Airplane Sport Pilot Privileges & Limitations

As a sport pilot, the following checklist is required to fly:

  • A valid pilot certificate (aircraft single engine land or water as applicable).
  • To comply with the medical requirements of a sport pilot (valid drivers license OK).
  • A current flight review (recorded in logbook).
  • Fly a sport pilot-eligible aircraft (light-sport aircraft).
  • Operate within the privileges and limitations of the sport pilot certificate 61.315.
  • Operate within the category/class ratings on your pilot certificate and/or endorsements
  • If you have a private, commercial, or ATP certificate, you may take your flight review in any aircraft authorized by your pilot certificate, assuming the CFI is pilot in command.

NOTE: If you’re a private pilot choosing to operate the same category/class aircraft at the sport pilot level, you do not need to do anything more than stay current and comply with the sport pilot rules. No change of certificates is necessary. If ramp checked, you simply present your private pilot certificate and valid state driver’s license and inform the FAA inspector that you are operating as a sport pilot. Any questions of who can do what see § 61.303.

When you fly an airplane light-sport aircraft as a sport pilot, you must operate within the following guidelines of the sport pilot certificate which is specified in § 61.303 and § 61.315:


  • Operate as pilot in command of a sport pilot eligible airplane
  • Fly solo or with one passenger.
  • Share operating expenses only (fuel, oil, airport expenses, and aircraft rental) with another person.
  • 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) or 2000 feet above ground level (AGL) which ever is higher.
  • Fly in Class E and G airspace (and B, C, and D airspace with appropriate training and endorsement).
  • Fly production (standard airworthiness certificate), special light sport aircraft, and experimental amateur-built aircraft that meet the definition of a light-sport aircraft.
  • Rent a special light-sport aircraft (S-LSA).
  • Fly aircraft with a Vh (full power level flight) above or below 87 knots which endorsed for.


  • You’re prohibited from flying in Class A airspace.
  • You’re prohibited from flying in Class B, C, or D airspace until you receive training and a logbook endorsement from an instructor for towered airspace.
  • No flights outside the U.S. without prior permission from the foreign aviation authority.
  • You may not tow any object.
  • No flights while carrying a passenger or property for compensation, hire or furtherance of a business.

Use the Sport Pilot Locator to find a pilot, maintenance and all sorts of things for LSA.