Is Sport Pilot The Future Of GA?


If the architects of the Sport Pilot certificate are correct, there should be thousands of teens like Kris Halvorson out there. At least that’s what they hope. Halvorson is a textbook case of how the simpler certificate is supposed to entice youngsters to fly. Halvorson earned his Sport Pilot certificate on June 18 at the AirLake airport (KLVN) in Minneapolis. He recieved his certificate almost exactly one year after starting his flight training. All of his training was done in a Flight Design CTsw at LSA North, Inc. “I really enjoyed the flight training,” said Halvorson. “The Sport Pilot program was pretty straightforward and was what I was expecting.” Halvorson chose the Sport Pilot license for its simplicity. He paid for his flight training himself by working nights and weekends at LifeTime Fitness. “My schedule was work, then fly, work, then fly,” said Halvorson. “I would have been able to get my Private [Pilot Certificate], but it would have taken a lot more time.”

Kris’s instructor, Scott Johnson, sees many benefits to the Sport Pilot program for young people . “One benefit is that you can get your initial license in half the time and half the cost,” said Johnson. Last summer Johnson had 4 or 5 sport pilot students. Currently he has over 20. “Sport Pilot is more than just ultralights. It’s an easier way for people to “test the waters” to see if they like flying,” said Johnson. “And if you want to go further all of your training counts toward any future ratings.”