Part V - Standard 507 Appendix F - Standards Respecting Ex-military Aircraft

Canadian Aviation Regulations (CARs) 2019-1

Content last revised: 1996/10/10

Information Notes:

(i) Over the past years, a number of ex-military aircraft, for which a type certificate was not issued, have been issued continuous flight permits for private non-commercial use under the provisions of the former Air Navigation Orders (ANO) Series II No. 3. 

(ii) With the publication of subchapter 507D of the Airworthiness Manual in 1991, privately registered aircraft for which a Canadian flight permit (Private) had been issued became eligible for the issue of a Special Certificate of Airworthiness - Limited. Ex-military aircraft imported since 1991 have been evaluated against the criteria set out in subchapter 507D, and Airworthiness Manual Advisory (AMA) 507D/2, in order to determine their eligibility for the issue of a flight authorisation. The eligibility criteria are now set out in this appendix.

(iii) As a result of changing political situations, a large quantity of ex-military aircraft which do not meet civil standards have become available for private use. The lack of technical knowledge with respect to their design standards and/or military specifications, and uneasy access to the responsible military or civil aviation authority for follow-on technical support, including the availability of spare parts, is a cause for major concern.

(iv) The prime reason for allowing ex-military aircraft to operate in Canada under a "Special Certificate of Airworthiness - Limited" is to afford the aviation public with the possibility to use these aeroplanes in special air events, and not necessarily for recreational purposes.

1. Definitions

For the purposes of this Appendix, the following definitions apply:

"Ex-military aircraft" - means an aircraft, designed for, constructed for and used by a military organisation (Canadian or foreign).

"Flight authority" - means a certificate of airworthiness, special certificate of airworthiness, or flight permit.

"High performance aeroplane" - means an aeroplane requiring a minimum crew of one pilot and having a VNE of 250 knots or greater, or a VSO of 80 knots or greater.

2. Eligibility

Eligibility of foreign ex-military aircraft for the issue of a "Special Certificate of Airworthiness - Limited" is limited to those aircraft that were produced over 30 years ago and for which continued airworthiness support is no longer provided by the manufacturer.

3. Exclusions

The following types of aircraft will not be eligible for the issue of a "Special Certificate of Airworthiness - Limited":

  1. (a) high performance turbine engined aeroplanes;
  2. (b) ex-military aircraft types currently in production;
  3. (c) ex-military aircraft types for which continued airworthiness support is still available from the manufacturer;
  4. (d) ex-military aircraft destined for commercial use;

Information Note:

In any of the cases referred to at items (b), (c) and (d) above, the imported aircraft will require a type certificate activity in accordance with the procedures set out in Chapter 511 of this manual. Subpart 511 of the CARs is still at the draft stage. As an interim measure, pending the promulgation of Subpart 511, Chapter 511 of the Airworthiness Manual in effect up to the promulgation of the CARs continues to apply.

  1. (e) ex-military aircraft for which the type was previously issued with a type certificate;
  2. (f) any ex-military aircraft previously declared unacceptable for civil operation, for whatever reasons, by the military and/or civil aviation authorities of the country of origin.

4. Acceptance Criteria

Aircraft considered eligible for issue of a flight authority will still be required to meet the criteria set out in this chapter and developed in line with CAR 507.

5. Commitments

Information Note:

Before making any firm commitments for the importation of ex-military aircraft from any foreign country, interested parties are urged to contact the Transport Canada Airworthiness office located in their region for guidance as to whether the aircraft is eligible for, and can meet the requirements of a flight authority.

(1) Airworthiness Requirements

  1. (a) Documentation

    The following documentation, which shall be produced or translated in English or French, is required to provide the information necessary to trace the aircraft origin, service record, current configuration, and to support future maintenance and operation:

    1. (i) evidence of the company of manufacture, place and date of manufacture;
    2. (ii) type and model data, including drawings or other technical data required to perform conformity inspection;
    3. (iii) documented maintenance history of the aircraft from the time of manufacture. This includes technical records for the airframe, engine, propeller, and all life-limited components. Evidence that all applicable civil airworthiness directives, or foreign equivalents, and all mandatory military modifications and special inspections have been complied with;
    4. (iv) the following manuals are required:
      1. a) Flight Manual or equivalent document;
      2. b) Maintenance Manual;
      3. c) Inspection Requirements;
      4. d) Illustrated Parts Manual; and
      5. e) Structural Repair Manual
    5. (v) a maintenance schedule consistent with the requirements of CAR 605.86 and the relevant military technical publications; and
    6. (vi) a current Weight and Balance report.
  2. (b) Inspection

