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Learning to fly

1:How long does it take to gain my private pilot license?

Learning to fly and completing the private pilot's license (PPL) varies largely from student to student. A proactive and prepared student who studies full time can achieve the PPL in as little as 6 months. Most students, who learn part time, normally complete the license within 2 years.

2:Is ground school attendance necessary? What if I miss a ground school session?

Ground school study is mandatory for the private pilot's license; it is a requirement to complete 40 hours of ground school tuition as part of the student's pilot training. Any student who has enrolled in a ground school course with Sea land Air and is unable to attend a session, can re-attend any session during the next 10 week cycle of ground school, until they have attended all topics within the syllabus.

3:How much does it cost to learn to fly?

All details regarding costs of flight training are provided on the Sea land Air website under Pilot Training. The Costs quoted are based on minimum requirements and Sea Land Air advises all students to allow for an additional 25% funding for achieving the license.

4:Do I require a medical certificate before I can learn to fly?

A valid medical certificate issued by an approved medical examiner from transport Canada is required before any student pilot can go solo. A student without a medical certificate can still learn to fly up until this stage.

International Students and Foreign licenses

1:Do I need a study VISA if I want to learn to fly in Canada?

If you plan to study in Canada (including learning to fly) for more than 6 months, then Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) require you to apply for a study VISA. There is no requirement for a study VISA if the planned term of study is less than 6 months, however CIC recommend all students apply for a VISA regardless of planned study time frame. More information can be found at

2:I have a foreign license issued in another ICAO country; can I convert my license to fly in Canada?

Yes, foreign license holders have the option of transferring a foreign license to a Canadian license. The applicant is required to have completed/obtained the following:

  • A valid Class III medical certificate issued by a Canadian approved medical examiner.
  • Obtain 90% in the PSTAR exam
  • Completed 5 take offs and 5 landings within the previous 6 months to the date of application.
3:Does Sea Land Air provide accommodation for international Students?

Sea Land Air doesn't provide accommodation for International students wishing to train in Vancouver; however we can help you with your search. Sea Land Air has gained a wide range of contacts with local home stay room rentals local to the Flight Centre. Most come with meals provided and are very popular with students training in Vancouver. Alternative options include room and apartment rentals advertised on local websites such as Craigslist and Kijiji. Typical room rentals vary from $500/month to $1000/month depending on location and size.

Other questions

1:I got my PPL license 10 years ago but haven’t flown for a long time. What do I need to do get current?

Your PPL licence holds lifetime validity, so it will never expire; you only lose your privileges as a pilot if your license is revoked or surrendered. However, In order to exercises the privileges of your license you must remain current, this means holding a valid Medical certificate conducting and a flight review with a Flight Instructor to refresh your skills, this may involve flying with an instructor until they are satisfied that your skill level is back up to standard. More information regarding recency requirements can be found here.

2:If I complete the PPL and gain my licence, what kind of airplanes can I fly?

There are many ratings which a pilot can hold, the most common rating a pilot will gain when they first begin to fly is ‘single engine, non high performance land’ (SEL). This allows pilots to operate aircraft with 1 engine and with undercarriage for land based aerodromes; Aircraft such as Diamond DA-20, DA-40, Cessna 150, 152, 170, Piper Warrior and Cherokee would be good examples of this. Additional ratings can be gained allowing the pilot to develop their skill and experience such as float rating which allows pilots to operate aircraft from water aerodromes etc.

3:After I gain my PPL, can I fly to or fly within US?

YES, the PPL permits the holder to fly aircraft in any ICAO contracting member state including the US. You will be considered a foreign licence holder. Normally a flying school in Canada will request a US checkout with an instructor prior to any trip to the US to allow the licence holder to become aware of the difference(s) in procedures and customs.

4:After I get the PPL, I want to reside overseas. What should I do?

After gaining a PPL within Canada, the licence will need to be converted to the ICAO state issuing authority before you can fly with in that state, without being considered as a foreign licence holder. For more information you should consult the license issuing authority of the state you wish to reside in.

5:What level of English is required for the PPL?

Transport Canada annotates licences to indicate English proficiency. The holder is required to be assessed as "Expert" (ICAO Level 6) or "Operational" (ICAO level 4 or 5). More information can be found here.

6:How do I register the ground school? What do I need for the ground school registration?

You can register for ground school through Sea Land Air website and navigate to the ground school page. You will be able to submit an enquiry form for ground school registration, a member of the Sea Land Air team will contact you with all the necessary details to get you registered and on your way to studying! Ground school kits are also available to purchase from the school and include all the items required for the student pilot.

7:What is SLA's refund policy?

Please refer to our admission handbook for further information.

8: Can I obtain Tax credit in my flight training?

Canada Revenue Agency has changed and imposed strict policies for institution like us to issue the Tuition and Enrolment Certificate (T2202) for your tuition tax credit. Please ask our administration staff for the details.

To be eligible to receive a T2202 you must meet the following criteria:

  • Over the age of 16 before the end of the year (tax year)
  • Training towards Commercial Pilot Licence, Multi Engine Rating, Instrument Rating or Flight Instructor Rating (The tuition paid for Private Pilot Licence is applicable for tuition tax credit only if the student is enrolled for and started Commercial Pilot Licence training)
  • Spend a minimum of 12 hours in one calendar month for your training towards the licence or rating
  • Provide your Social Insurance Number to be entered on the T2202 form.