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I'm planning to first get my sport pilot license and then continue on to private pilot, to save on written exam costs is it possible to just take the private pilot written exam for the sport pilot license or will I have to take both?

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No. You will have to take both written and practical exams for sport and private pilot, if you go that route. I’d recommend that, if you do ultimately want to obtain a PPL, that you not pursue an SPL as part of your training and solely concentrate on obtaining your private only. You can exercise all the privelages of an SPL with a PPL, and it cuts out the excess costs and time with the SPL testing and checkride prep.

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    $\begingroup$ +1 and generally I'd agree but it's worth noting that a private certificate requires a medical, whereas a sport certificate doesn't. For some people that's a really important consideration. $\endgroup$ – Pondlife Oct 8 '18 at 0:00
  • $\begingroup$ Indeed. However if this applicant wants both an SPL and a PPL, he/she will need at least a third class medical certificate to take the PPL checkride. So unless the applicant it disqualified from a medical certificate, an SPL makes no sense in this case. $\endgroup$ – Carlo Felicione Oct 8 '18 at 0:08

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