WSC Trike Instruction and Practical Test (Checkride) Fees

  • $170 per hour – Flight Instruction (includes $75/hr instructor and $95/hr trike*)
  • $75 per hour – Ground Time/Instruction**
  • $100 per hour – Flight Instruction in applicant owned aircraft
  • $470 Sport Pilot Practical Test/checkride (in applicant aircraft)
  • $450 Sport Pilot Proficiency Check (in applicant aircraft)
  • $570 Sport Flight Instructor initial Practical Test/checkride (in applicant aircraft)
  • $550 Sport Flight Instructor Proficiency Check (applicant aircraft)
  • $95 per hour – Aircraft Rental for Practical Test/Checkride, Proficiency Check or Flight Review *** (Trike not available for solo rental)
  • $190 Biennial Flight review in pilot supplied aircraft (minimum time requirements)

NOTE:
* Includes aircraft, headsets, and fuel complete with no extra costs.
** Includes time from scheduled appointment/time of meeting to end of scheduled time/when training session is complete and applicant leaves.
*** Includes headsets and fuel.

How much does it cost to get a sport pilot license?

This depends on several factors. Let’s look at the variables first.

  • Will you be learning in your own aircraft or renting one?
  • Will you be doing a concentrated course where you are flying every day until you get your license, will you be doing the optimum schedule of flying one day on and one day off, or will you be dragging it out by only flying on weekends or longer periods?
  • Do you have good study habits, motivated to study on your own or will you need someone to teach most or all the material?
  • How fast do you pick up the motor skills to control the aircraft?

NOTE: You must solo in your own trike. There is no student insurance for trikes. Plus, we cannot take the risk of a student banging up our trainer and shutting down operations. This is typical for most trike training operations throughout the US/world. Existing pilots with a FAA license transitioning to trikes do not have to solo to add trikes to their pilot certificate.

Overall, the costs to become sport pilot trike  are less than half that of a private pilot airplane. It must be understood that these are realistic numbers, not something pared down to make it look inexpensive. Most “learn to fly for $2XXX” do not include the post flight briefings, flight/ground school, FAA test fees or anything for training materials. Here we will provide the complete range of time and costs so you can be educated and compare.

What about Ultralight pilots for weight-shift control trikes ?

There are no time, training or FAA tests for a single place ultralight. However the federal laws FAR Title 14 Part 103 require the non FAA licensed pilot to fly an ultralight with certain federal requirements for the safety of the general public which require  significant education of the federal airspace and specific requirements to fly into some controlled federal airspace. For an ultralight pilot to think he/she is operating without any federal regulations this is a misnomer. FAR Part 103 or officially Title 14 CFR Part 103 specifies a number of federal regulations so some uneducated 103 pilot does not fly into a GA traffic, a commercial airliner or create a hazard to the general public. If you in a remote area this will not effect you much but in more congested airspace flying an ultralight this is a big factor. No one wants get hurt flying a trike. Simple.

Simply, if you are going to operate an ultralight in federal airspace, you need to know the laws that effect you, your family, your friends and the general public per Title 14 CFR Part 103.

If anyone thinks that those operating an ultralight are free from federal airspace regulations, think again. It is federal airspace and you must abide by the federal airspace laws.

Again, if you want to get qualified to fly an ultralight trike, it takes about half the time as a sport pilot and one quarter the time as a private pilot trike.

How long does it take to get a Sport Pilot License?

The range of flight hours varies greatly. We have had some get through with as little as 25 hours flight time. Others 70 hours flight time. As discussed above, there are several factors. Let’s use the average of 35 hours of flight time. If we average 1.5 hours per day flight time this is 23 days or a little more than 3 weeks. Actual time depends on many of factors, but with a concentrated course and good weather plan on 2 to 4 weeks to get it in one stay.

Sport Pilot License Accelerated Program

The steps for typical Sport Aviation Center Sport Pilot license accelerated program:

  • Step 1: You buy the student pilot training kit and you do all the homework for flight and ground lessons by following the training syllabus. This allows you to progress quickly and efficiently through your flight training and ground school. You pass the FAA knowledge test.
  • Step 2: You show up here in Reno/Tahoe/Carson for 7 to 10 days concentrated flight and flight ground training. We get you proficient to solo.
  • Step 3: Now that you are educated on trikes and ready to solo, you buy your own trike and solo in it. You can do this by bringing it here for us to checkout and fly, bring it to your own airport to solo, or find another recommended instructor to finish out your solo and cross country requirements. Many students fly to their hearts content and have a great time flying any time they want during this solo phase.
  • Step 4: You take your Practical Test/Checkride and you are a sport pilot.

