How long will it take to get my sport 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?
How much will it cost?
The EAA-led sport pilot revolution in aviation has cut the cost of flight training to become a pilot - and of acquiring new, factory-built airplanes - in half! And the elimination of burdensome medical examinations and certifications will save pilots thousands of dollars over the course of their flying lives.
Step 1: Join EAA
Your first step is to join EAA. At a cost of $40 per year, it'll be the best investment in your new favorite pastime that you'll ever make. By exploring this website you'll see that the information, guidance, and money-saving benefits provided by EAA will more than pay for your membership again and again.
Step 2: Choose your aircraft and training
You can learn to fly either an airplane, powered parachute or weight shift control aircraft. The cost of flight training varies widely by which type of aircraft you want to learn to fly and your location.
Step 3: Review cost overview
Join EAA: $40 (optional, but recommended)
How do I get my student pilot certificate?
As your flight training progresses, you'll eventually need an official student pilot certificate from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) before you may fly solo. If you don't have an official student pilot certificate, most flight instructors or schools can direct you to a Designated Pilot Examiner (DPE) who can issue the student certificate at a cost of approximately $50. Or you can go to any FAA Flight Standards District Office (FSDO) and get the certificate there.
What about insurance?
You should also discuss insurance coverage with your flight instructor. To protect yourself, any time you are flying an aircraft you do not own, whether renting or borrowing, including flight training, you should have non-owners (renters) aircraft insurance. To ensure your protection, as an EAA member you may enroll in the EAA Non-Owned Aircraft Liability Insurance Plan, a great way to cover your interests as an aircraft renter. For more information, click here
Where can I go to get started?
EAA's database of flight schools and instructors offering sport pilot flight training now has more than 400 entries and the number keeps growing every week! Find a flight instructor in your state, pick up the phone, and get your adventure started! You’ll want to focus on instructors who have aircraft for rent.
Is it 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 having fun.
What can I do? What can’t I do?
See Sport Pilot Privileges and Limitations for details.