Sunday, February 9, 2014

Comment on Sport Pilot and Eliminating the 3rd Class Medical for Private Pilots

With regard to the Sport Pilot license, Private Pilot license and the proposed elimination of the 3rd class medical for private pilots: having trained in 7 different airplanes, I find LSA planes trickier to fly than heavier planes, such as the Cessna 150 and 172. To me, it's a mistake to equate the safety record of sport pilots with the rules for that license category, because the lightweight LSA planes (especially the amphibious ones) are harder to handle in challenging conditions. That's why I'm in favor of the rule change, even if the FAA just dropped the medical requirement for the Recreational Pilot category, which might be a reasonable compromise. If sport pilots can operate safely without an FAA medical exam, then so can private pilots. In fact, I think the pilots currently flying on a Sport Pilot ticket would have a better safety record if they could fly heavier, more stable aircraft.