Training in Canada??????


New Member
Please excuse my limited knowledge but I would really appreciate any advice one can offer about flight training in Canada. I currently have no prior flight experience but am anxiously waiting to get started. I have been researching many schools in the states and I have narrowed it down to a couple of them. However, recently I came across a flight school in Vancouver and it got me thinking about training there. I was wondering if anyone has any experience with training there while being a US citizen.

I have talked to a few flight schools at Boundary Bay airport in Vancouver, BC and the rates seem to be relatively cheap. Has anyone ever trained at any school at Boundary Bay?

If I did my training there, I realize that I would have to transfer my certificates and ratings over to FAA standards, but would this be that hard? Does the US and Canada have pretty much the same standards and regulations?

how does the US aviation industry view the training in Canada, i.e. is it frowned upon?

I have lots more questions but you can see where I am going with this. I just want to know if this would be worthwhile to look into or if it would be too much of a hassle to learn everything by canadian standards and then come back to the states and become work ready. I am thinking about driving up to Vancouver Wednesday, so any input you have for me would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
I don't see any reason to train in Canada. Do you really think it's cheaper? Cheaper than what? I spend a lot of time around YVR and BFI and, while BFI is outta site, I don't see that training is Canada is cheap. If you train up there but then don't have the right to work there, the networking you do would be a waste. You'd be better off to stay in the states and make local connections.

Let us know how your Boundry Bay search got me kinda curious. I must admit I've never heard of anyone doing what you are thinking of but I'm sure it could be done.

Do you live around Seattle?
I train in eastern Canada i dont know if i can be of help.
Some flying clubs offer professional pilot courses of very high quality at a cheaper rate than flying schools,with class 1 instructors, ask that school what is the level of their instructors experience also graduates level of employment.
Did you check colleges?
I never train in theStates but for what i read in this forum they look very simmilar , some manouvers for the flying tests are different like in the commercial FT spins are required not in the US, Air Space Class is a little bit different,joinning the pattern[circuit] is some times done differently and ATC may use slightly different terminology but i never had any problems flying in the US.There is a reciprocal agreement to validate licences but i think is only up to Commercial.
My last coment would be that the quality of trainning has little to do with location but rather with the quality and experience of the instructors
Regarding your other Qs i can do some research on this end.
Let me know,good luck jetman
I think the cheaper thing comes into play when you look at the value of the currency. I buy alot of stuff from Canada and the difference is pretty big. There are a lot of hurtles though. You won't be able to work there, you will have to convert your liscenses, etc. Still its an option to consider. My biggest issue is that ot gets really really cold in Canada. Shooter doesn't like the cold!
Yeah I do live in the Seattle area and I have not been too impressed with the flight schools in the area. One of the schools at Boundary Bay (which is only about ten miles over the border) has a professional pilot program for only 34K canadian. That seems quite inexpensive compared to the rates around here. Also I have realized that I would not make the same connections in Canada compared to if I trained in the states. This will definitely weigh on my decision in the end.
Jetman, could you elaborate more about the agreement to transfer licenses. Also could you tell me more about the differences of flying in Canada and the US, considering you seem to have an understanding of both. Do you think you would feel competent flying in the US after training in Canada, or would you need to relearn everything?

Does anyone know how difficult it is to get a visa to work in Canada. What sort of requirements do I need? Thanks for the input.
This smells of PFT...

otherwise, it seems like a professional school and they have a nice site. Don't forget to find out what it would cost to live around there...I think Vancouver is expensive but you could live just across the border in the US and it's pretty cheap in the Blaine area, I would think.

The question about PFT worthy of note is can they dispatch the Navajo's and Islanders single pilot? If so, then it doesn't cross my personal anti-PFT-line and would just be a multi time building scheme.
I don't understand what you mean, "PFT". I think this stands for "Pay for Training"???? Not sure though. I clicked on the link you provided, so are you saying that they might charge their students to fly right seat for their cargo operation. I will definitely ask about this.
Also the airport is in Delta, BC I guess, and I think it is cheaper to live there than in Vancouver. I will look into living arrangements later on if it is worth it. Also living in Washington would be a good idea but you never know what kind of wait you are going to have at the border.
They ARE charging students to sit right seat on freight runs. In their option 1 commercial program. You do it twice...once for the multi IFR course and then again in the airline transition course. Notice the fee breakdown for the multi IFR course. You get 15 hours of multi instruction at $350 CAN/hr...not especially cheap. The rest of the time seems to be sitting right seat on the freight runs.

Now....this isn't all bad. I don't have a philosophical problem with paying a fee to gain multi time in the right long as your not a required crewmember. You could learn a heck of a lot riding right seat for a freight company....though how much you should pay for the experience is questionable. I think building multi time as an instructor is the best experience....and you even get paid. But this could be a good way to build the initial 100 hours or so of multi time that makes it easier to get hired as a multi instructor.

The option 2 program doesn't include the multi stuff but does include the CFI...notice option one doesn't include CFI. Option 2 also doesn't seem to include an instrument rating...which I guess in Canada is harder to get and more expensive than in the US.

Also, be careful about getting your CFI in Canada. As anal as the FAA is about CFI's, they might not allow you to transfer it to the US....make sure you know before you go.
I am training in Canada.

