Cert Advise

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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New2me
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Location: Morris, IL

Cert Advise

Postby New2me » Fri Aug 31, 2018 10:05 am

Hello, my name is Chris and I just joined this site. I apologize in advance because this will likely be long winded. I've made my questions in bold if you care to just skip my ramblings. In short, I am an aspiring pilot looking for advise on the proper training. My intent is to get a pilot cert so I can fly UL aircraft and take my wife/family/friends up with me. As I understand it, I would not qualify for PAR 103 because of the passenger and also my aircraft may no longer qualify if its large enough to carry said passenger.

About 5 years ago I decided I was finally going to learn to fly. I went out and got an intro flight in a UL trike at Cushing's Field. It was amazing! However, I didn't go any further because I was not in a position to purchase an aircraft and was educated during the flight that it would be necessary to have my own aircraft to finish my training.

So 5 years later I'm in a position to buy an aircraft but am not sure which is the best route for me. What I want is something portable and have come up with some aircraft I would be interested in.

- UL Trike
- PPG
- Quicksilver S2 or similar

Every company selling a UL seems to offer training for their products but I don't understand which training is worth it. Yes all training is beneficial but which is the most usable for advancement? For instance I was reading about PPG under PAR 103. The company will train you which may take lets say 20hrs for lets say $2500 and give a cert. These cert's come with different ratings PPG1/2/3. Another site says these ratings are not recognized by the FAA and are a gimmick or scam as they put it. If I am a pilot operating PAR 103 aircraft and don't need a cert is this just a waste of money? Yes I am getting invaluable training that could potentially save my life but these certs don't transfer to anything like a SPL do they?

My ultimate goal is to fly small aircraft like Cessna 150 at some point in the distant future. So what Cert do I need today to allow me to fly a UL Trike with a passenger that will allow me to build on in the future? It seems like Illinois does not allow tandem PPG unless for training. I'm not clear if that includes PPG quad/trikes.

I appreciate any and all feedback.
Chris

TimTaylor
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Re: Cert Advise

Postby TimTaylor » Fri Aug 31, 2018 10:29 am

I believe powered ultralight is restricted to 254 pounds empty weight, single seat, and 5 gallons of fuel. Google part 103 of the FAR's. You don't need any pilot certificate to fly an ultralight.

You probably should be thinking Sport Pilot if you want to fly light sport aircraft capable of carrying one passenger. If you want to fly Cessna 150 or larger, you would need a Private Pilot license.

To get a Private Pilot license, you would need to pass an FAA third class medical. If you don't think you could pass that, you can get a Sport Pilot certificate without the FAA medical if you have a driver's license and are in generally good health.

So, bottom line, my advice is to forget ultralight. Go for a Private Pilot certificate if you can pass the third class medical. If not, go for a Sport Pilot certificate. One word of caution. Don't take the FAA medical exam if you can't pass it. If you take it and fail, you are grounded for everything except ultralight and gliders.

Finally, you can always go for Sport Pilot and upgrade to Private later when you want to fly the C150 or larger aircraft. The drawback there is you would have to take two FAA written exams and two flight test. It's possible the light sport aircraft would meet your needs and you would never need a Private.
Commercial Pilot Airplane Single & Multiengine Land; Instrument Airplane; Sport Endorsement Airplane Single Engine Sea; Flight Instructor Airplane Single And Multiengine; Ground Instructor Advanced Instrument

New2me
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Location: Morris, IL

Re: Cert Advise

Postby New2me » Fri Aug 31, 2018 11:19 am

So what is involved in this Medical Exam and is there a way to find out if I could pass without being on the "books"? I'm a healthy person with no medical conditions (knock on wood) and decent vision, but will need glasses for reading in the near future. I suppose I can just Google FAA third class medical as well.

What is involved with obtaining and maintaining the SP & PL licenses? I imagine for PL I would need to get the medical exam done at some frequency. Possibly annually? With a drivers license we obtain endorsements for the different vehicle types. (ie: Motorcycle, CDL etc..) Does SP and PL work the same?
Chris

3Dreaming
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Re: Cert Advise

Postby 3Dreaming » Fri Aug 31, 2018 11:33 am

Tim pretty much hit it on the head, but I thought I would add a little.

