Sport pilot requirements were established thanks to the Experimental Aircraft Association's efforts to establish a new pilot certification class, known as the " sport pilot certificate ". This new certification was established with the intentions of not only making flying more accessible, but by requiring less training it would normally become more affordable. This new certification has made learning to fly possible in half the time and at less cost. Becoming a pilot is not only more affordable these new lighter aircraft are a lot of fun.
This new category would also require the creation of a light sport aircraft category; this new aircraft would be smaller, possess less power and have attached to it new restrictions. The FAA requirements for both aircraft and pilots are different for Light Sport certification than for the existing Private Pilot Certificate. One of the restrictions is that it could only be used for recreational purposes. Because it was a lower powered aircraft a proof of medical competency was no longer required.
The mere possession of a valid driver's license with no medical restrictions would be sufficient.
Sport Pilot Requirements
To be eligible to apply for this new sport classification you must be at least 17 years of age. All Applicants must be able to read, speak, write, and understand English fluently. You will be required to have 15 hours of flight instruction with a qualified FAA flight instructor. Two of those 15 hours of dual instruction must be cross country training. You will then be eligible complete your five hours of solo flight training. The solo cross-country flight must covered a distance of at least 75 nautical miles and include two different destinations. Each destination will require a full stop landing, be at least 25 miles apart.
In order to be eligible for the practical test you must have received two hours total instruction training within 60 days of the practical test. You'll also be required to pass a written test, have practical oral in-flight exam. Anyone possessing a sports pilot certificate is only eligible to fly aircraft that has been certified specifically as a light sport aircraft (LSA). Sport pilot certificate holders are only permitted one passenger, and are only allowed to fly during daylight hours. Maximum takeoff weight is restricted to 1320. The maximum cruising speed is limited to 130 knots (138 MPH), and the minimum stall speed must be less than 45 knots. Sport pilot certificate holders are not allowed to fly above 10,000 feet, this automatically excludes flight class A airspace. They are further restricted from airspace that requires radio communication without first obtaining additional instruction and instructions endorsement.
Sports pilot certificate holders are also not qualified to acquire additional ratings for example, if you want to acquire an instrument rating you would first have to acquire the private certification. Fortunately if you desire a PPC all your training and flight time as a sport pilot can be applied to your PPC training.