EAA Downplays Sport Pilot Delay

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The FAA has delayed implementation of a key element of the Sport Pilot program but EAA says we shouldn't worry. Last week the agency said it won't be able to start processing Sport Pilot student applications until at least Jan. 15, 2005, two months later than originally planned. That's the same day that the first Sport Pilot flight tests are scheduled to take place. EAA spokesman Earl Lawrence said the FAA is doing its best to get Sport Pilot in gear as soon as possible. "Considering the massive infrastructure required ... we knew the schedule was ambitious and we expected a few hiccups along the way," said Lawrence. Other elements of the implementation appear to be on track and the next milestone is Oct. 15, when aircraft registration can begin. Written exams should be ready by Nov. 15 and examiner handbooks should be out by the end of October. Applications to become pilot examiners will likely be available Nov. 1.