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Bits and Pieces

Canadian Currency No, Not the Exchange Rate!

By Ian Brown, Editor – Bits and Pieces, EAA 657159

As the days grow shorter, we think about winterizing our aircraft, or at least we anticipate fewer opportunities to go flying. We all like to keep our flying interest alive during the winter. November is a good month to review our currency, or “recency” as the Canadian regulations would have it. Read more

According to CAR 401.05, the VFR pilot has three levels of recency to consider, as well as having to have a current medical. Most GA pilots fall into this category, VFR with maybe a night rating and/or Over The Top (OTT).

Five-year recency relates to a pilot flying as pilot in command (PIC).
If you haven’t flown PIC in the last five years, you need to have had a flight review, an endorsement in your logbook, and passed a flight examination, all within the last 12 months. In other words, if you let your flying skills lapse more than five years, you need to go back to school.

Two-year recency relates to an obligation for all of us not to let our skills go rusty. Just as our doctors and other professional staff are obligated to get ongoing professional education, we must make sure that we continue to develop our skills, which never stay the same. If we’re not continually learning, we’re slowly forgetting everything we learned. A recurrent training program is mandated for all of us. According to CAR 421.05(2), there are seven ways to achieve this:

  • Complete a flight review with an instructor. Did you have any instruction in the last two years?
  • Attend a safety seminar conducted by Transport Canada. 
  • Participate in a Transport Canada approved recurrent training program
  • Complete the self-paced study program in Transport Canada’s Aviation Safety Newsletter. The most current link is to this document beginning on page 37 which includes the answers at the end. It’s good from November 1, 2011, until October 31, 2012
  • Complete a training program or pilot proficiency check (PPC) required by Part IV, VI, or VII of the CARs.
  • Complete the requirements for the issue or renewal of a licence permit or rating.
  • Complete the written exam for a licence, permit, or rating.

If you haven’t had any instructor training including a flight review in the last two years and if you haven’t attended a TC safety seminar, you might find the self-paced study the way to go. A half-hour search on the Internet comes up with multiple dead ends and obsolete links.

Some safety newsletters don’t actually contain the self-paced study program, but you should find the above link gets you to the right spot. If you aren’t particularly confident in your computer skills, why not ask a flying friend or family member to print out the self-paced study?

Six-month recency focuses on carrying passengers, and by implication, flying with a higher level of safety. Whether it’s planes, helicopters, or balloons, the obligation is to have done at least five takeoffs and landings within six months before you can carry passengers.

One take on this should be that after a winter of not flying, our skills get rusty. We owe it to our passengers to brush up on our day and night flying skills by flying solo before we put them at risk. If you’re night rated, you need to do the solo flights at night before taking passengers at night.

As the nights grow longer, we have lots of time to think about next flying season—and to put in a few hours to refresh our recency requirements, whether it’s by instruction, an approved Transport Canada seminar, or the self-paced study program.

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