Challenger Ultralight Training
is required to fly a Challenger?
To fly a
Challenger legally, the minimum requirement is an Ultralight Pilot Permit -
Aeroplane (UPP). A Passenger Carrying
Endorsement has also
available been since December 1, 2005.
The UPP minimum legal
Active Class 4 Medical (Self Declared). Here
is the Transport Canada form:
5 hours dual (i.e. with a certified instructor)
2 hours solo
10 hours total time
offs and landings
Legality is one thing - safety is another! Reality suggests 15 - 20 hours of
flight training (including dual and solo and take off and landing requirements). You
will also need to score
60% on the written Ultra exam (multiple-choice). Here is link to a
sample study guide for the Ultra
Passenger Carrying rating (New
as of January, 2005)
The UPP Passenger-carrying Endorsement
Your aircraft must be registered in
the Advanced Ultralight Aircraft (AULA) category.
Active Class 4 Medical signed by either your Family
Physician, or a Canadian
Aviation Medical Examiner (CAME).
total time (15 hours dual and 10 hours solo including a 2 hour cross
country) in a Challenger. Depending on your skill level,
you may already have much or all of the dual requirement met by the
time you get your UPP, so the remaining hours may be just flying
around by yourself getting really comfortable with the plane (which
a person would want to be prior to taking a passenger!) and then some
brush-up prior to the flight test.
You must have a letter from an Ultralight Flight
Instructor (not the examiner) stating you are
ready for the test.
You also need to pass a flight test
with a Transport Canada examiner. They will want to feel safe
flying with you, before they endorse you to carry passengers.
Can I Use my Private License or Recreational Permit
you are already licensed if your current license is active, but you also
require an appropriate current medical to fly legally (minimum Class 4,
signed by a CAME or Family Physician if you want to carry a
passenger). You should still get in-type transition training
however, to explore the Challenger's nuances and full flight envelope. More on this below.
do I get Training?
In the west, Dan Pandur
from Westlock, Alberta does our training.
Dan is fully
qualified and certified under Transport Canada's rules for Advanced
Ultralight Instructors. Dan will
also undertake custom
building of Challengers for clients who appreciate a quality job. For more
information on getting trained in your Challenger Advanced Ultralight
Aircraft, please contact us by
Kris Falk long known to many in the Challenger community
as a highly talented builder, inspector and instructor, has recently relocated to
California to study Dentistry and is no longer available for training. We
wish him well in his studies and hope it won't be like pulling teeth to
get him back in a Challenger someday soon.
In Type Transition Training
you already have a Recreational or Private Pilot License (or higher),
and an active Class 4 (or higher) Medical, you
are already legal to fly a Challenger, and carry a Passenger.
However, as with any aircraft, it is important when transitioning to a
new type of airplane to get some "dual" with a qualified
pilot/instructor. This is especially important when moving from
aircraft of different styles, configurations and performance envelopes.
of my time was in Cessnas, and there are some real differences
with a high-thrust line pusher aircraft like the Challenger. The rudder is a lot more useful (read required!) in the Challenger than in
typical Pipers and Cessnas, so definitely get some training with someone
who knows the plane's unique characteristics. Challengers are a
blast to fly, but like anything new, a few hours (4.4 in my case prior
to my first solo in a Challenger: C-IJBN!) with an expert makes
the experience much more fun. I now flip back and forth between my
182 and the Challenger on wheels or floats with no problems.
should never fly any type of airplane that is new to you with out
comprehensive instruction on the nuances of that airplane such as (and
this by no means an exhaustive list):
Engine and fueling procedures, ranges, capacities,
weight and balance calculations, etc.
Aircraft specifics - ALL critical airspeeds (e.g.
rotation climb, Vy, VX, Cruise climb, rough air maneuvering speeds,
glide speeds, stall speeds at specific weights and density
Walk around and pre-flight inspection procedures
Passenger briefing procedures
Warm up and run up procedures
Taxi and takeoff procedures
Climb out procedures
Circuit and cruise procedures
Aircraft flight and handling characteristics at all
corners of the flight envelope
Let down procedures
Emergency procedures for fuel out, engine failure,
etc. (precautionary and forced landing procedures)
and the list goes on and on
In sum, when learning any new airplane, in-type dual
training with a qualified pilot/instructor is critical to get used to
the feel and unique characteristics of the airplane.
|We have heard other pilots with
time in planes like CF-18s and B-777s and A-340's say that of all the
planes they have flown, the Challenger is the one that gives them the
This section is devoted to students,
and includes a smattering of pictures from various folks and places
as they have those magic moments one experiences when being
officially licensed to "slip the surly bonds of earth".
I never dreamed when Dad and I started this that my
wife would ever take up flying. But she has, and she loves it.
Kris has brought Tracy along from an interested passenger, to a
soled pilot, to completing her UPP.
Here she is at right kissing the runway with a
squeaker in Jelly Bean.
Soon, you will see the two of
us flying into events in formation!
A former hang glider with a life-long passion for
the air, Jonathan has long dreamed of becoming an aviator.
Thankfully, the combination of the Challenger and
Kris have helped this come about, as Jon is now the holder of
his Challenger kit from us and had it assembled by Kris Falk (who
was then up in Terrace, B.C.). Kris gave Brent
his dual type conversion training on the gorgeous flight over to
Provost following major highways. Across B.C. and the Rockies
in two days! Photos by Kris Falk.
A recent graduate of Kris Falk's flight training, Fred is
shown here with his newly completed Challenger. Kris undertook
the final inspection and taught Fred to fly her.
The big grin is Fred on return from his first
Mike Hughes -
In-Type Transition Training
a few hundred hours ago, Kris Falk and I met at the Red Deer Airport one
winter's day to start my transition training. It was minus ten, and winds were light. The sky
was clear and cold. The 503 heater worked very well!
Kris and I
were both north of 200
pounds (him height proportionate - me, not so much!), and his
Challenger leapt off the runway like a rocket. We were climbing at
what had to be 800 fpm or more at 55mph! Not long into the
flight, Kris threw the power on and showed me how it would really
climb. From a level cruise at 80 Mph, we blasted into what felt
like a vertical climb!
a short while, some cruising, some general maneuvers and stalls, we
moved on to semi-steep turns. We were actually turning 360s inside the perimeter of farm yards!
It's hard to do that in a Cessna (unless you're in a spin!)
Part way through the flight, I
had to shut the heater off - we were broiling and it was
-10C. That little heater box from Turbulence Aviation works
the preflight, this is
Kris looking over my shoulder and explaining all the critical
controls to me before we taxi out in his very nicely built
out for my first flight with Kris.
I now understand the
"Challenger Grin" that so many fighter pilots describe!
All in all, I did 4.4 hours of
dual transition training with Kris on wheels and on amphibs (on
land) prior embarking on my own in
With some verbal briefings from
Kris and others, and after having digested a few books on float
flying, I taught myself floats on a local lake with tons of room!
I enjoyed my first float landing on water in Jelly Bean much
more than my first solo in a 172!
Needless to say, back on the
ground after a successful first take-off, flight and landing in a
Challenger, I was grinning from ear to ear.