Learn To Fly
Learning to fly is now a quick and easy five-step process.
Sport pilot training is perfectly geared towards new flyers as the rule changes have dramatically lowered the cost and time necessary to learn to fly. There are no more hassles or excuses. So get to it.
Step 1: Pre-Qualification
Do you qualify? To get licensed, sport pilots must be at least 17 years of age, in good health, and possess a valid driver’s license. No FAA medical certificate is required.
Step 2: Flight School Selection
ICON will be offering sport flying training for its customers at ICON affiliated flight schools. If you want to get started flying sooner however, just find a professional flight school that provides Sport Pilot training with an available and well-maintained LSA trainer plane. Selecting the Certified Flight Instructor (CFI) is important as the instructor serves as your coach and mentor. Choose wisely by looking for one that is both experienced and compatible with your sense of fun and adventure. The cost for airplane flight training is approximately $2,800 – $3,500 including lessons, materials, plane rental and fuel. Rates are fairly standard so don’t choose schools or instructors on price alone. To find a Sport Pilot instructor in your area, visit the EAA website at http://www.sportpilot.org/instructors/.
Step 3: Pilot Training
Start your training. You’ll learn to fly a simple airplane in uncongested airspace during daytime hours. For a Sport Pilot, the FAA requires a minimum of 20 hours of in-flight training broken out as follows:
- 15 hours with Certified Flight Instructor (CFI)
- 2 hours cross-country flying, 75 nautical miles or greater airport to airport
- 5 hours solo (flying alone)
- 3 hours preparation for FAA practical test (checkride)
You and your instructor’s schedule determine the pace of the training schedule. It can be completed in as little as one week’s time, or spread out over a period of multiple weeks.
Step 4: FAA Testing
At some time during your flight training, you’ll take a standardized written FAA test administered by a national testing agency (LaserGrade and CATS) at a nearby location.
When you have met the minimum of 20 hours of flight training, passed the FAA written test, and your instructor believes you are ready, you will be scheduled for FAA Practical Test (oral and flying) with an FAA designated Sport Pilot Examiner.
FAA Practical Test
This final requirement is your checkride. The test first involves an oral exam review followed by an actual flight test with the student at the controls to satisfactorily demonstrate the knowledge, skills and competency to perform tasks in the following areas:
- Positive aircraft control
- Procedures for positive exchange of flight controls
- Stall and spin awareness
- Collision avoidance
- Wake turbulence and low level wind shear avoidance
- Runway incursion avoidance
- Controlled flight into terrain (CFIT)
- Aeronautical decision making/risk management
- Checklist usage
- Spatial disorientation
- Temporary flight restrictions (TFR)
- Special use airspace (SUA)
- Aviation security
Step 5: Certification
Upon passing your checkride, the FAA Examiner will issue your Sport Pilot License. Should you later desire to obtain a higher-rated license, all of your hours spent before and after your SPL will be directly applicable. In addition, CFI endorsements can be obtained to increase your pilot privileges, such as flying in controlled airports and controlled airspace.