With the global economy still in the doldrums, learning to fly is likely not a priority right now for many would be private pilots. After all, there are significant costs involved plus the time commitment to obtain a private pilot license.
However, if you are living across the pond and have the itch to fly but want value for you money, Todd McClamroch has posted a great entry on My Flight Blog about why you should consider a Sport Pilot License and Light Sport Aircraft (LSA) options in general. As Todd explains, access to low cost airplanes is harder to come by and a budget close to US$10,000 would be needed to obtain a Private Pilot Certificate today. However, only 20 hours are needed to obtain a Sport Pilot License and this can save a student as much as US$3,000 – $5,000 – thus, making flying more accessible. Moreover, LSA’s burn less fuel and hence, are less costly to operate plus they cost less to rent and to purchase than traditional aircraft.
Of course there are drawbacks to flying LSAs. After all, don’t expect to take the whole family along on a long distance flight. Nevertheless, for would be pilots on a budget in these uncertain economic times, a Sport Pilot License and Light Sport Aircraft may be the best alternative.