The CEGEP Adventure

Hello Classmates,

The class on Tuesday, December 8, was an adventure, just as most flights are.  As usual, we had a  plan.  But it  went awry immediately.

Oh, oh. Airborne and nowhere to go. The careful, reasoned, and frantic looking for possible alternates. The rapidly changing conditions. The unforeseen hazards. It made me feel right at home.

First, our destination airport, Plant 1, went zero-zero in unforecast fog. Then, as traffic and security considerations ripened, our clearance to do an approach was rescinded. We were advised that, even if the weather improved, we could not expect approach clearance in the foreseeable future. Our first idea was Tim Horton’s. And why not? Good landing facilities, parking, tables and food. And they’re everywhere. Shouldn’t be a problem.

So, intrepid, we set out for a nearby Tim’s which was known to have plenty of room. We did our night approach and (not without adventure) arrived at parking, which was, well, full. Then it was determined that all the tables were full as well.

So it was on to plan B. (Or, as one of us said, because we all had separate interesting adventures up to that point, Plan F).

The new plan: fly formation to the CEGEP, a few blocks away. Go to the atrium of the Sports Complex, where tables and chairs were known to exist.

Safely on the ground at last, we found a table. The laptop fortunately has a backup system of power and was quite content to run for the two remaining class hours.

Hey, we did it! The only glitch was that as we sat around the table, I was on one side of the laptop and Étienne was on the other, so when I changed slides I would inadvertently swivel the computer just enough so I could see the slide. And Étienne couldn’t.

Yup, it ain’t a perfect world. But it’s still a lot of fun.

Special thanks to those who were there that night.




PPL Resources

Hello Classmates:  Amanda, Annie, Merryn, Etienne, Imad, Jean, Louis, Patrice, Paul, Raymond, & Eric

Today is our third class, Canadian Air Regulations.  As that can be a bit dry, I will mix it up a bit with some human factors and instrument design.

But my main purpose with this post is to repeat Tarek’s email of Nov 3 containing links to study resources available on the net. Here is is:

I am also sending you the links to reference guides that you will need  (please save the links and print the documents for your records – a French version also exists) and a link to an app that locates approved medical doctors for your medical certificate (item 5). Please note items 2, 3 and 5 are needed before your first solo flight so if you intend to fly try to complete the steps ASAP.


1) Study and Reference Guide for written examinations for the PRIVATE PILOT LICENCE – AEROPLANE (guide regarding your TC theoretical exam)


2) Study and Reference Guide Student Pilot Permit (passing PSTAR exam needed to be issued a student pilot permit and BEFORE your first solo)



3) Study Guide for the Restricted Operator Certificate With Aeronautical Qualification (Radio certificate)$FILE/ric21-upd-oct-2011.pdf\


4) Flight Test Guide Private Pilot Licence Aeroplane (your flight test – practical exam)


5) In order to be eligible to write the TC ground examination, as a prerequisite you have to pass a medical fitness exam by an approved TC doctor. The list of TC approved doctors are available on the following link


For item 3, an instructor/examiner from Radio Canada can come in, give you a one hour condensed course, after which you can do the exam on site and be issued your certificate. We can discuss this if you are interested.


To be eligible to write the Transport Canada theory exam, you must complete the following:

  • full ground course,
  • get a letter of recommendation from your instructor,
  • have a valid medical certificate and
  • have 10 hr of flight experience.

OK, it’s Chris again.  By now you all probably have bookmarked the CARS index page, but here is is again. Et c’est ici en français.

If you want, you can get an overview of flying airplanes from a presentation I gave to kids of various young ages during my cross-Canada trip in September 2014. It is on my other site, and it is called How Does an Airplane Fly?


Hello Classmates,

Today was the last of the Instrument Flying Seminars. It was a pleasure to meet all of you, and to learn from your questions.

I have put the slides from today’s presentation up on the site, and I will gradually add text and links to the videos we saw today.

Please send me an email occasionally as you pass another milestone in your IFR adventure. Let me know if you encountered something unexpected in either the INRAT or the rest of your IFR course. You all are alumni of the first Seminar series. Your feedback will help me improve the presentations for the next time around.

Thanks, and stay in touch,


Update: August 23, 2015

Hello Classmates,

Thank you for sitting through 67 slides and many subjects. Yesterday’s presentation covered more than I would like in three hours. But instrument flying is a big subject and I have to squeeze it into fifteen hours.

The good news is this: yesterday in class I mentioned I was having trouble migrating the website to SSL so we can communicate with it securely. I had managed to lock myself (and you) out of the site. Francois stayed for over an hour after class and diagnosed and fixed it for us. We now have access again. The migration to SSL is still not finished, but at least we can work with the site in the meantime.

Today I put the slides from yesterday’s seminar up on the site, under Instrument Flying Seminars/Procedures.

See you next week.


Barometric Altimetry

Hello Norm, Barrie, Dan, Fulvio, Joseph, Jim, Tony and Francois,

I am working on adding each of our seminars to the site. Take a look at last week’s Airspace (in progress) to see the answer to your questions on GPS Altitude.

Today I added a scan (Altimetry) of Chapter 13 of the RCAF Weather manual. This is so you can study it before August 15.

I strongly recommend you go to VIP Pilot and order the Weather Manual. The AIM and one CAP (Quebec) are also highly recommended. It’s all about passing the INRAT.

See you Saturday,




Welcome! Nice to meet you!


Norm, Barrie, Dan,

Fulvio, Joseph, Jim,

Tony and Francois,

It was a pleasure to meet you all today for the first IFR Seminar: Airspace.

I just did my homework. Michael was right:

COMM FAILURE PROCEDURES are set out in the Canada Flight Supplement, page Emergency F 10 (near the back of the volume).

They can also be found in the AIM at RAC 6.3.2 (page 257 in the current edition).

I welcome your feedback. And as we discussed, if you send me your email I will make you an author on the site so you can post directly. I’ll send you a temporary password which you can change when you want. If you are new to WordPress, password change is here. To post, look at the WordPress Codex here.

See you next week,



Still Learning to Fly – Mission Statement


A new website?

I am about to start teaching flying again, and I recognize what a co-operative venture that is. Any teaching involves learning, and vice-versa. The classroom and the cockpit are venues where minds, styles, and experiences come together for the benefit of all.

From a practical point of view, there is a lot of material to be exchanged, modified, and discussed.


I have 19,000 hours of flying and 3500 hours of instruction. Many brave pilots who taught me have retired. Some have already passed on, taking their experience with them. The apprenticeship system that I enjoyed is in retreat. I am concerned that a lot of knowledge essential to aviation safety may get lost.


A WordPress site can accept content from any number of users. The plan is to invite students to be Authors on the site, so they can post blogs on the aviation subjects – licences or ratings – they are working on or have completed.

Further on, we can incorporate the plug-in BuddyPress so the site becomes a specialized social network, allowing sub-groups, discussion, and private messages, à la FaceBook.

Even further out, perhaps a Wiki capability could be added, so that co-operatively the group could build and maintain a library of aviation-related knowledge.

I invite your comments.