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Sport Pilot

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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

bmcj

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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.
Perhaps that is why the sport pilot instructor flight requirements are significantly less than those for private pilot. Personally I think both should be higher. I know that at 150 hours I still had a lot to learn... still do even now. :gig:

Bruce :)
 

Topaz

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...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...
Depends upon "the privileges under which you were operating at the time of the flight." If you have a current and valid PPL-G, then the time is PPL-G time. If your PPL is currently not valid and you hold a SPL-G rating, then it's SPL time.

Or, if you have a current and valid PPL with no Glider rating, but hold a Glider rating at the Sport Pilot level, then the time is SPL-G time. Of course, the glider has to meet the definition of an LSA-G, too, for you to lawfully log the PIC time. People don't realize that there are specific regs for gliders when it comes to LSA. They're not the same as a powered LSA.
 

bmcj

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Topaz,

If a PPL pilot lets his medical lapse (I'm not mentioning any names here :whistle:), can he operate as an SPL pilot in a Light Sport aircraft, or does he have to get a lightsport rating and flight check?

Bruce :)
 

Dana

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Bruce, a PPL holder with a lapsed (not denied) medical can act as PIC for "those operations requiring a Sport Pilot Certificate." Of course, all SP limitations then apply (no night flying, max altitude, etc.)

-Dana

Black holes are where God is dividing by zero.
 

Topaz

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If a pilot has any realistic concerns about passing a third class medical, the best thing to do is simply to let it lapse and then operate under Sport Pilot, and/or go get a glider rating (PPL-G) and motorglider endorsement. I'll have to defer to Dana about whether or not you actually have to then get the SPL 'privileges' added to your PPL certificate; I'm not sure about that one.

If you are denied a third-class medical and can't subsequently get a waiver, you're pretty much limited to Part 103 ultralights at that point. You can't get an SPL after a medical denial without also getting the waiver, and operating under a PPL-G requires a written certification on your application that you "...have no known medical condition that would interfere with safe operation of an aircraft." Having been denied a third-class medical - which fact is known to the FAA - you are obviously incapable of making that certification truthfully, because the medical certificate was denied for some medical condition you have that the FAA considers 'significant' to the safe operation of an aircraft. So you couldn't legally fly a glider (or motorglider) either, even though operating under a PPL-G doesn't require a medical certificate. Whether or not the local FSDO or the folks at headquarters are going to connect the dots on that one is up for debate, but that's the way it works, and in today's world of connected databases, I wouldn't be at all surprised if they could and would.

If you're in doubt about your medical and want to keep your options open, self-restrict down to SPL and gliders/motorgliders. Once you've been denied the medical and can't get the FAA to grant a waiver, you've pretty much lost the sky in anything more than an ultralight. Obviously, if you are aware that you do have a flight-significant medical condition, you shouldn't be flying anything regardless, but that's up to each person's own conscience.
 
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radfordc

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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.
I sure the Sport Pilot training program doesn't require any hood time. Certainly, the endorsement to fly a class of LSA that exceeds the 87 knot limit doesn't require it.

Charlie
 

mcjon77

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I sure the Sport Pilot training program doesn't require any hood time. Certainly, the endorsement to fly a class of LSA that exceeds the 87 knot limit doesn't require it.

Charlie
One of the rules the FAA is proposing (which should go into effect by November) is that folks wanting the 87kt+ signoff must get 1 hour of instrument training (compared to a private pilot's 3 hour requirement).
 

bmcj

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Just found this article that lays out some of the rules regarding counting Light Sport time toward a full-fledged PPL rating. The letter referenced below can be found at http://www.121five.com/admin/FeatureArticles/FAA_SP_onesheet.pdf (but it is difficult to read.

