Finding LSA Training?

Texas Sport Cub (Photo: EAA / Jim Koepnick)

Each month, Flying answers questions about the new sport pilot/light sport aircraft rule with assistance from the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA), the authority on the opportunities available within the category commonly known as "sport pilot":

Q: I weigh 330 lbs. Am I foolish to think I can fly a sport pilot-type (light sport) aircraft?

A: A body weight of 330 pounds is going to limit the number of light sport aircraft in which you will be able to fly. For example, a Piper J3 Cub has a maximum allowable gross weight of 1,220 lbs. Subtract from that the average empty weight of 750 lbs and you have a useable weight of 470 lbs. Subtracting your weight from that, you have only 140 lbs with which to cover the weight of your instructor, required fuel and oil. So a Cub is definitely out of the question.

You will need to search for an airplane that has an approximate 465 lbs or greater useful load to meet the minimum requirements for flight. Visit EAA's sport pilot website ( for a list of S-LSA and the standard category aircraft.

Q: I was denied a third-class medical certificate several years ago, but worked with EAA and my local AME to receive a special issuance medical certificate last year. I just want to make sure that if I choose to move to flying as a sport pilot exclusively, the original denial will not prevent me from doing that. What is the case?

A: A special issuance is not considered a denial of an airman medical certificate, according to the FAA. You have received medical clearance to fly. That means if you choose to move to flying strictly as a sport pilot in the future, you must meet all the health regulations to hold a valid driver's license in your state. You may then fly as a sport pilot using that driver's license.

Q: I'm interested in learning more about LSA training. I live in the Oakland, California, area.

A: The first steps would be to do the following: 1) Visit 2) Scroll down the left side and click on "Find an Instructor." 3) Pick a state -- in your case, California -- click "Go" and the entire list of instructors and/or flight schools in California that provide flight training in light sport aircraft will appear.

Q: I'm starting sport pilot training soon. I would like to know the best training schedule that will get me through training without completely overloading my brain or having to remember what I did last. What do you think? Once a week, three times a week, etc?

A. The optimal training schedule is often dependent on your availability and work schedule. Depending on where you are located, weather can also be a factor. According to many flight instructors, scheduling flight lessons two or three times per week works very well. This will allow you time to absorb the lesson just completed, as well as prepare for the next lesson. Very little flight review time at the start of each lesson is needed when flying that regularly.

For more information on sport pilot, go to EAA's sport pilot website at EAA, which also hosts the annual EAA AirVenture fly-in at Oshkosh, provides in-depth information on the website, as well as a sport pilot hotline and complete membership services for all aviation enthusiasts. Call 800/564-6322 for membership information.

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