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Yes! There Really is Sport Pilot Training Available

By Larry Gehrig

Larry Gehrig

Greetings, my name is Larry Gehrig and I have been given this opportunity to remind our fellow EAA enthusiasts that Sport Pilot Chicago is actively involved in daily flight training for pilots to obtain sport pilot certification and we have been actively involved with Light Sport training since late 2005.

I operate the flight training facility, which was featured in the March 2007 issue of EAA Sport Pilot magazine. Perhaps in the spring of 2007, when the article by Tal Newhart was published, the spark had not yet ignited your desire to seek out a structured sport pilot training program. Now as the desire to become a certificated sport pilot has captured you, I would like to invite pilots and future pilots to visit our training facility. We operate seven days a week at Cushing Field (0C8) in Newark, Illinois, 65 miles southwest of downtown Chicago.  For winter operations we move into a comfortable heated hangar at the Aurora Municipal Airport (ARR) located in Sugar Grove, Illinois. The airport’s snow removal equipment makes winter training feasible and the control tower at this Class D airport quickly cures the student of any “mike fright.”

Sport Pilot Chicago has five highly qualified CFIs on staff. If you would like to continue flight training toward an advanced certificate - private, commercial, or instrument - after acquiring your sport pilot certificate, you may use the same aircraft you trained in. The logged hours required for the sport pilot certificate apply toward a private certification. The instructor must also be appropriately rated in order for the sport pilot time to count toward an advanced certificate.

Sport Pilot Chicago trains in the following aircraft: Sport Cruiser from Czech Aircraft Works (in January 2010, the Sport Cruiser became the PiperSport LSA), Evector Sportstar Plus, Aerotrek 240 (high-wing), and Quicksilver Sport 2-S. These aircraft are also available to rent to those pilots who have a pilot certificate.

Quicksilver. Did that get your attention? As you know, after January 31, 2010, we were unable to continue training in the often-requested E-LSA (Experimental Light Sport Aircraft), the Quicksilver. Until that date the Quicksilver accommodated a busy schedule and yielded multiple sport pilot certificates. Many of our students desire to train in and take their checkride in the low and slow, fun flying, affordable Quicksilver aircraft. We have two Quicksilver Sport 2-S models and are very much looking forward to satisfying aviators’ needs this coming spring.

How is this possible? You may have heard of EAA’s efforts to gain FAA approval of the LODA (Letter of Deviation Authority). This LODA, provided by the FAA, will allow use of an experimental light sport aircraft for sport pilot training. This approval will most likely occur in the very near future. We train every day and have been since 2005. If a concentrated training schedule is desired, on-site accommodations are available. Online scheduling and more information can be found here. The FAA requires a minimum of 20 logged hours for certification. Please feel free to contact us if you would like to pursue your rating. Call 630-390-5024 or e-mail chiquicksilver@earthlink.net. Happy landings aviators!

Larry Gehrig has been involved with Quicksilvers since the early beginnings of the ultralight movement. He and fellow members of the FoxValley ultralight club have flown their Quicksilvers from the Chicago area to AirVenture numerous times. Read the article Cushing Field …a Pilot’s Paradise by Tal Newhart.


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