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Why To Consider Sport Pilot License and Begin Your Flight Training

Why To Consider Sport Pilot License and Begin Your Flight Training

How to Become a Sport Pilot
  1. Meet Medical and Eligibility
  2. Pass a FAA Sport Pilot Knowledge Test
  3. Receive flight instruction in an appropriate aircraft.
  4. Pass a FAA Sport Pilot Practical Test
  5. Sport Pilot Certificate Issued

NOTE: (All Category and Class Privileges Endorsed in Logbook)

If you are a FAA Certificated Pilot and Want to Exercise Sport Pilot Privileges:

You need:

  1. Hold at Least a Recreational Pilot Certificate (X-C Training if a Rec Pilot 61.101(c))
  2. Hold Category and Class Ratings for the LSA Flying
  3. (Additional Category and Class Privileges Endorsed in Logbook)
  4. U.S Drivers License or FAA Medical
  5. Current Flight Review
  6. 3 Takeoffs and Landings within 90 days (if carrying a passenger)
  7. Operate only FAA Certificated LSA
  8. Comply with all Sport Pilot Privileges and Limits
  9. Exercise Sport Pilot Privileges
Medical Requirements For Sport Pilot
  • (14 CFR part 61.23/53/303)
  • A Medical or U.S. Driver’s License (Other than Balloon or Glider)
  • A Student Pilot Seeking Sport Pilot Privileges in a Light-Sport Aircraft
  • A Pilot Exercising the Privileges of a Sport Pilot Certificate
  • A Flight Instructor Acting as PIC of a Light-Sport Aircraft
DEFINITION OF A LIGHT SPORT AIRCRAFT

14 CFR PART 1.1
Light-sport aircraft means an aircraft, other than a helicopter or powered-lift that, since its original certification, has continued to meet the following:
(1) A maximum takeoff weight of not more than–
(i) 1,320 pounds (600 kilograms) for aircraft not intended for operation on water; or
(ii) 1,430 pounds (650 kilograms) for an aircraft intended for operation on water.
(2) A maximum airspeed in level flight with maximum continuous power (VH) of not more than 120 knots CAS under standard atmospheric conditions at sea level.
(3) A maximum never-exceed speed (VNE) of not more than 120 knots CAS for a glider.
(4) A maximum stalling speed or minimum steady flight speed without the use of lift-enhancing devices (VS1) of not more than 45 knot s CAS at the aircraft’s maximum certificated takeoff weight and most critical center of gravity.
(5) A maximum seating capacity of no more than two persons, including the pilot.
(6) A single, reciprocating engine, if powered.
(7) A fixed or ground-adjustable propeller if a powered aircraft other than a powered glider.
(8) A fixed or autofeathering propeller system if a powered glider.
(9) A fixed-pitch, semi-rigid, teetering, two-blade rotor system, if a gyroplane.
(10) A nonpressurized cabin, if equipped with a cabin.
(11) Fixed landing gear, except for an aircraft intended for operation on water or a glider.
(12) Fixed or retractable landing gear, or a hull, for an aircraft intended for operation on water.
(13) Fixed or retractable landing gear for a glider. Source FAA.gov

Sport Pilot License

The Sport Pilot License allows you to fly a two seat Light Sport Aircraft during the day with visual contact of the ground under 10,000 feet above sea level.

The FAA’s Sport Pilot License was developed, with safety as paramount, after many years of consultation and cooperation with flying organizations and aircraft manufacturers.

By eliminating the requirement for night flying, radio navigation and some instrument training, the Sport Pilot license and Light Sport Aircraft (LSA) have returned flying to its fun and basic elements. Thus, the Sport Pilot License and Light Sport Aircraft have reduced the time and cost of becoming a pilot by about 50%.

The Sport Pilot License also allows senior pilots to continue flying and transition into LSAs without the need of a medical exam, provided that the pilot has not failed an aviation medical exam previously.

Three Reasons To Consider A Sport Pilot Certificate

By Kyle Garrett

Sport pilot training is one of the most exciting areas of flight training in the US. It is relatively new, but it is a great place to start an adventure in aviation. In the past, flying anything heavier than 254 pounds (the weight limit for ultralights) required at least a recreational pilot certificate. The training difference for a recreational and private pilot certificates is so minuscule, that most pilots opted to hold out for the less restrictive private pilot certificate. That’s where sport pilot comes in.

Sport pilot training offers a quicker path to certification
Sport pilot training is much more flexible than the recreational certificate and doesn’t require as much training as a private pilot certificate. In fact, the required flight hours are half that of the private pilot certificate. There are some restrictions, like no night flying, but sport pilots also have a lot of flexibility. The sport pilot certificate is designed to be a low-cost way for pleasure fliers to get in the cockpit, but it is also a great way to start a pilot career.
Sport pilot training doesn’t require a medical exam. Something unique to the sport pilots is the ability to self-certify medical fitness with a drivers license. You don’t need a medical certificate to fly sport pilot. There is one big potential exception to this rule, you can’t have been denied a medical. That means, if you go to an aviation medical examiner who says you are unfit for flight, you can’t turn around and self-certify your medical fitness. From that point, the FAA says you’ve got to get a medical examiner to approve you for flight just like everyone else.

Sport pilot training puts you in the cockpit of great aircraft
One of the areas where the sport pilot certificate is obviously more restricted than a private pilot certificate is aircraft. Sport pilots are only allowed to fly light sport aircraft, or LSA, which are aircraft that meet a certain standard. Generally, the standard is an aircraft less than 1320 pounds gross weight, with only two seats, and a maximum speed of less than 120 knots. There are several other restrictions, but generally it isn’t a mystery whether a plane is an LSA or not.

There are two major categories of LSA: purpose-built LSA, like the Remos GX or Icon A5, and legacy LSA, like the Piper Cub or Aeronca Champ. These two categories of LSA are very different, but offer interesting perks. The purpose-built LSA tend to be sleek and modern looking and they sport cockpits stuffed with the latest technology. They don’t carry quite the cost of traditional aircraft, like the Cessna 182, but they aren’t cheap either. The appeal is that you can gain proficiency with glass panel avionics, GPS and autopilots more affordably than a private pilot. If expense is your primary concern, the legacy LSA will be helpful. With legacy LSA, which are certified aircraft that meet LSA regulations, there aren’t as many bells and whistles. Many of these aircraft are the old tube-and-fabric, stick-and-rudder standards of yesteryear. The benefit is, they are cheap and simple to operate.

No matter your goal, whether it is to become a professional pilot, Sunday flier, or something in between, sport pilot training is a great way to get started.

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