What is Sport Pilot?
The Sport Pilot/Light Sport Aircraft (LSA) Rules represent simplified options for flying your Sonex Aircraft. The Sport Pilot Rules allow for a pilot to get his or her license in less time and for less money than a Private Pilot Certificate. The Sport Pilot rules also allow you to fly with a Driver’s License instead of a traditional FAA Medical.
A Sport Pilot can fly any of the Sonex Aircraft Family, except the SubSonex Personal Jet. These rules represent huge potential cost and time savings for Sonex Aircraft Pilots.
For a wealth of Sport Pilot/LSA Information, we recommend that you visit EAA’s Sport Pilot Web Page.
How We Qualify
The sport pilot certificate allows persons to operate aircraft that meet the following criteria. We’ve listed how all Sonex Aircraft models (with the exception of the SubSonex Personal Jet) meet each of these criteria below:
|1. Gross Weight: 1320 pounds or less
All Sonex Aircraft models have a max gross weight of less than 1320 lbs.Important Note: Any builder considering use of an alternative engine installation or modifications to the aircraft should take notice of the important information contained in our Gross Weight Advisory Letter (LSA Compliance and Safety).
|2. Vs: 45 knots or less (51 mph)
All Sonex and Waiex Models have a clean stall speed of 46 mph (40 mph flap extended stall speed). Xenos Models have a clean stall speed of 44 mph. The Onex has a clean stall speed of 50 mph.
|3. Maximum speed in level flight with maximum continuous power (Vh) of not more than 120 kts (138 mph) CAS under standard atmospheric conditions at sea level.
Sonex, Waiex, Xenos, and Onex all meet this requirement with their standard propellers for all factory-approved engine installations.The most common question on these speeds involves the use of the 3300 Jabiru. According to the Jabiru Factory, the maximum continuous power rating of the 3300L Jabiru is 2850 rpm. At this rpm and under the specified conditions, the Sonex and Waiex cruise at 135 mph and the Xenos cruises at 100 mph.
|4. Unpowered or single engine-powered
Met by all Sonex Models
Met by all Sonex Models
|6. Two occupants or less
Met by all Sonex Models
|7. Fixed Landing Gear
Met by all Sonex Models (except SubSonex)
In conclusion, the Sonex, Waiex, Xenos, and Onex all Meet the Sport Pilot Criteria. The Sonex was designed and built in 1997 to meet the “Ultralight” and “Light Aircraft” Standards from other countries including Italy, Great Britain, Canada and Australia (just to name a few). These International Standards fit within Sport Pilot/LSA rules.
The Sonex family of aircraft are the ideal Sport Pilot Aircraft with their simple construction, affordable price, minimal instrumentation, and large performance envelope. The Sport Pilot represents a fantastic opportunity for the Recreational Pilot to keep flying affordable and fun!
If you have any specific questions about how the Sonex fits into the Sport Pilot Category, please Contact Sonex Aircraft
How should I license my Sonex Aircraft?
All builders of Sonex Aircraft must register their aircraft as Experimental/Amateur Built Aircraft (whith the exception of the SubSonex Personal Jet, which may optionally be regisered Experimental Exhibition). You can register your aircraft under these existing rules and fly it as a Sport Pilot. There is no need to attend a specialized LSA inspection class as-is the case with S-LSA or E-LSA aircraft. Registering as Experimental Amateur Built allows you to obtain a Repairman’s Certificate for your aircraft and perform all of your own inspections.
You can find much more detailed information about Sonex Aircraft certification and registration on our Aircraft Certification page.
EAA now offers an Amateur-Built Aircraft Certification Kit, which is available for purchase online. The kit includes everything you need to register and certificate a new experimental amateur-built aircraft. The 15-page, step-by-step Certification Guide walks you through the entire process-from getting an N number to the aircraft inspection-and provides samples of how to complete each required form. The certification kit also includes all FAA forms, Experimental sticker (in black), dataplate, and a convenient placard decal sheet.
What do I need to do to fly my Sonex, Waiex, or Xenos as a Sport Pilot?
Pilots who already hold an FAA pilot certificate (recreational pilot or higher) may voluntarily choose to operate at the sport pilot level by simply allowing their FAA medical certificate to expire at the end of its term. There is no FAA paperwork or notification requirement. Your valid US state driver’s license is used in lieu of an FAA medical certificate when operating as a sport plot. You must operate within the privileges and limitations of the sport pilot certificate when using your driver’s license in lieu of an FAA medical certificate.
New pilots seeking a sport pilot certificate will be able to learn how to fly powered aircraft in as little as 20 hours of flight instruction, saving both time and money. (Note: Your flight instructor will make the final determination as to your readiness to take a practical flight exam.)
Student pilots currently working on a private pilot certificate will be able to apply their training toward a sport pilot certificate and operate under sport pilot privileges until such time as they choose to complete the requirements for a private pilot certificate.
For more information on obtaining your Sport Pilot License and where you can receive training, we recommend that you visit EAA’s Sport Pilot Web Page