The FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) has issued several types of licenses to pilots who wish to fly airplanes or helicopters.
These include Private Pilot Licenses, Commercial Pilot Licenses, Flight Instructor Certificates, Airline Transport Pilot Certificates, Multiengine Landplane Certificates, and Helicopter Pilots Certificates.
With a Sport Pilot License, an individual is allowed to operate light aircraft under visual flight rules. This means that the pilot does not require instrumentation such as a radar altimeter or airspeed indicator.
There is training that has to be undertaken which comes with its own cost and can take time.
The Sport Pilot License is gaining in popularity so more people who are considering learning how to fly are considering attaining one.
There are certain types of aircraft that you can fly with a Sport Pilot License that come with their own limitations.
There are also specific requirements that must be adhered to, even after you have gained a Sport Pilot License.
In this guide, we will look at the aircraft you can fly with a Sport Pilot License and how you can gain a Sport Pilot License.
What Can You Fly With A Sport Pilot License?
A Sport Pilot License is only valid for flying light-sport aircraft which includes small airplanes, airships, and gliders.
These aircraft must weigh less than 1,320 pounds and cannot go faster than 120 knots. They should only have two seats with fixed and not retractable landing gear.
Is There Any Training Required For A Sport Pilot License?
Yes! To obtain a Sport Pilot License, you will need to complete a minimum of 40 hours of training before taking the practical exams. This includes at least 15 hours of dual instruction and 5 hours of solo time.
How Long Does It Take To Get A Sport Pilot License?
It takes about 2 years to become a Sport Pilot. However, some people can do this in less than 1 year.
It takes about 3 months to receive your Sport Pilot License after passing the written exam. After receiving your Sport Pilot License you will have 30 days to pass the Practical Exam.
How Do I Get A Sport Pilot License?
To get your Sport Pilot License you will have to pass a written test and demonstrate competency on a practical exam. The practical exam consists of two parts :
Part 1 – Instrument Rating
Part 2 – Visual Flight Rules
You will also need to meet the following requirements:
Have at least 20 hours total time as a pilot in command. Fifteen of those 20 hours of flight instruction time must come with an FAA-authorized instructor.
Another five hours should be solo flying including two hours of cross-country flight. The total amount of flight time is usually closer to 33 hours and you will have to pass a check ride.
You must also pass a medical examination if necessary, or go by the restrictions on your US driver’s license, specifically for corrective lenses.
You will also need to be at least 21 years old.
You also must have no criminal record and have never been convicted of any felony or misdemeanor involving moral turpitude.
Finally, you also need to have never had a civil aviation accident.
What Are The Limitations Of Flying With A Sport Pilot License?
As the Sport Pilot, you must operate within certain guidelines which include being the holder of a valid Sport Pilot Certificate.
As the pilot in command of an eligible aircraft, you should only carry one passenger and share the relevant expenses, including oil, fuel, aircraft rental, and airport expenses.
You can only fly during the daytime and must follow visual flight rules, also known as VFR, which require at least three statute miles of visibility and visual contact with the ground.
With a Sport Pilot License, you can fly cross-country in the United States, fly up to 10,000 feet above mean sea level, or just 2,000 feet above ground level (whichever is higher).
There is only certain airspace you can fly in which includes Class E and G, though you can use B, C, and D airspace once completing the relevant training and additional endorsements but you cannot fly in Class A airspace.
A Sport Pilot cannot fly for compensation or hire, and they cannot fly at night or tow an object.
However, with additional endorsements, a Sport Pilot can eventually fly aircraft that belong to a different category and class.
Is There Any Difference Between A Sport Pilot License And A Private Pilot License?
One fundamental difference between the licenses is that a Sport Pilot License only requires a minimum of 20 hours of flight time training while a Private Pilot License requires double that amount at 40 hours.
How Much Does It Cost To Fly With A Sport Pilot License?
Costs vary depending upon where you live and what kind of aircraft you are flying. Depending on how much experience you have, the cost may range anywhere from $150-$1,000 per hour.
When you add up the cost of the required flying time for the license, you could be looking at between $6,000 and $10,000.
Where Do I Get My Sport Pilot License?
There are many places to get your Sport Pilot License. Some of these include:
Schools like this offer private instruction in both theory and practice. They usually teach students all aspects of aviation including aerodynamics, navigation, meteorology, and basic principles of flight.
Many flying clubs provide training opportunities for their members. Most clubs charge a membership fee but some allow free training too.
There are online courses available through the FAA which cover everything you will need to know about becoming a Sport Pilot. Then it is up to you to find out where you can get the flying time.
Several licenses are issued by the FAA for anyone wanting to fly helicopters and airplanes. For two-seater aircraft with certain requirements, such as only flying during the daytime, you need to obtain a Sport Pilot License.
This may take some time as you need at least 20 hours of flying time and pass a written test and take a practical examination, known as a check ride.
Though you cannot be compensated for flying, you can fly light aircraft that have a maximum weight of 1,320 pounds and can cruise up to 120 knots.