In 2004 the FAA announced the new Sport Pilot Rules and Certification of
aircraft and Airmen. This initiative has dramatically reduced the cost
of learning to fly. The Sport Pilot certification process requires as
little as 20 hours of instruction from an FAA certified flight instructor.
The holder of a sport pilot license may fly a light sport aircraft (a 2
place aircraft weighing less than 1320 lbs) unlimited distances within
the United States, in good weather, during daylight hours. US Sport
Pilots are also permitted to fly to and from the Bahamas in Light Sport
US Sport operates the "Sports Coupe of the Sky" - The SportCruiser. The
SportCruiser offers glass cockpit technology at a cost far less then
traditional aircraft. The new Sport Pilot rules can also apply to
certificated pilots with more advanced ratings that choose to let
their FAA medical expire.
Following are some common questions about the Sport Pilot Certificate
and training process. Click on a question to view the answer.
What are the Sport Pilot Privileges and Limitations?
- Operate as pilot in command of a sport pilot eligible aircraft
- Carry a passenger and share expenses (fuel, oil, airport expenses, and aircraft rental);
- Fly during the daytime using visual flight rules (VFR). Three statute miles visibility and visual contact with the ground are required.
- Cross-country flying anywhere in the U.S.
- Fly up to 10,000 feet above mean sea level (MSL).
- Fly solo or with one passenger.
- Fly in Class E and G airspace (and B, C, and D airspace with appropriate training).
- Allows sport pilots to fly production (standard airworthiness certificate) and experimental amateur-built aircraft that meet the definition of a light-sport aircraft.
- Allows rental of special light-sport aircraft (S-LSA).
- Prohibited from Class A airspace.
- Prohibited from flying in Class B, C, or D airspace until you receive training and a logbook endorsement from an instructor.
- May not tow any object.
- No flights while carrying a passenger or property for compensation, hire, or
- Prohibited from flying in furtherance of a business.
Can my Sport Pilot Training count towards other pilot ratings?
Yes, Sport Pilot training can launch a career in aviation. Many Sport
Pilots choose to pursue their Private, Instrument, Commercial, ATP and
Flight Instructor ratings after completing the Sport Pilot course. The
time and experience gained in a LSA applies to experience required for
more advanced ratings. Sport Pilot training is an excellent foundation
for future aviation pursuits!
How much does it cost to become a Sport Pilot?
The FAA requires 20 hours of flight training (15 hours dual with an
instructor and 5 hours solo) prior to taking what's called a check
ride - your final exam. Each individual learns differently and at
a different pace, however flying consistently (two or three times
per week) and diligently studying your written material, should
keep your costs to a minimum.
The aircraft and instructor cost reqruired for a student who progresses
through the course in the minimum of 20 hours is approximately $3,300.
However, we recommend that you budget for a total of 25-35 hours based
on national averages of the time required to complete the rating.
There some also some additional costs for suggested training materials,
books, headset, navigation aids, etc. We offer some
which include flight time and these materials at substantial discounts.
What are the basic “qualifications”?
- At least 17 years of age
- Valid state driver's license
- Proficient in the English language
- Be able to affirm general good health and not using substances
or medications that impede judgment, cognition, or motor skills
What do I need to start my flight training?
A desire to learn and a driver's license
For the most part, you can show up for your first flight lesson
with nothing but a primed eagerness to enjoy an exhilarating
experience! The airplane and fuel are included in your price of
instruction, so all you need are yourself, your learning skills,
and your desire for FUN!
Just bring your valid state driver’s license and get started!
Once I've learned to fly, where can I fly?
After you have completed your training you will have limitless
options.Your new Sport Pilots license will allow you to fly anywhere
in the US and the Bahamas in good weather. GET OUT THERE AND EXPLORE!
How long will it take to get my pilot certificate?
20 hours of flight training is required to earn a sport pilot
certificate. The Sport pilot training includes dual instruction
(instructor and student flying together), cross-country flying
(departing one airport and landing at another), and solo flights.
Completing a Sport Pilot Certificate can take as little as two
*Note: Each student learns differently. This package price is based
on the student completing the course in the MINIMUM time needed to
earn the certificate: Sport Pilot requires 20 hours and the
Private Pilot requires 40 hours. Additional flight time may be
required to complete the rating. If additional time is required
to complete the rating a block rate discount will be given.