Stage A: Pre Solo
You will receive 5 hours of ground instruction and about 15 – 20 hours flight instruction. You will learn the basic maneuvers like take off, airspeed changes, straight and level flight, descents, landing, turns and Air Traffic Control procedures. As this is the basic learning stage, pay heed to the instructions, revise the maneuvers regularly and be thorough with the Air Traffic Control Procedures. It would be best to receive instructions from a trained flying instructor.
Stage B – Solo and Post Solo
At this stage, you will have to pass exams on Federal Air Regulations and Air Operational Characteristics. These exams are administered by an instructor. You will have to fly solo for a minimum of 5 hours. This includes 3 solo flights under supervision. At this stage, things get a little tougher. As you will be flying solo, take care to follow flight regulations and read up the manuals. You learn additional maneuvers like flight test maneuvers, advanced take off and landing techniques, airport pattern entry and exit procedures and performance maneuvers.
Stage C- Cross Country Preparation, Cross Country Flight
Here you will be receiving 3 hours of instruction on cross country flight instruction and will also have to fly solo for 3 hours of cross country flight. The manoeuvres you will learn navigation techniques using pilotage and dead reckoning, optional radio navigation. Navigation is an important part of flying. So be thorough with these techniques.
Stage D – Flight Test Preparation
Here you would be learning flight test maneuvers as laid down by FAA Practical Test Standards. This is the stage where you will have to take up the FAA sport Pilot examination which is a written one. To pass the exam you will need to score above 70. You will also have to give a Flight test that consist of about 90 minutes ground time and 90 minutes of air time with the examiner.
Make sure to buy the recommended study material, plotter, study kits, log books and maps to make your study easy.
When you study, you build up knowledge that stays with you through your life time. So apply yourself diligently from the very beginning and it will pay dividends.
Before you take up the exam, make sure that you have made a study of the background subjects. Take help of a checklist. Don’t waste time studying those topics that are not relevant. Topics like supersonic aerodynamics, studying gas turbine engines, cockpit voice recorders, high altitude IFR charts, instrument landing systems etc are irrelevant for obtaining a Sports Pilot License.
Don’t waste time studying huge reference manuals. If you want to read for the sake of building your knowledge base, do it after you have written you exam.
Make sure you learn from current materials only. Practice writing the exam. Don’t cheat yourself by looking at the answers before finishing the test.
It is better to avoid last minute study just before taking up the exam. Have a good rest, the night before the exam so you don’t wake up sleepy eyed and dull. Arrive at the venue before time.
Before the exam starts, note the start time. Take up the questions you know you can answer and don’t waste time on those questions that confuse you. You can always come back to it later. Try to finish your exam in the allotted time and revise the answers.
During your flight test, make sure that you don’t get nervous. Be relaxed and keep your cool.
These tips should help you get your Sports Pilot License. Happy flying !