How to Learn to Fly

The following step-by-step instructions are based on my experience in obtaining a Sport Pilot License.  I tried to stick with bare minimum costs so that the overall total would be as low as possible.  If you follow these instructions to a T, you should have no problem matching my costs!

Goal:  Earn a Sport Pilot Certificate in under 3.5 months for under $3.5k

Step-by-step Instructions on How to Learn to Fly:

1.  Discovery Flight

2.  Student Pilot Certificate

3.  Sport Pilot Knowledge Test

4.  Flight Training 

5.  Practical Test

To see if you qualify to learn how to fly, please take the following survey:

  • Do you have a valid U.S. Driver’s License and are you a healthy human being?

If you answered “yes” to this question, you are eligible to learn how to fly a light sport aircraft in the United States!  Assuming you have not already taken an FAA Medical Test and failed or were rejected for some reason (in which case you’re out of luck until you pass one), then a driver’s license is all you physically need to get into flying.  If you have this, you’ll just need to take one more survey to gauge your motivational qualifications:

  • How does the following picture make you feel?

SkyCraft SD-1 Minisport

  1. Good
  2. Extremely Good
  3. Excruciatingly Good
  4. Pretty Bad

If you answered (4), you need to close out of your browser, take a long, cold shower, and think about what your life has become.  If you answered (1), (2), or (3), you should most certainly learn how to fly.

Assuming you are eligible and motivated, the biggest obstacle between you and flight are most likely time and money. Flying is notorious for being expensive and difficult to learn.  Fortunately for you and me, the last decade has brought us the FAA’s creation of the Sport Pilot Category, and the Czech Republic’s creation of the SD-1 Minisport. These are two huge victories in the progress towards easier, more affordable flight.  I’ll be taking advantage of both of these by tailoring my Sport Pilot Training towards the goal of flying the SD-1.


Endnote:  Since I am by no means an exhaustive source of information on learning to fly, you should check out other resources such as the EAA and the AOPA.