In recent years, I had the opportunity to fly with several private pilots in Quebec and I noticed some gaps that could be dangerous. We decided to use this platform to discuss security issues and our concept of Personal Flight Rules.

In stressful situations the brain functions are particularly affected. As I mentioned earlier, my experience with private pilots (over 20 years ) has shown me that in these situations, they do not always know how to react. First, we want to introduce you to the concept of HS – Minimum PFR (Personal Flight Rules) .

Personal Flight Rules

Consider these two identical situations:

  • 1. You leave Montreal at 4pm, direction Sept -Îles, with deteriorating weather. Flight time 3h30, therefore, expected ETA at 7h30 with a stop for refueling in Charlevoix . Twenty-five minutes before arrival in Sept -Îles, the weather becomes very marginal and you must make the decision to continue or turn back.

Decision: If you continue, the weather will only get worse, but if you go head back 20 minutes flight time, you can sleep in Baie- Comeau. The smart decision it to head towards Baie- Comeau and in the morning set a departure time one hour earlier.

  • 2. Same scenario, except that the endpoint is Val- d’Or. So 25 minutes before arrival to Val- d’Or, the weather deteriorated significantly and you must make the decision to continue or return .

Decision: This time it is a little more difficult. If you continue the flight you will hit bad weather, and if you turn back 25 minutes later you sleep in the woods! You continue the flight and increase the level of risk.

PFR (Personal Flight Rules) which applies in this case:

For a flight in an eastern direction on both sides of the river, there are towns and villages every 10 minutes. So in case of bad weather the decision is easy to make. This means that we can begin a flight in less favorable conditions because there are alternatives.

For a flight to Val -d’Or, my PFR regarding the weather is no clouds over the whole region of Quebec or we don’t leave. When you make the decision to leave, the risk of turning back is zero, because your alternatives are not interesting. So it is likely that you will continue your journey and you have to use your magic ball!

Second thing to remember for your PFR: a flight to Val d’Or may begin in late afternoon. Assuming the same flight with a departure before noon gives us the chance to make a stop and let the bad clouds pass. A judgment does not imply the possibility of arriving at night or being forced to sleep in nature.


This is my PFR in this kind of situation. Warning, these may vary according to your experience: to each thier own rules .

In my case, for a flight to a region such as Val- d’Or: PFR: Departure in the morning with perfect weather. Regarding a flight to the East ( Sept-Îles): LIC: It is possible to leave in the afternoon with much less favorable weather .

Now, make your own PFR. There will be future columns to dicuss this topic!