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Realistic Time to obtain Licenses/Ratings

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Realistic Time to obtain Licenses/Ratings

Old 1st Dec 2007, 06:04
  #1 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Mississauga, Ontario
Age: 34
Posts: 6
Realistic Time to obtain Licenses/Ratings

*FIRST POST* here goes...

Hi, I'm a 21 year old Uni Student in Mississauga, ON.

I'll be graduating next semester and plan on working for a year (to store some cash) and commence flight training approx. around April 09'

I have done a bit of research so far and currently have decided that I'm going to get all my licenses and ratings at the Brampton Flight School.

My question: Assuming money is not a factor (I'll be using saved money and a loan)...How long is a realistic time frame to get my PPL, CPL, ME & IFR ratings?? I'll be going 'fulltime' seeing as I won't be working (unless maybe part-time, if at all) or in school...I easily see myself being at the airport all day, 4+ days a week. I am very passionate about being a pilot, it's been my ultimate ambition since 6 years old, and I am quite an intellect (not to sound cocky, I'm doing biology in school). Anyways the point is I'm confident I have the 'drive and the aptitude', and I'll be there often 4+ days a week....so......

If anyone could give me a rough timeframe of how long it will take to acquire each license/rating, including factors like inclement weather etc., (assuming my learning curve was 'average') and/or how long it took you guys and other pilots you know I would REALLY appreciate it, I'm just trying to figure out roughly how long I'm looking at this phase of life..coming off 4 years of university you get kinda eager to experience life aloft!

Thanks in advance, Steven.

Fast Life, Fly High.
AviatorSteve is offline  
Old 1st Dec 2007, 06:33
  #2 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: canada
Age: 36
Posts: 87
If you're going at it full time i'd say 6 months, i just have the CPL left to do now and if it's great weather, quiet schedules and no techs then u could even do it all in 4 or 5! you get back what you put in! try and get as much study for the written exams done before u start the flying...it'll save u a lot of time down the line
Canadapilot is offline  
Old 2nd Dec 2007, 15:12
  #3 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Canada
Posts: 4
I went to MFC back in '96. I started in the Spring as it was the best time of year for the weather there. It took me 8 months from first flight @ 0 hours to COM/Multi/IFR with 220 or whatever the min was at the time. It does save money as you never have to repeat for review. (shitty flights not included)
You will be busy. I did work a part time job once I had the Com mostly finished, but not during the Pvt.
Self study is a good piece of advice ahead of time.
I must admit though I am not sure as to time line for each license or rating on their own.

Good luck
Brakesout is offline  
Old 2nd Dec 2007, 16:56
  #4 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Mississauga, Ontario
Age: 34
Posts: 6
Thanks to all who have replied to the post and pm'ed me with more information, I really appreciate you guys taking the time to read/reply!!

Yeah I'm shooting to get it done in a year maximum, I'm confident I can do it faster but there's no sense in rushing, we'll see how it goes though...this plenty of time till I take my first steps...

ON THAT NOTE.........What do you guys feel the overall job outlook for pilots in Canada is right now? and over the next decade or so...?

With all the buzz about 'pilot shortages' or 'experienced pilot shortages' as others like to refer to it..
AviatorSteve is offline  
Old 4th Dec 2007, 13:43
  #5 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Vancouver
Posts: 30
Hey Steve,

That's a smart way to go about your licences. Flying a bunch of times per week means that your lessons will be more effective as you won't have to try and re-learn everything.

Right now the job outlook for pilots is pretty good. Some flight schools are desperate for instructors and there are far more options when I was looking 7 years ago. However, getting a first flying job can still be tough. Make sure you're networking when you're doing your training, in fact, even now would be a good time to do that.

If you're thinking you'd like to go the instructor route for you first job, talk with your school about their hiring situation and if they've been hiring a lot of new instructors when they're finished their instructor rating.

If you decide to go the Northern Route, you still may end up having to work the ramp, but the waits will generally be a lot less than they were a few years ago.
JBI is offline  
Old 8th Dec 2007, 01:04
  #6 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Montreal, Canada
Posts: 42
Give yourself a year, just to be safe.
What is the rush though? Pace yourself. There is so much for you to learn! Being a pilot is easier said then done!
flaps2billion is offline  
Old 19th Dec 2007, 13:33
  #7 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: North America
Posts: 47

Have you considered going into the military for flight training?
Flatface is offline  
Old 19th Dec 2007, 15:08
  #8 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 1998
Location: Where the job is!
Posts: 440
A couple of years ago when flying in Central Africa I was approached for advice by a South African whose son was interested in flying as a career. Below is a copy of the information I sent him. It still applies to anyone learning in Canada. I hope it will be of some help.

"You mentioned that your son is interested in learning to fly for a career. I have been giving this a bit of thought. Yesterday I came across an interesting thread on PPRuNe. I have attached a copy. I am not familiar with the flight schools in SA but have heard good comments about 43 Air School in Port Alfred and Progress Flight Academy in Port Elizabeth. I do not know your son’s name. Perhaps it is Biggles? Anyway, that famous name will do for now. He and you can check it out on the Internet or at the local public library in SA! Here are some things that Biggles should be considering right from the start:

· He should aim from the start to obtain commercial (CPL) and then air transport (ATPL) pilot licences from two countries. I presume he will want an SA licence for one. The other should be from one of the major aviation countries: the USA and Canada or the EU. Go for the biggest and get an FAA licence. Check the SA flight schools to see if they are recognised for both licences as this would make things easier. If not, he will eventually have to go overseas to do the FAA written (computer) examinations and at least one flight test. In the meantime, obtain the red books from Gleim’s for studying for the FAA exams and flight tests.
· Regardless, all flight training and exercises must meet the requirements for both licences. This applies particularly to cross-country, night and instrument flights. If there are differences then the flight must meet the more exacting requirements. He must ensure this, the flight school will not do it for him.
· Aim to get the CPL with multi-engine and instrument ratings. Add-ons such as a tail wheel endorsement or float rating can be done as needed. Try to do it full-time, as fast as possible, and get into that first job.
· It is always difficult to accumulate night cross-country time, particularly as pilot-in-command. He should aim to get night flying time at every opportunity.
· He should do his initial and repeat aviation medicals with a Civil Aviation Medical Examiner who is able to do both SA CAA and FAA medicals. I expect there will be several in SA who are qualified for this. Check the FAA’s website for medical examiners in SA. He will need a first class medical for both countries.
· From day one he should regard the world as his employment market. There is a looming international pilot shortage. Be prepared to go wherever the job is within reason – exclude Iraq, Iran and similar risky spots. Use a computer to keep a record of prospective employers, job contacts, etc. Consider buying a CD-ROM version of JP Airline-fleets International. Many smaller air operators do not show on this but are mentioned on forums such as PPRuNe. Make a note of their details and of the comments.
· The airlines are not the only possible employers. The first job probably will be with a small air operator but later on there are still good career options outside of the airlines. There are many professional pilot jobs outside of the airlines that provide nice pay and working conditions. In Canada 85% of professional pilot jobs are blue collar, whereas only 15% are white collar – airline and corporate. It would be very nice for someone who likes diving, sailing and a laid-back lifestyle to be a Twin Otter captain on floats, day VFR only, in the Maldives or flying a BE1900 or Twin Otter in the Caribbean.
· Although he will probably have to start his first job on a single-engined plane he should try and ensure it is with an employer who has twins that he can move up to. It is vital for the future to build multi-engine time. Take a piston twin over a turbo-prop single such as a Caravan.
· Planes are noisy and cause long term hearing damage. Get the best ANC (active noise cancelling) headset he can afford. The best is the Bose X but it costs US$1,000. Next best would be from Lightspeed Aviation. I have a Lightspeed 20XL that I bought seven years ago and now keep as a backup and a 30XL that I bought for $350 three years ago. Treat it carefully, never lend it, and guard against thieves.
· Aviation is a “who you know” business. From day one he should be making contacts and recording them on a laptop computer using a database or personal contacts application. He should keep in touch with people and use the computer to refresh his memory. These contacts will help him to advance in his career. It’s a tough career to move up in for the first few years.
· Check if there are any bursaries, scholarships or cadetships that he might qualify for. It is always helpful to have someone else pay for part or all of the cost.
· Passports (more than one) must be kept current. If he qualifies now for only an SA passport then he should consider in the long term finding a job in another country (USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, UK) where he can become a citizen. This might become easier as the pilot shortage develops. He would not have to stay there after becoming a citizen but would have the passport and the right to return there in future if necessary. Similarly, have more than one driver’s licence.
· Immunisations for the world must be obtained and kept current ready for an immediate move anywhere. Polio, diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough, yellow fever, hepatitis A, hepatitis B, typhoid, meningococcal meningitis, Japanese encephalitis, rabies, BCG vaccine for TB. Carry malaria treatment in flight bag.
· Open bank accounts in at least two separate offshore jurisdictions. It is always easier to do this in person because of anti-money laundering procedures. Combine this with a trip for a flight test or a vacation.
· He should monitor the forums on www.pprune.com and subscribe to the free twice-weekly email newsletter from www.avweb.com. He should also try and monitor aviation magazines such as World Airnews, Professional Pilot, and Business & Commercial Aviation. To save costs try and read these at the flight school or public library.
· Always keep flying and keep building PIC time. Apart from the flight school, look for cheap flying elsewhere. I obtained hundreds of hours by towing gliders for Canada’s largest soaring association. This was done on a PPL for the cost of my annual membership. The hours counted towards obtaining the CPL. Then I moved to dropping skydivers, which requires a CPL and for which I was paid.
· It is a mobile lifestyle so consider this when buying clothes, shoes, etc. Appliances, including rechargeable ones, should be dual or multi-voltage to work in different countries and should have warranties that will be honoured worldwide. Comfortable but smart footwear is needed as there can be plenty of time standing in terminal buildings or walking from one part of an airfield to another. Shoes must give good grip for standing on refuelling ladders and on top of wings for refuelling and checking oil levels. I have Etonic Sojourn and Journey shoes, both in black with velcro fastening. Hiker style shoes are useful for flights requiring a stay at safari lodges. I have a black CWU-45/P flight jacket from Alpha Industries Inc that is very useful here in the cooler season. He might want to look at some of the travel clothing available from a company such as Rohan Designs. It’s worth asking them to mail a catalogue anyway. www.rohan.co.uk You also might be interested in some of their gear. I understand there is some good clothing available from Capestorm Outdoor Apparel in SA. He could also obtain a catalogue from L. L. Bean.
· The best pilot shirts come from Landerwood Corporation of Charlotte, NC. Contact Joe Claar at [email protected] Please quote code 2636 – I would get a small credit for a referral. This is something he in turn could benefit from in future.
· Get first rate sunglasses suitable for flying. Check the sunglasses threads on PPRuNe and especially obtain the article on how to select sunglasses from the website of Hidalgos, Inc of Wimberley, Texas. I would suggest a Top-gradient Density Kontraster type of lens and it would help if they also protect from side glare.
· Has he got a computer? I suggest a laptop such as an iBook. Get X-Plane flight simulator for it and a CH Products control yoke or good joystick. If a PC laptop is preferred then use either X-Plane or MS Flight Simulator. The flight sim will be handy later on for practicing instrument scan and procedures. It will save him money when the IFR training starts.
· Some other toys that Father Christmas should consider are a Mini-Maglite AA with belt pouch, a good Swiss army knife or Leatherman tool - I have a Wenger Ranger with belt pouch for just the knife, down the road a handheld GPS with TAWS such as the new Lowrance AirMap 600C but ensure it is the International database version, a Relief Band Explorer RB-EL if there is any tendency towards nausea. A flight bag - think carefully about the size, I have one from Sporty’s that is too big so I normally use a soft sided briefcase with shoulder strap that I obtained from L. L. Bean. A set of International Power & Phone Adaptors, ours is from Targus Canada Ltd. An EPIRB/PLB. Try and obtain catalogues from Sporty’s Pilot Shop, Marv Golden Pilot Supplies and Harry Mendelssohn Pilot Supplies.
· Never fly on an empty stomach. Always eat something, even if it is just a slice of toast.
· Get an email address that works anywhere in the world. I use Yahoo email for sending. Do not use PPRuNe email as it can be received everywhere but is blocked for sending in many countries.

