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, you 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.