Any true ultralight will only be a single seat. Any training you receive should be in a "N" numbered aircraft by a certified instructor. If it is not, you should walk away. The training would count for any additional ratings. With your stated goal you will need a pilot certificate, whether Sport, recreational, or private.

One other option that is probably not even on your radar is a Glider rating. There is a glider club at Hinckely. You could do a Private Pilot Glider, then do a Sport pilot Airplane add on. Your overall training cost will likely be less, and you will gain some tremendous flight experience. The Sport Pilot add on would not require any additional knowledge test, just training from one instructor and a proficiency check from another instructor. You would still have to do an additional knowledge test and practical test to add airplane at the private pilot level.

There are many Light Sport Airplanes that have equal or better performance than a Cessna 150, but few that are in the same price range.

TimTaylor
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Re: Cert Advise

Postby TimTaylor » Fri Aug 31, 2018 11:40 am

New2me wrote:So what is involved in this Medical Exam and is there a way to find out if I could pass without being on the "books"? I'm a healthy person with no medical conditions (knock on wood) and decent vision, but will need glasses for reading in the near future. I suppose I can just Google FAA third class medical as well.

What is involved with obtaining and maintaining the SP & PL licenses? I imagine for PL I would need to get the medical exam done at some frequency. Possibly annually? With a drivers license we obtain endorsements for the different vehicle types. (ie: Motorcycle, CDL etc..) Does SP and PL work the same?

Once you obtain a Sport Pilot or Private Pilot certificate, they are good for life. You do have to maintain currency by flying and having a flight review with an instructor every two years.

As far as the FAA third class medical, that would be a one time event. After it expires in a few years, you can convert to the new "Basic Med" scheme whereby you have a physical exam ever 4 years with your regular doctor.

When 3Dreaming mentions an N numbered aircraft, he is referring to an aircraft legally registered as a light sport aircraft.
Last edited by TimTaylor on Fri Aug 31, 2018 11:43 am, edited 1 time 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

3Dreaming
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Location: noble, IL USA

Re: Cert Advise

Postby 3Dreaming » Fri Aug 31, 2018 11:41 am

New2me wrote:So what is involved in this Medical Exam and is there a way to find out if I could pass without being on the "books"? I'm a healthy person with no medical conditions (knock on wood) and decent vision, but will need glasses for reading in the near future. I suppose I can just Google FAA third class medical as well.

What is involved with obtaining and maintaining the SP & PL licenses? I imagine for PL I would need to get the medical exam done at some frequency. Possibly annually? With a drivers license we obtain endorsements for the different vehicle types. (ie: Motorcycle, CDL etc..) Does SP and PL work the same?


For SP you must have a valid drivers license, and you self access your medical fitness for flight.

For Private Pilot you will need a base line medical, and then you can operate under BasicMed. With BasicMed you have to do online training every 2 years, and see a primary care physician every 4 years. The physician must complete and sign an examination checklist. You enter the physicians information along with your training and print out a certificate to keep with your logbook. The FAA medical is valid for 2 years, or if you are under 40 at the time of application it is valid for 5 years.

The training requirements for both ratings can be found on the internet or in the Federal Aviation regulations in part 61.

New2me
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Location: Morris, IL

Re: Cert Advise

Postby New2me » Fri Aug 31, 2018 12:14 pm

I remember reading about LSA and deciding that is the route I need to take for the aircraft. S-LSA I believe is what I decide to shop for more specifically over E-LSA. The Cessna was just mentioned as a closed cockpit example because I see them offered for rent quite often.

It seems Sport or Private is certainly the direction I need to head in. Is there an advantage to one over the other? The name Private Pilot leads me to believe that this license would set me up if I wanted to fly for hire. That may be something to work towards but if SL gets me into the air with a passenger then that's probably the route I'll take. Maybe the two licenses allow the pilot different freedoms in the air?

3Dreaming:
Funny you should mention the glider. I just went up in one 2 weeks ago for the 1st time over in Minooka. I had a gift certificate for a ride and thought it was very entertaining. Not sure that would be my
Chris

TimTaylor
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Re: Cert Advise

Postby TimTaylor » Fri Aug 31, 2018 12:31 pm

You should read Part 61 of the Federal Aviation Regulations for Sport Pilot and Private Pilot to see the requirements and privileges. To fly for pay, you need a Commercial Certificate or an Airline Transport Certificate.

