Private Pilot License

As you start to build your knowledge and confidence through the PPL Ground School, your next step is to start your flight training towards the Private Pilot License (PPL). The PPL enables you to fly any Canadian-registered single-engine, land and non-high performance aircraft, as long as you are rated for the equipment you are flying. With this license, there is no aircraft weight limit and no limit to the number of passengers you can carry. However, you may not operate aircraft for “hire or reward.” You will be licensed to fly in daylight in good weather only. The PPL is the foundation for all other licenses and is required if you wish to go on to commercial licensing.

PPL Requirements

In order to obtain the Transport Canada Private Pilot License, you must:

  • Complete a minimum of 40 hours of PPL Ground School
  • Pass the Transport Canada PPAER exam (minimum score of 60% required)
  • Complete a minimum of 45 hours of air training that must include:
    • 17 hrs dual with:
      • 3 hrs cross-country
      • 5 hrs instrument training
    • 12 hrs solo with:
      • 5 hrs cross-country
  • Successfully complete the pre-solo tests administered by Vital Aviation before starting solo flight training
  • Pass the Transport Canada Private Pilot Licence Flight Test


  1. Note that the hours above represent Transport Canada’s minimum air training requirements. The national average to complete the PPL is 75 hours. The average PPL student at Vital Aviation completes 65 hours of air training before being recommended for the Transport Canada flight test. Total hours for each student are affected by the student’s commitment (willingness to study hard in between lessons and repeat exercises until they are mastered) and how quickly he or she is able to meet required proficiencies. Total hours can also be affected by the weather and flying frequency.
  2. Only after all Ground School and flight training hours have been completed and your Vital flight instructor is confident you are well prepared the PPL flight test, will he/she issue the required written recommendation to Transport Canada for you to take this test.

PPL Prerequisites

  • Minimum 17 years of age
  • Category 3 Medical Certificate *

This medical from a Transport Canada-approved Civil Aviation Medical Examiner, must be done before you can start solo flight training and we recommend you get it done before you start any flight training so that you know early on if you are medically able to become a pilot. It can take several months to get your medical result; the earlier you get the process started, the better.

* Category 1 Medical Certificate is recommended if you eventually plan to take Commercial Pilot License training.

Additional Ratings

Once you have your Private Pilot License, you can then add other ratings:

  • Night Rating
  • Instrument Rating
  • VFR-Over the Top rating
  • Float Rating