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Ground School Self Study from Home

Asked by: 6338 views Private Pilot, Student Pilot

Hello...I'm interested in taking up flying as a hobby. I've done a bit of homework regarding my options for ground school. There are a few companies who offer "complete private pilot kits" for those who want to study and learn as much as possible at home with DVDs and a flight simulator. I realize these courses are intended to co-exist with physical flying and an instructor. The most popular packages seem to be the Sporty's, Kings School's, and Jeppesen courses. 

Has anyone had any experience with these courses? If so, which would you recommend? Do they really come with all the materials you'll need pass your written, oral, and practical checkrides? If not, what other materials would you recommend I purchase?

A question for the CFIs...have you had any experience with students who chose to study at home rather than a traditional ground school class? Do they learn as much? Did they become well trained and competent pilots?


3 Answers

  1. Kris Kortokrax on Nov 22, 2011

    I have used King’s courses in the past.  These are primarily test prep courses and are by no means comprehensive.  They must be supplemented with instruction from an instructor in order to amass the knowledge required not only to safely operate, but to pass the ground portion of the practical test.

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  2. Russ Still on Nov 23, 2011

    A student entering flight training with good preparation already done will definately do better in training. From your very first flight you’ll be more comfortable in the aircraft and find the new environment less overwhelming. The FAA publishes “The Pilots Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge” and “The Airplane Flying Handbook”. These are very good texts. They can be purchased from any number of sources or can be downloaded as .pdf files from the internet. These books cover a LOT of material, much of which is beyond the private pilot level. Using them, you’ll have to pick and choose the parts that apply to a beginning student.
    Here’s a link to a free 80-page .pdf book entitled “Learn to Fly”: http://www.FreeFlyBook.com. This is an excellent resource and will spell out exactly what you need to do to earn your wings. It also contains preliminary information on required knowledge areas including basic aerodynamics, regulations, and aviation weather. Learn these things and you’ll give yourself a HUGE headstart in your training without spending one cent.

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  3. Matthew Waugh on Nov 24, 2011

    People who use home study course are, generally, as well prepared as people who use other forms as study in my experience. Now having said that….
    If there is a formal group ground school available then I HIGHLY recommend you take it. Not because you’ll learn a heck of  lot more, although an experienced instructor is a font of all knowledge, but because you’ll meet other student pilots, exchange stories, validate your experience and make “flying friends”. Don’t under-estimate the value of that experience.
    I’ve used, flown with and watched people use a variety of packages. In my opinion any widely available package is sufficient and comprehensive enough.
    Don’t dismiss others pointers to cheap or free options. Even if you later go with a full home study kit, if you haven’t actually taken a flight lesson you may not know if learning to fly is for you. Investing hundreds of dollars in a training kit and then on your first flight deciding this is not for you could give you some buyers remorse.
    Good luck with yout training – get out there and fly!

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