As a current private pilot, the following checklist is required to fly:

  • A valid pilot certificate (aircraft single engine land or water as applicable).
  • To comply with the medical requirements by holding a current and valid 3rd class medical).
  • A current flight review (recorded in logbook).
  • Fly a sport pilot-eligible airplane (light-sport aircraft) or non-LSA (heavier and more than 2 occupants).
  • Operate within the privileges and limitations of the Private pilot certificate 61.113.
  • Operate within the category/class ratings (airplane) on your pilot certificate and/or endorsements

If you’re a current private pilot choosing to operate the same LSA category/class aircraft you do not need to do anything more than stay current and fly the LSA as a private pilot. The pilots license and the aircraft are separate items. Private pilots can fly both standard category and light-sport aircraft (LSA).

Note that a private pilot can do all the things as a sport pilot, but has these extra privileges beyond the sport pilot.

  • Fly at night
  • Fly above 10,000 feet
  • Fly as incidental to business rather than sport pilot limitations of no in furtherance of a business.
  • Fly into all Class B airports, the biggest and busiest of the 10 airports in the USA, rather than be restricted to the smaller Class B airports.
  • Fly out of the country, without prior authorization.

Specific regulations:
§ 61.113 Private pilot privileges and limitations: Pilot in command.

(a) Except as provided in paragraphs (b) through (g) of this section, no person who holds a private pilot certificate may act as pilot in command of an aircraft that is carrying passengers or property for compensation or hire; nor may that person, for compensation or hire, act as pilot in command of an aircraft.

(b) A private pilot may, for compensation or hire, act as pilot in command of an aircraft in connection with any business or employment if:

  • (1) The flight is only incidental to that business or employment; and
  • (2) The aircraft does not carry passengers or property for compensation or hire.

(c) A private pilot may not pay less than the pro rata share of the operating expenses of a flight with passengers, provided the expenses involve only fuel, oil, airport expenditures, or rental fees.

(d) A private pilot may act as pilot in command of a charitable, nonprofit, or community event flight described in §91.146, if the sponsor and pilot comply with the requirements of §91.146.

(e) A private pilot may be reimbursed for aircraft operating expenses that are directly related to search and location operations, provided the expenses involve only fuel, oil, airport expenditures, or rental fees, and the operation is sanctioned and under the direction and control of:

  • (1) A local, State, or Federal agency; or
  • (2) An organization that conducts search and location operations.

(f) A private pilot who is an aircraft salesman and who has at least 200 hours of logged flight time may demonstrate an aircraft in flight to a prospective buyer.

(g) A private pilot who meets the requirements of §61.69 may act as a pilot in command of an aircraft towing a glider or unpowered Ultralight vehicle.