To: (Separate email addresses with commas)
From: (Your email address)
Message: (Optional)



Converting Your Sport Pilot to a Private Pilot License

So whether you are currently a Sport Pilot, or simply working towards your sport pilot and decide you want to go for the full private pilot certificate.  The process really is quite simple, and we’ll cover both scenarios for you below.

If you are currently a Sport Pilot:
Converting a current Sport Pilot certificate to a Private Pilot is fairly easy and will open up a few new doors for you.
Your new privileges will include:
Flying above 10,000′
Flying at night
Flying airplanes with more than 2 seats and more than 1,320lbs.
Flying Faster airplanes
The ability to add a instrument rating
Flying into Class B, C, and D airspace if you are not already  endorsed to do so.
You may find some of the requirements for additional solo flight time and solo cross country time are already met from your regular flying you have done after earning your Sport Pilot certificate.
The additional requirements you will have complete before going for a private pilot checkride include:
Flying 3 hours at night with an instructor
Flying a 100nm+ cross country at night
Making three solo takeoffs and landings at a towered airport
Have at least 5hrs of solo cross country time (greater than 50nm each way with one flight at least 150nm total and including a landing at 3 airports)
If you are in training working towards your Sport Pilot Cert and want to be a Private Pilot
This is certainly the easier and cheaper way to go about pursuing a Private Pilot’s license.  Simply by making the choice before taking the written and checkride for the Sport Pilot it will save you the cost of having to take another checkride and possibly another written exam down the road if you choose to pursue a private pilot’s license after already earning your Sport Pilot cert.
The earlier you make the choice to continue training towards the private pilot license the less time you might waste practicing in an airplane you may ultimately choose to not take your checkride in, however you should know that in most cases you can take your private pilot checkride in the same airplane you started your sport pilot training in (your CFI can answer that specifically for your exact case).
Ultimately to make this switch you will want to sit down with your CFI and take a close look at your logbook and the time you have already logged during training.  I’ll give you an example below of someone who’s already taken 7 lessons towards their sport certificate and decides they would like to pursue a private pilot certificate instead.
Total Time: 9.8 hours
Night Time: 0 hours
Solo: 0 hours
Cross Country Training (Dual) Night: 0 hours
Cross Country Training (Dual) Day: 1.8 hours
Solo Cross Country: 0 hours
Simulated Instrument (hood time): 0 hours
Solo Landings at a Towered Airport: 0
Training (Dual) Landings at Night: 0
What you will need to have to go for the private pilot checkride:
Total Time: 40 hours
Night Time: 3 hours
Solo: 10 hours
Training (Dual) Night: 3 hours
Cross Country Training (Dual) Day: 3 hours
Solo Cross Country: 5 hours
Simulated Instrument (hood time): 3 hours
Solo Landings at a Towered Airport: 3
Training (Dual) Landings at Night: 10
Now even if ou have completed all of your requirements as a Sport Pilot in bare minimum time, and at the last minute decide you want to take a private pilot checkride instead, your comparison chart would look something like this:
Ultimately, whether you choose to make the switch during your sport pilot training or after you have already earned your Sport Pilot certificate, it is not a choice you’ll regret as it will open up quite a few more doors for you and what you will be able to achieve in aviation. If you are at all curios, sit down with your CFI and take a look through your logbook at what else you would need to do to convert to a Private Pilot, or get in touch with one of our CFIs here at FLY8MA to review your logbook with you.
Happy Flying!
-Jon K.

Subscription Options

  • Track Your Progress
  • Unlimited Retakes of Courses
  • Access to Premium Private Pilot Ground School
  • Private Pilot Written Prep BootCamp
  • Rusty Pilot Course
  • Crosswind Landings
  • Alaskan Pilot Ground School
  • Free One-on-one Oral Prep
  • Checkride Prep Material
  • Costs Less then an Hour of Airplane Rental, and You're Guaranteed to Pass Your Exam!
  • Everything from Flight Engineer Level Included
  • PPL | IFR | CPL | CFI
  • Access every course we offer!
  • Get live support 7 days/ week
  • Professional Pilot MasterClass
  • Free One-on-one Oral Prep
  • Lifetime Access!
  • All Benefits from First Officer Level Included
  • Custom, One-on-one Live Checkride Prep with One of our CFI's for up to 3 of your Checkrides
  • Guaranteed To PASS Your Checkride, or I'll Pay For It
  • Access all of our courses you see on the site for life (over 25 courses)!
  • FREE FLY8MA T-shirt!

