1) Be at least 17 years of age.
2) Be able to read, write and converse fluently in English.
3) Hold either a current and valid U.S. driver’s license or a current FAA medical certificate.
4) Receive and log ground training from an authorized instructor or complete a home-study course which subjects include:
NTSB Part 830
Use of AIM and ACs
Use of VFR charts
Operation of aircraft
Weight and balance
Aerodynamics and systems
Aeronautical decision making (ADM)
Required preflight actions
5) Pass the FAA sport pilot knowledge test with a score of 70% or better.
6) Accumulate flight experience (FAR 61.311). Receive a total of 20 hours of flight training and solo flight time, including:
15 hours of flight training from a certified flight instructor (CFI) including at least:
2 hours of cross-country, i.e., to other airports
10 takeoffs and landing to a full stop at an airport
3 hours of flight training, preparing for the practical test within 60 days before the test, on those areas specified in FAR 61.311
5 hours of solo flight training in those areas specified in FAR 61.311, including 1 solo cross-country flight of at least 75 NM total distance, with a full-stop landing at a minimum of two points and one segment of the flight consisting of a straight-line distance of at least 25 NM between the takeoff and landing locations.
7) Receive flight instruction and demonstrate skill (FAR 61.311). Obtain a logbook sign-off from your CFI on the following areas of operation:
Takeoffs, landings and go-arounds
Ground reference maneuvers
Slow flight and stalls
8) Successfully complete a practical test.
9) Advantages: Lower costs, no medical certificate requirement, faster to complete.
10) Disadvantages: Limited to sport airplanes, no night flight allowed, only one passenger allowed, restrictions of type of airspace and airports you can operate in, no operations above 10,000 ft., no instrument flight.
11) Alternative: Obtain a private pilot certificate.