What is involved in getting a Private Pilot License?

Your training will involve both in-flight training, and ground training (each are separate entities). You can start your flight training any time you want, and you can schedule your own time (as much or as little as you want). The ground school is conducted in our classroom and runs one night or morning per week.

What is the difference between a Private Pilot License and a Recreational Permit?

A Recreational Permit is just that, it is a "permit," not a license. There is less training required for a Recreational Permit, but more restrictions.

Do I need to do anything in advance to take a Discovery Flight?

No, you do not need to do anything! Basically, you will need to make a booking (we are open 7 days a week) and just show up! You do not need a medical or any permits to be able to do the discovery flight.

Do I have to finish ground school before I start flying?

No, we actually recommend you do a couple of flying lessons before you do your ground school, this way your instructor will cover things such as ‘Theory of Flight’ before you start your 16 weeks of ground school, and will help you understand the lessons better.

What if I miss a ground school class?

The options to make-up a missed class are to sit-in on that class in an upcoming
session, or make it up one-on-one with an instructor at the PGI rate. You can always
ask others students to share this cost, if they need to make up the same class. If you
choose to sit-in on a class you must pre-arrange with the Student Administrator to
ensure there is a seat available in the classroom and have your name added to the
attendance for that date. If your name is not on the attendance sheet, you will not be
credited for that class. You need 40 hours total of ground school (not including the
time for exams) and you have to ensure that you have had instruction in all the areas
listed in the PTR on page 7. These hours must be acknowledged with the appropriate
signatures as per Transport Canada requirements.

How do I know which instructor to choose?

We have a wide variety of instructors and spectrum airways. They are all certified by
Transport Canada. Please see our instructor board at the school to review instructor
qualifications and their weekly availability. This way you can ensure you and your
instructor have schedules that can accommodate each other. We request that you fly
with one primary instructor and one back-up instructor as it is crucial to have
continuity to ensure effective, efficient flight lessons while also helping to keep costs
down. If you have difficulty in making your selection, please speak to our CFI or our
Student Administrator for assistance.

What's involved in an Aviation Medical?

To get a Private Pilot License, you will need a “Category III” Medical. This must be conducted by a Transport Canada approved medical examiner. This medical is generally a half an hour to ensure you are “fit to fly” for recreation. The fees vary from doctor to doctor, but are generally around $150.00. We have a list of Doctors in the area available for you. If you are getting a Recreational Permit, you will need a “Category IV” Medical, which can be conducted by your family doctor.

Local doctors:
Dr. Sansome 905-632-7818 Burlington

Dr. Mastrangelo 905-599-0657 Burlington

Dr. Karpilow 905-526-6250 Hamilton

Search Civil Aviation Medical Examiners

Do I have to pay for an annual fee?

No, fortunately Spectrum Airways does not charge an annual fee or also known as a ‘club fee’.

How far ahead should I book for a lesson?

As you may or may not know, weekends tend to be our busiest time of the week. We recommend you book at least 1-2 weeks ahead to ensure the time, instructor and aircraft which you would prefer.

How long will getting the license take me?

Transport Canada’s minimums for flight training is 45 hours. 17 dual (with an instructor), and 12 solo (by yourself). The average flight time which a student takes though is 65 hours including dual and solo. There is no set time which we can give you; it totally depends on the student and how often they are able to come in.

What do "dual" and "solo" mean?

“Dual” means the training you do with your Instructor in the airplane with you. “Solo” means training you do in the airplane on your own. Your training will be made up of both dual & solo hours.

What will I be tested on?

Both a Transport Canada Flight Test and Written Exam are required. The in-flight training will get you ready for your Flight Test and the ground school will get you ready for your written exam.

What do I need to do to become a Commercial Pilot?

First things first – you will need to get a Private Pilot license. If you are interested in becoming an “airline pilot”, you will need a Commercial license, and a Multi-IFR (Multi Engine rating with an Instrument Rating). You have the option to complete these in any order you want. Some may wish to complete the Commercial license first, and then move onto the Multi and Multi-IFR. Others will complete their Multi and/or their Multi-IFR within their Commercial License (this will cut down on the total cost of getting each license/rating individually). We can help you decide which is right for you.

So, how do I get started?

We recommend you email us or call in to book a discovery flight, which will get you out to the Airport and up for an introductory lesson. At that time, you can go for a tour of the facility and ask your Instructor any questions that you have about licensing, and your training. We also recommend that you put your name on the list for the next ground school as soon as possible.

Spectrum Airways

5296 Bell School Line

Burlington, ON 
L7M 0P1

Service Area

Greater Toronto Area

Surrounding areas


Office Hours
Monday – Friday: 8:00 AM – 4:00 PM

Flight Operations:
8:00 AM – 11:00 PM, 7 days a week, weather permitting

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