What Airplane can I use?

Doing Freelance flight instruction, we are always asked about using our personal airplanes, or recommending someone they can rent an aircraft from.

Transport Canada states in 406.03 of the CARS (Canadian Aviation Regulations):

  • (1) Subject to subsections (2) and (3), no person shall operate a flight training service in Canada using an aeroplane or helicopter in Canada unless the person holds a flight training unit operator certificate that authorizes the person to operate the service and complies with the conditions and operations specifications set out in the certificate.
  • (2) A person who does not hold a flight training unit operator certificate may operate a flight training service if
    • (a) the person holds a private operator registration document or an air operator certificate, the aircraft used for training — in the case of the holder of an air operator certificate — is specified in the air operator certificate, and the training is other than toward obtaining a pilot permit — recreational, a private pilot licence, a commercial pilot licence or a flight instructor rating; or
    • (b) the trainee is
      • (i) the owner, or a member of the family of the owner, of the aircraft used for training,
      • (ii) a director of a corporation that owns the aircraft used for training, and the training is other than toward obtaining a pilot permit — recreational or a private pilot licence, or
      • (iii) using an aircraft that has been obtained from a person who is at arm’s length from the flight instructor, and the training is other than toward obtaining a pilot permit — recreational or a private pilot licence.
  • (3) In the case of flight training conducted under subparagraph (2)(b)(iii), the flight instructor shall
    • (a) notify the Minister in writing of
      • (i) the name and address of the person to receive the training,
      • (ii) the registration of the aircraft to be used,
      • (iii) the type of training to be conducted,
      • (iv) the location of the training operations, and
      • (v) the name and licence number of the flight instructor; and
    • (b) provide the information to the Minister
      • (i) prior to commencing training operations,
      • (ii) within 10 working days after any change to the information, and
      • (iii) when the training is discontinued.

The section we are looking at is (2)(b) which makes it quite clear that you must be the owner (or in part) or a family member of the owner (or in part) of the aircraft to be trained in it. If you are going for anything other than an RPP (Recreational Pilot Permit) or PPL (Private Pilot License), you can arrange to borrow an aircraft but please let us know so that we at Visions Flight Services can inform the minister as per paragraphs (3) (a) and (b).

We also talked directly to a TC representative and they went further to stipulate that a student can rent an aircraft from someone for operating costs only and use it for their training. Anything above and beyond operating costs are considered “hire and reward” which would be bad as it starts pushing the person renting you their aircraft into a commercial air service. Here’s the definition of “hire and reward” from the aeronautics act:

  • “any payment, consideration, gratuity or benefit, directly or indirectly charged, demanded, received or collected by any person for the use of an aircraft”.

So, basically, if you have a friend willing to rent you their aircraft for the purpose of obtaining training, you and they must work out what the operating costs per hour are and that is the maximum compensation they can request from you. Make sure to include fuel, oil, wear and tear, hangar fees etc…

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