PIP Takes to the Skies

With immeasurable excitement, we are proud to announce that our Pipistrel Velis Electro airplane is now flying! Campbell River is quickly growing into a Canadian forefront of zero emissions aviation.

Transport Canada has issued a Special Certificate of Airworthiness and specific Operating Conditions for flying the airplane. As intended, our previous Pipistrel maintenance course, the hard work of our engineers, and AMO approval had a large role in supporting the process (see previous updates).

Now that we have PIP’s Flight Authority, we are able to operate the airplane for private use. This means that our pilots can fly and train other licensed pilots on the differences of the electric plane.

Our next step is having Transport Canada approve our Training Plan for ab-initio flight training on the Velis Electro. This outlines further conditions, methods, and limitations that our flight training will align with in order to ensure compliance and safety, whilst evaluating the new technology.

Additionally, Transport Canada leaders are in the process of granting us an exemption to CAR 406.32, which roughly states that Flight Training Units must use certified aircraft—please excuse my paraphrasing. While fully certified in Europe, the Pipistrel Velis Electro is not currently certified in Canada, hence the Special C of A. This TC exemption will allow us to operate the aircraft in the way it is registered— a commercial electric aircraft— the first of its kind in Canada.

Once approved, the plan is to enroll several beginner students and train them through the flight lessons up to and including their first several solos. From here, they will then transition to Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) aircraft for the remainder of their flight training.

As our electric airplane program progresses, we aim to expand the scope of the Velis Electro. We will be striving to fly it into a network of local airports and conduct as much flight training as possible on the zero-emissions aircraft.

We have lifted off along the exciting journey in the development of Canadian electric flight training!