Bruce :)


So, can a student pilot apply any flight time he or she logged while training for a sport pilot certificate toward a private pilot certificate? According to a letter from the FAA's Office of the Chief Counsel to aviation journalist Tim Kern, who queried the office, solo sport pilot flight time may only be credited to solo private pilot flight time if the "specific category and class of aircraft are met." Logging instruction time depends on the instructor's credentials. If instruction is received from an instructor who holds only a a sport pilot rating, that instruction may not be credited toward the issuance of a private pilot certificate. However, if the instruction toward a sport pilot certificate is provided by an instructor authorized to provide instruction to both sport pilots and private pilots, that time could "be credited toward the flight training requirements for a corresponding private pilot certificate." There are more details ... .

According to the letter, "flight time obtained in a certificated aircraft prior to the issuance of a private pilot certificate, regardless of whether that flight time was obtained prior to, or after, the issuance of a sport pilot certificate may be credited toward the flight time requirements for the issuance of the private pilot certificate" ..... It explains in detail that a sport pilot instructor (SPI) is not qualified to give dual for a private certificate and therefore any instruction given by an SPI is not applicable toward the private.
 

Dana

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This raises another question which recently occurrs to me: Can a Sport Pilot Instructor give a BFR to a Private Pilot (i.e. me)? I presume no in general, but can he do it if the Private Pilot only intends to exercise Sport Pilot privileges (like a PPL holder can fly a LSA without a current medical)?

-Dana

You do not need a parachute to skydive. You only need a parachute to skydive twice.
 

bmcj

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This raises another question which recently occurs to me: Can a Sport Pilot Instructor give a BFR to a Private Pilot (i.e. me)? I presume no in general, but can he do it if the Private Pilot only intends to exercise Sport Pilot privileges (like a PPL holder can fly a LSA without a current medical)?
I would assume not, but that is only a guess.

A related question is, can a PPL pilot jump into a Light Sport aircraft and fly it as a Sport Pilot after his medical expires without any previous checkout from a Sport Pilot Instructor?

Bruce :)
 

Topaz

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I would assume not, but that is only a guess.

A related question is, can a PPL pilot jump into a Light Sport aircraft and fly it as a Sport Pilot after his medical expires without any previous checkout from a Sport Pilot Instructor?

Bruce :)
The EAA and AOPA have been saying "yes" to this. Pretty much the same as if a Commercial pilot flies at a "Private Pilot" level. You don't need an extra checkout to operate "down" a level. How this works with the >87kt endorsement, I don't know, however. You might need to get that. Maybe. If there's an "r" in the month... :para:
 

BBerson

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I just got a BFR in a powered glider. The instructor said the BFR would cover all of my other airplane ratings as well.
He did say that the FAA requests that the instructor review (ground instruction)airplane procedures or any other procedures that apply to all the certificates held by the pilot.
BB
 

bmcj

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edit here are alledgedly the answers to what a SPI can do.

BFR: Sport Pilot - Ask the Expert
Tailwheel: Sport Pilot - Ask the Expert
Here's another that answers one of my questions:

Sport Pilot - Ask the Expert

But I wonder how up to date these are? Lots of dead hyperlinks and some of the answers lead me to believe that they were written several years ago while the rules were either under development or not fully understood. What might have changed (or been clarified) since this question and answer session was published?

Bruce :)
 

bob.shea

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wonderlake IL USA
I am a fifty year old student pilot (12 hrs). I am working for a private, not that I need one, the sport would be fine, I just want to fly around the grass field strips. I really don't want to be bothered with any tower airports. But like one of the gentlemen said, why go through the work for 1/2 the party.

Problem, At 6ft 2in and 250lbs there are not a lot of sport planes That I will fit into with a instructor and still carry any fuel. Plus in Northern IL there are not a lot of schools with sport planes to rent, and the ones that do have them are just as expensive or even more than I pay for a 172.
In my area you are not really saving any money going the sport route.
Personally I think that the sport should be for the retiring fliers, and to reinstate the guys on border with their medical issues who are fine with meds.
Now after my two cents, we all know that the FAA will try and fail to get it right. So how is this, FAA controlls the commercial world of aviation, and sets the overall rules for GA. Let the EAA or some group of pilots come up with the ratings and classes for the GA world, and create a ratings system that is more in tune with the real GA community. In stead of having just sport or private let there be three or four levels of ratings, each giving more performance based on the level of training and equipment of the plane. This way you could decide what is right for you based on the flying you want to do. Each rating being a stepping stone to the next. And each rating opening up more sky to fly in.
 

