Can my sport pilot student use his private pilot student certificate?

On September 1, 2004 the FAA inaugurated a new pilot certificate dubbed the "sport pilot" that makes learning to fly easier and more affordable that ever. Intended primarily for recreational use, you can now become a pilot with as little as 20 hours of flight instruction! In addition, the FAA also created a new category of affordable "light-sport aircraft"!

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Can my sport pilot student use his private pilot student certificate?

Postby TDFlyer » Sat Nov 10, 2018 7:11 am

Or does he need to apply again for a sport pilot student certificate

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Re: Can my sport pilot student use his private pilot student certificate?

Postby drseti » Sat Nov 10, 2018 7:50 am

There is no difference in student pilot certificates for sport vs. Pvt pilots. The only difference is the requirement that a current FAA medical is required to solo anything other than an LSA.
The opinions posted are those of one CFI, and do not necessarily represent the FAA or its lawyers.
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Re: Can my sport pilot student use his private pilot student certificate?

Postby 3Dreaming » Sat Nov 10, 2018 10:04 am

drseti wrote:There is no difference in student pilot certificates for sport vs. Pvt pilots. The only difference is the requirement that a current FAA medical is required to solo anything other than an LSA.


A private pilot student is required to have a medical or BasicMed for solo flight regardless of the aircraft they are flying. Of course gliders and balloons don't require a medical.

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Re: Can my sport pilot student use his private pilot student certificate?

Postby drseti » Sat Nov 10, 2018 10:23 am

I disagree, Tom. There is no such thing as a private pilot student, or a sport pilot student. A student pilot certificate doesn't specify (not does IACRA ask a student certificate applicant to declare) type of rating being sought. One can legally solo an LSA on a driver's license medical, if properly trained and endorsed, even if he or she is ultimately planning to get a PPL. Of course, nobody can solo a non-LSA airplane without holding a current FAA medical or Basic Med.
The opinions posted are those of one CFI, and do not necessarily represent the FAA or its lawyers.
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Re: Can my sport pilot student use his private pilot student certificate?

Postby TimTaylor » Sat Nov 10, 2018 12:16 pm

A Student Pilot is a student pilot. However, if he is taking lessons in a standard certificated aircraft, he/she needs an FAA medical or Basic Med before solo in a standard certificated aircraft. He could solo an LSA without a medical with proper training and endorsements. It is quite possible that the student hasn't decided which certificate he is going for.
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Re: Can my sport pilot student use his private pilot student certificate?

Postby drseti » Sat Nov 10, 2018 12:33 pm

TimTaylor wrote: It is quite possible that the student hasn't decided which certificate he is going for.


That is certainly the case for most of my students when they start out. After a few lessons in an LSA, if they don't hate it, most go on for the SP initially (especially after they see how my curriculum integrates, and realize it's actually cheaper to get their SP first, and then do the PP add-on in the same LSA they started in).
The opinions posted are those of one CFI, and do not necessarily represent the FAA or its lawyers.
Prof H Paul Shuch
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AvSport LLC, KLHV
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Re: Can my sport pilot student use his private pilot student certificate?

Postby TimTaylor » Sat Nov 10, 2018 1:20 pm

drseti wrote:
TimTaylor wrote: It is quite possible that the student hasn't decided which certificate he is going for.


That is certainly the case for most of my students when they start out. After a few lessons in an LSA, if they don't hate it, most go on for the SP initially (especially after they see how my curriculum articulates, and realize it's actually cheaper to get their SP first, and then do the PP add-on in the same LSA they started in).

How can that be cheaper than going straight for Private?
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Re: Can my sport pilot student use his private pilot student certificate?

Postby drseti » Sat Nov 10, 2018 1:33 pm

Simple. They get their SP pretty quickly and inexpensively, fly for fun as a SP, build up hours and experience, meet (for example) their long XC and required solo hours on their own, and then come back for the very few hours of additional dual training to meet the PP night hours, hood work, and checkride prep. About 25% of my graduates go this route, and end up spending less that those who go through the PP-only curriculum at other nearby flight schools. Plus, they get to take family members flying much sooner!
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: Can my sport pilot student use his private pilot student certificate?

Postby 3Dreaming » Sat Nov 10, 2018 1:58 pm

drseti wrote:I disagree, Tom. There is no such thing as a private pilot student, or a sport pilot student. A student pilot certificate doesn't specify (not does IACRA ask a student certificate applicant to declare) type of rating being sought. One can legally solo an LSA on a driver's license medical, if properly trained and endorsed, even if he or she is ultimately planning to get a PPL. Of course, nobody can solo a non-LSA airplane without holding a current FAA medical or Basic Med.


You are welcome to disagree, but the regulations are pretty clear. 61.23 requires a third class medical to exercise student pilot privileges.

(3) Must hold at least a third-class medical certificate

(i) When exercising the privileges of a private pilot certificate, recreational pilot certificate, or student pilot certificate, except when operating under the conditions and limitations set forth in §61.113(i);

There are exceptions in the regulations, balloons and gliders don't require a medical certificate or drivers license.

Then there is this that applies to student pilots seeking sport pilot privileges in a light sport aircraft.

(c) Operations requiring either a medical certificate or U.S. driver's license. (1) A person must hold and possess either a medical certificate issued under part 67 of this chapter or a U.S. driver's license when—(i)

Exercising the privileges of a student pilot certificate while seeking sport pilot privileges in a light-sport aircraft other than a glider or balloon.

