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Saturday, April 19, 2008

Benefits of Sport Pilot to CFIs

EAA knew that the first step in aviation, the private pilot license, was the most difficult step. With drop out rates exceeding 50%, we knew that aviation needed a different approach to becoming a pilot. While the number of active private pilots has declined by almost 30% since 1984 and active student pilots had declined by 42%, EAA recognized that other recreational activities, like motorcycling, have exploded over the same time period. How can this be when learning to fly and being a pilot is such an exhilarating, life changing activity? We determined the root causes were time and money and set about doing something about both.

EAA worked with FAA and industry for over 10 years to create the Sport Pilot/Light Sport Aircraft rule. Flight training was simply too time consuming and too expensive. Sport pilot solves the time/money issue by creating a basic, entry level pilot certificate that is not bogged down with training people for things they may never use while not jeopardizing safety. The result is a pilot certificate that is half the time commitment and half the cost of a private pilot certificate. Based on the initial response to Sport Pilot, we are convinced that aviation now has the opportunity to grow and be competitive with other recreational actives.

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