How to Get a Sport Pilot License to Fly an Airplane LSA

You’ve got questions about how to become a sport pilot and fly an airplane light sport aircraft (LSA? In many ways learning to fly light-sport aircraft (LSA) and getting your pilot certificate is much like getting your driver’s license. The steps are pretty simple really.


  • Start ground and flight training in an airplane LSA from a Certified Flight Instructor with sport rating (CFIS), or a regular Certified Flight Instructor (CFI).
  • Obtain student pilot certificate to solo from a Designated Pilot Examiner (DPE), local FAA Flight Standards District Office (FSDO), or from an Aviation Medical Examiner (AME) while obtaining a third-class medical.
  • To solo, have CFI or CFIS train per Part 61 requirements and take an exam on aircraft specifics and airport procedures/regulations. The instructor then endorses Student Pilot certificate for make/model and provides appropriate logbook endorsements/limitations to solo.
  • Receive endorsements to take knowledge test (this can be through home study or from a CFI or CFIS.
  • Pass FAA knowledge exam for Airplane Sport Pilot (computer based). (Typically known as “written” test)
  • Meet the knowledge and flight proficiency requirements in Parts 61.309 through 61.313 from a CFI or CFIS which includes 15 hour dual and 5 hours solo.
  • Receive and log 3 hours flight training 60 days before checkride (practical test) in preperation for “checkride” and obtain endorsements for practical test (checkride) from CFIS or CFI on form 8710-11.
  • Pass the checkride (practical test) with a Designated Pilot Examiner for Airplane Sport Pilots DPE/SPE based on the Airplane Sport Pilot Practical Test Standards (PTS).
  • Receive Sport Pilot Certificate and logbook endorsements to fly Airplane LSA.