Getting a Canadian pilot’s licence [Part 7: Changing your flight school]

While not a part of every pilot’s training path, sometimes for one reason or another, you have to change flight schools. Read on to find out how I did it and what I suggest you keep in mind when changing your flight school. As always, make sure you check out the other posts in this series.

I’ve changed flight schools a few times by now and just recently had to withdraw from my latest . It is not something I would recommend as it can severely impact your progress toward a licence in terms of time and, evidently, money. I will not go into the reasons for changing flight schools nor how to decide it’s time to change. This is something for you to decide if you’re not happy with your progress. I definitely suggest you discuss it with your instructor and with the Chief Flight Instructor of your school.

Before you leave

There are two important documents you need to take from your current flight school: your certified logbook and your certified PTR (Pilot Training Record).

The logbook is a record kept by you of all your flight hours and exercises. It’s a good idea to verify it against your PTR every once in a while to make sure the hours and flights match. Have the CFI or your instructor sign off on the hours in your logbook.

The PTR will be submitted to Transport Canada as proof that you have completed the required exercises and as a record of your progress. It is imperative that your instructor completes the necessary information after each flight. When leaving your flight school have the CFI or your instructor sign off on your hours.

When signing off, make sure they include the following:

  • Current date
  • Name (printed preferably)
  • Licence number
  • FTU (Flight Training Unit)
  • Hours certified to: date of last flight

At your new school

The first time you go for a lesson your new flight instructor will do a long ground brief to get an idea of what you know and what you need to go over. This usually includes some aircraft familiarization (find information in the POH) and a chat about your goals and timeline for completing your training.

Once you get back in the air, start a new page in your PTR and logbook for your new flight school. This will make easy to determine when you started there.

If you were unhappy with your previous school, let your new instructor know what you didn’t like but keep it professional, say it once and leave it at that. Don’t resort to personal attacks or anything of the sort. There is just no need for it.

Happy flying and I look forward to your comments!