Sport Pilot Rule Changes Coming

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The FAA will publish a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on Tuesday that makes more than 20 revisions to the rules for Sport Pilot certificates. According to Paul Hamilton, the author and DVD producer of Sport Pilot materials for ASA, there are some significant changes being proposed but nothing that should upset most involved in the category. Among the highlights is a requirement for at least an hour of instrument training for anyone who wants to fly a Light Sport Aircraft that goes faster than 87 knots. The various ratings and endorsements available are now attached to the certificate rather than logbook entries and there are a lot of housekeeping details that clarify and, in some cases, alter the role and responsibility of an instructor.

Hamilton was surprised with the timing of the posting of the rules on the FAA Web site as most of the industry is gathered in Lakeland, Fla. for Sun 'n Fun. "We knew these changes were coming but we didn't expect to see them until September," he said. Hamilton noted that complex rules like Sport Pilot/Light Sport inevitably need tweaking after they're put into practice and, after three years in force, Sport Pilot is due. There will be a 90-day comment period after the NPRM is published.

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