If you never want to carry more than one passenger and are flying daytime in good weather, a Sport Pilot certificate is what you need. If you want to carry more then one passenger or fly at night, then you need a Private. If you want to fly in instrument weather conditions (in the clouds), then you need a Private plus Instrument rating.

The problem with getting a Sport Pilot certificate is that it is sometimes hard to find a flight school that has light sport aircraft and that trains Sport Pilots. It is usually easy to find plenty of flight schools that train Private Pilots in Cessnas and Pipers.

EDIT: Remember, a Private Pilot can fly just about any aircraft including light sport. A Sport Pilot can fly only light sport aircraft. It is almost as easy to get a Private certificate as a Sport Pilot certificate. You just need a few more hours, a little more instrument training, and night flying. The main issue for many people is the fact you need the FAA third class medical for a Private.
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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drseti
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Re: Cert Advise

Postby drseti » Fri Aug 31, 2018 12:56 pm

New,
My fellow forum members have all done a fine job giving you useful information, but something is missing -- none of them has welcomed you to the forums! So, welcome aboard; good to have you with us.

Safe Skies,
Paul
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
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fly@AvSport.org
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New2me
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Joined: Thu Aug 30, 2018 2:59 pm
Location: Morris, IL

Re: Cert Advise

Postby New2me » Fri Aug 31, 2018 1:50 pm

TimTaylor wrote:You should read Part 61 of the Federal Aviation Regulations for Sport Pilot and Private Pilot to see the requirements and privileges. To fly for pay, you need a Commercial Certificate or an Airline Transport Certificate.

If you never want to carry more than one passenger and are flying daytime in good weather, a Sport Pilot certificate is what you need. If you want to carry more then one passenger or fly at night, then you need a Private. If you want to fly in instrument weather conditions (in the clouds), then you need a Private plus Instrument rating.

The problem with getting a Sport Pilot certificate is that it is sometimes hard to find a flight school that has light sport aircraft and that trains Sport Pilots. It is usually easy to find plenty of flight schools that train Private Pilots in Cessnas and Pipers.

EDIT: Remember, a Private Pilot can fly just about any aircraft including light sport. A Sport Pilot can fly only light sport aircraft. It is almost as easy to get a Private certificate as a Sport Pilot certificate. You just need a few more hours, a little more instrument training, and night flying. The main issue for many people is the fact you need the FAA third class medical for a Private.


Thank you I will read Part 61 for more detail. So do instructors carry a Commercial Cert. then?

My position on flying today is much like the motorcycle. Just a good weather vehicle to cruise around on and enjoy the scenery.

It looks like I will need to sit down and compare the two licenses and decide which will work out best for me. Part of that will be finding a school and instructor with the aircraft that I would like to fly. Otherwise, I will need additional training for that endorsement.

So if I chose to learn PPG that has no relation to Sport or Private licensing correct? That is just a skill that may come with a private cert from the company/instructor that teaches me?
Chris

New2me
Posts: 13
Joined: Thu Aug 30, 2018 2:59 pm
Location: Morris, IL

Re: Cert Advise

Postby New2me » Fri Aug 31, 2018 2:08 pm

drseti wrote:New,
My fellow forum members have all done a fine job giving you useful information, but something is missing -- none of them has welcomed you to the forums! So, welcome aboard; good to have you with us.

Safe Skies,
Paul


Thank you Paul!
Chris

TimTaylor
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Joined: Tue Feb 21, 2017 7:17 pm

Re: Cert Advise

Postby TimTaylor » Fri Aug 31, 2018 2:57 pm

New2me wrote:
TimTaylor wrote:You should read Part 61 of the Federal Aviation Regulations for Sport Pilot and Private Pilot to see the requirements and privileges. To fly for pay, you need a Commercial Certificate or an Airline Transport Certificate.

If you never want to carry more than one passenger and are flying daytime in good weather, a Sport Pilot certificate is what you need. If you want to carry more then one passenger or fly at night, then you need a Private. If you want to fly in instrument weather conditions (in the clouds), then you need a Private plus Instrument rating.

The problem with getting a Sport Pilot certificate is that it is sometimes hard to find a flight school that has light sport aircraft and that trains Sport Pilots. It is usually easy to find plenty of flight schools that train Private Pilots in Cessnas and Pipers.

