in the north;
  • To determine direction you use track, not heading. Track!
  • In the Southern Domestic Airspace use magnetic track;
  • In Northern Domestic Airspace use true track.


  • In the south you use altimeter settings from the closest reporting station;
  • In the south you use magnetic track (track, not heading)
  • In the north you use altimeter settings or elevation when you have them (taking off and landing at aerodromes with reporting stations);
    You use standard pressure (29.92) at cruise;
  • You change from the airport setting to 29.92 until just prior to leveling off at cruise altitude;
  • When transitioning from Altimeter Setting Region to Standard Pressure Region make the change from the altimeter setting to 29.92 just after entering the Standard Pressure Region;
  • You use true track in the north, because magnetic isn’t accurate enough (track, not heading)

ADIZ – Air Defense Identification Zone

  • Like it says, you need to be identified by the military in the ADIZ;
  • To operate in ADIZ you must a)get permission,b)file a defense flight plan or itinerary, c) monitor 121.5 (121.5 is first frequency to remember because it’s EMERGENCY and MILITARY)
  • ADIZ boundaries are found in the Designated Airspace Handbook;
  • Any changes to the Defense flight plan or itinerary of +/- 5 minutes or 20 miles requires a revision (entry or exit from ADIZ, for example);
  • That means you have to notify ATC or an FSS if you are entering/exiting =/1 5 minutes off plan or if you’re 20 miles off course.

Low Level Airways and Low Level Air Routes

  • AirWAYS are WAY up. They start at 2,200 ASGL;
  • Air ROUTES RUN RIGHT to the ground;
  • Both are Class B above 12,500 AGL and Class E below 12,500 AGL;
  • Airways are controlled;
  • Air routes are uncontrolled;
  • Low level, so below 18,000;
  • Airways are 2,200 up to but not including 18,000;
  • Air routes are ground up to but not including 18,000.

Control Zones

  • To fly VFR in a control zone you need 3 miles, 1 mile and 500 feet. That’s vis, horizontal from cloud and vertical from cloud.
  • You’re in a control zone, so the minimums are higher than uncontrolled. They need the extra room to provide separation.
  • SVFR in a control zone reduces visibility requirement from 3 miles to 1 mile.
  • If the Class C control zone is closed, and so changed to Class E you must request SVFR from someone. Who? Appropriate FISE to contact ATC.
  • Class C changes to Class E after hours.
  • A control zone usually extends up to 3,000 AGL.
  • Max speed in a CZ below 10,000 is 250 KIA.
  • Max speed below 3,000’and within 10 nm of a CZ below is 200 KIA.
  • Within 10 nm and below 3,000 you’re closer – go slower!
  • Comm failure? Squawk 7600 (middle problem, middle number), land and advise ATC. The transponder tells tower you have a comms failure, so you’re still in limited communication. They aren’t in the dark.

Airspace Designations

Airspace is divided into Classes A, B, C, D, E, F and G.

  • Class A is above 18,000, is controlled, and we don’t fly there;
  • Class B is over 12,500 but below 18,000, is controlled, and we need clearance. It is also used for some control zones or Terminal Control Areas;

  • Class C is control zones and Terminal Control Areas – we go there all the time;
  • Class D is CZ and TCAs;
  • Class E is low level airways, control area extensions and CZ and TCAs without operating towers (see below);
  • Training airspace is designated Class F;
  • Class G is uncontrolled, open G for General;

  • Class C changes to Class E after hours;
  • Class C provides separation; Class E does not;

Requirements in Class C Airspace:

  • Clearance! It’s a control zone. They can “control” traffic by keeping it out;
  • 2 way radio or prior authorization. You must be able to communicate. Prior authorization and they’ll be ready with light signals;
  • Mode C transponder – they want to know where you are and what altitude;
  • Stay on frequency assigned by ATC (usually the standard one for the zone, but they can change that.
  • Four things – transponder, 2 -way radio or prior permission, frequency watch and clearance.
  • For equipment if Class C VFR you need six (6) pieces of equipment: ASI, magnetic compass/direction finder, tachometer, fuel gauges,2 way radio or prior permission, an adjustable altimeter.

