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Can private pilot training in a non LSA such as a Cessna 172 or Piper be used for sport pilot training time?

Yes, all private pilot training time in a non Light Sport Aircraft (heavier aircraft such as a Cessna 172 or Piper) can be used/count as Sport Pilot Training time per 61.313 (a). Note in this regulation it does not say you can, but it does not prohibit. Single Engine Airplane. Most of the time the FAA regulations say what you can NOT DO, not what you can do. In fact, all your sport pilot training time can be done in a non LSA, per 61.313 (a) (such as a Cessna 172) EXCEPT the checkride. A sport pilot checkride MUST be done in a Light-Sport Aircraft per FAA-S-8081-29 Introduction Page 9.

Some typical examples of why pilots going for a Sport Pilot Certificate would have training in non LSA are:

  • Got training years ago in non LSA and wants to use this training time for sport pilot required time.
  • No LSA airplanes available but plenty non LSA airplanes available.
  • Student started training for Private and decided to do Sport Pilot instead (did not want to go for medical or wanted to get it faster, less expensive and/or less requirements.

So you can use these hours and finish off in a LSA. They count.

What about flying the non-LSA aircraft for solo?

Note that to fly solo or Pilot in Command in a non LSA – a FAA MEDICAL IS REQUIRED. No medical is required to receive training by an authorized instructor in a non LSA.

What about flying the LSA for private?

You can do all your training and checkride for Sport and Private and your Private Pilot Checkride in Light-Sport Aircraft. You do need a medical to take a Private Pilot Checkride per 61.39 (a) (4).

What Sport Pilot Training can be counted towards Private Pilot?

This complex subject is covered in this page.

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