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Fri, Jul 28, 2006

ANN's Daily Aero-Tips (07.28.06): Sport Pilot

Aero-Tips!

A good pilot is always learning -- how many times have you heard this old standard throughout your flying career? There is no truer statement in all of flying (well, with the possible exception of "there are no old, bold pilots.")

Aero-News has called upon the expertise of Thomas P. Turner, master CFI and all-around-good-guy, to bring our readers -- and us -- daily tips to improve our skills as aviators. Some of them, you may have heard before... but for each of us, there will also be something we might never have considered before, or something that didn't "stick" the way it should have the first time we memorized it for the practical test.

Look for our daily Aero-Tips segments, coming each day to you through the Aero-News Network.

Aero-Tips 07.28.06

Light Sport aircraft (LSA) and the Sport Pilot certificate are all the rage. What privileges does Sport Pilot enjoy?

FAR 61.315 tell us a Sport Pilot can:

  • Act as pilot in command of a LSA, except as specified below.
  • Share the operating expenses of a flight with a passenger, provided the expenses involve only fuel, oil, airport expenses, or aircraft rental fees. The Sport Pilot must pay at least half the operating expenses of the flight.

A Sport Pilot cannot fly:

  • With a passenger or property for compensation or hire.
  • For any other compensation or hire.
  • In furtherance of a business.
  • While carrying more than one passenger.
  • At night.
  • In Class A airspace.
  • At an airport located in Class B, C, or D airspace or to, from, through, or at an airport having an operational control tower unless you have received ground and flight instruction on such operations, and received a logbook endorsement certifying such.
  • Outside the United States, unless you have prior authorization from the country in which you seek to operate. (NOTE: The sport pilot certificate carries the limit "Holder does not meet ICAO requirements.")

Further, Sport Pilots cannot:

  • Demonstrate the aircraft in flight to a prospective buyer if you are an aircraft salesperson.
  • Fly in a passenger-carrying airlift sponsored by a charitable organization.

And Sport Pilots cannot fly:

  • At an altitude of more than 10,000 feet MSL.
  • When the flight or surface visibility is less than 3 statute miles.
  • Without visual reference to the surface.
  • If the aircraft has a VH that exceeds 87 knots CAS, unless you have met the requirements of §61.327
  • Contrary to any operating limitation placed on the aircraft being flown.
  • Contrary to any limit or endorsement on your pilot certificate, airman medical certificate, or any other limit or endorsement from an authorized instructor.
  • Contrary to any restriction or limitation on your U.S. driver's license or any restriction or limitation imposed by judicial or administrative order when using your driver's license to satisfy a requirement of this part.
  • While towing any object.
  • As a pilot flight crewmember on any aircraft for which more than one pilot is required by the type certificate of the aircraft or the regulations under which the flight is conducted.

Sport Pilot provides just that... privileges to qualifying and certificated pilots to experience the "sport" of simple, daytime visual flight in simple airplanes, and share that joy with no more than one passenger.

Aero-tip of the day: If you qualify for Sport Pilot and Sport Pilot privileges meet your flying goals, go for it... and have fun!

FMI: Aero-Tips

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