HumanPoweredDesigner

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So if I build a pedal powered airplane and want to test fly it before a competition, will FAA require me to get a license of some kind? I know there are some rules for planes under 250 pounds, but I can't find that thread.
Maximum speed: 28 mph
Stall speed: probably 24 mph.
Never exceed speed: I'm making it strong, but probably not safe to go over 28. Probably not safe to take off at all.
Empty weight: 40 pounds, if that. I'm finding ways to improve it.
Single seat
No engine, just a person.
No fuel.
Altitude: less than 50 feet.
Enclosed cockpit so no dirt gets in pilot's eyes.
I'd be parked somewhere while I watch the athlete test fly it. I'll have my cell phone on me if he crashes, which hopefully would just be skidding into the dirt.

Do I have to show FAA the designs and the plane and get them to approve it? If I just go fly it out in the middle of no where some place flat, and a police helicopter flies by, will they order me to land and ask me why I did not file a flight plan with FAA for that day?
 

mcjon77

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If the plane meets the specs that you listed, the FAA would not require any license.
 

vortilon

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Marana AZ USA
So if I build a pedal powered airplane and want to test fly it before a competition, will FAA require me to get a license of some kind? I know there are some rules for planes under 250 pounds, but I can't find that thread.
Maximum speed: 28 mph
Stall speed: probably 24 mph.
Never exceed speed: I'm making it strong, but probably not safe to go over 28. Probably not safe to take off at all.
Empty weight: 40 pounds, if that. I'm finding ways to improve it.
Single seat
No engine, just a person.
No fuel.
Altitude: less than 50 feet.
Enclosed cockpit so no dirt gets in pilot's eyes.
I'd be parked somewhere while I watch the athlete test fly it. I'll have my cell phone on me if he crashes, which hopefully would just be skidding into the dirt.

Do I have to show FAA the designs and the plane and get them to approve it? If I just go fly it out in the middle of no where some place flat, and a police helicopter flies by, will they order me to land and ask me why I did not file a flight plan with FAA for that day?
Oh they are already working on regs for your class of aircraft,

They will have to be certified to 9g's
They will have to be equipped with:
Flaps
spoilers
fire suppression in case the athlete spontaneously combusts
cockpit methane detector
first aid kit
cockpit voice recorder
windshield has to have frozen chicken tests
wipers
seats and furnishings made from fire resistant materials
etc..
 

Inverted Vantage

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That sounds like it's basically an ultralight, which means no, you will not have to have a license or go through regulatory procedures (other than the FAA inspecting it at whim; which you have to watch out for and make sure it's up to spec).

As to the topic itself; I won't personally be taking advantage of it, but I push the new license to everyone I meet. It really is the future and the best hope aviation has.
 
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KeithO

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Nov 29, 2009
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Jackson, MI
Living in Southern MI, which is fairly populated. The nearest airport that offered LSA pilot training was in Kalamazoo, more than an hours drive away. The school is no longer advertising sport pilot training and the flight trainer they used is up for sale.

I can to the written training at Jackson community college, but they don't even have 150's or 152's for training, only 172's. Why would a flight school want to do training in a 4 seat airplane with nothing smaller on hand ? Hourly rental is higher, fuel burn is higher, as is the cost of insurance ? There is a local company who assembles Italian LSA's on the airport, but has not offered a single one of their 2 seaters to the flight school for flight training.

Maybe this situation is just a Michigan story, but if this is the way things are going with virtually no flight training in LSA's available, and entry level costs of 95k+ this concept is screwed.
 
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