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Will you be taking advantage of the Sport Pilot License?

  • Yes

    Votes: 59 61.5%
  • No

    Votes: 37 38.5%
  • Yes

    Votes: 59 61.5%
  • No

    Votes: 37 38.5%

  • Total voters
    96

Greg Mueller

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Joined
Jul 23, 2007
Messages
112
Location
Rainy WA State
Ok one more question...

In the future (after Jan 31 08) will you be able to build a plane from plans (or make one up for that matter) and register it as an LSA. This would not be a "transition" as it does not exist yet. It would be a new airplane.

Lets say you had some plans for an old design and built it and it fit into the LSA category. Could your register it as such?
 

Dana

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Apr 3, 2007
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9,621
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CT, USA
No, you would register it as experimental-amatuer built, just like now. LSA per se is strictly for manufactured aircraft or approved kits, but any aircraft that fits the LSA definition can be flown by a sport pilot.

-Dana

America is at that awkward stage. It's too late to work within the system, but too early to shoot the bastards.
 

lake_harley

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 4, 2007
Messages
970
No, you would register it as experimental-amatuer built, just like now. LSA per se is strictly for manufactured aircraft or approved kits, but any aircraft that fits the LSA definition can be flown by a sport pilot.

-Dana

America is at that awkward stage. It's too late to work within the system, but too early to shoot the bastards.
Is that where the designation I've seen, E-LSA comes in? Experimental - Light Sport Aircraft I'm guessing? I guess that would apply to an 51% amature built kit plane or plans-built plane fitting into the weight, performance, etc. parameters of Light Sport I suppose?
 

Dana

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No, E-LSA is for existing fat ultralights that are grandfathered, and perhaps (I'm not sure about this one) approved kits. If you build it yourself (51%) it's E-AB, nothing about LSA in the registration.

-Dana

Never weed wack poison ivy in the nude.
 

Topaz

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Orange County, California
In response to the original question, I'll be getting my Private Pilot license with a glider rating (and possibly a motorglider rating eventually), and then getting an SEL rating with Sport Pilot priviledges.

I've got mild and tightly-controlled Type 2 diabetes (non-insulin-dependant), which doesn't strictly prohibit me from a 3rd-class medical. I've spoken to my doctor and can justifiably say that my disorder is no threat to my ability to safely operate an aircraft, but the initial and continuing periodic paperwork and testing requirements are too expensive and too much hassle for the $100 breakfast and short cross-country flying I'd want to do with an SEL.

It was put very well much earlier in this thread - there are a number of disorders out there that don't affect the ability of the pilot to operate an aircraft safely, and yet the FAA can disqualify or pull a ticket based on a simple diagnosis, regardless of severity. Do you know that kidney stones, no matter how minor, are an automatic disqualification? I couldn't believe it when I stumbled across that during my research. Love to see the justification for that one. Like anyone's going to jump in the cockpit with severe ones going on, and last I checked, that part of a pilot's anatomy isn't usually involved in flight ops if they're minor.

I compare this to the old requirement that men receive a prostate exam and women receive a pelvic in order to get a 3rd-class. Absurd, and at least those finally got waived.

/rant
 
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Greg Mueller

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 23, 2007
Messages
112
Location
Rainy WA State
After having gotten down the road towards a license of some sort (studying for the written) I have decided to go with the full private pilot license. The SP license requirements are so close to the PP license requirements it just makes no sense to me to not get all the benefits of the full license. Originally I voted yes to the SP license on the poll, but now I need to change my vote.

In short....If I have to memorize all that crap about the weather I might as well get the real ticket
 

Rhino

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Joined
Apr 8, 2004
Messages
771
Location
SW Ohio
No, E-LSA is for existing fat ultralights that are grandfathered, and perhaps (I'm not sure about this one) approved kits.
Correct. ELSA is for approved kits that meet the consensus standards.
 

pwood66889

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Joined
Feb 10, 2007
Messages
1,817
Location
Sopchoppy, Florida, USA
I'm in the same medical boat at Topaz. I have a PPSEL, and had a plane when I was "outed." I flew with a waiver to protect my investment. IMHO, nothing brings out the vultures like that dreaded phrase: "Lost Medical."
Eventually sold my Sport Pilot elegable airplane a couple months before the final rule due to economic exgeniencies (broke and leaving town). I plan to continue exercising flight priv's.
Percy in NM, USA
 

Midniteoyl

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 3, 2003
Messages
2,406
Location
Indiana
OK.. I'm gonna have to ignore this thread.... 'Bout every 5 days it comes up in the 'New Posts'... um, ok.
 

orion

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Joined
Mar 2, 2003
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5,800
Location
Western Washington
I think it's because folks take the poll so it updates as new just because of that, even if there are no actual posts made.
 

mstull

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Jun 23, 2005
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West Texas
Elderly, medically unfit pilots are using Sport Pilot as a loop hole to keep flying. In my area, I'd bet more than half the LSA operations are piloted by medically (or mentally) unfit pilots, who have serious conditions that could lead to an accident/crash.

