Looking for a CFI - not that easy

Sport aviation is growing rapidly. But the new sport pilot / light-sport aircraft rules are still a mystery to many flight schools and instructors. To locate a flight school offering sport pilot training and/or light-sport aircraft rentals, click on the "Flight School And Rental Finder" tab above. This is a great place to share ideas on learning to fly, flight schools, costs and anything else related to training.

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3Dreaming
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Re: Looking for a CFI - not that easy

Postby 3Dreaming » Tue Dec 19, 2017 11:04 am

TimTaylor wrote:We're going to have to disagree on this. I'm a Commercial pilot flying under Sport Pilot privileges and limitations. He's a Rec pilot flying under Sport Pilot privileges and limitations if he is flying an LSA and so chooses. I would not hesitate to do so and feel confident the FAA would be OK with it.


After I typed my above post I decided to call the Light Sport Branch and ask the question. I spoke with Mike. He did not have an answer off the top of his head, but after looking at the regulations he is in agreement with my understanding. He found the question interesting, and is going to research it some more. If he finds a different answer he will let me know.

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Re: Looking for a CFI - not that easy

Postby drseti » Tue Dec 19, 2017 11:08 am

These inconsistencies and ambiguities in the FARs were put there deliberately, to provide full employment to aviation attorneys. ;)
The opinions posted are those of one CFI, and do not necessarily represent the FAA or its lawyers.
Prof H Paul Shuch
PhD CFII DPE LSRM-A/GL/WS/PPC iRMT
AvSport LLC, KLHV
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Re: Looking for a CFI - not that easy

Postby TimTaylor » Tue Dec 19, 2017 11:15 am

drseti wrote:These inconsistencies and ambiguities in the FARs were put there deliberately, to provide full employment to aviation attorneys. ;)
And there are lots of them. For instance, can I act as Safety Pilot in an LSA with someone under the hood? According to the way the FAR is written, no. According to my interpretation, yes. If I can act as PIC, and I can, I can be safety pilot. I think this is one I got agreement from Mike on. I don't remember for sure if it was this or something else we were debating.

EDIT: Part of the problem is the regulations have not been totally harmonized since the inception and implementation of the Sport Pilot certificate.
Commercial Pilot Airplane Single & Multiengine Land; Instrument Airplane; Sport Endorsement Airplane Single Engine Sea; Flight Instructor Airplane Single And Multiengine; Ground Instructor Advanced Instrument

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Re: Looking for a CFI - not that easy

Postby WDD » Tue Dec 19, 2017 12:15 pm

TimTaylor wrote:
WDD wrote:
TimTaylor wrote:Anyway, find a flight school with good instructor, relax, and go have fun learning to fly and getting your certificate. Don't over-think this.


Yes, but that's the problem. There isn't a good flight school around here, so if this is going to happen I have to go the extra mile and set this up myself, with all the good advice from you folks.

That's why I have given you my advice on who to go to for this training. Why don't you give him a call?


Because he's 8 hours away..........

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Re: Looking for a CFI - not that easy

Postby WDD » Tue Dec 19, 2017 12:22 pm

drseti wrote:These inconsistencies and ambiguities in the FARs were put there deliberately, to provide full employment to aviation attorneys. ;)


Yikes - there is a specialty with attorneys that focus only on aviation?

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Re: Looking for a CFI - not that easy

Postby WDD » Tue Dec 19, 2017 12:28 pm

Back on topic -

From what I've been able to determine, I can take all of my lessons in a non Light Sport plane (Cessna 172 or 150), I just can't do any solo.

So I can still take a lot of hours at the local flight school even though they don't have a Light Sport plane - assuming I can get an "regular" instructor to follow the Light Sport syllabus (with my help). And then maybe go to the US Sport Academy or someplace for a solid week or two to finish up and take the practical.

Just want to double check that.

Endorsements - what exactly is required to get a CFI to endorse you for B C D airspace, and flying over 87 kts up to 120 kts? A minimum set of hours, or just the CFI stating that the student knows what they are doing?

