Sport Pilot vs Light Sport Pilot Knownledge Test

Paul Hamilton is one of the first persons to become a DPE (Designated Pilot Examiner) for sport pilots. As a full-time author and sport pilot expert, he writes books and produces DVD's for Aviation Supplies and Academics (ASA). Now Paul has graciously agreed to answer your questions here. Thanks Paul! For more information about Paul, please visit and

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Sport Pilot vs Light Sport Pilot Knownledge Test

Postby piet » Thu Apr 15, 2010 6:16 pm

The heading sort of says it all. Is there a difference between the the knowledge test questions asked if your going for the "Light" Sport Pilot airplane category vs. the "Sport" Pilot airplane category?

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Postby CharlieTango » Thu Apr 15, 2010 6:44 pm


You cannot "go for an airplane category" but you can go for a pilots license.

At first you are a student pilot, then you can get a sport pilot license or even a private pilots license. If you get a sport pilots license then you will be limited to flying planes that comply with Light Sport Aircraft requirements.

There are limitations placed on sports pilots and there are limitations placed on light sport aircraft.

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Postby drseti » Thu Apr 15, 2010 8:08 pm

Tim, the terminology is confusing, so let me clarify. There is a Sport license (which refers to the pilot), and a Light Sport designation (which refers to the aircraft). A Sport Pilot (SP) can fly only a Light Sport Aircraft (LSA). LSAs come in various categories and classes, and pilot's licenses authorize privileges in various categories and classes. If, for example, your Sport Pilot license says "Airplane, Single Engine Land", then you can fly an LSA which is an "Airplane, Single Engine Land". Be sure to take the knowledge test for the right category and class of aircraft you intend to fly!

Note that, for certain LSAs (even within your authorized category and class), an instructor's logbook endorsement is required. If you train in an aircraft that is on one side or the other (above or below) of 87 knots max cruise speed, then you need an endorsement to fly an LSA on the other side of that critical speed. And, if you train in a tricycle landing gear airplane, you need an endorsement to fly a conventional landing gear (tailwheel). But, the knowledge tests are the same, regardless of cruise speed or landing gear type.
The opinions posted are those of one CFI, and do not necessarily represent the FAA or its lawyers.
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Postby Paul Hamilton » Fri Apr 16, 2010 10:07 am

they are one in the same. On the "Sport Pilot Knowledge test" you will select a category of "light-sport aircraft" such as airplane, glider, weight-shift control. A sport pilot can fly only a light sport aircraft.

Go to my FAQ and things are explained in more detail about pilots and LSA:

It should be noted that a sport pilot certificate, the FAA plastic card license, does NOT list any category. It is a generic certificate for all categories. Categories are listed as log book endorsements.
Paul is a Sport Pilot CFI/DPE and the expert for ASA who writes the books and produces the DVD's for all pilots flying light sport aircraft.
See and to Paul's websites

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