CFI Sport


A FAA Sport Pilot Certified Flight Instructor (CFIS) has privileges similar to other FAA certificated flight instructors (CFI); however, he or she may only instruct in the category of light- sport aircraft in which he or she is qualified and operates under FAR 61 Subpart K (Sport Pilot) rather than Subpart H (Private Pilot). A CFIS may also perform proficiency checks to add a category or class to the certificate of an existing Sport Pilot per 61.321 and Sport Pilot CFIS per 61.419. If a CFIS has the Airspace endorsements 61.325 and/or the speed endorsements 61.327, or has the airspace and speed privileges as a private pilot 61.303, that CFIS can provide the airspace and speed endorsements to a student sport and sport pilot per 61.415 (e) (f) (g). A CFIS can perform Flight Reviews for a licensed pilot of any level as long as the Flight Review is conducted in a Light Sport Aircraft or Sport Pilot eligible aircraft.


The applicant must hold a sport pilot or higher pilot certificate with the category and class privileges as appropriate to the flight instructor privileges sought. The candidate must be at least 18 years old.
NOTE: If an FAA medical has been revoked, denied, withheld, or suspended, this requires a special issuance to clear the medical, before the driver’s license may be used as the medical eligibility for pilot and CFIS. Any limitation on the driver’s license or FAA medical must be followed. This applies to all pilots and flight instructors.


Airplane and weight-shift-control category instructors need 150 hours of flight time as a pilot, which must include at least:

  • (i) 100 hours of flight time as pilot in command in powered aircraft,
  • (ii) 50 hours of flight time in category,
  • (iii) 25 hours of cross-country flight time,
  • (iv) 10 hours of cross-country flight time in category, and
  • (v) 15 hours of flight time as pilot in command in category that is a light-sport aircraft.


Sport pilots must build additional skills in the Fundamentals of Instruction and Technical Subject Areas. All the sport pilot tasks must be mastered to:

  • Perform the maneuvers and procedures at a higher level than the sport pilot tolerances.
  • Here is where the flying skills, confidence and experience matter. Be able to let mock student (instructor) make mistakes and you have to correct mistakes before things go “really bad”.
  • Have correlation knowledge of all the subjects a pilot must learn.
  • Have instructional knowledge of tasks (how to instruct).
  • Have knowledge of common errors and be able to identify, analyze, and correct mistakes.

It is a common misunderstanding that if you have been a private pilot flying around for decades, that you have the skills to be a FAA Flight Instructor. Nothing is further than the truth.


  • Hold at least a Sport Pilot certificate in category/class.
  • Receive training and endorsement from Sport or Private Pilot CFI to take the computer based knowledge CFI test and the Fundamentals of Instruction (FOI) knowledge tests. The computerized Prepware can also provide the training and on-line endorsements for both these knowledge tests.
  • Pass both the FOI knowledge test and CFIS knowledge test for specific category.
  • Meet ALL Sport Pilot CFI requirements per 61.407 through 61.411. It should be noted that Spin training is required per 61.409 (m) for airplanes and sailplanes which can be done in a non-LSA aircraft certificated for spins.
  • Obtain and log training within 60 days before practical test with an authorized instructor and obtain endorsement for practical test from Sport or Private Pilot CFI in log book and on FAA 8710-11 form now typically on line IACRA.
  • Pass CFI sport practical test with DPE/SPIE.
  • Receive Sport Pilot CFI Certificate and log book endorsement for category/class of aircraft used for Practical test.


How do we go through the process at Sport Aviation Center.

  • We have found that the best starting point for all flight instructor applicants is to go through the on-line training for the sport pilot FIRST. This provides the foundation for adding onto your knowledge base, the ability to teach it. Sport Pilot licenses have some unique caveats compared to higher level licenses. Many privileges are endorsement based, meaning logbooks must always be cared with you.
  • Additionally, it goes through the basic training syllabus in order of what the applicant will be teaching.  You will also need to pass the FOI (Fundamentals of Instruction) Knowledge test and the CFI-Sport Knowledge Test. Many of the online companies that offer online test prep cover these coures.
  • It is best to first get both knowledge test’s (FOI and CFI Sport for category) completed before you arrive for training. If you arrive without studying and passing both tests, this will add SIGNIFICANT time here.
  • Using the Fundamentals of Instruction techniques, do both flight training and ground school. For flight training you must do both demonstrating the Sport Pilot Tasks to a greater tolerance than the sport/private pilot AND be able to teach each of the tasks using the fundamentals of instruction techniques.  It is easiest and will save you time/money if you show up with all the flight and ground lesson plans completed to start teaching students.  This gives you lesson plans in the Syllabus plus training materials for you to use. I highly suggest you use a paper training syllabus which does this for you. Y
  • Two books are needed to add to the Sport Pilot on-line training course: