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Are You Current?

By Ted Rankine, EAA 1052745

August 2019 - Smart Pilot is a free aviation website developed by CASARA to enhance flight safety in Canada, with support from the National Search and Rescue Secretariat.

In order to fly legally, Canadian pilots must maintain a minimum level of recurrent training, which is made up of requirements that must be met every six months, two years, and five years.

If you want to fly with a passenger, every six months you must complete at least five takeoffs and five landings in the category or class of aircraft (land, sea, single engine, multiengine, etc.) in which you intend to take a passenger. If you wish to carry passengers at night, you must complete five takeoffs and five landings at night. Glider pilots and balloon pilots have different requirements that can be found at or on the Transport Canada website.

Every two years you must complete either a flight review with an instructor; attend a Transport Canada approved aviation seminar; participate in a Transport Canada approved recurrent training program; complete a Transport Canada self-paced study program; complete a training program or pilot proficiency check (per Transport Canada aviation regulations); complete the requirements for the issue or renewal of a licence, permit, or rating; or pass the written exam for a licence, permit, or rating.

Finally, every five years you must fly as pilot in command or co-pilot at least once in the category of aircraft (glider, aircraft, helicopter, etc.) for which you are licenced.

These requirements are the minimum for you to stay current as a pilot, but not necessarily what you need to stay proficient.

To stay proficient, you must keep your skills up to date, and that means reviewing and practicing the basic exercises you learned during your flight training and perhaps have not practiced since. They can include, but are not limited to, practice in crosswind landings, emergency procedures like forced landings, stalls, and full flap overshoots. Proficiency in those skills can make all the difference in the outcome of critical or emergency situations. If you have not recently practiced these, consider getting a “tuneup” with a flight instructor first, and then make a point of practicing them regularly to keep your flying proficiency sharp., a free Canadian aviation safety website, can help provide you with in-depth information to help you fly smarter and safer.

SmartPilot offers a variety of features to choose from.

You will find videos, articles, and interactive programs on a variety of subjects, ranging from flying in the winter to air regulations, from communicating with ATC to mountain flying, and pretty much everything in between.

SmartPilot offers content categorized for easy access and a user-friendly experience.

You can also stay current by taking the online Transport Canada self-paced recurrent study program located on the site.

SmartPilot offers a series of videos with content spanning a range of important subjects.

SmartPilot offers many features, such as upset training. Whether you are at a busy airport or remote strip, loss of control can and does happen.

This year will also introduce a series of seminars that can be delivered locally at EAA chapters to enhance chapter members’ knowledge and qualify for the two-year recurrent training.


Let help keep you current with self-paced recency.

Topics include search and rescue, pilot decision-making, flying ultralights in Canada, and many others.


Smart Pilot seminars will soon be delivered across Canada, including SAW awareness, ups and downs, pilot decision-making, and more!

Flying is way more fun if you are competent, confident, and comfortable. And the way to do that is to stay legally current and proficient in your flying skills.

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