Interception Rules
(Sharper Edge questions 20,31)

Military interception is going to be rare, and it’s going to be common sense, but there will be questions on the test.

  • Remember, on the transponder the biggest number is for the biggest problem. Military interception is the biggest problem. Squawk 7700!
  • Remember, on the radio, the first frequency is the most important. 121.5 comes first in the three frequencies we memorize. Military interception is important! Change to 121.5!
  • Follow instructions!
  • Respond to signals!
  • Contact ATSU if possible;
  • Four things. All are communication. There is no negotiation. Respond, talk, squawk, talk.

General Operating Laws
(Sharper Edge questions 12,13,15,19,21,22,23,24,26,30,46,48,50,53,64,65,66,92,95,96,97,99,100) Another big section, but very straightforward stuff.


    Radio Frequencies

  • Use 121.5 to contact ATSU if intercepted. 121.5 is for emergencies and military contact.
  • Some aerodrome have mandatory frequencies. If you are using an aerodrome without a mandatory ATF frequency the default frequency is 123.2. One,two, three POINT two Simple, like 1,2,3.
  • When not on a MF or communicating with someone, monitor 126.7MHz. This is not a requirement, but a best practice. This one is 2 numerical sequences- One, Two & Six, Seven.
  • Remember them like this: 3 frequencies, in order, from first to last: 121.5, 123.2, 126.7. Emergencies/military come first, so the first number is 121.5;default aerodrome frequency is not an emergency, but you need it, so it’s second, and the second number is 123.6;monitoring uncontrolled airspace is third – 126.7.
  • When on 126.7 and reporting the proper info to report is Ident, position, the time, VFR or VFR OTT, and destination. Remember:
    1. Who you are,
    2. and where you are (like when you are talking to tower),
    3. then when,
    4. what your altitude is,
    5. what you are doing (VFR or VFR OTT)
    6. and where you’re going.

    – so, W6-who,where,when,where,what,and where;

  • When approaching an aerodrome with a MF you must contact traffic PRIOR to entering and when possible 5 minutes ahead of entering the MF area. Think TIME, not distance. Different airspeed means time changes over the same distance. Think TIME and it’s constant. 5 minutes is a good amount of time for MF traffic to react;
  • In an MF zone you must also report when joining the circuit, when on the downwind leg if applicable, when on final, when clear of the surface on which airplanes land. Basically the calls are the same as the ones you’d make to the tower and the clearances they’d give you – downwind call(downwind), then they tell you you’re clear to land (you announce you’re on final), then you ask for taxi clearance (you announce you’re clear of the runway);
  • When leaving an MF zone you have to report when you’re clear of the zone;
  • If you are in the circuit at a Class C aerodrome and you experience a comms failure:
    • Set the transponder to 7600;
    • land;
    • inform ATC ASAP of the actions taken.

Light Signals

  • Flashing red light on the ground means taxi clear of runway (if red always means “Stop” then flashing red must mean something more, i.e. get out of here.)
  • Flashing red light while you’re in the air means airport unsafe for time being, don’t land (i.e, airport unsafe – get out of here).
  • Green flashing light on ground means cleared for taxi. If green always means “Go” the flashing green must mean something else, even if it’s related, as in “You’re not cleared to go (take off) but you are cleared to taxi).
  • Green flashing light in the air means “return for taxi”. Solid green always means go, so that would mean cleared to land, so flashing green is the in flight equivalent of cleared to taxi.
  • Remember, with light signals, the solid color means the obvious (stop/go); the flashing color means the next obvious thing (cleared for taxi/get out of here), and what it means in the air is roughly parallel to what it means on the ground.