If the FAA would list all the medical conditions and medicines that make a pilot unfit, at least those pilots would know they're flying illegally... Although most are probably too selfish to care.

If/when these unfit pilots crash and kill their passengers and the general public on the ground, there could be enough uproar that all recreational flying is banned.
 
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Rhino

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Apr 8, 2004
Messages
771
Location
SW Ohio
Elderly people are not unfit to fly simply by virtue of their age. You also have to keep in mind that the medical requirements for sport pilot are not the same as private pilot, and rightfully so. So what you may consider to be medically unfit when thinking of a private pilot, is not necessarily a disqualifier for sport pilot. While I have little doubt there are some people who meet your description, I think your estimate of the numbers is very high. Most of the folks going for Sport Pilot in this area are doing so simply because it's easier and cheaper. Quite a few of them also plan to go for private pilot later down the road, so they are not getting in via any loopholes. I have a significant history of medical problems, none of which would affect my ability to fly. However, due to the probable nightmare of paperwork I would have to go through for a third class, and due to the possibility that I may get some anal retentive medical examiner, I have chosen not to go that route. Highly significant in that decision is that the type of flying I want to do will be almost exclusively within the realm of sport pilot, and that LSAs and training are cheaper, so sport pilot is a much better fit for me anyway. It's not meant as an attack or insult, but I think your prejudice may be clouding your judgement. Then again, it could be that the people in your area are just quite different than the people here. Who knows?
 

mstull

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Jun 23, 2005
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West Texas
I hope you're right, Rhino, that other areas have fewer medically unfit pilots. I didn't mean to imply that elderly people are automatically medically unfit. I know pilots in their 70s and 80s who still pass a Class 2. Hopefully the elderly, medically unfit pilots can draw on their vast experience to make up for their ailments. Come to think of it, I'd rather go up with a very experienced pilot who has medical problems, than a healthy, young Sport Pilot who just got his license.
 

Rhino

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Apr 8, 2004
Messages
771
Location
SW Ohio
We can never rule out idiots flying. We see those all the time. But those are not limited to sport pilot. You may have a point that sport pilot will make it easier to skirt the requirements, but that's somewhat hard to judge because the requirements for sport pilots are lower due to their flying being more limited. I share your concern though. If someone uses sport pilot to skirt the requirements and causes an accident, particularly a high profile one, then it bodes bad for all of us.
 
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MichaelC

Active Member
Joined
Aug 11, 2008
Messages
35
Location
Wausau WI
The SP license requirements are so close to the PP license requirements it just makes no sense to me to not get all the benefits of the full license.
Close? The PPL is double the time and cost of the SPL. I don't consider that close.

For me and the type of flying I'll be doing, the SPL makes perfect sense. Although I would like to have a higher allowable cruise speed, which would open up more choices in AC, I can live with the restrictions. The difference in training between about $3000 for SPL and $6000 for PPL is significant.

BTW I could just kick myself for not going through with it and getting my PPL in 1991 (I logged about 2 hours total) when I could have gotten my PPL for about $3000!:depressed



Mike
 

etterre

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Joined
Aug 30, 2006
Messages
313
Location
St. Louis, MO, USA
Close? The PPL is double the time and cost of the SPL. I don't consider that close.

For me and the type of flying I'll be doing, the SPL makes perfect sense. Although I would like to have a higher allowable cruise speed, which would open up more choices in AC, I can live with the restrictions. The difference in training between about $3000 for SPL and $6000 for PPL is significant.

BTW I could just kick myself for not going through with it and getting my PPL in 1991 (I logged about 2 hours total) when I could have gotten my PPL for about $3000!:depressed

Mike
I used to think exactly the same thing... 20 hrs vs 40 hrs - right? I even started training with the Sport ticket as my goal - but experience has changed my mind.

