A sport pilot must be at least 17 years old and 16 to solo for powered
Summary of the minimum required flight experience to be a sport pilot:
Airplane: 20 hours total, 75 mile solo cross country
Glider: 10 hours
Gyroplane: 20 hours total, 50 mile solo cross country
parachute: 12 hours total, 10 mile solo cross country
Weight shift (trike):
20 hours total, 50 miles solo cross country
Additional instruction and an instructor's logbook endorsement for each new
make and model or "set".
A sport pilot must have additional training and a one-time logbook
endorsement to fly a LSA that has a max speed in a cruise configuration (Vh)
greater than 87 knots (100 MPH).
Powered parachutes and weight-shift control are divided into "land" and "sea"
Pilots will be allowed to take a practical test (flight test) in a single
seat LSA. The examiner will observe the pilot from the ground. The pilot will
have a "single-seat" limitation on his certificate.
Sport pilot must take a biennial flight review (BFR).
Drivers License or third class medical, except if FAA has denied, revoked,
suspended. If you hold a valid special medical your medical has not been denied.
A sport pilot may not fly above 10,000 feet MSL.
No night flying.
May not demonstrate LSA for sale if a "salesman."
A sport pilot may fly in airspace where radio communication with ATC is
required, but only with additional training and a logbook endorsement.
LIGHT SPORT AIRCRAFT (LSA)
The maximum gross weight is 1,320 pounds. Aircraft operated on water can
weigh 1,430 pounds.
The stall speed not greater than 45 knots (51.8 MPH),
Max speed in a cruise configuration (Vh): 120 knots (138 MPH).
LSA can have a fixed or ground adjustable propeller.
Seaplanes or gliders can have repositionable gear (move one time in-flight).
A LSA can have only one engine (reciprocating, rotary, diesel)
Hang gliders, powered and unpowered paragliders are specifically excluded
from being LSA, and a Sport Pilot certificate does not allow a sport pilot to
fly a tandem hang glider or tandem paraglider.
SLSA - New aircraft can be manufactured and sold ready-to-fly under the new
Special Light-Sport Aircraft (SLSA) certification without FAR Part 23
compliance. Aircraft must meet ASTM consensus standards. Aircraft under this
certification may be used for sport and recreation, and for compensation to
conduct towing, flight training, and aircraft rental.
Kit Built ELSA - Newly manufactured aircraft can be FAA certificated as an
Experimental Light-Sport Aircraft (ELSA) if kit- or plans-built. Aircraft under
this certification may be used only for sport and recreation and flight
instruction for the owner of the aircraft.
ELSA - Transitioning aircraft can be FAA certificated as an Experimental
Light-Sport Aircraft (ELSA) if it was kit- or plans-built and operated as an
ultralight trainer. Certification must be completed on or before August 31, 2007
Will have FAA registration-"N" number.
Aircraft category and class includes: Airplane (Land/Sea), Gyroplane,
Airship, Balloon, Weight-Shift-Control (Trike Land/Sea), and Powered Parachute.
U.S. or foreign manufacture of light-sport aircraft is authorized.
Aircraft with a standard airworthiness certificate that meet above
specifications may be flown by sport pilots. However, that airworthiness
certification category will not be changed to a light-sport aircraft. Holders of
a sport pilot certificate may fly an aircraft with a standard airworthiness
certificate if it meets the definition of a light-sport aircraft.
"Preventative maintenance" is allowed by owner on a special LSA.
“Owner maintenance” is allowed on experimental LSA.
16-hour maintenance course allows owner to do annual inspections on their
If you want to do maintenance-for-hire on the special light-sport aircraft,
you must attend a maintenance course (class specific) of 80 hours for gliders
and lighter-than-air aircraft, 120 hours for airplanes and 104 hours for
weight-shift (trikes) and powered parachutes.
An applicant for an LSA repairman certificate can add the applicable modules
for each additional class of LSA
Maintenance on SLSA must be performed in accordance with the general aviation
standards of FAR Part 43, with some exceptions.
Approval by the manufacturer for SLSA modification, not FAA STC.
Prospective Designated Airworthiness Representatives for LSA (LS DARs) who
inspect and issue experimental and special LSA airworthiness certificates must
attend a three-day FAA course.
ELT required for two-seat airplanes (fixed wing) ELSA, SLSA and Amateur
Built. (Does not apply for training flights less than 50 nautical miles from
Only LSA certified with engine driven electrical systems will be required to
have a transponder to fly within Class B and Class C airspace, and the Class B
"Mode C veil."
An ultralight pilot can register with an FAA recognized ultralight
organization or a sport pilot CFI to have his ultralight flight time count
toward his sport pilot certificate. To take advantage of the opportunity to
receive full credit, the ultralight pilot must then take the Sport Pilot
practical test by January 31, 2007 .
Sport Pilots may train ultralight pilots, but not for hire. Only flight
training received from an SP CFI or a BFI will be creditable towards a sport
PRIVATE PILOT (weight shift or powered parachute):
Powered parachute: 25 hours total, including 3 hours of night flight, and a
25 mile solo cross country
Weight-shift: 40 hours total, including 3 hours of night flying with a 75
mile night cross country, and a 100 mile solo cross country
Night flight requirements may be avoided with “Night Limitation”. (night not
required for Sport Pilot)
May demonstrate LSA for sale if a "salesman."
Allowed to tow gliders with qualification.
May fly above 10,000 feet MSL
Authorized flight in Class A, B, C, and D airspace with properly equipped
SPORT PILOT CFI
18 years of age
Knowledge exams on aeronautics and fundamental of instruction
Must hold a sport pilot certificate or higher rating.
A sport pilot CFI may teach private pilot weight-shift or private pilot
powered parachute if the sport pilot CFI has at least a private pilot
certificate with the appropriate rating.
Required flight time:
Airplane: 150 hours total time, 25 hours of cross
Glider: 25 hours flight time
Gyroplane: 125 hours flight time
(at least 50 hours in a gyroplane) and 10 hours cross country
150 hours total (50 in weight-shift,) 25 hours cross country
parachute: 100 hours total (50 in a powered parachute,) 15 hours cross country
5 hours in the same make and model "set"
The sport pilot instructor must
renew his flight instructor's certificate every two years.
An ultralight instructor must transition to sport pilot CFI by January 31,
2008 if he wants credit for his ultralight flight time
Prospective Sport Pilot Examiners must attend a 5-day FAA course.