A gentleman at Oshkosh asked me a question about Sport Pilot Instructors and I’m afraid I gave a misleading answer. Even though I inhabit the SP/LSA space all day long every day, it isn’t hard to get a detail incorrect. My expertise is on the LSA side and less so the SP side, so I called in my expert friend, Paul Hamilton. Paul agreed to blog on this subject area from time to time, and here’s his first installment. Welcome, Paul! *** So the question is: Can Sport Pilot training be used for Private Pilot training? The answer: Yes… and no. It depends on the type of flight instructor rating. *** First off, solo time is solo time. So, yes, all solo time for Sport Pilot certificate can be used towards the Private Pilot license. *** Dual training is where it gets tricky. To understand the differences in qualifying Sport and Private Pilot training you have to understand the differences in flight instructor types. A CFI (Subpart H) able to train Private Pilots can also train Sport Pilots and can teach in both LSA and non-LSA. A Flight Instructor with a Sport rating, CFIS (Subpart K), may only teach Sport Pilots and may only teach in Light-Sport Aircraft. *** So yes, if your flight instructor is qualified and current as a Private Pilot Flight Instructor (CFI), then all your dual training time counts towards the Sport and the Private Pilot tickets. *** When you start training — even if you complete your Sport Pilot certificate first — all your dual training with a Subpart H CFI counts towards the Private Pilot license. But no, if your flight instructor has a Flight Instructor with a Sport rating (CFIS from Subpart K), then your dual training does not count towards the dual training for the Private Pilot license *** The good news? Typically, to go from a Sport to a Private Pilot would take an additional 20 hours anyway for the extra night, instrument, VOR navigation, and towered airports dual training. [One thing no one can take away or fail to count is the knowledge you acquired flying a Light-Sport Aircraft, regardless of which instructor you had. —DJ]
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