604.38 (1) No person shall conduct a take-off in an aircraft operated by a private operator unless an operational flight data sheet has been prepared and contains the following information:

(a) the date of the flight;

(b) the aircraft’s nationality mark and registration mark;

(c) the name of the pilot-in-command;

(d) the departure aerodrome;

(e) the destination aerodrome;

(f) the alternate aerodrome, if any;

(g) the estimated flight time;

(h) the fuel endurance;

(i) the weight of the fuel on board the aircraft;

(j) the zero fuel weight of the aircraft;

(k) the take-off weight and centre of gravity of the aircraft;

(l) the number of persons on board the aircraft;

(m) the proposed time of departure; and

(n) the estimated time of arrival.

(2) The pilot-in-command of an aircraft referred to in subsection (1) shall, on the completion of each flight, record on the operational flight data sheet the flight time, time of departure, time of arrival and aerodrome of arrival.

(3) The private operator shall retain a copy of the operational flight data sheet for at least 180 days after the day on which the flight is completed.

Does this mean If I owned an airplane I cannot fly VFR without a "flight plan"? Since almost all the above items are on the ICAO flight plan.


1 Answer 1


If you look at 604.02, it list the airplanes that the Private Operator requirement applies to:

Large Aeroplanes

Turbine Powered Aircraft

Pressurized Aircraft

Multi-engine Aircraft.

If it's for your own airplane not covered by the applicability, that Private Operator stuff doesn't apply. As a regular non-complex airplane owner, you are supposed to file either a Flight Plan with certain information (not all that stuff in the list in your post) or a Flight Itinerary with a "responsible person", with the same sort of information, if you want to fly more than 25 miles from base.

When I go flying I just email a chum, a reasonably responsible one, or the missus, with the flight itinerary data for my plane, my general route and time expected to return. It's all just to make sure there is someone to call Air Rescue if you don't show up at the time you specify.


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