Computer Based Ground School Training?

Discussion in 'Pilot Training' started by TiGmsm, Apr 23, 2010.

  1. TiGmsm

    TiGmsm Filing Flight Plan

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    Hi,

    I want to the start sport pilot training this summer. Since the flight school is about an hour drive away, attending their evening ground school is difficult at best. The alternative is a computer based ground school.

    Does anyone have experience with a CBT program? As you worked through the program how well did it prepare you for flight school? How well did it match the curriculum of your sport pilot training? Was it particularly well-done or just awful to watch?

    I have found three possible programs:

    Cessna on-line
    King Schools DVD
    Sporty's on-line and DVD

    The latter two will sign off for the written test. Are there others?

    Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks!

    -Bob
     
  2. dmccormack

    dmccormack Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Welcome to PoA!

    There are two ways to prepare for a written exam: Formal classes ("ground school") or self study.

    All of the resources you mentioned are fine. You can really reduce the cost by using the Gleim (red paperback) book and use a local CFI to fill the gaps or explain what's incomprehensible.

    I attended formal ground school for the PP, but since then it's been all home study.
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2010
  3. Ghery

    Ghery Final Approach

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    I used the King Schools DVD (actually, CD-ROM back then) course when I was studying for my PP written. Coupled with a number of good books I aced the test. YMMV. I'm using a variety of resources preparing for the IR written. King DVD, Sporty's DVD, Gleim book, etc. I need to get it done.

    Good luck and have fun!
     
  4. poadeleted20

    poadeleted20 Deleted

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    If you were going for Private, I'd say there's a fourth option I consider the best computer-based ground training program available -- http://jeppdirect.jeppesen.com/product_details.jsp?id=prod819. However, Jepp has yet to put a Sport Pilot version of that on the market yet.

    As for CBT programs in general, if you are a good CBT learner, they can be very powerful tools which allow a great deal of flexibility in your learning schedule. OTOH, if you're not much of a self-starter/motivator, they may not help you much. Which are you?

    As for matching ground school to flight training, unless the two curricula have been built in an integrated manner (such as Cessna's CPC material or the Jepp Guided Flight Discovery packages), they probably won't match very well at all. Now, that match is not essential, but it helps, and if you're looking for that match, you'll have to find out what flight training curriculum your flight instructor will be using, and select the ground training program which best matches it. In that regard, if your instructor uses either the King, Cessna, or Sporty's curriculum, that's the ground training package you'll want to go with.
     
  5. COFlyBoy

    COFlyBoy Line Up and Wait

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    I used the Sporty's PP CBT program to get current again (I didn't realize they had a refresher course) and it worked well for me. The videos kept me interested even though they are not the flashiest.

    I second Ron's comment about being self-motivated. I have no problem being motivated when it comes to aviation related stuff. If you tend to daydream during video lectures then it may not work for you, and a class would be better. I originally did classroom for my PP and it was a small class (4 students) with plenty of interaction.

    Finally, the Sporty's programs comes with a combined flight/ground syllabus. The idea is you do some ground and then go fly, and what you've learned on the ground should complement what you are doing in the air. I didn't actually do this so I don't know how well it works.
     
  6. Tristar

    Tristar Pattern Altitude

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    Hi Bob,

    Our flight school uses the Cessna computer based training. It's very helpfull considering many of our customers are in your situation. Some have a greater challenge in the fact that they are not in the states for a week or two on end and appreciate a way of staying on top of their training. You are given a log in card and can log in from any web based computer anywhere in the world. We have recieved some great feedback on it. It's in the beginning stages of developement but most of the information has been transferred from the DVD kit that both Cessna and King Schools has partnered to create.
    This is the demo we use for private/sport pilot: http://cessnaflighttraining.kingschools.com/Index.aspx

    Click on the "Try demo." It'll ask you to create a log in but don't worry, that's all it wants.

    I like the fact that it couples the ground training along with the flight labs. The instructors also have thier own log in page. For those of you who like scenerio based training, the flights are also based around this such as turns around a point with a purpose of taking photos. My only personal drawback is that I'm old fassioned and like having a physical book although books are heavy.

    Let me know what you think or if you have any questions.
     
  7. write-stuff

    write-stuff En-Route

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    Take a look at the Gold Seal Online Ground School (www.FAA-Ground-School.com). You can take 12 of the lessons for free after you register. If you like it, you can "enroll" and get access to the entire program for $149 (including a Certificate of Completion and an endorsement to take the FAA written test). And it has unquestionably the best guarantee you will find anywhere - 100% money back if you're dissatisfied even if you've completed the entire course. This is an extremely popular alternative to "the usual suspects" and has been online longer than any of them.
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2015
  8. xaminmo

    xaminmo Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I like the King videos. Jep and Sporty's were really dry. King was a little quirky, but tied test questions to video segments and really worked well for me.

    They don't provide courseware patches after purchase though, so if "technology changes" make the course incompatible with your system, you pay 1/2 the course cost to replace it. The online version, if that's OK, is good for life, or you can install into a VMWare guest.
     
  9. weoxstan

    weoxstan Filing Flight Plan

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    Bob,

    I have something a little off subject but still relevant. Is all of your flight training going to be an hour away from home? If so, what made you choose a place so far away? I learned at my hometown airport which was pretty much right across the road from my house. It made things really nice. I could call up my CFI and ask if the plane was available, is so I could go up in a matter of minutes. This was handy for several reasons, Good day, nice crosswind, storm was over, etc... I got in a lot of good training and practice by being so close.

    You might not have that option, but if you do it is something to think about.

    Jeff
     
  10. TiGmsm

    TiGmsm Filing Flight Plan

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    Wow! Thanks for all the great replies from everybody!

    I'm okay with the Kings' corny sense of humor. The Cessna program was developed with them although not immediately obvious in the demo I tried. Both of these programs are about 50% or more expensive than Sporty's or Gleim. I'll take a look at the other recommendations.

    I'm leaning toward a flight school an hour away because they have an active sport pilot program (SportStar, Tecnam Sierra in service, SkyCatcher on order). There's a closer Cessna Flight Center that will probably get a pair of SkyCatchers later this year but they don't have a LSA at this time (only 172s or more complex aircraft in their fleet currently). I expect that will be where I rent eventually.

    There are two LSA programs both 1-1.5 hours drive time. I have sentimental attachment to the closer of the two airports (STS) because it's where my dad flew and often took us flying when I was a kid.

    I've flown Introductory flights with three schools so far. I'm still evaluating although I have no problems with any of the instructors I have met. Everybody is pleasant and informative. I have one or two more schools to visit, both are Cessna Flight Centers. How many "Discovery" flights can I get away with? :)

    First school I visited has a nice, well maintained 152 but the school itself is in turmoil as the owner is gravely ill. The instructor was honest and gave fair warning.

    The second school had a worn 152, an instructor I liked and a good reputation for more advanced instruction.

    The third school has the LSA program and another instructor I liked. Some of the instructors work out of the second school as they are both at the same airport. I really liked flying the SportStar.

    I'm going to visit the closest school in the next week or so but until they have an airplane appropriate for how I expect to fly. The further school may get a visit too because they have an active LSA fleet.

    I'm leaning toward the Cessna online training because several of the schools within my driving range are Cessna Flight Centers. If I change schools, the training will easily transfer. Does this make sense?

    Thanks for again for the replies. It's greatly appreciated.

    -Bob
     
  11. aranpura

    aranpura Pre-Flight

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    The key to any exam is practice questions, which is exactly what Gleim gives you. If you went through a Gleim book twice and if you're comfortable with multiple-choice exams (i.e. you're good at time management and good at spotting trick questions), then passing the FAA written exams will be fairly easy.

    For more in-depth material, I think the FAA's "Airplane Flying Handbook" is now easily as good as more expensive textbooks, and you can download it as a free PDF from the FAA directly.

    Video courses are appealing because they seem easy, but learning requires active mental work. When you're really trying to understand something, the best thing is a live teacher, and the next best thing is a well-written book.

    Good luck!
     
  12. americanpilot

    americanpilot Filing Flight Plan

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    Computer-Based Training, Online Courses, Self-Study Solutions

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  13. wpierce

    wpierce Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I just ordered the IR Oral Test Prep from these folks and I'm very satisfied with the product. The cost was very reasonable, the quality is superb. If there other ground schools are similar I think it would be worth your checking them out.

    I had not heard of them until very recently, I wish I had known sooner.
     
  14. EppyGA

    EppyGA Final Approach

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    I used the King SP DVD's and enjoyed them. I ended up going PP and just got the balance of what I needed elsewhere and did lots of practice exams online.