For the Joy of It

The Sport Pilot certificate turned out to be my perfect re-entry to flying. Here's how it worked for me. Would it work for you?

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First Landings Aviation's Adam Valencic and the author prepare for a local flight. (Photos by Jon Whittle)**
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How much time a student spends on groundwork is up to him or her. First Landings Aviation developed its own ground school program and supplements it with the Gleim Sport Pilot Kit. Typically, if its students study on their own, they spend about four to six hours on the ground. Otherwise, it can be 10-plus.
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Nearly 12 percent of First Landings Aviation students have been women, about twice the amount of the overall female pilot population.
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Though Sport Pilot students train out of and in uncontrolled airports and airspace, they can choose to add training for a controlled airspace endorsement.
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One of the challenging — and most fun, in my book — aspects of flying a light-sport can be the landings. With less mass and less momentum (inertia), the aircraft are more responsive to control inputs and require a more critical landing flare.