Learn what steps to take to acquire the signoffs and endorsements for Sport Pilot privileges.

Also, learn what FAA Personnel and Civilian Designates you have to see to get your signoffs and endorsements for Sport Pilot and Sport Pilot privileges or to add a Category/Class to your certification.

NOTE: If an FAA medical has been revoked, denied, withdrawn, or suspended, this requires a special issuance to clear the medical, before the driver’s license may be used as medical eligibility to fly light sport aircraft as a Sport Pilot. Any limitation on the driver’s license or FAA medical must be followed.

Steps to take if you are a…

  • New Pilot Candidate who does not have any FAA pilot certificate

    • Start ground and flight training from a CFI to be a Sport Pilot.
    • Obtain student pilot certificate to Solo from a Designated Pilot Examiner (DPE), your local FAA FSDO office, or an Aviation Medical Examiner (AME) while getting a 3rd class medical (Paul Hamilton is a DPE and can issue student pilot certificates).
    • Have CFI endorse Student Pilot certificate for make/model and provide appropriate logbook limitations to solo.
    • Receive endorsement to take knowledge test. (This is typically through Prepware home/self study course or it can be obtained from a CFI.)
    • Pass FAA knowledge text (computer based typically known as “written” test.)
    • Meet the knowledge and flight proficiency requirements in 61.309 thru 61.313 from a Sport Pilot CFI. The minimum is 20 hours flight time which is 15 hours of dual instruction and 5 hours of solo. It usually takes more than the minimum to become a qualified and safe pilot.  All training logged must be in an N numbered aircraft.
    • Receive and log 2 hours dual training for the checkride 60 days before your checkride (practical test) and obtain endorsements for practical test from Sport Pilot CFI on form 8710-11. Sport Aviation Center has additional CFI’s for airplane and weight-shift control trike for this endorsement).
    • Pass practical test with DPE/SPE. (Paul Hamilton is a DPE/SPE for airplane and weight-shift control trike) Click here to find a DPE. (Chose from the “Examiner Listing” at bottom of page.)
    • Receive FAA Sport Pilot Certificate and log book endorsement for category/class of aircraft used for practical test (speed endorsement is required and should be obtained before checkride so it does not have to be obtained after checkride).

  • An Ultralight pilot or applicent using ultralight experience who does not have any FAA pilot certificate

    This is the same as above. Before January 31, 2012 ultralight time could be used for an FAA pilot certificate per  61.52 and 61.329 guidelines, but after January 31, 2012, ultralight time or experience is not be applicable to any pilot certificate. Ultralight time can NOT be used for solo time for any FAA pilot certificate. Solo time must be in an N numbered aircraft.

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  • A Pilot who has an FAA pilot certificate (Recreational or higher) with or without a medical

    A. Recreational/Private pilot or higher wanting to exercise Sport pilot privileges with same category and class of LSA. Example: Airplane single engine land category/class wants to fly Light-Sport Airplane land tricycle gear (if you want to fly different category/class go to next B. steps.)

    NOTE: If an FAA medical has been revoked, denied, withdrawn, or suspended, this requires a special issuance to clear the medical, before the driver’s license may be used as medical eligibility to fly light sport aircraft as a Sport Pilot. Any limitation on the driver’s license or FAA medical must be followed.

    • Meet medical requirements: Can use drivers license or FAA medical to meet medical eligibility.
    • Have current biennial flight review in any civil aircraft you are qualified in. (Same as Private Pilot currency.)
    • Must have three takeoffs and landings within 90 days in the category/class Light Sport aircraft logged if you want to carry a passenger in that LSA category/class (Same as Private Pilot currency.)
    • Using Driver’s license as medical eligibility – limitations per 61.303 (2).
      • Operate only LSA category/class same as airplane category/class per 61.303 (2) (ii) , or logbook endorsement for additional LSA category/class per 61.303 (2) (iii)
      • Operate LSA with sport pilot limitations per 61.315 (10,000 feet MSL/2000 feet AGL, 3 miles visibility, no night, etc.), but NOT required to have the airspeed or airspace B, C,& D endorsements.
    • Using FAA minimum 3rd class medical as medical eligibility – privileges.
      • Operate only LSA category/class same as airplane category/class, or logbook endorsement for additional LSA category/class per 61.303 (1) (ii). Do NOT have to comply with any Sport Pilot limitations per 61.315. (You’re using your Private Pilot certificate to fly LSA with private pilot privileges just like any other airplane.)

