Canadian Ultralights

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, Procedures, etc.)
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, Procedures, etc.)
flying time is reduced to 5 hours total including 2 hours dual, 2 hours solo
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 requirements are:

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 techniques, FITEN
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 solo.


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.

Aircraft 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 ultralights.

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.