One other option to look into is that of doing the training in the USA. Check into what it would cost at a flight school in Florida. The SA licence could then be done as an add-on.

I hope the above helps. Some of it is in the future but it should be considered now and worked towards."

Last edited by Carrier; 19th Dec 2007 at 15:25. Reason: corrections
Carrier is offline  
Old 21st Dec 2007, 02:14
  #9 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Mississauga, Ontario
Age: 34
Posts: 6
Have you considered going into the military for flight training?


Strongly, but even with their new vision standards I don't qualify.

so much for the frickin' Canadian Forces
AviatorSteve is offline  
Old 14th Apr 2009, 17:46
  #10 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Geneva, Switzerland
Age: 38
Posts: 2
Thanks Carrier

for such an exhaustive information. That's just great !
Foolsmaster is offline  
Old 14th Apr 2009, 23:44
  #11 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: North America
Posts: 103
First let me say Brampton is a very good choice . I would also consider Moncton and their IATPL course the only other school to offer the IATPL is Seneca . When you finish most likely you will have to instruct once again take a long hard look at Moncton the best instructors course I have come across on the civilian side. You can do the training in 6 to 8 months plan for a year. Good luck
ea340 is offline  
Old 9th May 2009, 03:50
  #12 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Alberta Canada
Age: 38
Posts: 43
Hey Steve!
Congrats on making the choice to become a pilot. I have just finished my first flight up to my CPL Multi IFR float and night ratings in a year of flying full time just west of Calgary. It is a great life! As for the jobs, I have made literally hundreds of phone calls not only in Canada but around the world aswell. It seems to be the same story everywhere. Either they are not hiring or even laying people off. It is pretty tough out there, but throw enough sh#t at the wall, it'll happen. Unfortunetly, even ramp jobs are getting a little tricky (minus the ramp positions for infamous carriers). When I started school a year ago people were getting hired straight into flying the right seat. Wow have times changed! Your starting school at the bottom of this wave (I hope) is a great idea. You'll be coming out on the next cycle and be set. Although it is shaping up to be a tough road, I don't ever regret making the choice to fly. At the very least it helps with the girls
Good luck, and maybe see you in the skies!

Last edited by albertaboy; 12th Feb 2010 at 03:34.
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