Beware of Regency Express... there has been lots of controversy about this school canadian message boards. It appears to be the Canadian equivalent of "Gulfstream Academy."

To the original poster, check the following sites:

They are like this site, but Canadian.

The industry here is not considered to be as good as the USA in terms of jobs. As far as the training goes, I am sure it is at par. We don't really have huge flight academies like FSI or Comair up here, but there are some big ones.
Regarding reciprocity im sorry im not up to speed but im sure it would not apply to fly for hire.
To convert your licences there are requirments that have to be met,age,a US medical and to demonstrate that you have aquired a SIMILAR LEVEL of knowledge skill and experience.bottom line you will probably have to do a writen and a flight test.Best bet call the regional office of the FAA and get it from the horses mouth

I dont think you need a visa however a visitors pemit would have to be renewed every six month.
Some of the reqiirments for Cnd licences besides age and medical[get a class1 from the start] are
PPL 45 hrs total
17 dual minimun [nobody doesit 62 hrs is the average]
CPL 200TT[100 PIC]minimun to start the course
Course is 35 hrs dual[20 instruments]
30 solo
40 Gr school
Instr. you can start any time with a PPL and a minimun of 50hrs PIC xcountry.
Multy IFR depends on previous experience but not likely to get PIC unless 20 hrs dual minimun
$ 350 Cnd hr what kind of plane////// locally the Beechcraft Duchess goes for $250 dual.
Finaly, any WELL TRANED pilot either in Canada or the US shouldnot have any problems in the transition and flying safely in either country i feel just as competent either side of the border and a some ground breifing from an experience instructor to explain what the diferences are,should give you the knowledge and confidence,botton line regardless of where you go to learn what matters is the quality of instruction///////

good luck regards jetman
I am pretty sure that the CFI's don't transfer back to the states so I would not want to get them in Canada. I would rather do all the training for them in the states at a later date if need be. I will definitely check out those sites you posted, Chris. I also don't understand what you mean by the whole gulfstream thing. If someone could explain that, it would be appreciated. Also there are other schools at the airport and regency was just one of them. However, I think I will put off my trip up there for a couple of days and research this a little more.
You should only do flight training in Canada if you plan on only flying in Canada. You will not be allowed to fly in the U.S until you convert them into U.S. From what I've heard, converting consists checkrides and writtens and is a real pain in the ass that will cost a lot of money.

Bummer to hear that Canuck. Thanks for letting me know what you have heard though. Yeah if it is going to be a huge hassle to convert the licenses to FAA, then it would not be worth it to train in Canada. However has anyone ever had to go through the experience themselves of transferring the licenses from Canadian to the states? I wonder what is all involved.
The Gulfstream thing

I'm cutting a pasting some stuff I wrote about this at a different site recently:

Gulfstream is a small airline flying Beech 1900's in passenger service. They have a program where you can pay them to go through their training program and ride along as a copilot. I believe it costs around $20,000.

The problem with this is that a "normal" airline, or all the other airlines, would have the first officer position be an entry level job where you are paid...rather than you paying to do the job. When people are willing to pay for the experience of being a copilot, it tells airline managers that pilots are willing to be a revenue source rather than an employee. What is happening at Gulfstream could easily be repeated thoughout the industry if it catches on. Airline management will do whatever it takes to cut costs and increase revenue and if that means pilots will have to pay for a job...then so be it.

Why do people do this? They see it as a short cut to becoming an airline pilot rather than take the time to gain experience by working your way up the career ladder the way it's traditionally been done.

PFT cheapens the profession by taking away entry level flying jobs and giving them to someone who's willing to pay for it.

Matt...many pilots in the industry are against Gulfstream type schemes where you pay for training/experience while working as a required crewmember for a passenger airline.

These sort of schemes are bad for the piloting career as management will get used to pilots being willing to pay for a job.

You may have heard this all before and still choose to go with the Gulfstream's a free country, just want to be sure you understand what you are doing.
Re: The Gulfstream thing

HEy VSnick,

Keep in mind a CDN PPL= USA PPL. They change one-for-one, no flight test required, no written required. You could, therefore, consider doing your PPL in Canada, and then the rest in the USA if you don't want to put up with the hassle of converting your licenses.
Re: The Gulfstream thing

I've done the conversion process and taken all flight tests up to the commercial multi-IFR level in both countries. I converted a canadian PPL to a U.S. one just by walking into the local FSDO. This was post 9-11. No tests required. Both written and flight tests are required to convert FAA commercial and IFR ratings to Canadian ones, and vice versa. To convert an FAA ATPL to a Canadian on requires three written exams, there is no flight test for a Canadian ATPL. To go the other way requires a flight test. I believe instructor ratings for the most part are non-transferable because there are large differences in this area of training. I think I read that a U.S. instructor rating will convert to a Canadian one if the person has 500 hours dual given. Not sure about the reverse.
You have to spend a little time to get to know the regulation and procedural differences between the two countries, but it is not substantial.
Differences in the flight tests: Canadian CPL does not require: lazy eights, chandelles, eights on pylons, but requires partial panel (including unusual attitudes), and a spin. The IFR tests are very similar except a partial panel approach and unusual attitudes are not required for the Canadian one.

p.s. stay away from regency