Learn to Fly

Learn to Fly

Sport Pilot Certificate

Whether you're completely new to aviation or have flown aircraft before, Sport Pilot is the new way to fly that is more affordable, safe, and loads of FUN! So, climb aboard, take the controls, and launch new adventures in recreational aviation today!

Even though there are only about 650,000 licensed pilots in the United States (which is less than 1% of the population) flying does not require superhuman talents and degrees in math and science. Normal people just like you and I learn to fly everyday. Learning to fly does take some study but it is very worthwhile when you join that very small but distinguished group known as aviators.

How do you get started? Well it’s easy! The first step is to come out to the airport and interview (yes interview) flight schools. You will want to find a school with friendly, knowledgeable people and quality aircraft. We hope you will choose Pinnacle Aviation Academy!

The most frequently asked question is: “What is the difference between a Private Pilot and a Sport Pilot?” Sport Pilot training is similar to Private Pilot training, outlined below are a few differences:

  • Medical Certification is one difference, which has received quite a bit of attention. Sport Pilot students don’t need to pass an airman’s medical examination, all a student needs is a current and valid U.S. driver’s license as evidence of medical eligibility (provided the FAA didn’t deny, revoke, or suspend you’re a previous medical certificate application). Alternatively, you can also use a third class airman’s medical to establish medical fitness.

  • Minimum Training Hours is another difference. The Sport Pilot Certification requires a minimum of 20 hours of flight training vs. the 35 hours of flight training for Private Pilot training. Just as the average student takes 55 hours to complete their Private Pilot Certification, the average student would take 35 hours to complete the Sport Pilot Certification.

  • Maximum Aircraft weight is a third difference. The Sport Pilot Certification limits the weight of aircraft you can fly. The Maximum gross takeoff weight for Sport Planes is 1,320 lbs.

    The type of airplanes you will be able to fly will be limited to Sport Category, which means it will have one other seat, so you can take one passenger with you. You will also be limited to VFR conditions (you won't be able to fly in the clouds or add on an instrument rating).

The new Cessna SkyCatcher Sport is an economical training aircraft which makes learning to fly affordable! View more details on this plane.

Cessna SkyCatcher Sport

Sport Pilot Minimum Training:

20 hours of flight training to include:

  • 15 hours with a Certified Flight Instructor
       - 2 hours cross country flight
       - 10 take off and landings

  • 5 hours solo flight practice
       - 1 solo cross country flight


Take a Discovery Flight Today!


Cessna Pilot Center