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2 Answers

Ground school independent study

Asked by: 3443 views Student Pilot

I was thinking about getting a PPL and was wondering if paying for ground school is mandatory or is it possible to buy flight training books and/or DVDs (i.e. jeppeson, king schools, etc.) and FAA test preps to study the material on my own in order to pass the knowledge test? Then use a CFI for the actual flying only.

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2 Answers



  1. Micah on May 31, 2011

    The price difference between home study and a class shouldn’t be too large. Your class/home study course should be more than sufficient for the written portion of the practical test, but it’s unlikely that your instructor will endorse your aeronautical knowledge before the practical test without spend plenty of time one-on-one with your instructor reviewing the aeronautical knowledge before the “oral” portion of your practical test.
     
    Read the regulations (Part 61, Subpart E, beginning at 61.102), a small section is below. 
    “(a) General. A person who is applying for a private pilot certificate must receive and log ground training from an authorized instructor or complete a home-study course on the aeronautical knowledge areas of paragraph (b) of this section that apply to the aircraft category and class rating sought.”
     
    and
     

    “To be eligible for a private pilot certificate, a person must:

    (d) Receive a logbook endorsement from an authorized instructor who:
    (1) Conducted the training or reviewed the person’s home study on the aeronautical knowledge areas listed in §61.105(b) of this part that apply to the aircraft rating sought; and
    (2) Certified that the person is prepared for the required knowledge test.
    (e) Pass the required knowledge test on the aeronautical knowledge areas listed in §61.105(b) of this part.
    (f) Receive flight training and a logbook endorsement from an authorized instructor who:
    (1) Conducted the training in the areas of operation listed in §61.107(b) of this part that apply to the aircraft rating sought; and
    (2) Certified that the person is prepared for the required practical test.
    …”
     
    If your question is whether you have freedom regarding self-study of the “book knowledge,” yes, you should have options. If your question is whether you can save money with a home course, etc., then that’s a different issue.
     

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  2. Matthew Waugh on May 31, 2011

    There is no requirement on HOW you obtain the knowledge, merely that you must have the knowledge.
     
    Books, DVDs etc. are all fine mechanisms. You will pay for some ground school (or you should) as there are certain topics best covered on the ground before you fly them, and you’ll need an endorsement from an instructor who will probably want to quiz you to ensure you have adequate knowledge before giving you the endorsement.
     
    However – let me put in a plug for a group ground school if you can find one – you’ll learn SO much more than just the material, not to mention the support group aspect.

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