Light-Sport Aircraft / Sport Pilot Rules

If you're a licensed pilot, recent FAA Rule changes may make it easier for you to obtain a Glider rating.

Most gliders fall into the new Light-Sport aircraft category. They have a maximum takeoff weight of not more than 1,320 pounds, a maximum stall speed of not more than 45 knots, a maximum never-exceed speed (VNE) of 120 knots, and a maximum seating capacity of no more than two persons, including the pilot. Gliders in this category may have either fixed or retractable landing gear.

The Sport Pilot license, which allows you to fly Light-Sport Aircraft, confers all of the priviledges you would ever reasonably need to fly gliders in Michigan. Flights must be limited to daytime, conducted with visual reference to the surface, and at an altitude of not more than 10,000 feet MSL. (And if you think you're going to fly higher than 10,000 feet MSL in Michigan, please let us know. We'll check the record books.)

If you hold a Private, Commercial, or ATP Certificate, you can obtain a Sport Pilot license with a Glider rating without submitting to a "check ride" with an FAA or Desiginated Examiner.

You would need two logbook endorsements from two different CFI's: one to certify that you have received appropriate training, and another endorsement, from a different instructor, to certify that you have demonstrated proficiency in Glider operations.

At this time, we do not have a formal program of training for the Sport Pilot license, but if you think you may be interested in the Sport Pilot certificate with a Glider rating, please contact us.