Why Learn to Fly


Escape from the two dimensional world. Flying takes you to a different world with new perspectives. Suddenly, distances shrink and your perspectives change. You start thinking of your world from above. Your senses are in tune to the world of flight, no longer limited by your cares, concerns and duties on the ground. Become a pilot and escape to a different world.

Explore new places. Learning to fly frees you to explore the world – from 50 miles to 500 miles. The distance is your decision. Become a pilot and expand your horizons.

Experience a feeling of freedom, and accomplishment.

Learning to fly will transform your life. It immerses you in new sensations and allows you to conquer exciting challenges. It changes how you perceive yourself and what you know you can accomplish. Become a pilot and transform yourself.

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What will it cost?

No large up-front commitment. You can "pay as you go" and train as often or as little as you like.

Earning your initial and subsequent pilot certificates is affordable with us. Aircraft rent for $110.00 per hour when pre-paying 10-hour block or $120.00 per when paid hourly. Instruction time is separate @ $50.00 per hour.

Our high quality and experienced instructors save you money by minimizing flight time needed to become a safe pilot through their proven methods.

Pricing as low as $100/hr under certain conditions. Call for details.

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What do I need to start my flight training?

A desire to learn

Proof of citizenship, or FAA approval, is needed to begin training.

For the most part, you can show up for your first flight lesson with nothing but a primed eagerness to enjoy an exhilarating experience! The airplane and fuel are included in your price of instruction, so all you need are yourself, your learning skills, and your desire for FUN! Just bring your proof of citizenship and get started!

Don’t forget insurance

You should also discuss insurance coverage with your flight instructor. To protect yourself, any time you are flying an aircraft you do not own, rental or borrowed, including flight training, you should have non-owners (renters) aircraft insurance.

Official student pilot certificate

As your flight training progresses, you'll eventually need an official student pilot certificate from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) before you may fly solo. If you don't have an official student pilot certificate, Sport Pilot Chicago can help you obtain the student certificate. Or you can go to any FAA Flight Standards District Office (FSDO) and get the certificate there. Our local FSDO is located at the DuPage Airport in West Chicago, IL.

A valid driver's license will be required before solos and certification.

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How long will it take to get my pilot certificate?

The minimum number of flight training hours for achieving a sport pilot certificate to fly an airplane is 20. Those training hours will include dual instruction (instructor and student), cross-country flying (departing one airport and landing at another), and solo flights. The number of days or weeks required to log those 20 or more hours of instruction is really up to you and your instructor. Will you set aside several days for immersive flight instruction or will you spread out the flight lessons over a period of weeks? The choice is yours; train as often or as little as you like -- whatever fits your budget and schedule.

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What training steps are involved in learning to fly?

The major elements of your flight training will include:

  • Preparation for the written test
  • Dual instruction
  • Acquisition of a Student Sport Pilot Certificate
  • Solo flight training
  • The cross-country flight
  • The oral and practical test
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Is flying safe?

Recreational flight is statistically among the safest outdoor motor sports. Although every activity carries a degree of inherent risk, flying for fun falls well within the safety margins that most people expect for recreational activity.

And flying as a sport pilot eliminates several risk factors, making it potentially even safer than other general-aviation flying. Because the sport pilot's flight activities by definition entail daylight, favorable weather, good visibility, and light aircraft capable of low-speed flight, the sport pilot can focus on FUN instead of worry.

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What are the basic "qualifications"?

The fundamental qualifications for becoming a sport pilot are quite simple. Remember, the main idea behind the sport pilot movement is to open up the exciting world of recreational aviation to many more enthusiasts. We love aviation and want to share that joy with you and many others!

Accordingly, the qualifications are modest:

  • At least 17 years of age
  • Proof of citizenship to begin; valid state driver's license prior to solo & certification
  • Proficient in the English language
  • Be able to affirm general good health and not using substances or medications that impede judgment, cognition, or motor skills
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FAA's Sport Pilot/Light-Sport Aircraft Rule

The EAA (Experimental Aircraft Association, Inc.) provides a condensed version of the Sport Pilot/Light-Sport Aircraft Rule. The PDF download eliminates the 352-page preamble and reduces the original FAA rule from 100 pages to 19, making viewing and printing the rule much easier.

This version reflects all revisions to the document as of Sept. 1, 2004, including an amendment to correct erroneous references to the final date on which the FAA will issue experimental light-sport airworthiness certificates for "existing ultralight training vehicles and single- and two-place ultralight-like aircraft." The correct date was January 31, 2008.

For the entire text of the rule, including the preamble, click on the link below. This is a large file.

The rule, in its entirety, is available in PDF format.

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Frequently Asked Questions About Sport Pilot

For even more information, see the AOPA FAQ.

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