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FAA Clarifies Sport Pilot Student Certificates
Oklahoma City, November 18 -- Certified Flight Instructors wishing to issue student pilot certificates to sport pilot candidates may encourage their students to apply as of November 15. To do so, an applicant must complete form 8710-1, available at http://forms.faa.gov/forms/faa8710-1a.pdf. Once completed, submit the application to any inspector at the local Flight Standards District Office (FSDO) or to a designated pilot examiner (DPE). After the FAA appoints sport pilot examiners (SPEs) - expected by spring 2005 - applications may be submitted to them as well.

Unfortunately the FAA has not yet completed policy documents outlining the process to its inspectors and examiners. The policy documents are now expected in January. As a stopgap measure until then, FAA is advising its aviation safety inspectors and designated pilot examiners to use the appropriate chapter in either FAA Order 8700.1 or FAA Order 8710.3 dealing with issuance of a student pilot certificate (FAA 8710-2). Inspectors and examiners will note the designation “Sport Pilot” in the “Other” box in Section I of the 8710-1. The application will then be processed in accordance with the current guidance.

Examiners take note!

The inspector or examiner must brief the student pilot applicant on the limitations of a sport pilot student as defined in FAR 61.89(c). Inspectors and examiners are also encouraged to discuss those limitations with individuals providing training to sport pilot students.

Should NAFI members encounter inspectors or examiners unfamiliar with this information, make them aware of it or ask that they contact FAA’s Light Sport Aviation Branch, e-mail [email protected].