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HAGAR Study Resources

ISS is very grateful for Brian's generosity in contributing this amazing collection of resources to help you get your HAGAR cert. ---. As part of our continued to effort to encourage and support fellow pilots interested in pursuing their HAGAR certification, I thought it would be worthwhile to start an updated forum topic where we can share HAGAR-related resources and study advice. Prior HPAC forum discussions regarding HAGAR certification reference the now out-of-date edition of the study guide (2003) rather than the current (2016) edition; there is lots of valuable information in that thread so I’ve attached a link here for continuity and archiving purposes:

Posted below is a summary of updated HAGAR-related study resources with a recommended approach to preparing for the exam that I hope some of you may find helpful. Our free-flying community has a great deal of expertise and knowledge to share so I invite you all contribute your own resources, advice, and study tips. Newer pilots preparing for the exam, feel free to use this forum to post questions; hopefully, our most knowledgeable community members can post responses.

All the best and good luck studying.

-B Black

Hagar Study Advice:

Before you start:

1) Read over the HAGAR section on the HPAC website which has a nice overview with links to resources:

2) Send in your Transport Canada Category 4 Medical declaration ahead of time. It can take a few months to arrive. Follow up by email and ensure they’ve received your form and that they have a file number for you. You can’t write the HAGAR exam until you receive the Medical Certificate by mail.

3) Order VNCs: Get your local VNC, but also try to get your hands on any version of Ottawa VNC which is tested on the exam. It’s a particularly complicated VNC with lots of detail densely packed into smaller areas so you want to get acquainted with it ahead of time.


1. HPAC study guide: And excellent summary of testable material. This is your main HAGAR study resource; if you know everything in the guide you’ll do well on the exam.

-Do your best to memorize every single CAR/VMC/elevation/definition or fact etc. that they present in the HAGAR study guide. It’s there for a reason and Andre has done a great job summarizing everything. It’s all testable material.

-I recommend that as you read along, make yourself a special document of “hard to remember but must memorize” facts/CARs/VMCs/definitions etc. so that you can quickly review them whenever you want and especially right before the exam.

2. AIMs. Optional. Go through table of contents and pick out all the relevant sections that are mentioned in the study guide. Read only those sections. There's lots of valuable information in there that will give you better insight and a deeper understanding of many of the CARs. Skip sections not directly referenced in study guide.

3 CARs: Unnecessary for study purposes. You can skip this unless you’re really interested in a specific CAR and you want all the details. Don’t study it though; it’s far too big.

4. TP11408: Outlines what we need to know. A good checklist.

5. DAH: Optional. A very nice book. In between the listings of coordinates, there are actually lots of useful sections discussing airspace class and structure. Flip through it and read sections of interest.

6. VNCs. Study the legend like mad. Know it like the back of your hand. Practice interpreting the VNC and figuring out 3D airspace in your head and where you can or cannot fly in some region of choice with or without your HAGAR, and what kind of comms/permissions would be required. Then check your understanding by using Canadian Airspace viewer tool (see below) to remove and add back on layers in 3D.

An invaluable resource. Get really good at using and understanding this tool. You can’t use this in the exam but this is one of the best real life airspace resources. Practice removing and adding back on the many layers of airspace class and type to help you understand airspace structure in 3D. Ceilings and floors are important. Cross reference with your VNCs and try to visualize the “inverted wedding cake” for various aerodromes etc.

Practical advice: Post exam, you’ll likely not be able to remember everything so try to distinguish between critical material that you absolutely need to know while flying vs. content that you can simply look up when needed (perhaps for flight planning purposes) in the comfort of your home.

Exam: 2.5 hours. 40 q’s. You’ll have lots of time. First 30 q’s or so are fact-based. Last 10 are VNC map work. Don’t waste time on questions if you don’t immediately know it. Leave it and come back later. Get through the first 30 fact-based questions and spend more time on the map work.

Study Guide vs. CARs:

I found a few inconsistencies likely to due version updates:

1. Aerobatic Manoeuvres - Prohibited Areas and Flight Conditions (CAR 602.27). Refer to CARs for clarification.

2. HAGAR guide: Section 2.3.2: TCA’s can also be Class E. Refer to DAH for clarification.

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