  • ELTs should be switched on manually as soon as possible after an emergency landing and left on. The ELT should turn on automatically, but it may fail to do so. Turn the ELT on and leave it on after an emergency landing
  • You can test an ELT in the first 5 miuntes of any hour UTC


  • 8 hours bottle to throttle, but…
  • You can’t fly under the influence of alcohol or drugs (including prescription drugs), so,…
  • You may not act as flight crew within 8 hours of consuming alcohol nor while under the influence.

Altitude Selection & Cruising Altitudes:

  • Cruising altitudes are determined by track:
  • Magnetic track in SDA, and true track in NDA;
  • East is the mysterious Orient, which is odd. Therefore, when flying over 3,000 AGL east you choose odd numbers plus 500 (3,500, 5,500, 7,500, etc).
  • We live in the West, so it’s not odd to us. Flying west above 3,000 do not choose odd; choose even plus 500 feet (4,500, 6,500, 8,500, etc).
  • To determine direction you use track, not heading. Track!
  • In the Southern Domestic Airspace use magnetic track;
  • In Northern Domestic Airspace use true track.
  • When flying over a built up area or an assembly of person in an open area you must be 1,000′ higher than the highest obstacle that is within 2,000′ of you;
  • You must also operate the aircraft at an altitude from which, in the case of an emergency requiring landing or an engine failure, you can land without endangering people or property on the ground. You have to be safe!
  • If not over a built up area or an assembly of people you can’t fly closer than 500′ from any person, structure or vehicle

Paperwork and Other Rules

  • If you change your address you have to tell Transport Canada within 7 days;
  • You can’t drop objects from an airplane if they cause a hazard to persons or property. Otherwise you can.
  • The lowest you can fly over an uncontrolled aerodrome while en-route to another destination is 2,000 AGL. Figure it out: Circuit height is 1,000 AGL, you cross over for landing inspection at 1,500 AGL, so if you’re over-flying and want to stay out of the way with reasonable separation you’re going to have to be at least 2,000 AGL;
    • Remember: circuit height is usually 1,000′,
    • you fly 500′ higher than that for landing information (so, 1,500′)
    • and if you’re just cruising by you need some separation, so add another 500′ – bingo! 2,000’!
  • You can only hand-crank the engine of an aeroplane if a competent person is seated at the controls. That picture of the guy hand cranking the cub in flight? Illegal.
  • hand prop cub

  • The aircraft journey logbook must provide an unbroken chronological record.
    • If you finish one journey logbook you need to start a new one.
    • The new one needs as many entries on the first page as is required to…
    • …provide an unbroken chronological record.
  • You must carry enough fuel by day to fly to your destination plus an additional 30 minutes at normal cruising speed.
  • You must carry enough fuel by night to fly to your destination plus an additional 45 minutes at normal cruising speed.

Filing Flight Plans
(Sharper Edge questions 44,67,93,94)

  • Flight plans or itineraries are required anytime you fly more than 25 nm from the departure aerodrome -or- if you’re crossing the border to the US, even if it’s less then 25 nm -or- you’re flying in ADIZ.
  • Flight Plans are filed with ATCU, FSS or community aerodrome radio station.
  • Itineraries are left with responsible people.
  • A change of route, duration or destination on a VFR flight plan trip requires that you notify an ATCU, FSS or CARS (community area radio service) of the change. They don’t care about altitude,TAS or whatever, except where you’re flying, where you’re going and when you’ll get there. They need to know when to start looking and where to look. When and where!
  • Arrival reports for flight plans must be filed within 1 hour of the last reported ETA;
  • For a flight itinerary the arrival report has to be filed ASAP after landing, no later than the stipulated search and rescue time -or- if no SAR time was specified then no later than 24 hours after the ETA based on the ETD and ETE filed in the flight plan or the last reported ETA. Itinerary = 24 hours to SAR.
  • Same rules for a flight plan, except instead of 24 hours it’s one hour. Itinerary = 24 hours; flight plan – 1 hour.
  • ADIZ flights require Defense Flight Plans or Defense Flight Itineraries;
  • Any changes to an ADIZ FP or FI of =/- 5 minutes or 20 nautical miles requires a revision;