Can you get such endorsements prior to getting the practical test / getting the license?
Last edited by WDD on Tue Dec 19, 2017 12:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Looking for a CFI - not that easy

Postby WDD » Tue Dec 19, 2017 12:28 pm

....
Last edited by WDD on Tue Dec 19, 2017 12:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Looking for a CFI - not that easy

Postby drseti » Tue Dec 19, 2017 12:29 pm

WDD wrote:Yikes - there is a specialty with attorneys that focus only on aviation?


In fact, there is. If you should ever have need of an aviation attorney, PM or phone me. I'll tell you whom to call (and whom to avoid).
The opinions posted are those of one CFI, and do not necessarily represent the FAA or its lawyers.
Prof H Paul Shuch
PhD CFII DPE LSRM-A/GL/WS/PPC iRMT
AvSport LLC, KLHV
fly@AvSport.org
AvSport.org
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Re: Looking for a CFI - not that easy

Postby drseti » Tue Dec 19, 2017 12:37 pm

WDD wrote:
Endorsements - what exactly is required to get a CFI to endorse you for B C D airspace, and flying over 87 kts? A minimum set of hours, or just the CFI stating that the student knows what they are doing?


With regard to the airspace endorsement, the FAR specifies a minimum number of takeoffs and landings in a towered environment, with each involving a flight in the traffic pattern - but no minimim flight hours. For the >87 kt or <87 kt endorsement, there is no listed requirement, so it's Instructor discretion - but one or the other is required prior to solo.

Can you get such endorsements prior to getting the practical test / getting the license?


Yes. In fact, one of the airspeed endorsements (as noted above) is required prior to any solo, and the airspace endorsement is required if you're going to solo in a Class D.
The opinions posted are those of one CFI, and do not necessarily represent the FAA or its lawyers.
Prof H Paul Shuch
PhD CFII DPE LSRM-A/GL/WS/PPC iRMT
AvSport LLC, KLHV
fly@AvSport.org
AvSport.org
facebook.com/SportFlying
SportPilotExaminer.US

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Re: Looking for a CFI - not that easy

Postby drseti » Tue Dec 19, 2017 12:40 pm

Oh, and the airspeed endorsements each require the CFI to state that he or she has given you dual instruction in an aircraft in that speed category, and found you competent. It can't just be speak-and-sign.
The opinions posted are those of one CFI, and do not necessarily represent the FAA or its lawyers.
Prof H Paul Shuch
PhD CFII DPE LSRM-A/GL/WS/PPC iRMT
AvSport LLC, KLHV
fly@AvSport.org
AvSport.org
facebook.com/SportFlying
SportPilotExaminer.US

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Re: Looking for a CFI - not that easy

Postby drseti » Tue Dec 19, 2017 12:53 pm

WDD wrote:Endorsements - what exactly is required to get a CFI to endorse you for ... flying over 87 kts up to 120 kts?


Just to clarify - the endorsement has to do with the capability of the aircraft, not the speed at which you're allowed to fly it. Vh is the speed the aircraft would fly at max continuous power, at sea level, on a standard day (+15 C, 29.92 in Hg, zero relative humidity).

A J-3 Cub has a Vh < 87 kts, and requires the low speed endorsement, even though you can indeed fly it above 87. My SportStar has a Vh > 87 kt, and you require the high speed endorsement to fly it, even though you may certainly choose to never fly it above 87 kts.
The opinions posted are those of one CFI, and do not necessarily represent the FAA or its lawyers.
Prof H Paul Shuch
PhD CFII DPE LSRM-A/GL/WS/PPC iRMT
AvSport LLC, KLHV
fly@AvSport.org
AvSport.org
facebook.com/SportFlying
SportPilotExaminer.US

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Re: Looking for a CFI - not that easy

Postby 3Dreaming » Tue Dec 19, 2017 1:03 pm

WDD wrote:Back on topic -

From what I've been able to determine, I can take all of my lessons in a non Light Sport plane (Cessna 172 or 150), I just can't do any solo.

So I can still take a lot of hours at the local flight school even though they don't have a Light Sport plane - assuming I can get an "regular" instructor to follow the Light Sport syllabus (with my help). And then maybe go to the US Sport Academy or someplace for a solid week or two to finish up and take the practical.

Just want to double check that.

Endorsements - what exactly is required to get a CFI to endorse you for B C D airspace, and flying over 87 kts up to 120 kts? A minimum set of hours, or just the CFI stating that the student knows what they are doing?

