January 18, 2018

Flight Schools Struggle in Instructor Shortage


As local newspapers and other media follow up on a series of CBC stories on the pilot shortage in Canada, similar accounts of instructor shortages are emerging and even some of the country’s oldest flying training institutions are affected. Last week the Ottawa Flying Club, which has been in continuous operation since 1928, announced that it was in financial trouble and in danger of closing. Bad flying weather last summer was a major factor but a lack of instructors also played in. Manager Richard Swaffer told the CBC the club had to turn away 40 students last year because of a lack of instructors.

“We’re just scraping by,” Swaffer said. “We’re just holding on by our fingernails right now. He said the next six weeks will be critical and he needs decent flying weather to maintain enough cash flow to keep the operation going. “I would hate to see that happen. This is our 90th year flying,” said Swaffer.