Going for IFR, ground school - Sporty's or King?

Discussion in 'Pilot Training' started by NordicDave, Nov 4, 2018.

  1. NordicDave

    NordicDave Line Up and Wait

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    I know Sporty's has continuously grown their ground school, recognizing a few years ago it was rather incomplete.

    The King course seems a little dated in terms of the presentation, but an industry staple.

    Sporty's seems much more modern in its presentation with 3d graphics to illustrate concepts for example, but maybe not as proven.

    Appreciate any constructive thoughts!
     
  2. benyflyguy

    benyflyguy Line Up and Wait

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    I used King. Did very well. While the presentation is dated, the information is current and applicable. They are constantly changing and updating parts of the course. I found the short vids and specific question method after each vid useful.
    Probably the most useful part was the way you review questions when all done. You can take multiple tests, you can test in certain subject areas, you can have it give you just the questions you ever got wrong the repetitive nature of question review, for me, really helped pound the info in. Worked for me, for two wrong on the test.
    I can’t speak to the others as the King course is the only one I’ve used. Their campy style is hard to forget-that’s a good thing!!
    Good luck in your journey!!
     
  3. SbestCFII

    SbestCFII Line Up and Wait

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    Sporty's is great and less expensive that John and Martha. I used Aviation Seminers for PPL and Instrument and then Gleim's online ground school for my FOI, Commercial, AGI, CFI and CFII and did fine. I don't think it is as much about the program, but how much you put into it.
     
  4. lancie00

    lancie00 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I just passed my written about a month ago using the sportys online course. I thought it was very modern and did a good job of explaining items. I do think no matter which course you use, their main purpose is to get you to pass the written, not know everything you need. That means you'll still have to spend some time on items that you might be confused about. They also assume that you remember everything from your private training. I'm sure everyone else remembers everything, but I'm no expert and I had to go back and review some things.

    I went with sportys because it's good for a lifetime. I hoping when the next "new" technology comes out, I can go back and review what's expected from the FAA.

    *Edit* I forgot to say that sportys also lets you practice whichever questions you want and take unlimited practice tests.

    Good luck!
     
  5. bobmrg

    bobmrg En-Route

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  6. Cici

    Cici Pre-Flight

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    Sheppard. They'll write your endorsement.

    I used sportys and Sheppard. Check out nafi, 33% off foreflight, 20% off sportys and kings.
     
  7. apenney

    apenney Filing Flight Plan

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    I used Gleim for the instrument ground and passed. Its overall not a glamorous presentation but it got the job done for me. Not a good route though, if you prefer learning via a video presentation format; Gleim is mostly outlines and practice tests. They provide the endorsement to sit for the test.
     
  8. CC268

    CC268 Final Approach

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    I’ve used King with much success thus far (never less than a 92% on any of the knowledge exams I have taken). That said I wouldn’t be opposed to trying Sporty’s stuff.

    I bought the Gleim Commercial Oral Exam Prep book and I thought it was fairly good, although I think the ASA Oral Exam Prep books are better.

    I bought the Gleim Commercial Maneuvers and Practical Test Prep book as well. Could hardly even read the thing it was so dry. Huge pages with walls of text lol. I’m sure it works well for a lot of folks, but for someone who is more of a visual learner it was hard to get through (I read like the first 50 pages)
     
  9. JCranford

    JCranford Pattern Altitude

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    King. 98 on the PPL, 92 on the Instrument, 86 on the CPL
     
  10. benyflyguy

    benyflyguy Line Up and Wait

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    8894559C-C722-49BB-BB00-CA67F6E2A3DE.png What did you decide on...we need more fodder to argue about
     
  11. ChopAndDrop

    ChopAndDrop Filing Flight Plan

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    Well, just so happens I am studying for IR written test right now, and have bought BOTH the Sporty’s online school and the King School for IR, so I can tell you my impression of both.

    TLDR:
    Sporty’s probably OK to pass the test , but left some gaps in my knowledge from a practical / flying standpoint. After completing the Sporty’s course I bought King school to get more test-prep before my exam. King is dated but has more of a “sitting down for a long chat with an experienced pilot” kind of feel to it. If you want a good mobile app to take videos and practice tests on-the-go then definitely go with Sporty's.

