Compare Pilot Certificates

  Sport Pilot Recreational Pilot Private Pilot


Travel Distance Unlimited 50 Miles (more with endorsement) Unlimited
International Use Some - Depending on country No Yes
Aircraft Type Light Sport (seaplane with additional rating) all ultralights Single Engine land, 4 seats, 180 hp max Single Engine Land (other aircraft with additional ratings)
Aircraft Limits Aircraft must qualify as Light Sport Aircraft 180 hp max, 4 seats max, non complex Unlimited (certain aircraft will require specific "type" ratings)
Fly with visibility less than 3 miles No No Yes with additional rating
Passengers Pilot and one passenger Pilot and one passenger Only limited to the type of aircraft rating
Night time flying No, fly from civil twilight in morning until civil twilight in the evening No, fly from sunrise to sunset Yes
Airspace All except A with additional endorsements All with additional endorsements All
Maximum Altitude 10000 10000 18,000 (above with IFR rating)


Minimum training time For Part 61 20 hours The average is 33 30 hours The average is 44 40 hours The average is 70
Dual Training 15 15 20
Dual Cross Country 2 2 3
Solo 5 3 10
Solo Cross Country 1 0 5
Night Flights 0 0 3
Instrument Training 0 0 3
Recomendation Flight Hours 3 3 3
Written Test Yes Yes Yes

Medical and Costs

Medical Required No, requires a valid drivers license and no medical failure Yes Yes
Typical Training Cost cost will vary depending ability and past experience) $2800- $3800 $3800-5800 $4500-7500
Apply hours towards higher certificate Yes, additionally you may apply UL time towards Sport Pilot license until January 2007 Yes Yes