Uncontrolled Aerodrome Operations
(Sharper Edge questions 17,39,52,68,79,87,97)

  • Remember that uncontrolled aerodromes WITHOUT mandatory frequencies use 123.2 MHz as a default frequency;
  • Approach from upwind side of the aerodrome or join straight in to the downwind if no conflict exists;
  • Establish radio contact at least 5 minutes prior to entering a MF airport area – TIME, not distance, because airspeed varies;
  • Report when entering the MF zone, when joining the circuit, when on downwind, when on final, and when clear of the surface;
  • The lowest altitude at which you can overfly an uncontrolled airport for gathering landing information is 500′ above circuit altitude;
  • NORDO aircraft can only enter a MF zone under 2 conditions:
    • by prior arrangement if a ground station is in operation and;
    • in an emergency;
  • When departing an MF airport stay on frequency until out of the MF zone, and then monitor 126.7 MHz.

Wake Turbulence Separation
(Sharper Edge question 74)

  • If a light aircraft is departing behind a medium aircraft or any aircraft departing behind a heavy aircraft IN A NON RADAR ENVIRONMENT will get 3 minutes of separation from ATC;
  • In a radar environment you get distance, not time:
    • 4 miles for light behind medium;
    • 6 miles for light behind heavy;
  • Wake turbulence is strongest behind heavy airplanes flying slowly in clean configuration;
  • Wake turbulence from wingtip vortices start where lift begins to be generated (rotation) and ends when the nosewheel settles;
  • Wake turbulence classifications:
    • Group 1/Heavy = 300,000 lbs max. take off weight and up;
    • Group 2/Medium = 15,500 lbs and 300,000 lbs max. take off weight;
    • Group 3/Light = everything under 15,500 max. take off weight;
    • Remember 15,500 and 300,000 – remember the middle range and you’ll know all three ranges;

Useful Definitions
(Sharper Edge questions 25,45,49,75,83)

  • The difference between an airport and an aerodrome is that an airport has a Canadian Aviation Document in effect – i.e., it’s official
  • The “apron” is where you load, unload, maintain, service and fuel airplanes; the maneuvering area is where you maneuver the airplane (i.e., take-off, land,and associated activities). If it’s for moving on it’s maneuvering area. Apron and maneuvering area are completely different places. If it’s for moving on as well as not moving on it’s apron; if it’s only for moving (take-off and landing and associated maneuvers) it’s maneuvering area.
  • X means “no”, so a closed runway is marked with Xs, either yellow or white;
  • A LARGE airplane is one with a Maximum Certified Take Off Weight (MCTOW) of 12,566 lbs or greater. This is not the same as a wake turbulence category;
  • You can use displaced thresholds for take off or landing, but obstacle clearance may be compromised.

(Sharper Edge questions 37,38)

  • Following a reportable accident you can only move the plane or components of it to extricate a person or prevent further damage by fire;
  • A reportable accident resulting directly from the operation of an aircraft is when a person dies, the plane is missing, or the airplane sustains structural damage;
  • An aviation occurrence is an occurrence that is not serious enough to be a reportable accident or incident – for example if an aircraft blew a tire on a hard landing, but nobody was injured and there was no structural damage.

Next Section – Meteorology

My name is Rob Chipman and I’m a realtor and pilot based in Vancouver, BC. I AM NOT A FLIGHT INSTRUCTOR AND I AM NOT OFFERING FLIGHT INSTRUCTION! I am sharing my study notes and other things I’ve learned while getting my education as a pilot. You’re welcome to make use of this information, but do not treat it as expert advice.

I really enjoy flying, real estate and the Chilcotin.  My company is Coronet Realty Ltd., located at 3582 East Hastings Street, Vancouver, BC, V5K 2A7. I have a C-150L that I own with two other pilots, based out of Pitt Meadows. Do not hesitate to contact me by email if I can help you do anything, especially if its likely to be interesting or concerns selling remote property in British Columbia.

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