The determining factor on whether you need a medical certificate is what you are doing, not necessarily what aircraft you are flying.

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Re: Can my sport pilot student use his private pilot student certificate?

Postby 3Dreaming » Sat Nov 10, 2018 2:01 pm

TimTaylor wrote:A Student Pilot is a student pilot. However, if he is taking lessons in a standard certificated aircraft, he/she needs an FAA medical or Basic Med before solo in a standard certificated aircraft. He could solo an LSA without a medical with proper training and endorsements. It is quite possible that the student hasn't decided which certificate he is going for.


Standard category has nothing to do with determining if you need a medical. That is determined by aircraft specifications and pilot operation.

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Re: Can my sport pilot student use his private pilot student certificate?

Postby drseti » Sat Nov 10, 2018 2:16 pm

3Dreaming wrote:The determining factor on whether you need a medical certificate is what you are doing, not necessarily what aircraft you are flying.


Agreed. But if what you are doing is taking primary instruction in the daytime, that instruction is identical regardless of which certificate you eventually apply for. Nowhere are you required to state that you are seeking either an SP or a PP certificate, until such time as you fill out the IACRA form to apply for a checkride. It's kind of like being a college student with an undeclared major. So, who's to say what rating you are "seeking" when you're receiving primary instruction?

In short, 61.23 is a meaningless and unenforceable rule.
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
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Re: Can my sport pilot student use his private pilot student certificate?

Postby TimTaylor » Sat Nov 10, 2018 2:35 pm

3Dreaming wrote:
TimTaylor wrote:A Student Pilot is a student pilot. However, if he is taking lessons in a standard certificated aircraft, he/she needs an FAA medical or Basic Med before solo in a standard certificated aircraft. He could solo an LSA without a medical with proper training and endorsements. It is quite possible that the student hasn't decided which certificate he is going for.


Standard category has nothing to do with determining if you need a medical. That is determined by aircraft specifications and pilot operation.

You need a medical or Basic Med to solo anything other than LSA (not talking about gliders or other things here). You can be working on Sport Pilot, Rec Pilot, or Private Pilot, doesn't matter. You can be someone who never intends to get a license. If you are flying an LSA, you don't need a medical to solo. Otherwise, you do need a medical to solo C150, Cherokee 140, etc.

Point being, you don't need to decide which way you are going (Sport, Rec, or Private) until time to solo in something other than LSA.
Last edited by TimTaylor on Sat Nov 10, 2018 2:43 pm, edited 6 times in total.
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Re: Can my sport pilot student use his private pilot student certificate?

Postby TimTaylor » Sat Nov 10, 2018 2:37 pm

drseti wrote:Simple. They get their SP pretty quickly and inexpensively, fly for fun as a SP, build up hours and experience, meet (for example) their long XC and required solo hours on their own, and then come back for the very few hours of additional dual training to meet the PP night hours, hood work, and checkride prep. About 25% of my graduates go this route, and end up spending less that those who go through the PP-only curriculum at other nearby flight schools. Plus, they get to take family members flying much sooner!

Repeat...how can that be cheaper than going straight for Private at your flight school?
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Re: Can my sport pilot student use his private pilot student certificate?

Postby 3Dreaming » Sat Nov 10, 2018 3:07 pm

drseti wrote:
3Dreaming wrote:The determining factor on whether you need a medical certificate is what you are doing, not necessarily what aircraft you are flying.


Agreed. But if what you are doing is taking primary instruction in the daytime, that instruction is identical regardless of which certificate you eventually apply for. Nowhere are you required to state that you are seeking either an SP or a PP certificate, until such time as you fill out the IACRA form to apply for a checkride. It's kind of like being a college student with an undeclared major. So, who's to say what rating you are "seeking" when you're receiving primary instruction?

In short, 61.23 is a meaningless and unenforceable rule.


Paul, it is not about what rating you are seeking when you are receiving primary instruction. Yes the training is the same. The regulations state that a third class medical is required to exercise student pilot privileges in an airplane. If you are undecided on which rating you are going for then you are required to have a medical. The only time a student pilot exercising their privileges in a airplane doesn't require a medical is if they can definitively say they are seeking sport pilot privileges and while flying a light sport aircraft. All other student pilots flying a airplane must have a medical.

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Re: Can my sport pilot student use his private pilot student certificate?

Postby 3Dreaming » Sat Nov 10, 2018 3:16 pm

TimTaylor wrote:
3Dreaming wrote:
TimTaylor wrote:A Student Pilot is a student pilot. However, if he is taking lessons in a standard certificated aircraft, he/she needs an FAA medical or Basic Med before solo in a standard certificated aircraft. He could solo an LSA without a medical with proper training and endorsements. It is quite possible that the student hasn't decided which certificate he is going for.


Standard category has nothing to do with determining if you need a medical. That is determined by aircraft specifications and pilot operation.

You need a medical or Basic Med to solo anything other than LSA (not talking about gliders or other things here). You can be working on Sport Pilot, Rec Pilot, or Private Pilot, doesn't matter. You can be someone who never intends to get a license. If you are flying an LSA, you don't need a medical to solo. Otherwise, you do need a medical to solo C150, Cherokee 140, etc.

Point being, you don't need to decide which way you are going (Sport, Rec, or Private) until time to solo in something other than LSA.


You can say it all you want, but the regulations don't back up your opinion.


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