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5 Answers

Light Sport Pilot Training

Asked by: 2303 views Light Sport Aircraft, Private Pilot, Student Pilot

I have a certified LSP getting ready to solo in a Cirrus airplane. Is he able to log PIC during his training before he solos?

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5 Answers

  1. Wes Beard on Aug 31, 2014

    §61.51(e) is fairly clear on the matter. If anyone is the sole occupant of an aircraft then they are allowed to log PIC time.

    It doesn’t matter if they are upgrading from a light sport plane to a heavier airplane or if they are certificated as a light sport pilot.

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  2. Kris Kortokrax on Aug 31, 2014


    You answered a question that he did not ask.

    Jim wanted to know if his student could log PIC time while receiving dual in the Cirrus prior to solo.

    That answer will probably need to come from legal counsel.

    61.51e1 allows logging PIC time as a sport pilot when:
    the pilot is the sole manipulator of the controls of an aircraft for which the pilot is rated, or has sport pilot privileges for that category and class of aircraft, if the aircraft class rating is appropriate;

    If the Sport pilot’s certificate has a rating for Airplane Single Engine Land, the lawyers may say they allow logging PIC in the Cirrus.

    Or, they may say that his privileges extend only to logging PIC in an Airplane Single Engine Land that meets the definition of a Light Sport airplane.

    I see no existing legal interpretations on the subject.

    We can offer our opinions, but they have no legal standing.

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  3. Mark Kolber on Aug 31, 2014

    If the question is “Is he able to log PIC during his training before he solos”, IOW, while receiving dual, it’s a question I have not seen an official interpretation for. So this is worth exactly what you paid for it and you’ll have to come to your own conclusion.

    Logging flight time as the sole manipulator (the only basis on which he can conceivable log time other than when solo), requires that a pilot be “the sole manipulator of the controls of an aircraft for which the pilot is rated, or has sport pilot privileges for that category and class of aircraft.” [See 61.51 (what else?)]

    Note it doesn’t say “sport pilot privileges for that category and class of light sport aircraft.” So, for the sport pilot with ASEL privileges, the logging reg would seem to permit logging of PIC time while receiving dual (or flying with a friend) in an non-LSA single engine land aircraft.

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  4. Kris Kortokrax on Aug 31, 2014


    Just having a little fun with the debate.

    One could argue that “sport pilot privileges” do not exist for the Cirrus.
    If true, then he couldn’t log PIC except when solo.

    Not sure of the reason for the question in the first place.
    The Sport pilot would need to be training for a Private Pilot certificate to fly the Cirrus and there is no requirement for any PIC time for Private, only dual and solo.

    Further, any PIC time he had logged as a Sport pilot would be countable. As far as I know, the only time that would be disallowed towards the requirements for Private would be training time conducted by a Sport Pilot instructor.

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  5. Mark Kolber on Aug 31, 2014

    You and I pretty much agree Kris. I can see the FAA going either way if asked. All the rules refer to is aircraft category/class, not light sport aircraft category/class, but, as you know, the FAA has certainly been known to graft extra language onto the regs as part of its formal interpretations.

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