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CFI Guide to Sport Pilot and Light-Sport Aircraft

The FAA regulations establishing the sport pilot certificate and airplane light-sport aircraft (LSA) have opened the sky to countless new pilots to become (and seasoned pilots to remain) involved in recreational aviation. This has created more opportunities for flight instructors to become involved with both new pilots coming into the sport and seasoned pilots remaining in the sport.

The most distinct feature of this new entry level to aviation is accessibility. Previously, it took 40 hours of training to become eligible to take a practical test for a airplane pilot certificate; the regulations for sport pilot certification require only 20…which drops the cost to earn a airplane pilot certificate by 50 percent!

As costs diminish, more people will be free to consider taking up aviation. And not all pilots who start off seeking a sport pilot certificate will stop at the sport pilot level. Many will want to add night flying or instrument flying privileges. They may even want to fly larger aircraft. Sport pilot is a great entry level for recreational aviation.

The purpose of this guide is to serve as a handy reference for those aviation educators currently certificated under Part 61, subpart H of the Federal Aviation Regulations (FARs), which has recently been retitled Flight Instructors with Other Than a Sport Pilot Rating.

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