    B. Recreational/Private pilot or higher wanting to exercise Sport pilot privileges with new category/class. Example: Hold Single Engine Land private but want to fly Weight shift control or Airplane Sea LSA.

    • Meet medical requirements: Can use drivers license or FAA medical to meet medical eligibility.
    • Per 61.321 – receive logbook endorsement for areas trained for knowledge per 61.309 and skill per 61.311 with CFI. Get recommendation, from this CFI, on form 8710-11 for new category and/or class sought.
    • Successfully complete proficiency check per PTS with another CFI (other than the CFI who originally trained and gave the recommendation) and submit 8710-11 form to FAA for new category and/or class added.
    • Be current or get a current biennial flight review in any civil aircraft. (A proficiency check does not count as a flight review. This is kind of ridiculous, but if you do not have a current flight review, you have to complete a flight review in any category/class you are qualified in the be current as a pilot. So if you are an airplane pilot without a flight review, you get a proficiency check in a trike, now you have to get a flight review after your proficiency check in a trike to be current as a pilot).
    • Must have three takeoffs and landings within 90 days in the category/class Light Sport aircraft logged if you want to carry a passenger in that LSA category/class.
    • Driver’s license medical eligibility – limitations. Operate only LSA category/class same as airplane category/class, or log book endorsement for additional LSA category/class per 61.303 (2) (iii). Operate LSA with sport pilot limitations per 61.315 (10,000 feet MSL/2000AGL, 3 miles visibility, no night, etc.) but NOT required to have the airspeed or airspace B, C,& D endorsements.
    • FAA minimum 3rd class medical privileges.Operate only LSA category/class same as airplane category/class, or log book endorsement for additional LSA category/class. If proficiency check was for Sport Pilot with a CFI, must comply with Sport Pilot limitations same as when using drivers license for medical eligibility 61.303 (1) (iii). If checkride was with a DPE for Private Pilot privileges, you do NOT have to comply with any Sport Pilot limitations per 61.315.

FAA personnel and civilian designates

  • Aviation Safety Inspector (ASI)

    FAA personnel who can administer all practical and proficiency tests. Can issue Student, Sport Pilot and Instructor licenses/certificates. (The FAA most of the time uses the DPE’s to accomplish this task.)

  • Designated Pilot Examiner (DPE)

    Civilian representative for the FAA who can issue Pilot Licenses/Certificates. Each DPE reports to FAA personnel who is his/her Principle Operations Inspector (POI) and also a Aviation Safety Inspector (ASI).

    • Sport Pilot Examiner (SPE)– A DPE who can issue certificates to Students and perform checkrides for Sport Pilots.
    • Sport Pilot Instructor Examiner (SPIE)– A DPE who can perform Instructor checkrides and issue Sport Pilot Instructor (CFI-S) certificates.
  • Certified Flight Instructor with Sport Pilot rating (CFIS)

    Instructors can instruct, endorse, and provide proficiency checks for Sport Pilots and Sport Pilot CFI’s. They can not issue Student or Sport Pilot Licenses/Certificates. Airplane CFIS  can not provide dual instruction for private pilot certificates, only dual instruction for sport pilots in Light-Sport Aircraft. Weight-shift control trike CFIS with a private pilot WSC pilot certificate CAN provide private pilot instruction and endorsements for private pilot weight-shift control trike.

  • Private Pilot Certified Flight Instructor (CFI)

    Private Pilot certified flight instructor or higher is considered a Sport Pilot Instructor (CFIS) for the category/class listed on their CFI certificate. For example, a Private Pilot CFI instructing in Single Engine Land can provide Sport Pilot instruction, endorsements and recommendations in a Single Engine Land aircraft.

    A Sport Pilot PPC or weight-shift control CFIS with a private pilot license in the applicable category can instruct and recommend PPC and weight-shift control private pilots.

  • Sport Pilot

    A pilot who holds an FAA License/Certificate and exercises Sport Pilot privileges. They can fly any Light Sport Aircraft Category/Class/Speed (above or below 87 knots) endorsement in logbook. Existing pilots with a Recreational/Private, or higher can fly as a Sport Pilot in the category/class on their certificate using the drivers license as proof of medical eligibility and do NOT need the speed endorsement.

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Got questions?

Contact Paul Hamilton