The Ultralight Aeroplane Transition
Strategy was signed in January, 1997. This document introduced a new
definition of Ultralight Aeroplane using a gross weight. The maximum
takeoff weight, or gross weight, must be equal to or less than 544kg
(1200 lbs), have a stall speed of 45mph or less, and have a calculated
minimum useful load. Basic ultralights are not allowed to carry
passengers. The current Advanced Ultralight is now included in the
Ultralight category (C-I registered). As long as the advanced
ultralight aircraft complies with TP10141, passenger carrying is
allowed if the pilot has an RPP or higher license.
To Legally Fly
an Ultralight Aeroplane in Canada
If you are presently unlicensed you must get a Pilot Permit -
Ultralight Aeroplane. The requirements are:
• be at least 16 yrs of age (14 for a student permit)
• have a Class 4 medical - declared
• take a Transport Canada approved ground school
• take a Transport Canada written test, ULTRA (Air Regulations,
• have a total of 10 hours flying time, including not less than 5
hours dual instruction and 2 hours solo flying
• flight time to include 30 takeoffs, circuits, and landings, 10 as
sole occupant of the plane.
If you already have a Private Pilot License Aeroplane (PPL-A) or
a Recreational Pilot Permit (RPP), you may fly an ultralight as a
privilege of that license. A checkout is strongly recommended.
The ultralight pilot permit is a separate permit. You may hold it
along with aa higher licence. The credits for the RPP holder
towards the Ultralight Permit are not available at this time.
If you have had a PPL-A within the last 5 years and want an
Ultralight Permit, the requirements are:
• have a Class 4 Medical
• take a Transport Canada approved ground school
• take the Transport Canada test ULTRA (Air Regulations,
• flying time is reduced to 5 hours total including 2 hours dual, 2
• flight time to include 20 takeoffs, circuits, landings, 10 as
sole occupant of the plane
If you currently hold a pilot's license in any other category of
aircraft and want an Ultralight Permit, the above requirement for
the TC test ULTRA is deleted. If you currently hold a PPL-A, the
requirement for the ground school is also deleted.
The flight times above must be completed within the 24 months
preceding the filing of the license application.
The Flight Instructor Rating - Ultralight Aeroplane allows the
holder to train ultralight pilots and ultralight instructors. The
• be at least 18 years of age.
• have an unrestricted Class 3 Medical or higher
• take a Transport Canada approved ground school (from an
ultralight flight instructor)
• take the Transport Canada written test, ULTRA
• take a Transport Canada approved course of instructional
techniques developed from Part 1 of the Flight Instructor Guide
• take the Transport Canada written test on instructional
• flight time includes a minimum of 50 hours on Ultralight
aeroplanes, including not less than 5 hours dual instruction, 5
hours dual flight time on instructional techniques, and 25 hours
If you currently hold a PPL-A or higher, the flight time is
reduced from 50 hours on Ultralight Aeroplanes to 25. If you
currently hold or have a held a Flight Instructors rating you are
exempted from the ground school and FITEN test. Credits for the RPP
holder are not available at this time.
Ultralight Pilots Can Fly
In January 1997, the Ultralight Aeroplane Transition Strategy
introduced a new definition of ultralight aeroplane based on a
maximum take-off weight of 1200 lbs., a maximum stall speed in the
landing configuration of 45 mph, and minimum useful load
calculation based on the engine horsepower. This definition allows
heavier airframes with larger engines to qualify as ultralights.
(Remember, even though the ultralight category allows a 1200 lbs.
gross weight, the manufacturer's gross weight may not be exceeded!)
This definition allows the advanced ultralight aeroplane to be
included within the ultralight category rather than existing as an
exemption to it.
The Transition Strategy also allows the holder of a Pilot Permit-Ultralight
Aeroplane to fly any aircraft that meets the ultralight definition
regardless of how the aircraft is registered. This includes
amateur-built and certified aircraft as well as basic and advanced
The category in which an airplane is registered determines the
building, inspection, maintenance, operation, and paperwork
requirements as well as the permitted uses. You should determine
which category best fits your flying objectives before you buy or
build an aircraft. Once that determination is made, you must follow
the requirements for that category. For a quick determination of
the eligibility of an amateur-built or certified aircraft that is
already flying, check the Certificate of Airworthiness. If the
maximum take-off weight is 1200 lb. or less, it may be flown with
an ultralight permit provided the stall speed is 45mph or less.