    The aircraft is to be inspected by:

    1. (i) the holder of an Aircraft Maintenance Engineer licence, properly endorsed for the type of aircraft in accordance with CAR 403; or
    2. (ii) the holder of an Aircraft Maintenance Engineer holding a Restricted Certification Authority (RCA) for the aircraft type; or
    3. (iii) a maintenance organisation approved by Transport Canada that has appropriately qualified personnel authorised to certify the aircraft.
  3. (c) The inspection will determine that:
    1. (i) the aircraft conforms to the type and model data;
    2. (ii) no unauthorised modification has been embodied;
    3. (iii) all modifications affecting airworthiness or safety, developed by the military authority since the aircraft was released from military service and considered mandatory by the military authority have been incorporated into the aircraft;
    4. (iv) the aircraft is free of corrosion and structural damage;
    5. (v) the aircraft engine conforms to type and model data and is in a condition for safe operation; and
    6. (vi) the propeller conforms to type and model data and is in a condition for safe operation.
  4. (d) In addition, a 100 hour inspection as detailed in an approved maintenance schedule or an equivalent detailed in the aircraft maintenance manual will be required.
  5. (e) The Regional Director Airworthiness can subject the aircraft to an inspection by a Transport Canada Airworthiness Inspector to verify that the aircraft is in fit and safe condition for flight.
  6. (f) Jettisonable Equipment/Stores
    1. (i) Ex-military aircraft having an offensive armament capability shall have:
      1. a) the guns/cannons disabled or removed;
      2. b) the firing circuits deactivated;
      3. c) casing jettison panels sealed;
      4. d) rocket/bomb racks and hard points which are not an integral part of the airframe removed;

Information Note:

Hard points which serve as armament and external fuel tank mounting points can be retained for fuel tank mounting.

(ii) All jettisonable equipment will be subject to a Transport Canada assessment to ensure that the design is adequate to preclude inadvertent operation in flight.

(iii) To prevent inadvertent deployment on the ground, all jettisonable equipment will be equipped, while the aircraft is on the ground, with positive locking devices with appropriate warning flags attached. These locking devices will be removed prior to flight. This equipment shall be deactivated for static displays at air shows.

  1. (g) The following life support systems will meet Canadian regulatory requirements:
    1. (i) "g" suits;
    2. (ii) oxygen pressure breathing equipment;
    3. (iii) portable oxygen;
    4. (iv) seat pack survival kit; and
    5. (v) an ELT, when installed as part of the aircraft equipment.

(2) Inadequate Technical History

  1. (a) Where the airframe maintenance history of the aircraft is determined, by the Regional Director Airworthiness, to be incomplete or inadequate, Transport Canada can advise the applicant that a more extensive inspection will be required to provide proof of the structural integrity of the aircraft. This could require the use of various nondestructive inspection techniques, strip and view or other in-depth inspection techniques.
  2. (b) Where the maintenance history of the engine, propeller or any life limited component is determined to be incomplete or inadequate, that engine, propeller or component will require a complete overhaul and rectification or will be replaced with units of known history. The applicant can seek the advice of the Regional Director, Airworthiness regarding the depth of work required.
  3. (c) In addition, the Minister can, if considered necessary to permit verification of the airworthiness of the aircraft, contact the Canadian Department of National Defence or the military authorities of the exporting country to identify:
    1. (i) the structural status of the aircraft at its time of release from military service; and
    2. (ii) any additional modifications affecting airworthiness and safety which have been developed and considered mandatory for the aircraft type by the military authority, since the aircraft in question was released from military service.

(3) Maintenance Certification

  1. (a) The aircraft shall be maintained in accordance with an approved maintenance schedule as stipulated in CAR 605.86;
  2. (b) Certification of maintenance will be in accordance with CAR 571.10.