Can you get such endorsements prior to getting the practical test / getting the license?


First of the training requirements you will use when you start out are for student pilot. The required training for solo flight is the same regardless of the rating which you seek.

You can receive training in all of the required maneuvers with an instructor in any aircraft. If you want to solo without a medical you will need to be in a balloon, glider, or LSA. The transition to a LSA may take a while even if you are ready to solo in a Cessna 150/172, so be prepared for that. Also while you are doing the training in the 150/172 do some instrument training. It is required if you do solo cross country flight in a airplane with a Vh of greater than 87 kts.

Before you go someplace like US Sport Academy make sure you already have your student pilot certificate. It takes a while for the FAA to process the application.

To solo as a sport pilot student you will need a speed endorsement for either greater than or less than 87 kts. There is no upper speed limit placed on a sport pilot. The 120 knot limit is a aircraft limit not pilot limit. The airspace endorsement is a little different for student verse sport pilot. If you are a student the endorsement is only good for 90 days, and must be done at the specific airspace which you will be flying in. A sign off for class B airspace in Atlanta is not good for St Louis. For a sport pilot the endorsement is not time or geographically limited.

The airspeed endorsement is required before solo, so yes you have to get it before the test. For the airspace endorsement you can do the training before the check ride, but make sure the instructor references the correct regulation for the endorsement.

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Re: Looking for a CFI - not that easy

Postby WDD » Tue Dec 19, 2017 4:17 pm

OK --
So, I can and really need to get the endorsement as a student to go beyond 87 kts before I do the practical test and get my Sport License. (And since I can ONLY fly in light sport aircraft after I get my license, and since a light sport airplane cannot exceed 120 kts, I am be default at a speed limit of 120 kts.) That endorsement will still be in place / active after I get the license.

BUT .. I can't get a permanent, non airport specific class B, C, D airspace CFI endorsement until after I get the Sport License. Any endorsement I would get for B, C, D as a student is temporary. BUT I can do all the training (radio communications, flying the pattern, etc.) and just be ready to demonstrate that to a CFI right after I get the license so that I can get a "permanent" endorsement that can be used in any B, C, D airspace. (Except O Hare and Atlanta, which I've read require a PPL)

AND.. will also ask/make sure I'm being trained in instruments.

BTW - I do have the hard plastic student pilot card - took them 2 months after they approved me.

Wealth of information here gentlemen!

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Re: Looking for a CFI - not that easy

Postby TimTaylor » Tue Dec 19, 2017 4:41 pm

This is not as complicated as it sounds. You will either train in a newer, modern LSA that cruises around 115 knots or you will train in a 70 year old LSA that cruises around 70 or 80 knots. When you are ready to solo, your CFI will sign you off for solo in that aircraft and give you an endorsement for >87 knots or <87 knots depending on the airplane you are using.

After a couple more supervised solo flights and a little solo practice, you will start training for cross-country flights and will make a cross-country flight or two with your instructor. You will also get a little instrument training, probably around 1 hour. Assuming you do well, your instructor will sign you off to make solo cross country flights. I don't recall how many hours of solo cross country are required, but it's not a lot.

After your solo cross-country requirements are met, you will begin your last few hours of dual instruction and solo practice prior to your flight test.

When you return with your Sport Pilot certificate in your pocket, you will want to take your wife and/or kid flying, but would probably want to schedule another hour or two of dual to get your Class B, C, D airspace endorsement.

That's it. Best case, you will have 20+ hours, but more than likely, it could be 30 or 40 or more. Learning to fly is a fun experience, so don't think you need to rush it or get discouraged with all the bumps along the way.
Last edited by TimTaylor on Tue Dec 19, 2017 5:16 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Commercial Pilot Airplane Single & Multiengine Land; Instrument Airplane; Sport Endorsement Airplane Single Engine Sea; Flight Instructor Airplane Single And Multiengine; Ground Instructor Advanced Instrument

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Re: Looking for a CFI - not that easy

Postby Half Fast » Tue Dec 19, 2017 4:48 pm

Don't underestimate the time you will need in an LSA if you start in something like a 150 or a 172. LSAs are trickier to land in windy conditions, especially gusting crosswinds, and it may take you a while to adjust.
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