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3 Answers

Home Study for Private or Sport Pilot

Asked by: 5732 views General Aviation, Light Sport Aircraft, Student Pilot

I would love to get your feedback on new students ground school home study suggestions. What texts, online courses, dvd sets or courses do you recommend and why?  I have used Machado's texts intermingled with Jeppesen with success but am agnostic to what to recommend. 

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3 Answers

  1. Eric Grill on Aug 03, 2011

    I just received my private pilot ticket a few weeks ago, I definately recommend Machado’s text they are fun to read and the stories really stick with you.  I also had the kings schools online course (Which wasnt worth the $450 it cost).  If I had to do it all over again I would just go with Machado’s book (Which I got on my iPad)

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  2. Brian on Aug 03, 2011

    Hi Earl,
    The method that best suits you will depend on the type of person you are. I would recomend starting with the basic PTS/Oral Exam guide for the license you wish to aquire. For one, they are cheap. You can probably get your hands on both for under $30 USD. The great benefit with such text is the refernces provided are all available for free online. A google search of the referenced text will locate a free pdf version.
    However, the above, while likely the most effecient and cheapest method of study, may not fit your particular learning needs. In other words, it will tell you what you need to know, but it might not be something you consider an interesting read. Therefore your retention of said material may be hindered by the presentation.
    The only way to find out which method of presentation will be best for you is to shop around. Visit the king website, try to find a Rod Machado book in the book store, a Jeppesen book, etc. After skimming these texts, or watching the videos, you can determine for yourself which method of presentation works for you. Nobody here knows how you learn better than yourself.
    Good luck.

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  3. Micah on Aug 12, 2011

    I’ve had several students use the King/Cessna courses and all did not like it. Fewer have used Sporty’s products but seem to enjoy it. One student bought a product called Flight Tech which was an audio series. He listened to this (in addition to the Cessna or Sporty’s series) before the checkride and really enjoyed it; it fit his learning style and work schedule.
    I agree that suggestions should be tailored to each student’s learning style, but as a basic inventory of books (which I like, I’m a reference reader) it’s hard to be the FAA PHAK (Pilot’s Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge) and AFH (Airplane Flying Handbook). Add in the Instrument Flying Handbook (not the tedious Instrument Procedures Manual, which is a waste) and those 3 books are as much as most students need for a basis. Any student can branch out from there to get more information on a specialized subject (thunderstorms, mountain flying, etc.). Also, I’ve been impressed with the simple utility of the Suggested Study List (page xii in my copy) of ASA’s FAR/AIM. All I have to do is tell a student, “Read everything referenced on this page and get back to me when you’re finished. Then we’ll discuss what all of these regulations mean.”
    And all of these FAA books are free to download, but I’m not an e-reader type. So, for home study I suggest these three books: PHAK, AFH, and the ASA FAR/AIM. (Anyone who buys a non-ASA FAR/AIM simply gets a photocopy of my reading list page as a study guide.)

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