    Full story:
    I started with Sporty’s because I used Sporty’s for my PPL. I like the modern videos, the presentation and graphics are nice. They have a very good iOS app also, that allows all videos to be viewed offline, and practice tests to be studied while on-the-go. I went through the whole video series, took several practice tests, and got my endorsement to go take the written exam. However, I still felt there were gaps in my knowledge.
    My experience back from my PPL test was that a few questions at the FAA exam were never addressed in Sporty’s videos or practice test materials (and I took a lot of practice tests). But hey I passed PPL fine even though I was blindsided by some topic areas I'd never seen from Sporty's
    Back to the IR: but I felt there were alot of questions I still had about IR operations that I felt I was not getting from Sporty’s, so I paid for the IR course from King School to make sure I was completely prepared before going into this exam. Also I travel often, so being able to access the course from a mobile device was important to me (either a web browser on a internet-connected tablet/laptop, or a native mobile app) so I could study even while on travel.

    I then bought the King School becuase I wanted more before I did the test. The King school has videos that are obviously dated, but others are updated as necessary. Some of the older low enroute charts they show still had the shaded areas for Class G airspace, with class E only around 10nm of the Airways; you don’t see that anymore in-fact it’s hard to find any “Class G up to 14500 ft” areas anymore. Most of the videos are from VHS days , they intersplice some updates to correct material but it is jarring cut-in that interrupts the video. Other videos are all re-done, sometime in the ~2015 timeframe. Most recent video updates are about GPS (including WAAS), but it’s obvious that a majority of their videos are from before the GPS era. However, in areas where the fundamentals of IFR flying haven’t changed in 20 years, they are probably just fine.

    The software presentation is modern and very nice on Sporty's, basic but functional on King School. They both run in a web browser and runs fine on my computers (both Linux , Windows, and even from an Android tablet device via Chrome browser).
    Sporty's has a very nice iOS app that has almost 100% of the functionality of the entire course built-in to the App. Can take practice tests in the app, also.
    King School has a basic iOS app, but it’s limited. For me in the IR courses I bought (I have the "get it all" package) the King iOS app shows a collection of various videos, you have to select the correct ones to sync-up with your lesson plan on the computer. There a knowledge quiz at the end of some videos or some lessons. But, As far as I can tell, there is no way to take any practice tests or just practice exam questions using their app, it seems to be for viewing their videos only.

    So in the category of presentation and mobile app, the advantages definitely goes to Sporty’s.

    Comparing the knowledge I’m getting from both courses, it’s hard to make an apples-to-apples comparison becuase for Sporty’s I just bought the IFR package and they only have that one; but on King I bought a much more extensive “get it all” package for IFR flying. This is more than just the ground school it also has several video series on real world IFR flying help, like single-pilot ops and risk management, more info on weather, how to handle emergencies, etc. keep in mind I paid about double the cost to get this whole package from King vs the class from Sporty’s.
    but outside of just studying for the IR exam i _think_ I get more out of the course as a practical matter: it’s like John and Martha King saying “we’ve done all this IFR flying and here’s what we are telling you from our experience”. I feel like there is more real-world anecdotes thrown in of “here’s what the test will ask you, but also here’s how its really is going to happen when you fly”

    Example1:you do an instrument approach to a non-towered airport, that has magenta ring for Class E airspace at 700ft AGL. You have to fly to LPV minimums (200 AGL) due to weather, but Once you get below 700 ft are you in class G uncontrolled airspace? If you are still in IMC from 700ft down to Minimums, Are you still guaranteed traffic separation during the last part of your approach to minimums ? Sporty’s never explains this, but King did.

    Example2: the practice test in Sporty’s have questions about using an RMI and ask to determine your our position based on the indicator needles. But Sporty’s never explained an RMI or how to read it, I had to guess my way through the test. Martha King did explain the RMI. yeah I know an RMI is outdated and never seen one in a plane, but if it’s on the FAA test don’t leave me hanging.

    Side note: I did try a demo for Shepherd Air, but their software is horible to use. Instead of just running in a web browser, from any computer anywhere (like Sporty's and King), the Shepard Air requires a Windows application to be installed on your computer, and its very outdated. I hated working with it, and decided not to buy after that demo.

    Haven't tried Gleim recently, but back in my PPL I tried Gliem and it was hard to work with their software. They require Adobe Flash, which is mostly obsolete and makes it very hard to take the class "from any computer anywhere" and blocks you from accessing it from a mobile device, so I didn't buy Gleim course just based on that.
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2018 at 9:15 PM