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New Pilot – Become an Airplane Pilot

BECOME AN AIRPLANE LIGHT SPORT AIRCRAFT SPORT PILOT

If you’re an aviation enthusiast seeking your first pilot certificate, the sport pilot certificate to fly an airplane light sport aircraft (LSA) provides the easiest and most cost effective way to fly for fun and recreation.

Wherever you are in your flight training, we’ll take you step-by-step through every phase to make it easier for you to learn to fly an airplane light-sport aircraft (LSA). In this section you will find lots of airplane LSA flight training resources and state-of-the-art training guidance.

EXPLORE

…all an invaluable complement to your flight instructor.

REQUIREMENTS TO BECOME AN AIRPLANE LSA SPORT PILOT

If you’re an aviation enthusiast seeking your first pilot certificate, the sport pilot certificate provides the easiest and most cost effective way to fly for fun and recreation.

The minimum required training time for the different light sport aircraft categories are:

  • Airplane: 20 hours

To earn a sport pilot certificate, you must:

  • Be at least 16 to become a student sport pilot (14 for glider).
  • Be at least 17 to test for a sport pilot certificate (16 for gliders).
  • Be able to speak, read, write, and understand English.
  • Hold a current and valid U.S. driver’s license as evidence of medical eligibility (provided the FAA didn’t deny, revoke, or suspend your last medical certificate application).
    • Alternatively, you can also use a third class airman’s medical to establish medical fitness.
    • Pass an FAA sport pilot knowledge test.
    • Pass a FAA sport pilot practical (flight) test.

As a sport pilot

You’re free to go where you want and do what you want to do as a pilot. However, you must understand you’ve entered into a completely new training realm. You don’t have the wisdom and experience of your instructor to rely on, on a day to day basis…so you really start to learn from your experiences.

A privilege and responsibility

You also have the privilege and responsibility of taking other people up to fly with you for fun. If you did scenario based training with your instructor, you will have a good start with “real world flying”. If you did basic “stick and rudder training”, to perfect the maneuvers to get through the checkride, you need to approach your first hours of flying with extreme caution.

Statistics show…

The greatest percentage of accidents occur in the first 500 hours after getting your license. THIS IS YOU. Why? Because of lack of experience to real world operation. After you get your license, this is where you really start learning.

What can you do to stay safe and out of trouble?

Here are some basic steps:

  1. Understand the situation. You are new to flying as a certificated Pilot In Command (PIC), and you must realize this is the most dangerous time. You must be very cautious and extra conservative in your decisions.
  2. Gain knowledge from other experienced local pilots. Make an effort to take them flying with you or go flying in their aircraft. Ask them questions. Try and get smarter each time you fly.
  3. Read articles about flying. From the wonder and amazement of flying to accident statistics with causes and solutions. There is so much knowledge and information out there you can gain that will help you.
  4. Join and participate in local clubs and national organizations. This provides new resources and opportunities to stay involved in flying.
  5. Continue learning.
  6. Use the Sport Pilot Locator to find a pilot or flying buddy near you.
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