Welcome to Acadia College, and welcome to your first steps into the exciting and exhilarating world of aviation. The following information is intended to help streamline the initial stages of your training. If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact us.

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Aviation Medical Exam

All pilots in Canada are required to hold a valid Transport Canada aviation medical. Students pilots may commence their initial flight training without a medical but are required to hold a medical prior to their first solo flight (approximately 15 flight hours into your training). Due to processing delays, we recommend completing your medical exam prior to commencing your training. There are three different categories of medicals available depending on your desired permit or licence:

Click here for a list of Civil Aviation Medical Examiners in your local area and country.

Required for Recreational Pilot Permit
Required for the Private Pilot Licence
Required for the Commercial Pilot Licence
Requires a medical declaration form be signed by a doctor (your family doctor, or any other GP) and sent to Transport Canada. Click here for the Medical Declaration Form If you are over 40 years of age an electrocardiogram (ECG) will be required.Must be completed by a Civil Aviation Medical Examiner (CAME). The doctor is responsible for submit all forms to Transport Canada, who will issue the medical certificate. This process can take 4-6 weeks.Must be completed by a Civil Aviation Medical Examiner (CAME). We recommend doing this medical exam if you are planning to obtain the commercial licence in the future.

ICAO Language Proficiency Test

Required for students who did not complete their high school or post-secondary education in Canada. Successful completion of this test is required prior to the first solo flight (approximately 15 flight hours into the training). We recommend that students whose first language is not English or French take this test prior to the commencement of the training, as language upgrade training may be required. This test is typically administered over the phone and is used to assess conversational comprehension and speaking. Click here for more information.

Acadia College provides additional English language training. Click here for more details.

Textbooks and Training Material

Like all good pilots, it is important to arrive prepared for your first lesson. To assist with this, Acadia College has “student starter kits” available for purchase at a cost of $500, these kits should be purchased in advance of your training.

Material Included

  1. Personal Logbook
  2. Pilot Training Record (PTR)
  3. Pilot Operating Handbook (POH) for the aircraft
  4. Flight Training Manual (textbook)
  5. From the Ground up (textbook)
  6. Vancouver VNC and VTA charts
  7. E6B flight computer
  8. ICAO ruler
  9. Douglas Protractor
  10. Kneeboard
  11. Flight bag

Required Material (Not Included)

  1. Watch (any type of watch is fine)
  2. Sunglasses

Optional Material (Not Included)

  1. Aviation Headset (see information below)
  2. Electronic flight computer
  3. IPAD with foreflight subscription (highly recommended)
  4. Aeronautical Information Manual (available online as a free PDF)
  5. Flight Test Notes (textbook)
  6. Human Factors – Basic (textbook)
  7. Culhane work and question book (for ground school)
  8. SPOT GPS tracker

Aviation Headsets

Headsets are used to communicate while onboard the aircraft. Headsets come in all different price ranges, but you get what you pay for. Comfort and noise cancelling ability are the two factors that should be considered when deciding which model to purchase. Please see review video below:

Preparing for your Lesson

Prior to each lesson, you will be assigned reading material. In order to maximize the effectiveness your lesson, it is important that you read this material as it will cover the topics to be presented. This preparation is also a good way to reduce the amount of briefing required before each flight, reducing your overall training cost. You will have an opportunity to ask questions based on the reading material prior to each flight. This is a good opportunity for you to gain clarity on topics you may be uncertain about and for your instructor to understand which topics to focus on.

When to Arrive

We recommend arriving 30 minutes prior to your planned start time. There are a number of tasks that need to be completed prior to each flight, such as: reviewing the weather and preparing a weather briefing, aircraft pre-flight inspection, weight and balance calculations etc.

What to Bring

Please bring all the material from your “student starter kit” to each lesson, as well as a notebook, pens and pencils.

The Lesson

Each lesson is broken into the following three parts:

Pre-flight Briefing

This will include a review of the previous lesson, as well as a discussion on the new material to be covered. Weather, airmanship, and safety topics will also be reviewed. Be prepared to answer procedural type questions from the previous lesson, as well as questions from the assigned reading.


A normal flight lesson will last between 1 to 1.5 hours. Theoretical items covered during the pre-flight briefing will be put into practice during the flight.

Post-flight Briefing

Each lesson will conclude with a short debriefing. For many, this is the most important part of the lesson because its a chance to receive performance feedback. Reading material for the next lesson will be assigned during this time.


Groundschool courses cover the academic side of your training and is intended to supply you with the knowledge required to pass the final Transport Canada written exam.  The following subjects will be covered:

  • Canadian aviation regulations;
  • aerodynamics and theory of flight;
  • meteorology;
  • aircraft airframes, engines and systems;
  • flight instruments;
  • radio and electronic theory;
  • navigation;
  • flight operations;
  • licencing requirements, and;
  • human factors including pilot decision-making.

Due to the relevance and importance of the theoretical knowledge to the flight training, it is recommended that you do the flight training and groundschool concurrently.  Taking groundschool with the intention of doing flight training later is not recommended due to the lapse in knowledge over time.