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How to Prepare for a Training Flight


  1. Be sure you have possession of your Student Pilot Permit/Pilot Licence and Medical Certificate.

  2. Conduct a live weather briefing with Kamloops Flight Information Centre (FIC) over the telephone (see discussions regarding a FIC briefing at the this link).

  3. Examine the Journey Log for your aircraft with specific concern to assessing any defective items associated with the aircraft.

  4. Examine the Journey Log for your aircraft with specific concern to ensure time has not expired prior to the next scheduled event for your aircraft (e.g., annual inspection,  a 50-hour or 100-hour inspection). 

  5. Check the Journey Log to ensure that the dates associated with any of the posted “out-of-phase” items (such as fire extinguisher, survival kit, or ELT servicing. or maintenance) have not expired—in the case of private aircraft, these should be described in the last annual inspection.

  6. Examine the Journey Log for any aircraft defect entries, made by either by pilots or engineers—you will have to review the entries since the last scheduled inspection (i.e., the annual inspection).  Note any deferred defects and ensure they are deferred in accordance with Transport Canada requirements (especially CAR 605—check with your Flight Instructor).

  7. Check the aircraft documents that are stowed in the cockpit—the Pilot Operating Handbook, Interception Orders, the Certificate of Airworthiness, the Certificate of Registration, the Certificate of Insurance, and the certifications for the Aircraft Weight and Balance data.

  8. Conduct a thorough pre-flight inspection (walk-around) of your aircraft in accordance with the Pilot Operating Handbook..

  9. Plan for aircraft re-fueling as required.

  10. Calculate the planned takeoff weight and balance for your aircraft.

  11. Fill-out and complete the Flight Record and Authorization, including notation of the oil, fuel, estimated fuel time, the Centre of Gravity and Basic Empty Weight data for the takeoff, landing, and zero fuel, Hobbs, anticipated departure time and estimated length of the flight; be sure to include the planned exercises, and you will have to enter the expiry date of your Medical Certificate (in the case of Student Pilot Permit holders, the validity time is 5 years.

  12. Prepare and make active your Flight Plan or Flight Itinerary.

  13. Ensure that the Journey Log is placed on-board the aircraft.[1]

  14. Meet with your Instructor for a pre-flight briefing.

  1. Ensure your Flight Plan or Flight Itinerary is properly closed.

  2. Ensure the aircraft and aircraft pilot controls are secured.

  3. Complete the post-flight entries on the Flight Record and Authorization, including time up, time down, and shutdown Hobbs.

  4. Complete the Journey Log—in the case of Private Pilot Students, coordinate with your Flight Instructor on this..

  5. Complete the entry in your Pilot Log.[2]

  6. Ensure the accounting procedures associated with your flight are completed.

  7. Meet with your Instructor for a post-flight debriefing.

  8. Be sure to review with your Flight Instructor  the planned exercises for the next flight, including reading and studying assignments.


[1] The aircraft documents—Certificate of RegistrationCertificate of Airworthiness, and certifications for Aircraft Weight and Balance data—are typically kept in the cockpit, or are attached to the Journey Log.  These documents must be on board the aircraft during every flight; the Journey Log for each aircraft, however, need only be on board the aircraft when a landing is planned at an airport other than the airport of departure—so technically, the Journey Log does not have to be on board training flights that satisfy this requirement.  Don’t get confused, though, as the Pilot Operating Handbook must always be on board and available to the pilot.

[2] Your Pilot Log is the record of all flights made by a pilot.  Be sure that all entries are neat and accurate, and this is especially the case if you are planning to pursue a career as a professional pilot (your Pilot Log will be audited when you apply for your Commercial Pilot Licence and your Airline Transport Licence, and any errors or omission can hold up your application).  For each flight you must note the date, the aircraft type and identification, the Pilot-in-Command (your Instructor—until you pilot the aircraft by yourself as a student pilot), your status as “Student” if applicable (in which you write “Self”), the airport of departure and landing, the flight time, the exercises flown, and any relevant details of your flight—that portion of the flight time that was cross-country, conducted during the day or night, or conducted under the hood (instrument flying).  For the exercises, use the number code that appears in the Pilot Training Record.  Be sure you go over with your Instructor your first couple of entries to check that you are making the entries correctly.  Also, it is a good idea to have your Pilot Log certified by a school when you have completed your training.

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