Transport Canada has compiled a partial listing of weak knowledge areas based on examination data from January 2008 to January 2009. Examination topics with a success rate of less than 50% were considered to be weak knowledge areas.

Of course, the knowledge standard for the PPAER is 60%, so this listing is sure to be incomplete. Nonetheless, it provides us with some useful guidance.

You should conduct a thorough review of all weak areas listed—including the ones from licenses/permits you are not applying for. It’s a pretty safe bet that weak topic for one license/permit is marginal for another license/permit even if it isn’t listed.

Pilot Permit Ultra-light Aeroplane
Flight Instruments:
* Airspeed indicator – principles of operation
* Turn and bank indicator / turn coordinator – principles of operation
Navigation General & Flight Planning:
* Diversions
Meteorology – Theory:
* Lapse rate and stability
Meteorology – Practical:
* Aerodrome forecasts (TAF)
Flight Operations:
* Load adjustment, calculating landing weight based on fuel burn
Glider Pilot Licence
Flight Operations:
* Calculating gliding distance
* Factors affecting gliding for range
Meteorology – Theory:
* Air mass characteristics
Navigation:
* Map characteristics
Theory of Flight:
* Methods of determining a change in angle of attack
General Operating and Flight Rules:
* Class F airspace rules and procedures
Personnel Licensing and Training:
* Issuance and validity of medical certificates
Aerodromes and Airports:
* Prohibitions
Recreational Pilot Permit – Aeroplane
Personnel Licensing and Training:
* Recency requirements
General Operating and Flight Rules Airspace:
* Forest fire flight restrictions
Navigation General & Flight Planning:
* Return to departure point (reciprocal track)
* Magnetic heading, magnetic track and ground speed
Meteorology – Practical:
* Aviation forecasts – times issued and validity periods
* Measurement of cloud heights in GFAs vs TAFs
Human Factors:
* Disorientation caused by rain on the windscreen and sloping runways


Private Pilot Licence – Aeroplane and Helicopter
Personnel Licensing and Training:
* Recency Requirements
Aerodromes and Airports:
* Canadian Runway Friction Index (CRFI)
General Operating and Flight Rules:
* VFR flight in Class F special use restricted airspace and advisory airspace
* Operational and emergency equipment requirements
* Operational and emergency equipment requirements – flights over water
Theory of Flight:
* Stalling angle, level flight, climbing/descending turns, spins
* Coning angle (HELICOPTER)
* Rotor systems (HELICOPTER)
Navigation General & Flight Planning:
* 10 degree drift lines, double track error, opening & closing angles
* Air and ground positions
* Magnetic heading, magnetic track and ground speed
Radio Navigation:
* Interpretation, orientation, homing, relative bearing, interception pre-determined tracks and tracking
* GPS – principles of operation
Meteorology – Theory:
* Altimeter setting
* Evaporation cooling – virga
* Adiabatic heating & cooling processes (dry and saturated)
Flight Operations:
* Gliding distance – gliding for range/airspeed adjustment for headwind or tailwind
* Effects of aerofoil contamination by ice / snow / frost / slush / de-icing Fluids
* Lift / thrust vs air density / humidity (density altitude) takeoff distance
* Ground resonance – cause, effect, prevention, recovery (HELICOPTER)
* Overpitching / rotor droop (HELICOPTER)
* Wake turbulence effect