What Makes This Program Different

If you have a love for adventure and desire a career that will take you places, Prairie College’s 2-year fully accredited Aviation Program could be your best decision!

Whether you are flying small charters through the Canadian Rockies, piloting airliners over North America, or flying for a mission organization through the plains of Africa, PATC’s flight training will help you excel as a mature, skilled, and competent commercial pilot.

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Prairie Aviation Training Centre (PATC) will prepare you to pursue an exciting, fast-paced career as a commercial pilot, while learning in a supportive Christian environment. With a unique focus on training pilots for the mission field, the program will also equip you for any career in aviation.

PATC’s two-year aviation program is composed of flight training and Bible classes at Prairie College. As a graduate, you will earn an Associate of Arts in Mission Aviation, a Commercial Pilot License with a multi-engine instrument rating and an average of 230 logged flight hours.

Program Content

Here are some components of training that make our Aviation Program unique.

Upset Recovery Training

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Soft Field Landing

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Tailwheel Flying

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Kalvin Hildebrandt

Flight Instructor

The Simulator Room

Experience Our Flight Simulators

Advantages of using simulators

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Our full motion simulator in action

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The Redbird Xwind simulator

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Simulators vs. aircraft experience

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The transition from simulators to airplanes

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Aviation graduate hiring success

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Why students choose PATC

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Student stories – goals after graduating

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  • In many aircraft types: basic trainers, tail-wheel and advanced single and multi-engine aircraft.
  • In different flying environments: broad prairies, mountains, grass runways, controlled airspace and border crossings into the US.
  • Tail-wheel aircraft (Citabrias) challenge pilots in their precision, coordination and overall control of aircraft through various flight exercises.
  • Advanced aircraft, like the R182, introduce students to aircraft with retractable landing gear that fly faster, higher and further.
  • Airplanes are meant to go places, so our students complete many “cross-country” flights around Alberta, British Columbia and Saskatchewan in order to gain flight experience away from the comforts of their home base. A unique part of this training is the “650” that takes 2 or 3 students and an instructor on a multi-day excursion far from our local airport. This often includes the experience of a US border-crossing and flying in American airspace, opening up the option of visiting Alaska, Arizona, California or even Florida.
  • Most schools train students to operate primarily from paved runways. PATC grads will have gained exposure to the challenges of operating on grass airstrips, both in the prairies and in the Rocky Mountains.
  • Our breath-taking Mountain Flying module equips pilots to operate safely in mountainous terrain where the environment and conditions can be very unforgiving. Students complete both dual and solo flights in the Canadian Rockies where they will strengthen their skills in navigation, decision making and aircraft handling as they fly through deep, narrow canyons, land on mountain airstrips and cross high altitude mountain ridges.
  • Upset Prevention and Recovery Training is a truly unique component of PATC’s flight training. Training with a fully qualified instructor, students are introduced to aerobatics and given the opportunity to become comfortable with the uncomfortable while doing loops and rolls! This module is crafted to teach upset recovery skills.

PATC students are provided many unique training experiences not offered by many other flight schools. They will complete Flight Training Modules designed to fulfill Transport Canada requirements towards a Commercial Pilot License with multi-engine and instrument flight ratings.

We believe these specialized modules do more than generate pilots; they produce aviation professionals prepared for any career in aviation.

Dual Credit Opportunity

PATC has partnered with Edmonton Catholic Schools (ECS) to offer our Meteorology and Private Pilot Ground School classes to qualified ECS high school students. Students enrolled in Edmonton Catholic schools are able to receive dual credit for these classes and get a head start on their aviation training. Interested students can find more information here.

Two-Year Diploma - Fall & Winter Start Dates

All courses are three credits unless shown otherwise.

Aviation students are required to achieve a 2.7 G.P.A in the program’s non-technical courses.

The Aviation Diploma offered by Prairie College includes the following:

Non-Technical Courses

Bible & Theology (18 credits)

NT 112 Reading the Gospels & Acts
NT 221 Reading Paul’s Letters
OT 112 Reading the Torah
OT 221 Reading the Historical Books
ST 100 The Christian Life
TH 100 Introduction to Christian Theology

Arts & Sciences (15 credits)

HF 111 Thinking & Writing
SS 170 Christianity in the 21st Century World
IS 140 World Religions
SS 150 Interpersonal Communications
SC 160 Meteorology

Technical Courses

Aviation (35 credits)

AV 100 Private Pilot License Ground School (3 credits)
AV 123 Flight Practicum: Private Pilot License I (2.5 credits)
AV 124 Flight Practicum: Private Pilot License II (2.5 credits)
AV 130 Flight Practicum: Initial Time & Experience (2.5 credits)
AV 131 Flight Practicum: Aircraft Type Conversion (1.5 credits)
AV 132 Flight Practicum: Complex Aircraft Type Conversion (1 credit)
AV 133 Flight Practicum: Mountain Flying (0.5 credit)
AV 201 Instrument Rating Ground School (3 credits)
AV 207 Aircraft Systems for Pilots (3 credits)
AV 208 Commercial Pilot License Ground School (3 credits)
AV 209 Introduction to Cockpit Resource Management (1.5 credits)
AV 210 Introduction to Flight Line Operations (1.5 credits)
AV 230 Flight Practicum: Night Rating (1.5 credits)
AV 231 Flight Practicum: Commercial Pilot License Flight Test Preparation (1 credit)
AV 234 Flight Practicum: Upset Prevention and Recovery Training (0.5 credit)
AV 235 Flight Practicum: Multi-Engine Instrument Rating (2.5 credits)
AV 236 Flight Practicum: Multi-Engine Rating  (1.5 credits)
AV 237 Flight Practicum: Advanced Time and Experience (2.5 credits)

The following courses are an option following graduation and not a requirement for the Aviation Diploma:

*AV 312 Flight Instructor Rating Ground School (3 credits)
*AV 333 Flight Practicum: Flight Instructor Rating (3 credits)

For course descriptions, see our catalogue here.

