New license will let more become pilots

FAA creates classification of low-powered aircraft

July 21, 2004|By LOS ANGELES TIMES

WASHINGTON - With a valid automobile driver's license and 20 hours of flight training, people who dream of being recreational pilots but are discouraged by the red tape and costs will be able to solo in a new class of light aircraft created yesterday by the government.

The "sports pilot/light sport aircraft" regulations issued by the Federal Aviation Administration acknowledge the growing sophistication of low-powered personal aircraft weighing 254 to 1,320 pounds.

The sport pilot rules, which take effect Sept. 1, cut the training time in half and, in most cases, eliminate the need for medical certification.

Holders of a sport certificate will be able to fly to altitudes of up to 10,000 feet, during the day and in good visibility, and carry one passenger.

The Los Angeles Times is a Tribune publishing newspaper.

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