Jon K

Jon is a CFI, CFII, MEI, ATP, AGI, and the rest of the alphabet. He started instructing for fun part-time to be able to give back to the GA community after earning his Commercial and CFI back in 2013. He has a strong background in academia, starting his career at the University of Michigan, and now is pursuing his dreams of flying, both for the airlines and teaching as a CFI on his days off.

Recommended Stories

  • The Summer of Bush Planes! Here’s an update on the FLY8MA crew! We’ve been up in Alaska much of this summer filming more flight training videos and real-world weather videos that we’ll be adding to our Private Pilot, Instrument, and Commercial Pilot courses here over the next few months!  With over 200 hours of filming, […]
  • Tracking Your Flight Lesson Seeing where you flew, how high, and how precise you are flying can be great feedback for students and experienced pilots alike.  Check out the above video (feel free to scroll through it) to see what that data looks like overlayed on maps or in a video.  Now with technology, it […]
  • Planning a descent for most GA pilots may seem like a very easy thing to do.  A simple 500fpm generally yields nice results with a good compromise between ear popping and efficient flying, as well as the fact most of our airplanes can slow down very quickly and do not fly that high to begin […]
  • Flying At Night Check out the our latest video in this post on planning your flight at night!  With helpful tips of things to consider, as well as good info to know to prep for your written or private pilot checkride.

Latest Stories

  • On May 12th, at approximately 11:47 AM, the Blue Angels were performing a formation flyover in Detroit to honor first responders and medical staff battling COVID-19. The flyover was appropriately titled the “Detroit America Strong Flyover”. In the total time of four minutes that the Blue Angels were operating over the city of Detroit, an […]
  • Photo Credit: Loren Holmes / Anchorage Daily News Avoiding Midair Collisions It seems to happen every Summer. Seven people were killed Friday when a beaver and cub had a midair collision near Soldotna, Alaska. On May 13th of last year, a Beaver and Otter collided near George Inlet, Alaska; killing 6 and injuring 10. In […]
  •   Are you ready for your IFR Checkride? Check out our latest IFR Oral Exam video below and test your instrument knowledge against our IFR Checkride Quiz!   To view all of our full length IFR Oral Exam videos, click here to be taken to our Instrument Course.   Are you ready? Read through the […]
  • They entered and flew below the canyon walls. Although the Private Pilot had flown through this canyon once before; it was with a flight instructor,  in the opposite direction of travel, and in a slower airplane. Approximately two miles into the canyon, they encountered a tight turn, which the pilot was not able to successfully navigate.  The aircraft impacted terrain about 500 ft above the river, and 200 ft below the canyon wall. 
  • The Federal Aviation Administration issued a notice on Friday stating that they will not be enforcing medical certificate currency for pilots whose medical expires after March 30th. Pilot medicals of any class that expire after this date can be used until June 30th, with no enforcement action or penalty. The FAA stated that it made […]
    • CFI
    • March 29, 2020
  • The Federal Aviation Administration recently rolled out a new system to schedule FAA knowledge tests. Check out our new YouTube video above to learn how to obtain your FTN number and schedule your written, hassle free!
    • CFI
    • March 25, 2020
  • Are you getting ready for your CFI checkride? We are introducing a new CFI LIVE series to help you get the answers you need to be prepared! Be sure to leave your CFI questions in the YT comments for our next CFI Live series video! 
    • CFI
    • February 12, 2020
  • Now flying on the airlines is stressful enough, and a nice cup of tea or coffee once you sit down on the plane might make you feel better, but this is why you should never EVER drink the coffee or tea on any airliner, anywhere! Let’s start with where the water comes from. It comes […]
  • Little Delta makes it into Anacortes, Washington! Even though I have cleared customs in Bellingham (KBLI) several times, there’s always something that goes wrong or a little mistakes are made. This time it was the phone call you have to make at least two hours prior to crossing the border to make sure the customs […]
  • Sign up to become a FLY8MA Affiliate and earn money for the friends you refer to FLY8MA!
    • CFI
    • March 18, 2019
Share on Twitter


Not recently active