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General Aviation Advisory Circulars


GAAC 2005-02


Pilot Permit - Ultra-light Aeroplane


The intent of this General Aviation Advisory Circular (GAAC) is to serve as a reminder of the introduction of new knowledge requirements for the Pilot Permit - Ultra-light Aeroplane and the new passenger carrying rating.


  • CAR 401.21, 401.55, 401.88
  • CAR Standards 421.19, 421.21, 421.55, 421.88


Based on recommendations from the ultra-light aeroplane community, the Canadian Aviation Regulations (CARs) will be amended on December 1, 2005 to include new pilot licensing regulations and standards for holders of the Pilot Permit - Ultra-Light Aeroplane. The regulations call for revisions to the:

  • subject areas for the knowledge requirements for the Student Pilot Permit;
  • subject areas required to be covered in ground school;
  • hours required for ground school; and
  • ULTRA examination.

At the same time that these amendments will be appearing in the CARs, there will also be new regulations introducing a passenger carrying rating which can be applied to a Pilot Permit - Ultra-Light Aeroplane. This licensing structure will allow ultra-light pilots to obtain the licence qualification necessary to carry a passenger while completing all of their training and testing at ultra-light schools, in ultra-light aeroplanes with ultra-light instructors and examiners, without having to obtain a Pilot Permit, Recreational or higher licence. Candidates will have to demonstrate their pilot skill by way of a flight test, just as they do today as part of the Pilot Permit, Recreational or the Private Pilot Licence. Like all ratings, the new passenger carrying rating will be optional. Ultra-light pilots who have no wish to carry a passenger will continue as they do today, retaining their pilot permit restricted to "no passengers".


Student Pilot Permit - Written Exam

An applicant for a Student Pilot Permit will have to obtain 90% on a written examination on the following subjects:

  • Canadian Aviation Regulations (CARs),
  • Air Traffic Control Clearances and Instructions including Air Traffic Rules and Procedures,
  • Air Traffic Control procedures as they apply to the control of VFR traffic including Information Circulars and NOTAM,
  • Air Traffic Control procedures at uncontrolled airports and aerodromes,
  • Special VFR Regulations, including meteorological phenomena as applicable,
  • Information Circulars and A.I.P. Canada Supplements,
  • Basic aerodynamics applicable to the type of ultra-light aeroplane being used for training,
  • Emergency procedures including stall recognition and recovery procedures and
  • Human Factors, including pilot decision-making.

The examination must be corrected to 100% by the flight instructor, who will ensure that the applicant reviews all weak knowledge areas.

If you have not done so already, you will want to review your existing school pre-solo examination(s) to ensure that it meets the new knowledge requirements. If you require any guidance in this regard, please contact your local Transport Canada General Aviation office.

Ultra-light Aeroplane Pilot Permit - Ground school Requirements

An applicant applying for an ultra-light aeroplane pilot permit will be required to complete a minimum of 20 hours of ultra-light aeroplane pilot ground school on the following subjects:

  • Air Law - regulations, rules and orders, air traffic services, practices and procedures, and licensing requirements relevant to the permit;
  • Navigation - navigation, radio aids and electronic theory;
  • Meteorology;
  • Aeronautics - General Knowledge - airframes, engines and systems, theory of flight, flight instruments, flight operations and human factors, including pilot decision making; and
  • Emergency procedures, including stall recognition and recovery procedures.

Transport Canada has published a new Study and Reference Guide, which will assist students and instructors in identifying specific topics that are considered to be important in the above mentioned subject areas. Additionally, topics will be identified that are considered essential knowledge areas and will be emphasized on the ultra-light aeroplane written examination (ULTRA). You will want to review your ground training syllabus to ensure that it both meets the 20 hour ground school requirement and adequately covers the topics outlined in the Study and Reference Guide. The Study and Reference Guide is available at:

Ultra-light Aeroplane Pilot Permit - Written Examination (ULTRA)

Transport Canada has developed new ULTRA examinations based on the expanded ground school subject areas. Unlike the previous ULTRA examination, applicants will not be provided with a "bank" of questions on which the examination will be based. However, a sample exam is available on Transport Canada's website at:

New Passenger Carrying Rating

The experience requirements for the passenger carrying rating are as follows:

  • minimum of 25 hours pilot flight training in ultra-light aeroplanes under the direction and supervision of the holder of a flight instructor rating - ultra-light aeroplane or a flight instructor rating - aeroplane.
  • The flight training shall include a minimum of;
    • 15 hours dual instruction flight time, including a minimum of 2 hours cross-country flight time
    • 5 hours solo flight time

Transport Canada has published a Flight Test Guide, which will assist candidates with the procedures used, and the performance expected, on the flight test for the passenger carrying rating. The Flight Test Guide will also be a good reference for instructors. If you are a school that is planning to offer your clients training toward the passenger carrying rating, you will want to review your flight training syllabus to ensure that it adequately incorporates both the experience requirements for the rating and the flight exercises as outlined in the Flight Test Guide. The Flight Test Guide is available at: 

A Pilot Examiner program has been developed for those instructors who will become designated to conduct the flight test for the rating. Appointment and training of Pilot Examiners is underway. The procedures to follow for submitting an application to become an examiner can be found on Transport Canada's website at:

Effective Date

December 1, 2005

Manzur Huq
General Aviation

General Aviation Advisory Circulars (GAAC) are intended to provide information and guidance regarding General Aviation matters. A GAAC may describe an acceptable, but not the only, means of demonstrating compliance with existing regulations. GAACs in and of themselves do not change, create any additional, authorize changes in, or permit deviations from regulatory requirements.

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