Sport Pilot: Weighing In

Sonex Sport Trainer Courtesy of Sonex

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: Would it be possible to build/rebuild a V-22 homebuilt to meet the Light Sport Aircraft maximum weight of 1,430 pounds? I have seen the V-22 listed at 1,500 pounds max gross weight.

A: Yes, it would be possible to build a V-22, and you, as the builder, could set the max gross weight at whatever weight you choose. By setting and operating the aircraft at a gross weight of 1,430 pounds, it could be LSA compliant, assuming it met all the other parameters for LSA during the Phase 1 testing period, and was operated as such during Phase 2 normal operations. Rebuilding is another matter. If the aircraft was ever certified or modified with a weight exceeding 1,430 pounds, it can never qualify as an LSA.

Q: I'm a private pilot flying at the Sport Pilot level. Can I take my flight review in the Cessna 172 that's available at my local FBO?

A: The requirements for a flight review are called out in 14 CFR 61.56. The regulation requires the flight review to be accomplished in an aircraft for which the pilot is rated. Since you are a private pilot you are rated to fly the Cessna 172 (assuming you have an Airplane Single Engine Land rating on your pilot certificate), so this would meet the requirement of the regulation. Since you don't hold an FAA medical certificate, you would not be authorized to act as pilot in command (PIC) during the flight portion of the review, but Sec. 61.56 does not contain a requirement for the pilot taking the flight review to hold a medical certificate or to act as PIC, so this is not a problem. The flight instructor performing the flight review will act as PIC during the flight.

Q: Is there a list of airports and FBOs that have LSA rentals and Sport Pilot training?

A: The EAA Sport Pilot flight instructor database shows both location of training facility and light-sport aircraft available for rental. The database is searchable by state at this link,

For more information on Sport Pilot, visit EAA's EAA, which also hosts the annual EAA AirVenture fly-in at Oshkosh, Wisconsin, provides in-depth information on the website, as well as a sport pilot hotline and complete membership services for all aviation enthusiasts. Call 1-800-564-6322 for membership information. Visit for discussion boards on this and other aviation topics.

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