Sporty's Academy Offers Airplane Rentals for $99 Per Hour

Bare bones Skyhawks and Skycatchers lower cost of flight training.



In an effort to reduce the ever-increasing cost of flight training, Sporty's has started a new program that brings the cost for flight training rentals down to $99 per hour. The airplanes that rent at this cost at Sporty's Academy are a Cessna Skycatcher and a refurbished airplane that Sporty's has branded 172LITE.

The concept of the program is to purchase an older Cessna Skyhawk and give it a facelift inside and out, including new paint and interior, and the addition of new LED lighting. Rather than to upgrade the avionics, the 172LITE refurbishment brings the instrument panel down to the basics, consisting of nothing but essential instruments such as the airspeed indicator, altimeter and engine gauges; a radio for communications and a transponder.

But the 172LITE concept is not only designed to bring down cost. Many pilots remember being overwhelmed the first time taking the controls of an airplane with all the switches, buttons and non-essential equipment in the cockpit. The basic design of the 172LITE reduces that initial button shock and allows the student to focus on building stick and rudder skills.

"With only essential instrumentation the student will learn fundamental airmanship," said Hal Shevers, Sporty's founder and chairman. "After mastering those necessary skills the student can then advance to more expensive aircraft to complete their training, but it is simply all the airplane a pilot needs all the way through the Recreational Certificate."

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