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I just read Connie Sue White's article "For The Joy Of It" in the March 2011 issue of Flying and as a result I am even more confused regarding Sport Pilot training and Private Pilot training. I have read a few articles that seem to say the FAA will not allow the hours acquired during training for the Sport Pilot certificate to apply toward the Private Pilot certificate. There have been headlines that indicate there is possible legislation in the works to change that.
I am in much the same position with flight training Connie was in. I logged 19 hours, 89 landings, and my long cross country solo flight in 1975 and haven't had a flight lesson since. I am currently building the first of what I hope to be many airplanes and need to acquire at least a Sport Pilot license. Recent health issues may prevent me from passing the medical so the Sport Pilot route is currently my only option. Can any of my previous flight time count toward the Sport Pilot certificate? When health issues no longer pose a problem will the hours logged as a Sport Pilot count toward my Private Pilot certificate?
It seems in an ideal world a person should be able to get his/her Sport Pilot certificate, log 50 to 100 hours as PIC, then take the appropriate tests and check ride along with passing the flight physical to get the Private ticket, but some articles from respectable publications indicate the FAA says this is a "no-no." What is the real story? I have also read a story of a long time pilot who lost his medical and is now going to go the Sport Pilot route. According to the FAA regs, as I interpret them, if a pilot loses his/her medical and therefore can no longer fly as PIC, he or she cannot even fly as a Sport Pilot. If, for example, I went to take my flight physical and I failed, I would not even be able to get my Sport Pilot certificate. It seems if the FAA finds out you have any medical issues that can cause you to fail the flight physical, you can no longer fly anything as PIC even if it is an LSA. What is the truth about this? With all of the aviation publications, e-zines, blogs, etc., I cannot seem to find the definitive answers. Please help.
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