Frequently Asked Questions

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What is the difference between Pacific Flying Club and any other flight training centre?

The Club is a not-for-profit organization incorporated under the Society Act of British Columbia and as such, does not have any owners. All revenues derived from the Club go towards expenses, improving the fleet and providing no-charge seminars. Unlike other schools, the Club does not charge for pilot seminars such as night flying, mountain flying, etc. Our proudest acquisition is a Level 5 King Air simulator, the only one of its kind at Boundary Bay. This sophisticated simulator is used in nearly all training and allows us to introduce advanced simulations into all our programs. When choosing a flight training centre, ask to see their simulators. Our investment in this technology is a testament to our commitment to providing a quality flight training environment for you.

What's the first step to learning to fly?

First, thoroughly research the flying schools at the locations you are considering. Look at fleet size, number of instructors, number of Class 1 (senior) instructors on staff, how many years the school has been in business, and its location. Consider if the school is accredited as this means the school is held to a high standard of quality in terms of training, staffing and equipment.

You'll want to take an introductory flying lesson. If you love it as much as we do, you'll want to sign up for flying lessons and ground school on the spot!  Simply tell us how often you wish to fly (three times per week is ideal but we have many students who only fly once every couple of weeks or once a month) and when you want to fly and we will take care of the rest. Your instructor will let you know what supplies or books to buy, what to study, when to have an aviation medical and become your new best friend!

How long will it take me to obtain a private pilot licence?

For each booking you will likely log 1 - 1.5 hours of flying time. If you fly three times per week, based on an average of 55-65 hours to obtain your PPL, you would expect to flight test in about 4-6 months, providing you don't lose flight training time due to weather delays. Fly more often and you can be done in as little as 6 weeks. You will want to build in time for weather delays if you're flying in our rainy season.

Do I have to pay upfront for all training?

Absolutely not. All flying is arranged on a pay-as-you-go basis. The majority of PFC students and members pay for each flight when flown. Students must keep a credit card in our electronic vault or have minimum $500 in their account at all times.

Payment can be made by cash, cheque, Direct Debit, Visa, Mastercard or American Express. Some students may prefer to put a lump sum on account and fly it off.

We strongly advise you be wary of any flight training centre that insists on a large deposit to be paid up front.

Where is PFC located?

We are located in the Flight Centre Building at Boundary Bay Airport, which is a 20 minute drive south of Vancouver International Airport. From Hwy 10, take 72nd or 80th Street to Churchill Road and then Skeena Street which ends at PFC. Our offices are right on the flight line! 

Do I have to pay membership fees?

All students and pilots become members of the Club with access to all our facilities and services. You can opt for an annual membership which gives you a significant discount on all solo flying and check rides. This yearly membership is your best opportunity to save money on your flying. Alternatively, you can purchase a monthly membership where you only pay the membership the actual months you are flying. Normally a person flying more than 10 solo or rental hours per year and flying six out of twelve months will save money taking advantage of our reduced flying fees by signing up for a yearly membership.

Why are you a club? Are you a flying school?

We're both! We're a flying club that was initially organized in 1965 as the Canadian Pacific Airlines Employees Flying Club. We are a not-for-profit organization incorporated under the Society Act of British Columbia. All revenues go towards Club expenses, improving and maintaining the fleet, and providing no-charge seminars. Unlike other schools, the Club does not charge for pilot seminars such as night flying, mountain flying, etc.

What about Club activities?

The Club has a very active general aviation group who organize flyouts, evening outings, social activities, seminars and weekend information sessions. Being a PFC member immediately expands your network of contacts and friends in aviation. Former students of PFC will attest to the fact they made lifelong friends at the Club and advanced their careers through the people they met here. The fact our former students and staff stay in touch is one of the great testaments about the Pacific Flying Club.

What is the average cost of learning to fly?

 Private Pilot Licence – budget about $13,000 - $15,000

 Commercial Pilot Licence – budget another $22,500 - $25,000

 Multi – IFR Rating – budget about $15,000 - $18,000 for both ratings

What are the minimum age requirements?

- Student Pilot Permit - 14
- Recreational Permit - 16
- Private Pilot Licence - 17
- Commercial Pilot Licence - 18
- ATPL - 21

How many planes do you have?

We have 27 aircraft. We operate Cessna 152s, Cessna 172s, a Cessna 172XP, Cessna 172Rs, Cessna 172Ss and 2 Piper Senecas.

Do you have student loans available?

Government student loans are available to qualified full-time students for the Commercial Pilot Licence, Multi IFR Rating and Instructor Rating. There is also a Pacific Flying Club program through the Royal Bank. Be sure and check out the financing options available.

What are the benefits of flying at Pacific Flying Club?
  1. The largest fleet in British Columbia
  2. A not-for-profit organization... all revenues stay in the Club and are reinvested in facilities, maintenance, equipment,  acquisitions and improvements
  3. Staff has been recognized with various awards and accolades – industry leaders
  4. Club has its own maintenance facilities, mechanics and engineers
  5. Accredited by PCTIA – all schools must be registered, but we go above this and obtained accreditation indicating we meet a higher standard for quality, staffing, equipment and education
  6. More senior instructors on staff than other schools
  7. Affiliated with BCIT
  8. Three flight simulators including an AL SIM, Elite and a full motion Red Bird – more simulator options than anyone in Lower Mainland
  9. Free information sessions and seminars. Why pay for a Mountain Flying Seminar when being a member of PFC means it's free!
  10. The Club is a Designated Learning Institution for Citizenship and Immigration Canada
What is a "GA Group"?

The Pacific Flying Club offers unlimited opportunities to meet and network with other pilots or aviation enthusiasts. Share flying, attend seminars at no charge, monthly evening meetings, newsletters, blogs and barbeques. General aviation refers to non-commercial flying, but some of the members of this group hold commercial licences as well.

What types of Memberships are available?

Voting membership:
Annual - costs $195/year – members receive discounts on checkrides and a $10 reduction on all solo flying. If the member flies 6/12 months in a year and more than 10 hours solo, this is the best option.

Associate membership:
Monthly - costs $12.95/month they actually fly. If the member only flies occasionally (less than 10 solo hours/year and less than 6/12 months) or has not soloed yet, this is the best option.

Junior membership:
Annual - costs $125/year - gives a student under age of 18 the same hourly rates rates as Voting Members

Is flying tax deductible?

A student can claim certain flight instruction expenses providing they sign a declaration that it is their intention to pursue a career in aviation. Flying costs can be claimed up to the minimum licencing requirements (i.e. 45 hours for the PPL, 65 hours for the CPL) in addition to ground school, briefings, licencing and examination fees. The school issues tax receipts to all students, therefore you must ensure your Social Insurance Number is provided to dispatch to enter in our system.

Why are some schools more expensive than others?

All schools charge basically the same for training since it is a competitive industry. If a school looks significantly less, you should compare facts point-for-point  since the prices quoted may not include various costs such as medical, licencing fees, fuel surcharge, etc. You should visit the school, check out the facilities and equipment, and get a sense of its philosophy and customer service.

Talk to others about their experiences with various schools. Consider if the school has the facilities, aircraft and instructors available to meet your requirements.

And finally, what else should I know about Pacific Flying Club?

You will never be a customer at PFC – you are a valued member. Our staff will know you by name, not a number. You'll become part of our aviation family and begin making aviation friends immediately. WE LIVE FOR AVIATION. Our only goal is to make your flying experience, fun, safe, affordable, and ensure you live your dream!