Sport Pilots are in a unique situation in that the FAA requires them to have an endorsement which specifies what speed of aircraft they may operate. It’s divided into to categories based on Vh speed, or the max speed the aircraft will fly in level flight. This is how it works:
- Per 61.327, Sport pilots must have a logbook endorsement, either above 87 KCAS Vh, or below 87 KCAS Vh to operate a LSA (87 kts is roughly 100 mph)
- Strangely sport pilots do not need this speed endorsement to fly solo, but should get this speed endorsement before the checkride so they can fly the aircraft after the checkride.
- Per 61.303, private pilots, flying as private pilots with a medical or sport pilots without a medical, do NOT need any speed endorsement. They can fly in both speed groups.
For Sport Pilots this is a single CFI logbook endorsement. Additionally, in the case of a CFIS, once that CFIS has secured the additional “pilot” speed endorsement, he/she can teach in the additional speed classification.
Pilots who have been trained and have the low speed endorsement, less than 87 KCAS, must obtain the higher aircraft speed endorsement to fly the higher speed aircraft. Similarly, sport pilots who were trained in the higher speed aircraft need to be trained in a slower speed aircraft and receive a slower speed endorsement for the slower speed aircraft to fly one.
What do you need to do to fly your aircraft of choice?
- Receive and log ground and flight training from an authorized instructor in a Make and Model of LSA that is within the same speed range of aircraft you wish to fly.
- Receive a logbook endorsement from an authorized instructor who provides training in the speed of LSA you wish to fly.
What can I provide?
Since I operate in a 1946 J-3 Cub that has a Vh less than 87 kts, I am only able to provide the slow speed endorsement. However, if you own an aircraft with the higher Vh, I can provide training to you in that aircraft, as I’m endorsed to fly both Vh speeds.