Sport Pilot Leaves Terrible Two's

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Three years into it, and more than 2,100 Sport Pilot certificates have been issued as of June 1, 2007 with 230 sport pilot instructors now certificated. EAA last week presented the news as part of its annual analysis of the Sport Pilot sector. The new aircraft and pilot categories have seen growth over the past year that has outpaced cumulative totals for the first two years combined. What's more, (literally) there are "nearly 3,700 successful applicants in the sport pilot airman knowledge (written) test." EAA found that more than 50 new aircraft are now available for sport pilots, but more than 4,000 light sport aircraft are on the FAA register, according to EAA.

That number may be an indicator of successful implementation of 6,200 EAA ultralight transition kits distributed over the years by EAA to help owners of "fat ultralights" become legal aviators once again. The effort has been supported by more than 240 designated pilot examiners (up 20 percent since last year). All hands are optimistic, "The past 12 months gave us a glimpse of the growth and innovation possible within the light-sport aircraft category," said Earl Lawrence, EAA's vice president of industry and regulatory affairs.