EAA To Hold Sport Pilot Academy Sessions In 2023


The Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) has announced that it will be bringing back its Sport Pilot Academy for three sessions this year. According to EAA, the academy is designed to “help student pilots earn their sport pilot certificate in as little as three weeks.” Sessions are scheduled to take place June 1-22, Aug. 10-31 and Sept. 7-28 at EAA’s headquarters in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.

“Flight schools often have a very high dropout rate due to scheduling conflicts, aircraft availability, and other obstacles,” said Jeremy Desruisseaux, EAA director of flight proficiency programs. “EAA Sport Pilot Academy offers student pilots a dedicated space to completely focus on getting the necessary training to earn their sport pilot certificate.”

During each three-week session, students will receive small-group and one-on-one instruction, on-site room and board, and training using a dedicated fleet of RV-12iST S-LSA trainers. They will also have access to activities such as behind-the-scenes tours, flight experiences in EAA aircraft and a control tower tour. Prerequisites include completion of the Sporty’s Online Sport Pilot Ground School course and a Garmin G3X Touch Certified Essentials eLearning course, both provided by EAA, passing the FAA written exam and holding a student pilot certificate. The total training fee for a Sport Pilot Academy session is $9,999.

More information is available at www.eaa.org/eaa/learn-to-fly/sport-pilot-academy.

Kate O'Connor
Kate O’Connor works as AVweb's Editor-in-Chief. She is a private pilot, certificated aircraft dispatcher, and graduate of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.

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  1. So the total for a sport pilot license is 10K. To do what with it? Certainly not a long distance cross country trip. And carry any thing more than a flight bag would put one out of a weight and balance envelope. Perhaps that 10K would be better spent on an accredited school that might be better off getting a real private pilot license instead. Just my thoughts…..

    • If you’re healthy go for for the PP cert. But many potential pilots aren’t fit in the eyes of the FAA so SP is the way to go. Flunk a medical? No more sport pilot option for you.

  2. How about flight simply for the enjoyment? I am a sport pilot and I can fly anywhere I want to go. Yes, I may have to ask permission to fly into Canada or Mexico or other foreign country (I haven’t yet), and I can’t fly into a few Class B airports (don’t want to), but I’ve crossed the US many times. Just because i can’t fly at night (again, I don’t want to) or file IFR doesn’t mean that I can’t enjoy flying for its own sake.

    You most likely meant “real private pilot license” in a perjorative sense, but I take no offense. As a sport pilot (and sport CFI), I have a “real” pilot certificate. I teach “real” pilot skills (nearly 1000 hours of flight instruction given) to “real” people who simply want to learn fly. Nothing wrong with that. LSA flying means flying an airplane that is nimble and responsive (at least in my experience). They are fun!

    $10K seems about right. The private route is a bit more expensive, but the training is very similar between the two in my experience. I didn’t choose the private route because I would have had to get a very expensive medical through special issuance due to a long-ago medical condition. I chose the sport route and have no regrets.

    I’m looking forward to MOSAIC, but I’m also happy right where I am.

  3. I wasn’t thinking about the medical aspect of flying. I was thinking about the practically of flying, and the limitations of the sport pilot license. I fly a 182 RG. I have flown it across 5 states, VFR, all in all same day. Loaded to the gills. Something I certainly couldn’t do with a sport pilot category. And a few times at night, when I was delayed by weather. When I went from a 172 to the 182, my instructor said that I would never want to go back to the 172. He was bloody right. ) The old wife’s tale seems to work. When I heard that if you can get it into a 182, and still close the doors, that airplane will fly.

  4. Karr, different strokes for different folks. I know several people that are perfectly happy with C-150s and similar “little” planes that have no desire for the expense of stepping up to a complex aircraft. I personally fly a Cardinal RG and love it to death, but a hangar neighbor with an old Cherokee 180 flies it all over the country, strictly day VFR, and says it carries all he ever wants or needs to. I do agree that spending $10K to get a sport pilot license seems a bit much, but that is more the fault of the system that really needs to be fixed. Considering most new LSAs are better equipped for night and IFR flight than the average legacy four-banger, the concept of sport pilot needs some serious updating. The light sport market has struggled more from the onerous limitations imposed by the FAA that any issues with the new aircraft designs.

  5. The Sport Pilot license gets people flying. They either stay that way, or get the medical and go back for night training and a bit more big airport stuff and bang, you’ve got the Private license.
    And when the expletive deleted FAA get off their rears and finalize MOSAIC, I might just be able to fly that C182 with a Sport Pilot license. Although I wouldn’t because the Kitfox I’m almost done building will be WAY less expensive to operate!