Category Archives: Ground School

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 Then, as traffic and security considerations ripened, our clearance to do an approach was rescinded.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?