So, you want to become a powered parachute (PPC) light-sport aircraft (LSA) pilot. These are the steps that you take to reach your goal.
- Start ground and flight training from a Certified Flight Instructor (CFI) with sport rating, or a regular CFI with a powered parachute (PPC) rating.
- Obtain student pilot certificate to solo from a Designated Pilot Examiner (DPE), local FAA Flight Standards District Office (FSDO), or from an Aviation Medical Examiner (AME) while obtaining a third-class medical.
- To solo, have CFI or CFIS train per Part 61 requirements and take an exam on aircraft specifics and airport procedures/regulations. The instructor then endorses Student Pilot certificate for make/model and provides appropriate logbook endorsements/limitations to solo.
- Receive endorsements to take knowledge test (this can be through home study or from a CFI or CFIS.
- Pass FAA PPC knowledge exam (computer based). (Typically known as “written” test)
- Meet the knowledge and flight proficiency requirements in Parts 61.309 through 61.313 from a CFI or CFIS which includes 10 hours dual and 2 hours solo for light-sport PPC.
- Receive and log 3 hours flight training 60 days before checkride (practical test) in preperation for “checkride” and obtain endorsements for practical test (checkride) from CFIS or CFI on form 8710-11.
- Pass the checkride (practical test) with a Designated Pilot Examiner for Sport Pilots DPE/SPE based on the Practical Test Standards (PTS).
- Receive Sport Pilot Certificate and logbook endorsements to fly PPC LSA.
You’re probably wondering how long it will take to learn to fly. You can solo in as little as three days. It all depends on your ability to learn the techniques involved in launching, flying and landing. How long it takes, also depends on your background. If you are a licensed Private Pilot, have paragliding or powered paragliding experience, or other aviation training, you may progress more quickly in certain parts of your training, since there are areas in your training that may be very similar.
Three to four consecutive days of flight training are often adequate. Your first few flights will be under very controlled conditions. Your instructor will be making most decisions for you. You will gradually begin to develop your confidence and skills, as you progress in your flights. You will also begin to make more decisions about your flights yourself. By the time you finish training, you should be able to takeoff and land without assistance, as well as, make most of your own decisions about flying. It may still take several more flights before you feel really ready to fly on your own.