Challenger Advanced Ultralight Sales and Service
Calmar, Alberta

Phone: 780-985-4231  Fax: 780-985-2198

  > Challenger Training



Challenger Ultralight Training

What 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 requirement is:

  • 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

  • 30 take 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). 

Passenger Carrying rating (New as of January, 2005)

The UPP Passenger-carrying Endorsement requires that:

  • 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).

  • 25 hours 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. 

Training Support Files

Class 4 Medical Ultralight Pilot Permit Study Guide Ultralight Pilot Permit Sample Exam Flight Test Guide Ultralight Aeroplane
(Used for Passenger Carrying Rating Flight test)

Can I Use my Private License or Recreational Permit

Yes, 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.

Where 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 email at:   

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 

If 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.

All 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.

You 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 altitudes, etc.)

  • 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

  • Axis control

  • Aircraft flight and handling characteristics at all corners of the flight envelope

  • Let down procedures

  • Pre-landing checks

  • Approach procedures

  • Landing 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.

BIG Grins!

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 most grins.  

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". 

Tracy Hughes, Calmar, Alberta

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!

Jonathan, St. Albert, Alberta

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  a UPP.

Brent, Provost, Alberta

Brent bought 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. 

Fred, Dryden Ontario

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 solo!

Mike Hughes - In-Type Transition Training

Now 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!

After 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 great!

After 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 airplane.


Taxiing 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.  


Copyright ChallengerWest  (a Division of Aratuki Inc.) All Rights Reserved |  Privacy Policy  |  Site Map  |  Contact Us 
The Challenger - Canada's Favourite Advanced Ultralight!