EDIT: Remember, a Private Pilot can fly just about any aircraft including light sport. A Sport Pilot can fly only light sport aircraft. It is almost as easy to get a Private certificate as a Sport Pilot certificate. You just need a few more hours, a little more instrument training, and night flying. The main issue for many people is the fact you need the FAA third class medical for a Private.


Thank you I will read Part 61 for more detail. So do instructors carry a Commercial Cert. then?

My position on flying today is much like the motorcycle. Just a good weather vehicle to cruise around on and enjoy the scenery.

It looks like I will need to sit down and compare the two licenses and decide which will work out best for me. Part of that will be finding a school and instructor with the aircraft that I would like to fly. Otherwise, I will need additional training for that endorsement.

So if I chose to learn PPG that has no relation to Sport or Private licensing correct? That is just a skill that may come with a private cert from the company/instructor that teaches me?

I know little or nothing about powered parachute except I see there is a category of powered parachute under the Sport Pilot certificate. So, I assume you could get a Sport Pilot license flying a powered parachute. Later, you could train with a flight instructor and take a flight test with a second flight instructor to get a fixed wing endorsement on your Sport Pilot certificate. I don't know if there is a powered parachute that can be flown as ultralight with no pilot license or not. Maybe. And yes, most CFI's have a Commercial certificate. That is required to get paid. There is a Sport Pilot instructor certificate that I know nothing about.
Commercial Pilot Airplane Single & Multiengine Land; Instrument Airplane; Sport Endorsement Airplane Single Engine Sea; Flight Instructor Airplane Single And Multiengine; Ground Instructor Advanced Instrument

3Dreaming
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Re: Cert Advise

Postby 3Dreaming » Fri Aug 31, 2018 3:10 pm

New2me wrote: Thank you I will read Part 61 for more detail. So do instructors carry a Commercial Cert. then?

My position on flying today is much like the motorcycle. Just a good weather vehicle to cruise around on and enjoy the scenery.

It looks like I will need to sit down and compare the two licenses and decide which will work out best for me. Part of that will be finding a school and instructor with the aircraft that I would like to fly. Otherwise, I will need additional training for that endorsement.

So if I chose to learn PPG that has no relation to Sport or Private licensing correct? That is just a skill that may come with a private cert from the company/instructor that teaches me?


Sport or private pilot would be the level of certificate held, and is also tied to privileges you can exercise.
PPC or airplane would be the category of aircraft that you can fly. You could do either at the sport or private pilot level.

A sub part H flight instructor (regular flight instructor) must hold a commercial pilot certificate. They can teach any basically any pilot.

A sub part K flight instructor (sport Pilot Instructor) can only teach sport pilots.

The big difference for you will be a sport pilot can only carry 1 passenger. A private pilot has no restriction on the number of passengers they can carry as far as I know.

TimTaylor
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Re: Cert Advise

Postby TimTaylor » Fri Aug 31, 2018 3:22 pm

I just read that most single person powered parachutes can be flown as ultralight with no license. Two person powered parachutes are light sport and require a Sport Pilot license.
Commercial Pilot Airplane Single & Multiengine Land; Instrument Airplane; Sport Endorsement Airplane Single Engine Sea; Flight Instructor Airplane Single And Multiengine; Ground Instructor Advanced Instrument

3Dreaming
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Re: Cert Advise

Postby 3Dreaming » Fri Aug 31, 2018 3:39 pm

TimTaylor wrote: I know little or nothing about powered parachute except I see there is a category of powered parachute under the Sport Pilot certificate. So, I assume you could get a Sport Pilot license flying a powered parachute. Later, you could train with a flight instructor and take a flight test with a second flight instructor to get a fixed wing endorsement on your Sport Pilot certificate. I don't know if there is a powered parachute that can be flown as ultralight with no pilot license or not. Maybe. And yes, most CFI's have a Commercial certificate. That is required to get paid. There is a Sport Pilot instructor certificate that I know nothing about.


Tim, a commercial pilot certificate is not required to get paid as a flight instructor, otherwise an instructor would not be able to charge for their services unless they held at least a second class medical. You should think of a commercial certificate as prerequisite level of experience required to become a flight instructor.

A sport pilot instructor only requires the minimum of a sport pilot certificate. They can also charge for flight instruction. They are charging for teaching not charging for flying.


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