Unfortunately, the reality is that the FAA wants you to know almost as much for Sport as for a PPL. Don't believe me? Then go make a list of all the flight training lesson topics for both licenses (stalls, steep turns, ground reference, instrument work, X-country, etc.) Two differences stood out for me:
1. The Sport license doesn't require as much instrument training (hood time) - yeah, you can avoid the instrument requirement... but the only LSA I can rent breaks the magic Vh speed (87 knots, right?), so I'd have to get at least a little hood time.
2. The cross-country requirements are smaller... but when I planned and flew mine it didn't seem like it would have been all that hard to have gone a little farther and stopped at a third airport. I would guess that an extra half-hour of planning and somewhat less than an extra hour of flight time would have turned my sport x-country into a PPL x-country.

I know that there isn't nearly enough data for good stats on number of hours required (especially with the recent changes)... but my gut feeling is that the training time difference is more like 5-10 hours instead of 20. My CFI has put together a training plan for sport to private transition and his minimum is 12 hours of extra training - but the thing to keep in mind is that the plan includes 5 hours of "do-over" cross country time because my sport pilot cross-countries weren't long enough to count. :tired:

The knowledge tests are also pretty similar... just add VOR interpretation and some extra airspace questions to the sport-pilot test and you get the PPL test.

The BIGGEST thing to keep in mind is aircraft availability. If you're planning to build or buy an LSA and then use it for training, then you can ignore that problem. If your plan is to go to the FBO and rent an LSA, then I wish you lots of luck. I've had pretty bad luck in that area... Of the 3 LSA that I've flown, only 1 is currently available for rental - and I believe that it's now the only rental LSA in the St. Louis area. And that last bit is the primary reason I'm switching: There are 4 other airplanes I could easily rent at the FBO (2 172s, 2 152s) that has the LSA, and there are 4 other FBOs that I could rent from.

Do I think Sport is a good starting point? Not at the current time - unless the medical thing is a big deal for you. I can see where the special issuance process could become an expensive pain if you had diabetes or resolved heart problems or kidney stones or <insert minor problem here>. Starting out as a sport pilot will make more sense once there are more LSAs for rent... but I can't imagine that any LSAs are going to replace the 152s and 172s that are on the flight line right now. Maybe in 5 years it will start changing as the busier Cessna Pilot Centers start to sell off the used SkyCatchers that they don't even have yet. :whistle:
 

LGM

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Joined
Jul 4, 2008
Messages
52
The BIGGEST thing to keep in mind is aircraft availability. If you're planning to build or buy an LSA and then use it for training, then you can ignore that problem. If your plan is to go to the FBO and rent an LSA, then I wish you lots of luck. I've had pretty bad luck in that area... :whistle:
The famous chicken & egg problem. No sport pilots, no LSA's for rent. No LSA's for rent, no pilots. I think another reason there's fewer sport pilots is because older pilots look down their noses at sport, it's harder to find an instructor. During almost every inquiry I made, I was pushed at PPL.

Take care,

L.G.
 

etterre

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Joined
Aug 30, 2006
Messages
313
Location
St. Louis, MO, USA
The famous chicken & egg problem. No sport pilots, no LSA's for rent. No LSA's for rent, no pilots. I think another reason there's fewer sport pilots is because older pilots look down their noses at sport, it's harder to find an instructor. During almost every inquiry I made, I was pushed at PPL.

Take care,

L.G.
Agreed - but I remain hopeful that the situation will change. The introduction of the SkyCatcher at Cessna Pilot Centers should start tipping the balance... and the Cirrus LSA should help as well... but it's going to take a number of years before either of those two models has a chance at offering the same sort of value to an independent FBO that a 1970's era 152 offers today.
 

bmcj

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Apr 10, 2007
Messages
13,648
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Fresno, California
Regarding the poll, I chose yes, not because my goal is to fly as a Sport Pilot, but there are times when it is necessary for me to fly as a Sport Pilot. Those times (like now) may be when my medical has lapsed and I am too broke (LIKE NOW!) to afford an FAA flight physical or when I cannot get a timely appointment. As I glider pilot too, I don't know if all glider time is considered SP or can still be considered as private PIC time.

Bottom line, though, is that as long as I have a medical, I will continue to exercise my flying as a private pilot because it gives me everything that the SP rating allows and more, and I will only resort to using Sport Pilot status while my medical is not current or I feel that I may no longer be able to pass the flight physical.

For that reason, the poll results may be a little deceptive, leaning toward the SP even though most may consider themselves Private Pilots first rather than Sport Pilots.

Bruce :)
 
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