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Sport Pilot Training in Non-LSA

Posted By:
Dan Morehouse
19
Posts
0
#1 Posted: 10/12/2010 22:54:04

Hi!

I'm starting to shop around for a flight school or CFI for getting my sport pilot for my Sonex ELSA. I don't see any local flight schools advertising for sport pilot instruction. I'm in Bellingham, WA and know I could go to Arlington, 1 hr's drive south. But in my town, I see the same advertisements for flight instruction as there were 20 years ago.

Question: Can I receive instruction in a non-LSA, like a C150, and have all the hours count toward my sport pilot? What about going solo? Any restrictions? Would I need to fly in an LSA before getting a sport pilot?

Thanks!



Frank Giger
Homebuilder or Craftsman
117
Posts
33
#2 Posted: 10/13/2010 17:32:57 Modified: 10/13/2010 19:12:21

Short answer:  yes, you can train for a Sport Pilot license in a non-LSA plane, such as a C150 or 172.  Yes, the hours count.

 

Long answer: bad idea for a couple of reasons.

1) One of the tricky bits about a Sport Pilot license is that every time you change class and type of aircraft you need another check ride.  On the day of your check ride your license and log book will clear you for PIC with notation of class, type, and model of aircraft.  That doesn't mean you can only fly the exact model of aircraft - if you're checked out in a CTLS you can fly any aircraft that matches it.

It does mean that even if the local FDSO signed off (okay'd you for)  a check ride in a 150 and you passed you would be ineligible to fly ANY aircraft as PIC, as it is not an LSA.  Crazy, ain't it?  You can train and earn your license in a plane up until you are qualified to fly it competently - and the are instantly disqualified to assume the controls due to it not being an LSA.

For me this means that I'll have to pay for two check rides - the first in the trainer I'm learning in and then a second for when I finish my little Nieuport 11 replica (tail dragging biplane is quite different than a hot little CTLS).

2) The difference in the way a C172 behaves and a little LSA like the CTLS is pretty big (I've flown both).  Hint: one is a lot more squirrely, particularly in gusts, crosswinds, thermals, etc., and it ain't the 172.

3) You're trying to absorb enough without having to learn to transition from one plane to another.  Good grief, why pile it on?

4) I'm in the same boat, and have to drive an hour each way to get lessons from a good CFI in an LSA.  Would I rather drive not ten minutes from my house instead?  You betcha - but in the long run it's a better use of my time and money.

 

[edit]

Isn't your sonex a two seater with dual controls?  Why not train in it?  Your instructor simply has to have five hours of his own stick time in it.....

 

 

 



Helen Woods
29
Posts
2
#3 Posted: 10/14/2010 19:13:17 Modified: 10/14/2010 19:23:42

I think Mr. Giger is a bit confused about some of the sport pilot rules. (There used to be a subcategory for LSAs below "class" called "sets" that went away with the May 2010 rule change that he seems to be confusing the current rules with.)  The long and the short of it is that yes, you can take training in a non-LSA, however, you must have a medical certificate to solo the non-LSA and you must take an LSA to the checkride.  He is correct thought that the handling of an LSA typically varies a good deal from a Cessna so it is generally worthwhile to do all of the training in one plane, the LSA.

 

Helen

 

 



Helen Woods
29
Posts
2
#4 Posted: 10/14/2010 19:19:09
Frank Giger wrote:

 

For me this means that I'll have to pay for two check rides - the first in the trainer I'm learning in and then a second for when I finish my little Nieuport 11 replica (tail dragging biplane is quite different than a hot little CTLS).

 

 

 

Mr. Giger, I think you are a bit confused about the rules.  If your Nieuport 11 is a light sport eligible aircraft , you will not need a second checkride.  What you will need is a tailwheel endorsement and if its Vh is less than 87kts, a second Vh endorsement.  You may also need to meet other requirements imposed by your insurance company such as time in type.

 

Helen



John Priebe
2
Posts
1
#5 Posted: 10/15/2010 19:59:39

So are you telling me that I could take all my lessons and solo in a C152, buy an LSA and show up with it at my checkride, and that would be ok? (I understand not prudent never having been in that LSA before, just asking if legally ok.)

 

Also, if I took all my training in a C152/C172, realistically how many hours should I plan to receive dual instruction in another plane such as an LSA to be reasonably safe and competent in that LSA? (Assume for the sake of this question that we're not transitioning to a taildragger LSA or anything radical.)

 

 

 



Helen Woods
29
Posts
2
#6 Posted: 10/16/2010 20:44:47

In order to solo the C152 you would need a medical but if you had that you could solo it.

As for the checkride, you cannot show up for the checkride without an endorsement from a flight instructor.  No flight instructor is going to sign you off to take a checkride in a plane that you have not demonstrated proficiency in all PTS tasks to him/her in. Handling characteristics, engine operation, aircraft systems, control types (stick vs. yoke) and even basic equipment for navigation such as an EFIS vs. a traditional compas and DG are going to vary greatly between a modern LSA and a C152.  (They vary a lot even between brands of LSAs.)  I cannot tell you how many hours it will take you to transition and get up to PTS standards in a new airplane but expect to be repeating a lot.

Helen



Frank Giger
Homebuilder or Craftsman
117
Posts
33
#7 Posted: 10/16/2010 23:54:52

Thanks for clearing that up for me!



Derrell Snider
2
Posts
0
#8 Posted: 10/30/2010 01:52:32

I have flown since the 60's but never finished my license. Now retired, I can afford to fly finish it but must do so under LSA rules. I am a big guy (285lbs) and am looking for a way to complete my training. Unfortunately, at my weight I am finding it difficult to find an aircraft that will carry me AND an instructor to complete the mission. I live in SoCal and am willing to travel to instruction. I fit fine in a Tecnam Echo Super but I need a very small instructor.  Do I advertise for a small / light instructor or ??? From your discussion it looks like the only logical way to train is in an LSA and not a C172 or the like.  Any ideas? 



Helen Woods
29
Posts
2
#9 Posted: 10/31/2010 16:32:33

We have an Echo Super with 606lbs of useful load.  It will fit you, most any instructor on my staff or our examiner, and full fuel without a problem.  We have graduated two 310lb students including one who was 6'9"  We are in Maryland and have special rates worked out with the Best Western for our students.  www.chesapeakesportpilot.com

 

Helen Woods, MCFI

Chief Flight Instructor

Chesapeake Sport Pilot



Derrell Snider
2
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0
#10 Posted: 11/4/2010 09:50:47

Dear Helen, This is great news.  Thank you. I'll contact you through your website. DS