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Sport Pilot Resource CenterLearn What it Takes to Become a Sport Pilot
By Kyle Garrett
Chances are, you've been hearing a lot about the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) new sport pilot certificate. It's been a hot topic since its debut in 2004. The sport pilot license promises to lower the barriers to becoming a pilot by decreasing training, acquisition, and operational costs for new and existing pilots and flight training operations. Although the official sport pilot regulation is quite lengthy, here's a quick synopsis of the certificate as it relates to Light Sport Aircraft airplanes. Licensed sport pilots may...
Fly as pilot in command with a valid U.S. State driver's license in lieu of an FAA medical certificate
- Operate aircraft meeting the LIght Sport Aircraft certification requirements
- Fly up to 10,000 feet above sea level, or up to 2,000 above terrain, whichever is higher
- Fly with up to one passenger
- Fly during daylight hours in good weather only
- Fly into busy airports that require radio communications (with additional training and an instructor endorsement)
Sport Pilot License - No Need For a Medical
One of the biggest changes in the sport pilot rules is the elimination of the need for an FAA medical certificate. Sport pilots can operate an LSA with only a valid driver's license. This rule theoretically opens the door for individuals who would not otherwise qualify for an FAA medical, but do have a driver's license. However, be aware of the "Sport Pilot Catch-22". Anyone who's failed their last FAA medical exam cannot earn a sport pilot certificate or fly as a sport pilot. The catch is that if you have an existing medical condition which would disqualify you from getting an FAA medical certificate, you can still fly as a sport pilot as long as you have a valid driver's license... BUT... a person with the exact same medical condition and valid driver's license cannot fly as a sport pilot IF he or she has ever been denied an FAA medical certificate. Supposedly, the FAA is working on a fix to this rule. On another note, private, commercial, and air transport pilots may operate LSA under sport pilot rules as long as they have a valid driver's license, even if their FAA medical has expired.
Get Your Sport Pilot License
The sport pilot license offers unprecedented access to the skies as pilot in command with fewer qualifications and limitations, and promises of lower costs. It's a great certificate to earn for the new pilot and promises to keep well-seasoned pilots flying longer when health issues threaten to take away the FAA medical certificate. Lower cost, modern LSA with glass cockpits and lower operating costs are attractive to flight schools as well, and most schools offer sport pilot training for about one half the cost of private pilot training. Find about more sport pilot training.
More Sport Pilot Training Info
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- Sport Pilot Aircraft What Makes a Light Sport Aircraft Different?
- Three Reasons To Start Your Training in an LSA
- Sport Pilot Training - Why You Should Consider It
- Top Three Reasons To Get Sport Pilot Training
- Three Signs You're Getting Quality Sport Pilot Training
- Four Perks Of Learning To Fly LSAs
- Advantages of Sport Pilot Training
- Sport Pilot Requirements
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