Groups Petition FAA To Change Sport Pilot

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Industry groups have petitioned the FAA, saying changes should be made to the sport pilot rules to fix flaws that prevent the regulations from meeting their stated goals. According to language in the rules, their intent is, in part, to create public access to general aviation and increase the population of eligible professional pilots. According to a petition submitted to the FAA by AOPA, EAA, GAMA and NAFI, one problem with language in the rules is that student sport pilots who take instruction from sport pilot instructors are prevented from counting their time toward a higher rating. And that, they say, does not serve to promote the rules' aforementioned stated goals.

Sport pilot rules state that their aim in part is to "create more eligible pilots to meet the needs of future airline and military demand." The associations' petition argues that allowing hours flown under a sport pilot instructor to count toward a higher certificate could encourage sport pilots to seek those higher certificates and ratings. The groups argue also that safety is enhanced -- not compromised -- by allowing pilots to count those hours. The petition aims to allow pilots to count those hours but ensure that student pilots also meet proficiency and aeronautical knowledge requirements as required to advance. Find the petition (PDF) online here.