Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the difference between a Sport Pilot Certificate and a Private Pilot Certificate?


    • Essentially a Sport Pilot (SP) Certificate is a subset of a Private Pilot (PPL) Certificate with limitations and some privileges. The primary limitations for an SP is:
      • Can only fly a Light-Sport aircraft which is limited to carrying only one passenger
      • Cannot fly at night
      • Cannot go above 10,000 feet (except in certain situations)
      • Cannot fly into controlled airspace (except with an endorsement)
      • Cannot tow a glider
      • Cannot fly internationally (unless permission is obtained by the country)
      • Cannot fly for a business
      • A privilege is that you do not need an FAA Medical but can use only a valid US Driver’s License




How much does it cost to get a Sport Pilot Certificate?


    • This is not an easy question to answer as it can vary based on several variables. The minimum required hours set by the FAA to get a Sport Pilot Certificate is 20 hours. However, most students take anywhere from 40 to 60 hours to achieve this goal. For the minimum required hours cost it would be:
      • 15 hours dual = $200 per hour ($150 per hour for airplane rent (with fuel) + $50 per hour for flight instruction by me) = $3000
      • 5 hours solo = $150 per hour = $750
      • Sport Pilot Kit (for Knowledge Test endorsement) = $139
      • FAA Sport Pilot Knowledge Test = $125
      • FAA Practical Standard Test (the check ride) Examiner Fee = $800
      • Total Cost at 20 hours = $4814
      • More realistic cost at approximately 40 hours = $8314.00




How long does it take to get the Sport Pilot Certificate?


  • Again, not an easy question to answer. As mentioned above, the minimum required hours set by the FAA is 20 hours for a Sport Pilot Certificate (40 hours for a Private Pilot Certificate). However, most students achieving this goal take anywhere from 35 to 50 hours to get their certificate (consider for the Private Pilot this is also the case, i.e. 40 hours minimum but most take 55 to 90 hours). Variables that can affect the time:
    • Sickness
    • Airport closures
    • Commute
    • Life events
    • Your own schedule
    • Instructor schedule
    • Airplane schedule
      • Airplane maintenance
    • Weather




Why should I go for a PPL instead of SP?


    • Assuming that you can pass an FAA Medical given by an AME, you might want to get a PPL because you want to:
      • Fly at night
      • Fly with more than one passenger
      • Continue to get your Commercial and/or Instrument Rating and perhaps become an ATP
      • Fly high performance or retractable landing gear airplanes




Should I start studying for the FAA Knowledge Test before I start flying?


  • Sure. There is nothing wrong with that. Typically, students will usually find that by about the middle of the training if they have taken the knowledge test, this would be about the right time to get it done. There is nothing wrong with studying earlier and it can definitely help you with understanding certain aspects of the flying lessons. The only caveat is that the Knowledge Test expires after two years, so if you were not able to complete your certificate within that time frame, then you would have to take the test again. Not a big deal for sure since you have passed it once before, but it will require doing some more studying again.




What program should I use to start studying with?


  • We recommend Gleim as the program to use. There are other study guide programs such as Sporty’s, ASA, Jeppesen and King Schools as well as new ones coming up however, we need to standardize for our students and so we selected Gleim as the study guide and program to use. For a Sport Pilot, you can get the Sport Pilot Kit here: https://www.gleimaviation.com/shop/spkitcd/




Do I need a headset?


  • Yes, however I do have a spare headset (Zulu Lightspeed) that you can borrow until you are ready to purchase one. If you are committed to getting your certificate, you should plan to buy a headset as soon as possible.




What kind of headset should I get?





Do I need anything else?


  • You will eventually need to get a kneeboard and an electronic E6B calculator. I recommend the Flyboys reversible kneeboard. And the Sporty’s Electronic E6B calculator.




When is the best time to fly?


  • Generally speaking, flying early in the morning or late in the afternoon/evening are the best time to fly. Colorado has a lot of days of sunshine, and we can fly all year round, but Spring and Summer time thunderstorms can make flying in the afternoons difficult. Winter can have less convective activity but usually has higher winds and weeks long storms.




Can we fly in Winter?


  • Yes. The Remos is heated but it does not put out a tremendous amount of heat in the cabin. During very cold days, temperatures in the 30’s for example, you would maybe want to wear some pants with some Long John type of underwear. Sweaters or layers are best for the upper body. Heavy coats will just get in the way. A warm cap is ok but if it is sunny, then you might not be able to have any sun blockage. And the headset must go around the cap.




What’s a question I didn’t think of?


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