I'm currently finishing up my Canadian PPL. I have questions around logging my time appropriately. Most of it is pretty straight forward. Looking at 401.08 the only thing I'm unsure about is how to log (c) the flight crew position in which the holder acted;

I have a "Pilot Logbook" from VIP Pilot Centre. I'm not using it as I'm maintaining my log online but I use it as a template. It distinguishes between the following three roles: Dual, PIC and Co-Pilot.

Here's how I interpret them:

  • Dual: during instruction, when CFI is PIC
  • PIC: student solo flight / solo flight once I hold my PPL

What about Co-Pilot. Is that only relevant when acting as co pilot in an airplane that requires two pilots? What about if, once I have my PPL, I fly around in a C172 with a friend as the PIC, can I log that as Co-Pilot time?

  • $\begingroup$ Only a required crew member or an instructor can log time, so no. But if your friend was PIC and in simulated instrument conditions, you (as lookout) would be a required crew member but neither PIC nor sole manipulator of controls, so could log second in command time. $\endgroup$ Aug 6, 2017 at 2:47

1 Answer 1


Canadian law is as follows:

At no time can anyone in a private C172 log SIC or co-pilot time, because the 172 is certified only for single pilot operations and the aircraft is not flown under the provisions of an Operating Certificate that mandates two pilot operation.

You can log dual (instruction) time when you are receiving instruction from a Flight Instructor certified to do so. (In Canada CFI refers exclusively to the Chief Flight Instructor of a Flight Training Unit.)

Otherwise, you can log PIC time, when you are PIC, otherwise you cannot log time at all.

If you are in simulated IMC, either you or your friend can log time, assuming you are both qualified to be PIC, and depending on who you agree between you is Pilot In Command, but never both of you, unless he is a qualified flight instructor. Even then, only one person can log PIC time, in Canada.

Note that in Canada it is not required for the "lookout" or "safety person" to be a qualified pilot of any kind, if the PIC wants to fly under the hood. It remains the PIC's responsibility to fly safely and look out for traffic, and he or she can discharge that responsibility by asking any responsible person to help them.

These rules are rather different from the ones that prevail in the US.

Hope that helps!

  • $\begingroup$ Does Canada not allow a safety pilot to log SIC time despite being a required crew member? $\endgroup$
    – StephenS
    Apr 8, 2019 at 2:15

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