Tuesday, January 22, 2013
Learning To Fly: All About Priorities
There’s a practical solution to every barrier in aviation
If you're frugal and creative, you can save money by buying used gear and instructional materials, training often (four times a week or more), and coming prepared to each lesson, having pre-studied the day's instruction module.
Doing so will get you closer to the FAA instruction time minimums. As I write this, I'm seeing advertisements for FBOs even offering sport-pilot certificate packages in the $3,000 range.
There are, obviously, differences in the two ratings. A private certificate will give you the foundation for more advanced ratings and airplanes.
The private certificate allows you to carry more than one passenger, fly at night, in complex airspace and in heavier aircraft.
The most compelling reason to earn the sport certificate instead of the private is if you just want to fly for the love of flying and nothing else.
Many people have no desire to get advanced ratings, and studies show that most of the general aviation population consists of pilots flying solo or with a single passenger. For those reasons, the sport-pilot certificate is a great way to join the ranks of aviators at a fraction of the cost.
|PRIVATE PILOT||SPORT PILOT|
|Minimum training time||40 hours||20 hours|
|Language requirement||Be able to speak, read, write and understand English||Be able to speak, read, write English|
|Fly at night||Yes||No|
|Maximum passengers (in addition to pilot)||No limit (limited by aircraft capacity)||1|
|Requires FAA medical certificate?||Yes—third class||No—a U.S. driver's license is adequate|
|Maximum aircraft weight||12,500 pounds||1,320 pounds and a maximum of two seats|
|Maximum speed||No limit||138 mph|
|Complex airspace limitations||Can fly in Class B, C, D airspace||Can't fly in Class B, C, or D without a written endorsement and additional training|
|Altitude restriction||None (automatically excluded from Class A airspace)||10,000 feet (or 2,500 feet AGL in mountainous terrain higher than 10,000 feet)|
|Minimum age to earn certificate||17||17|
|Minimum age to solo||16||16|
|Written test required||Yes||Yes|
|Flight (practical) test required||Yes||Yes|
|Eligible for advanced ratings||Yes (such as instrument)||No|
|Type of aircraft||Any||Aircraft must meet LSA requirements|
|Can fly outside of the continental U.S.||Yes||No, except for the Bahamas|
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Labels: Aviation Careers, Features, Flight Schools, Flight Training, Getting Your License, Learn To Fly, People and Places