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Sport Pilot

Affordable Flying Available Now 

Recently the Federal Aviation Administration created a new category of pilot called the Sport Pilot.  This initiative has dramatically reduced the cost of learning to fly.  Sport Pilot certificates require as little as 20 hours of instruction from an FAA certified flight instructor.  The holder of a sport pilot license may fly a light sport aircraft (a 2 place aircraft weighing less than 1320 lbs) unlimited distances within the United States , in good weather, during daylight hours.

Along with the new pilot rules, the FAA created a new category of aircraft called the Special Light Sport Aircraft (SLSA).  These new airplanes offer brand new aircraft with modern technology for far less than the traditional certificated aircraft (Cessna, Piper, etc.)  Plus, they cost far less to operate. 

In addition to new sport pilot candidates, this new Sport Pilot License is available to current and former pilots who have not had their medical denied.   

How much does it cost to become a Sport Pilot?

The FAA requires 20 hours of flight training (15 hours dual with an instructor and 5 hours solo) prior to taking what’s called a check ride – your final exam.  Each individual learns differently and at a different pace, however flying consistently (two or three times per week) and diligently studying your written material, should keep your costs to a minimum.    

The cost of a full sport pilot course for a student who progresses through the course in the minimum time is approximately $3,495 (SportPlanesFlorida.com pre-paid block program). This includes both the cost of aircraft rental and hiring your instructor. This is tremendous savings when compared to the typical $8,000 -$12,000 required for a private pilot certificate at most flight schools.

 What are the basic "qualifications"?

The fundamental qualifications for becoming a sport pilot are quite simple. Remember, the main idea behind the sport pilot movement is to open up the exciting world of recreational aviation to many more enthusiasts. We love aviation and want to share that joy with you and many others!

Accordingly, the qualifications are modest:

  • At least 17 years of age

  • Valid state driver's license

  • Proficient in the English language

  • Be able to affirm general good health and not using substances or medications that impede judgment, cognition, or motor skills

 What do I need to start my flight training?

A desire to learn and a driver’s license
For the most part, you can show up for your first flight lesson with nothing but a primed eagerness to enjoy an exhilarating experience! The airplane and fuel are included in your price of instruction, so all you need are yourself, your learning skills, and your desire for FUN!

Just bring your valid state driver's license and get started!

 Once I’ve learned to fly, where can I fly?

Once you've achieved your sport pilot certificate, you'll likely find yourself exploiting every possible opportunity to get out and FLY!

You might plan an ambitious coast-to-coast trip, hopping your way across the country through clear-weather routes. Maybe you'll fly away with a friend for a weekend getaway or spend a few hours practicing at the local airport. Or maybe you’ll take in scenic vistas from above. Whatever the plan -- however simple or grandiose -- it will center on enjoying the world from a different perspective, and feeling the exhilaration, freedom, and satisfaction of flying an aircraft yourself.  

Is flying safe?

Recreational flight is statistically among the safest outdoor motor sports. Although every activity - even walking outside to collect your morning newspaper - carries a degree of inherent risk, flying for fun falls well within the safety margins that most people expect for recreational activity.

And flying as a sport pilot eliminates several risk factors, making it potentially even safer than other general-aviation flying. Because the sport pilot's flight activities by definition entail daylight, favorable weather, good visibility, and light aircraft capable of low-speed flight, the sport pilot can focus on FUN instead of worry.  

How long will it take to get my pilot certificate?

The minimum number of flight training hours for achieving a sport pilot certificate to fly an airplane is 20. Those training hours will include dual instruction (instructor and student), cross-country flying (departing one airport and landing at another), and solo flights. The number of days or weeks required to log those 20 or more hours of instruction is really up to you and your instructor. Will you set aside several days for immersive flight instruction or will you spread out the flight lessons over a period of weeks?

What are the Sport Pilot Privileges and Limitations?

When operating as a sport pilot, you as the pilot must operate within the following guidelines of the sport pilot certificate:


  • Operate as pilot in command of a sport pilot eligible aircraft

• Carry a passenger and share expenses (fuel, oil, airport expenses, and aircraft rental);

  • Fly during the daytime using visual flight rules (VFR). Three statute miles visibility and visual contact with the ground are required.

  • Cross-country flying anywhere in the U.S.

  • Fly up to 10,000 feet above mean sea level (MSL).

  • Fly solo or with one passenger.

  • Share operating expenses with another person.

  • Fly in Class E and G airspace (and B, C, and D airspace with appropriate training).

  • Allows sport pilots to fly production (standard airworthiness certificate) and experimental amateur-built aircraft that meet the definition of a light-sport aircraft.

  • Allows rental of special light-sport aircraft (S-LSA).


  • Prohibited from Class A airspace.

  • Prohibited from flying in Class B, C, or D airspace until you receive training and a logbook endorsement from an instructor.

  • No flights outside the U.S. without prior permission from the foreign aviation authority.

  • May not tow any object.

  • No flights while carrying a passenger or property for compensation, hire, or

  • Prohibited from flying in furtherance of a business.

Can my Sport Pilot Training count towards more advanced flight training?

Yes.  Although many Sport Pilots will remain recreational pilots only others may choose to go on to more advanced training such as Private Pilot, Instrument Rated Pilot, Commercial Pilot, Certified Flight Instructor, and ATP.  Your Sport Pilot training is an excellent foundation for this advanced training and is often far cheaper than initial training at a more advanced school.

 Some content courtesy of  Sportpilot.org.


Learn to Fly for $3795!





Contact SportPlanesFlorida.com at (877) 330-3011  or info@sportplanesflorida.com