Sport Pilot Certificate

The vast majority of our club members hold Sport Pilot Certificates and operate Light Sport Aircraft.  A few members are basic ultralight pilots with no license at all (none exists), and a few others hold more advanced licenses all the way up to ATP (Airline Transport Pilot). However, if you are an aviation enthusiast seeking your first pilot certificate, the sport pilot certificate provides the easiest and least costly way to fly for fun and recreation.

The minimum required training time for the different light sport aircraft categories are:

  • Airplane: 20 hours
  • Powered Parachute: 12 hours
  • Weight-Shift-Control (Trikes): 20 hours
  • Glider: 10 hours
  • Rotorcraft (gyroplane only): 20 hours
  • Lighter-Than-Air: 20 hours (airship) or 7 hours (balloon)

To earn a sport pilot certificate, one must:

  • Be at least 16 to become a student sport pilot (14 for glider).
  • Be at least 17 to test for a sport pilot certificate (16 for gliders).
  • Be able to speak, read, write, and understand English.
  • Hold a current and valid U.S. driver’s license as evidence of medical eligibility (provided the FAA didn’t deny, revoke, or suspend your last medical certificate application). Alternatively, you can also use a third class airman’s medical to establish medical fitness.
  • Pass an FAA sport pilot knowledge test.
  • Pass a FAA sport pilot practical (flight) test.


Sport Pilot Privileges

When operating as a sport pilot, you as the pilot have the following privileges and limitations with a 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) or 2,000 feet above ground level (AGL), whichever is higher.
  • 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 or hire
  • Prohibited from flying in furtherance of a business.

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