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Sport Pilot Endorsement Story Needs Clarification

Light Plane World contributor Helen Woods at Chesapeake Sport Pilot kindly pointed out a potentially misleading report in our September 2010 issue related to sport pilot endorsements. The FAA notified each pilot with sport pilot endorsements in his logbook that new certificates will be issued, and his sport pilot privilege(s) will be listed as an endorsement on the certificate. There is the possibility of confusion when using the word “endorsement” anytime we are talking about something as complicated as the FAA regulations. Even after you’ve read the FAA letter, you might still be confused.

We wrote, “Under the current rules sport pilots or pilots with sport pilot privileges must carry their pilot’s logbook on flights to show key endorsements for authorizing sport pilot privileges. The FAA will soon issue new sport pilot certificates with the required endorsements printed on the certificate.” Our report suggests that all endorsements are included, but that isn’t the case. Helen’s investigation and a more strict reading of the FAA letter reveal that only the category and class of aircraft will be added to your certificate. The example given in the letter is“weight shift control land.” Many pilots will still need to carry their logbook or a photocopy of any other endorsements that are required. Examples include the endorsement to fly in controlled airspace and the speed endorsement for airplanes over (or under) 87 knots.

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