Use effective and clear communication in a team environment, whether in a leadership or support role, in order to complete tasks.

  1. Demonstrate knowledge and application of operating procedures, aircraft systems, and operating environment.
  2. Develop confidence and proficiency in flying skills for the purpose of attaining Transport Canada licensing and rating standards suited for a career in aviation.
  3. Possess mature character attributes that assist in prioritizing, delegating and receiving assistance to manage a task.
  4. Be able to identify aviation threats, assess risks, implement action and evaluate safe outcomes.

As a licensed Commercial Pilot the world opens up to you with career options in both mission and commercial aviation.

Mission and humanitarian aid organizations continually seek to fill positions in countries where people experience desperate physical needs.

Current estimates indicate the pilot shortage across Canada is expected to increase through 2025, providing entry-level opportunities in regional airlines and smaller charter organizations.

International airlines are currently attracting many Canadian pilots to fill vacancies in their countries.

Career Opportunities

  • Mission Aviation Pilot
  • Charter Pilot
  • Flight Instructor
  • Cargo Pilot
  • Agricultural Pilot
  • Regional or Major Airline Pilot

Our Grads

PATC graduates operate in a wide variety of Canadian and International organizations including:

  • Mission Aviation Fellowship
  • Flying Mission
  • AIM Air
  • SEND International
  • LAMP
  • Mercy Air
  • Fast Air
  • Air Tindi
  • Northern Air Charter
  • Latitude Air Ambulance
  • Moncton Flight College
  • Calgary Flying Club
  • Sunwest Aviation
  • CanWest Air
  • Discovery Air
  • Canadian North
  • Perimeter Aviation
  • WestJet Airlines

For our Tuition & Fee rates as well as Room and Board please see Fees & Financial Aid

Program Specific Costs:

It is essential for students to have a full appreciation of both the over-all program cost and the time-line of when funding will be required.

Please carefully review the Cost Overview for financial information (effective July 1, 2023).

Provincial Student Financial Aid varies from province to province and is restricted to college courses and aviation training carried out towards the Commercial Pilot License and other advanced ratings. Please note financial aid programs do not fund training towards the Private Pilot License.

Canada & United States Application

Fall 2024 (September start), Winter 2025 (January start), and Online Education (start anytime) applications are open. 

International Student Application

Prairie welcomes applications from individuals all around the world! To begin the International Student Application please click the link below. 

Master's Application

If you are applying for the Master of Christian Ministry Leadership or the Master of Global Christian Educational Leadership please click the link below. 

Our diverse fleet of aircraft provides our students with an industry leading depth of experience:

  • 3 Cessna 172M
  • 2 American Champion Citabrias (7GCBC)
  • 1 Cessna R182
  • 1 Cessna 210L
  • 1 Piper Seneca II (PA-34)
  • 1 Redbird FMX Full-Motion Simulator
  • 1 Redbird Crosswind Trainer

Not only do we have an average student instructor ratio of 4:1, but our unique relationship with mission organizations has allowed us to provide our students with an exceptional crew of experienced pilots who have worked all over the world.

Our 2023 instructor team has a combined experience of 50,000 flight hours and over 120 years in the aviation industry in Canada, Africa, Asia and Asia-Pacific.

  • Dallas Derksen – PATC Director
  • David Trebesius – Chief Flight Instructor
  • Michael Fox – Flight Instructor & Examiner
  • Bert Thomas – Director of Aircraft Maintenance
  • Rick Rempel – Flight Instructor
  • April Schlieck – Flight Instructor
  • Deborah Edwards – Flight Instructor
  • Ethan Cymbaluk – Flight Instructor 
  • Kalvin Hildebrandt – Flight Instructor
  • Ramon Unrau – Flight Instructor
  • Slater Penna – Flight Instructor
  • Kathy Thomas – Maintenance Administrative Assistant
  • Whitney Schmidt – Aircraft Maintenance Engineer Apprentice
  • Zac Stauffer – Aircraft Maintenance Engineer Apprentice
  • Miriam Skelton – Finance Assistant
  • Abigail Hysop – Administrative Assistant

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Here are key opportunities you can partner with Prairie

We have launched our Campaign for Greater Impact to provide students with the very best learning opportunities and campus facilities for the decades ahead. 

In Phase One of this Campaign, we plan to invest in much-needed campus renewal, including: upgraded Infrastructure, a new Student Residence, Cafeteria, Worship Auditorium, and expanded Aviation Training Centre. A modern campus requires an investment that is bold, and even expensive, but each Campaign Project is strategic, and designed to enhance Prairie’s campus and student life experience.

Expansion of Prairie Aviation Training Centre

This expansion of PATC’s facility is a key project of Prairie’s Campaign for Greater Impact. It will increase the College’s capacity to train a new generation of Christian aviators to serve God in missions, and also address the growing need for trained pilots in the commercial aviation sector.

Scholarships & Education Fund

Invest in the next generation of missional professionals. Each year Prairie College distributes over $500,000 in scholarships and bursaries to students. We are grateful for each gift that reduces the burden of students’ tuition and allows students to fulfill their God-given professions.

Prison Bible Encounter Program

Encourage inmates in five institutions across Alberta to discover or reconnect with Jesus Christ. This fund assists the students studying the Certificate in Bible program with scholarships, resources for classes, and instruction. 

General Ministries

Prairie College is educating students to pursue a Biblical foundation for life and career.  Your contribution to this fund assists in minimizing the College’s general operating expenses.  

To allocate your gift, please select one of the donation buttons below.