(4) Operating Conditions and Limitations

  1. (a) The aircraft is to be operated in accordance with the Transport Canada approved Aircraft Flight Manual (AFM) or equivalent document.
  2. (b) In addition to any limitations included in the AFM as a result of the airworthiness review of the aircraft, special aircraft operating conditions and limits will be established for each aircraft by Transport Canada Aircraft Registration and Special Flight Standards. The establishment of those special operating conditions and limits will be made following an assessment of the purpose for which the aircraft was designed and the civil owner’s planned use of the aircraft. General operating conditions will apply for various types of flight operations. These would include test, experimental, proficiency, ferry and demonstration flights. In order to afford the highest degree of operational safety, special operating conditions and limitations can be imposed to:
    1. (i) identify main operating base airport and maintenance base airport if not co-located;
    2. (ii) limit aircraft to use specific runways (clearways not heavily populated);
    3. (iii) limit aircraft use with respect to VFR, IFR, Day/night operations;
    4. (iv) specify minimum runway length based on aircraft performance for take-off and landing. Runway lengths should be adjusted for extreme atmospheric variations and the absence or failure of performance enhancing devices such as afterburner, thrust reversers, or drag chutes;
    5. (v) limit the number of suitable airports and the radius of action for testing, experimental and proficiency flying;
    6. (vi) consider the aircraft climb and descent profiles and, in conjunction with Air Traffic Services, establish corridors if necessary;
    7. (vii) restrict operations of single engine aircraft, or multi-engined aircraft that lack the ability to maintain altitude when one engine has failed, over densely populated areas to altitudes that permit it to glide to open areas;
    8. (viii) establish the requirement to advise Control Towers or aerodrome traffic of non-standard circuit patterns, approach speeds and overshoot procedures;
    9. (ix) establish the requirement for a manoeuvre profile approval prior to participation in air shows, air races, or motion pictures; and
    10. (x) control any other aspect of the aircraft operation considered necessary by the Minister to ensure the safety of the aircraft.

Information Note:

It is recommended that the applicant contact the Transport Canada Regional Superintendent Licensing to discuss the operating conditions and limitations that will be applicable to the aircraft. This is of particular importance if the aircraft in question is a high performance aircraft.

(5) Flight Crew Qualification Requirements

  1. (a) Flight crew qualification requirements are established by Transport Canada Flight Standards Branch, and set forth in CAR 401.
  2. (b) In the case of high performance ex-military aircraft, an individual rating will be required. The guidelines for the issuance of this type rating are described in the Personnel Licensing Handbook, Volume 1, Flight Crew, TP193.

Information Note:

It is recommended that the applicant contact the Regional Superintendent, Personnel Licensing to discuss the requirements for a special endorsement, prior to buying the aircraft.

Airworthiness Evaluation Process for Ex-military Aircraft


(6) Steps in the Evaluation Process

This explains, in detail, the individual steps to be taken in evaluating ex-military aircraft for flight authority.

Step Explanation

  1. 1. Has the aircraft type been issued a type certificate by Transport Canada or the civil aviation authority of the original country of manufacture?
  2. 2. Is the type certificate in the normal or restricted category?
  3. 3. Is the aircraft in question to be used for private (non-commercial) recreational flying only?
  4. 4. For an aircraft being imported, a validation of the type certificate by Transport Canada will be required.
  5. 5. Upon successful completion of the validation process a Canadian type certificate will be issued.
  6. 6. An aircraft can be approved for a Special C of A - Restricted provided it meets all the requirements applicable to it under the CAR, and a complete history of the aircraft is available. An aircraft can be imported under CAR 509, provided a complete history of the aircraft is available.
  7. 7. Same as Step 4.
  8. 8. Same as Step 5.
  9. 9. Aircraft will be issued a certificate of airworthiness. An aircraft can be imported under the provisions of CAR 507.
  10. 10. Is the aircraft of a type that was manufactured to civil airworthiness standards?
  11. 11. Through the familiarisation or validation process, the aircraft type is determined to meet the standards applicable to normal or transport category aircraft.
  12. 12. A Canadian type certificate will be issued in accordance with the procedures developed under CAR 511.
  13. 13. Same as Step 3.
  14. 14. If the aircraft is to be used commercially, a Canadian type certificate in the restricted category will be issued. The aircraft is then eligible for a Special Certificate of Airworthiness - Restricted.
  15. 15. Where the aircraft is to be used for private (non-commercial) recreational flying only, it will be eligible for a Special Certificate of Airworthiness - Limited, provided it is shown through inspection that it is in compliance with its original type design and that a complete history of the aircraft is available.