Sport Pilot License


In conjunction with the 2004 creation of Light Sport Aircraft category, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) created the Sport Pilot License (SPL). The SPL is a new type of pilot certificate designed to get you safely and easily trained for recreational flying in Light Sport Aircraft. By restricting recreational flying for sport pilots to daytime, good weather, and in uncongested airspace, much of the complexities of learning to fly have been removed.

As a result, the time and cost commitment to learn to fly are very reasonable. New pilots can be safely trained in a matter of weeks, versus months. Additionally, all hours logged sport flying can be applied toward higher pilot ratings, like the Private Pilot License if the CFI is rated Private and above.  As a result, the new SPL is perfectly suited for beginner pilots, even as they aspire to eventually fly larger, more complex, transportation aircraft.


– Type of airplane: Any that meets LSA classification

– In-flight training: 10 hours PPC (minimum)

– Medical Requirements: FAA Medical or Driver’s License *

– Minimum Age: 17

– Certification Process: must pass an FAA written and practical examination

– Flying at night: No

– Flying cross country: Yes

– Flight in inclement weather or clouds: No

– Flight in controlled airspace: Yes with additional instructor sign-off

– Occupants: 2 (pilot and passenger)

– Altitude limit: 10,000 ft. MSL (mean sea level)

* Valid U.S. Driver’s License may be used as evidence of medical eligibility provided the individual’s most recent application for an FAA Medical Certificate was not denied, revoked, suspended or withdrawn.

Partial contents of table courtesy of EAA.

For more information, visit the EAA at