Sunday, November 15, 2009

Aircraft Documents

To be legal for flight in Canada, the following documents are required on a powered aircraft in Canada:

  • A - certificate of Airworthiness
  • R - certificate of Registration
  • R - Radio station license (not required for flights solely within Canada)
  • O - pilot Operating handbook
  • W - Weight and balance calculation

  • J - Journey log
  • I - Insurance
  • L - personal Licences (license, medical, radio operator certificate)
  • I - Intercept procedures

Certificate of Airworthiness

See CARS 507, AIM LRA 2.0, FTGU Ch. 5
  • Is issued by Transport Canada, certifying that the original design is airworthy,
  • Is issued when the aircraft is built, or imported into the country,
  • Remains with the aircraft until the aircraft is exported or destroyed
  • An Annual Airworthiness Information Report must be filed with Transport Canada on/before the anniversary date of the CofA. A copy of the AAIR does not need to be kept on board, but failure to file the AAIR will automatically expire the CofA.
For the CofA to be in force, the aircraft has to be airworthy at the time of the flight:
  • Periodic inspections must be up to date (annual for private aircraft, every 50 hours for commercial),
  • Airworthiness Directives must be up to date,
  • Defects which affect airworthiness must be repaired, or signed off as "deferred" by an AME,
  • The aircraft must be operated in compliance with the POH and with regulations, meaning that all equipment required for the planned flight must be installed and functioning, the weight and balance must be within the limits specified in the CofA, required emergency equipment is installed.

Certificate of Registration

See CARS 222, AIM LRA 1.0

Is issued by Transport Canada and is valid for the life of the aircraft and must be carried on board (CARS 202.26), unless:

  • There is a change of owner, in which case the seller must complete and mail the postcard section of the CofR within 7 days. The buyer must complete the Application for Registration form on the CofR to apply for a new CofR, mail the white copy and keep the pink copy. The pink copy is the interim CofR, for a maximum of 3 months after the transfer or until the permanent CofR is received (or unless the aircraft is subsequently sold again).
  • There is a change of address, in which case the owner must notify TC by completing and mailing the postcard section of the CofR.
  • There is a change of purpose (private to commercial, or vice-versa).
  • There is a change of nationality. An aircraft can be registered in only one country at a time.
  • The aircraft is destroyed (notify Transport Canada).

Radio Station License

A Radio Station License is issued to an aircraft by Transport Canada. However, carrying this licence on board the aircraft is not required provided the flight is carried our solely within Canada. It must be carried on board for International flights.

Pilot Operating Handbook

See CARS 605.04

The POH not only must be on board, but it also must:

  • Be available to the flight crew members at their duty stations (e.g. as a pilot I need to be able to reach it when I need it in flight, as opposed to having it buried in baggage compartment),
  • It must have all the required supplements and amendments.
Weight and Balance

See CARS Standard 571 Appendix C

Each aircraft is weight after manufacture, and after each modification which could change the weight and balance. The W&B printed in the POH is the manufacturer's standard for the fleet. The current W&B for the specific aircraft is contained in the journey log, and all previous W&B reports must be marked as "Amended" (which is the pilot's trigger to go look for something more current).

A W&B report for the specific flight (e.g. one which includes the actual fuel, human and baggage load) must be calculated and carried on board. This document will prove that the aircraft is being operated in compliance with it's CofA.

Journey Log

See CARS 605.94, 605 Schedule 1

The CARS are very specific about the requirement for the Journey Log, what needs to be entered, and when it needs to be entered. There are specific provisions for continuity in the Journey Log (knowing that there are no missing logs).

See CARS 605.95

The Journey Log needs to be carried on board the aircraft except when it is planned that the aircraft will not land and shut down at another aerodrome.


CARS 606.02 specifies how much liability insurance must be carried.

CARS 606.02 (9) states the the proof of insurance must be carried on board (unless it is a hot air balloon)

Personal Licenses (License, Medical, Radio Operator Certificate)

See CARS 401

"While acting as a member of a Flight Crew, the individual must be able to produce the appropriate permit, license or rating AND a valid and appropriate medical certificate." (CARS 401.03)

Pilot License

A pilot license in itself is not a time-limited document (though a student permit has a lifetime of 5 years). However, for the license to be valid the pilot also has to carry a valid medical certificate, and for the pilot to utilize the license (fly an aircraft) the individual has to meet the required recency and currency requirements (CARS 401.05).


Fixed-wing aeroplanes are operated on a pilot license under a Class 1 or Class 3 medical (pilot permits require only a class 4 medical). Medicals must be renewed every 6, 12, 24 or 60 months, depending on the permit, license or rating type, and the age of the individual - see CARS 404.04.

Radio Operator Certificate

If an individual will operate the aircraft radio, then the individual must be carrying a Radio Operator Certificate (which may be restricted to aviation operations). Radio Operator Certificates are issued by Industry Canada, not Transport Canada - they call it a "Restricted Operator Certificate with Aeronautical Qualification (ROC-A).

Intercept Orders

Not legally required to be carried on board, but a darn good idea in case an F-18 appears off your wing. A copy appears on the last pages of the CFS.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

A very good list Jim.

One suggestion for ARROW JIP(P)I is to add another P for Publications including the CFS
(For VFR, it is not a requirement, but for a proposed VFR OTT, night VFR or IFR flight, there is a requirement to also carry the necessary current aeronautical charts and publications covering the route and possible diversion.)