It should be noted that sometime you need to be handed off to another flight instructor to provide the minimum 2 hours required flight time 60 days before the checkride of an instructor to recommend a student pilot for a checkride. This can be done for solo, right after solo or just before the checkride. This depends on the specific circumstances. If you come to Sport Aviation Center for the complete training package this may happen before, during, or after solo and sometimes just before the checkride. I have another trike/airplane CFI, Bob Harington who is an excellent CFI to train and get you ready for your checkride with this 2 hours requirement. We’ve got you covered!

Let’s look at the optimum situation using your own trike, with a concentrated course or optimum flying three days per week, you study everything to get through your three types of ground school, and you have great motor skills to have the minimum flight hours required for the license. This is not typical but provided as the minimum for comparisons with other programs.

If you take out what most schools do not include, training materials, FAA knowledge test and checkride this would total the $2000 to $3000 some schools advertise. We are going to include all training costs in our comparisons since this is part of your overall cost.

Task or itemtimecosttotal
Student Pilot Kit$360
Flight/Hobbs time CFI15$100$1500
Flight brief/debrief and ground school lesson review CFI15$75$1125
Solo flight time5 to 15 hoursuse own aircraftfuel costs
Solo flight ground instruction CFI2$75$150
Ground school for the aeronautical flight, knowledge test and Checkride CFI40
$75self study
FAA Knowledge Test$150
Checkride$470
Totals$3755

Let’s look at the optimum situation where you rent the trike for dual training, with a concentrated course or optimum flying three days per week, you study everything to get through your three types of ground school, and you have great motor skills to have the minimum flight hours required for the license. Note that you buy a trike for your solo and checkride.

Task or itemtimecosttotal
Student Pilot Kit$360
Flight/Hobbs time CFI and Aircraft15$170$2550
Flight brief/debrief and groundschool lesson review CFI15$75$1,125
Solo flight time5 to 15 hoursuse own aircraft
Solo flight ground instruction CFI2$75$150
Ground school for the aeronautical flight, knowledge test and Checkride40
$75seff study
FAA Knowledge Test$150
Checkride$470
Totals$4805

Let’s look at the extended situation where you rent the trike for dual training, with an extended training schedule not flying constantly and/or having to go back and repeat flight tasks as needed and/or it takes more time than the minimum to get through which is typical. You do not study much and require an additional 40 hours of ground time to get through your three types of ground school. Note that you buy a trike for solo. This will cause sticker shock but notice the $2000 for the ground school you can study on your own.

Task or itemtimecosttotal
Student Pilot Kit$360
Flight/Hobbs time CFI25$170$4250
Flight brief/debrief and groundschool lesson review CFI25$75$1875
Solo flight time10 to 20 hoursN/Ause your own trike
Solo flight ground instruction CFI3$75$225
Ground school for the aeronautical flight, knowledge test and Checkride CFI40
$75$3000
FAA Knowledge Test$150
Checkride$470
Totals$10,330

Overall, there is a wide range of total costs in getting a sport pilot WSC trike certificate. With a little planning you can minimize the costs.

24 Hour Cancellation Policy

When you book a reservation you are reserving a time slot specifically for you. Sport Aviation Center LLC arranges all other bookings around your reserved time slot. If you will be unable to honor your reservation, you must call and talk with us to let us know at least 24 hours in advance so we can book someone else for this valuable time slot. If you call and talk to us before your flight within 24 hours to cancel your scheduled flight, we must bill you for 50% of your flight’s cost. If you do not call to cancel within 24 hours of your scheduled flight and we are mobilized/scheduled waiting for you, and you do not show up, we must bill you for the full amount. Your scheduled time slot is valuable and can be used by other customers so please call to cancel as soon as possible to avoid charges. We appreciate your understanding.

All prices in USD.

Got questions?

Contact Paul to create a plan for your pilot training.