What is a Sport Pilot Certificate?

A Sport Pilot Certificate is a great way to get your training started if you’re interested in a pilot’s license. It costs significantly less than other certificates and can get you in the air a lot faster than you imagine. A sport pilot certificate is an affordable first step that brings much of the same freedoms of a private certificate with less training time and costs. Ultimately a sport pilot certificate is a great stepping stone to help you determine if you’re ready to get more advanced certificates.

Sport Pilot Certificate Limitations

There are some operational limitations when you’re flying with only a sport pilot certificate. You cannot fly at night or in some busy US airspaces. You’re also not cleared to fly higher than 10,000 feet or fly for business purposes. However, you are allowed to fly some of the most technologically advanced aircraft on the market, and you can have up to one passenger with you.

Time and Cost of a Sport Pilot Certificate

The average cost for earning a private pilot certificate is around $10,000. The average cost for a private pilot certificate is less than half at $4,500. That’s a significant savings if your goal is to just have some fun flying for recreational reasons.

To earn your sport pilot certificate, a minimum of 20 hours of flight-instruction time is required. 15 of those hours should be with an FAA-authorized instructor, plus five hours of solo flight and two hours of cross country flight. To qualify to take a sport pilot check ride with an FAA-designated pilot examiner, you must log 10 takeoffs and landings and one solo cross-country flight of at least 75 nautical miles. You’ll also need to have landed at a minimum of two airports.

After You Get your Sport Pilot Certificate

Once you complete your work and pass, you will be issued your sport pilot certificate. You’ll be limited to flying only light-sport aircraft or kit aircraft the meet the LSA parameters. These aircraft are usually lighter, smaller and slower than larger general aviation aircraft flown by private pilots.

Sets You on the Path for Higher Level Certifications

When you earn your sport pilot certificate, you’re on the path to higher certificates and ratings. The training hours spent on your sport pilot license count towards your private pilot certificate. However, if the hours were not spent with a certified flight instructor, that time will not count. If you think you’ll want to earn higher-level certificates later, make sure your instructor is certified.

No Medical Card Needed

A sport pilot certificate does not require you to hold a medical card issued by an FAA-approved aviation medical examiner or an FAA BasicMed certificate. The only thing you’ll need to prove your medical fitness is a driver’s license.

Ready to Get Your Sport Pilot Certificate?

Whether you’re getting your sport pilot certificate for recreational use or will become a commercial pilot, choosing a qualified flight school makes all the difference in time and money spent. Come visit our Florida campus or Tennessee campus. You can request a tour and see all that CTI has to offer our students.

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