Ground school...how did you do it?

Discussion in 'Pilot Training' started by CookieMonstersRevenge, Jul 23, 2020.

  1. CookieMonstersRevenge

    CookieMonstersRevenge Filing Flight Plan

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    Hello, I am a student pilot who just finished my first xc. I am starting to panic because I am now only going through things in ground school that I feel I should have learned at the beginning of flight training. I know I am nowhere near ready for the written, and I think I should have completed ground school before flying.

    My question to all of you is this; did you do ground school and flight training separately or at the same time? How did it, or how is it currently working out for you? Also, would it be advisable to pause flying to focus on completing the written exam? I am committed to this endeavor I have started, but I am against wasting time or money.
     
  2. Bellanca_Pilot

    Bellanca_Pilot Pre-Flight

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    Wow, my CFI made me do the written before solo and that was 40 years ago. My son is training now and same process. Good luck.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  3. AggieMike88

    AggieMike88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    The original "I don't know it all" of aviation.
    I too completed the written between starting flight and before solo. It wasn’t a requirement from my CFI, but he was quite pleased that I had done it early.

    Many students talk about completing the written before they even sign up for flight training. While that is doable, I am of the opinion that you are doing yourself a disservice of fully understanding many of the concepts. For several subjects, you need the context of experiencing what is going on during flight to fully grasp what the text and questions are teaching you.

    Also, by doing knowledge and flight side-by-side, you have the benefit of your instructor being there to help with topics that you struggle with.

    To ease your panic, ask your instructor to schedule some ground school sessions focused on the topics you need help with. Ask him/her if s/he has other students that would benefit so the costs can be split up.

    Your instructor is there to be both your mentor and a resource. So make full use to get the maximum value.
     
  4. GaryM

    GaryM Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I did mine by self-study (I used the Gleim books), concurrently with my flight training. It worked out pretty well; since I had the books, I could skip ahead to read up on anything that was coming up in flight training before I had gotten to it in my self study schedule. At some point, my instructor figured I was sufficiently competent on the content that he signed me off to take the written, even though we'd never sat down to do any formal ground school.
     
  5. luvflyin

    luvflyin Final Approach

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    How many hours do you have? Have you soloed yet.
     
  6. brcase

    brcase Pattern Altitude

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    www.sheppardair.com Gets very good reviews.

    Sporty's, Gleim, and King all get good reviews as well. ( in my order of preference).

    What I find the most useful is the online study software that lets you take practice questions where you answer the question, it then tells you if you are right or wrong, and move the to the next question. They also let you take practice tests to so you can see how well you would likely score on the test.

    I require my students to pass the knowledge test before we do the Dual Cross Country flight.

    Brian
    CFIIG/ASEL
     
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  7. dmspilot

    dmspilot En-Route

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    Airplane Flying Handbook and King video course and Gleim test prep book
     
  8. Zhunter

    Zhunter Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I am currently using the Gleim book/online ground school to prepare for my written prior to instruction for the Sport Pilot training. Why? Well two reasons, I wanted to knock it out so I had the knowledge knowing I can refer back during my flight training, and secondly because the ONLY Sport instructor near me (90 minutes) currently does not have a plane to use for instruction. We, yes there are two of us, are even looking at buying into a club in order to do our instruction. I find it amazing that we can’t find an instructor/plane. I Joined EAA in hopes they could help, but they gave me the same list I had already found online with instructors that had retired (I already called him) or are more than 200 miles away.
     
  9. murphey

    murphey Final Approach

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    For the private, I took an in-person class at the local college included classroom and FAA-approved sim (Frasca). Not convenient or possible for everyone. For the instrument, I did the same. But, the classroom part was very disappointing and didn't do a good job of preparing me for the written. That was 3 yrs ago and I still haven't passed it (can't seem to get better than 60% on practice exams). At this point I'm too busy at work to get back to studying...maybe later this year.

    For self-study, I'm using the FAA material (free at the FAA site) as well as any of the practice books/online sites you like. My worst topics are weather and the idiot chart of day/night/altitudes/horizontal/vertical distances. No problems with the enroute/departure/approach charts or flying.

    Maybe later this year....
     
  10. MacFly

    MacFly Pre-takeoff checklist

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    When I was a junior in high school, I needed a 1 semester course to replace a study hall that I had dropped. They had a semester course in "Earth Science" and the teacher was a certified ground school instructor. I opted for that because it was known to be a pud course...I had no intention of taking flight instruction when I started the course (student pilots these days would howl at the Link trainer that we had). At the end of the semester, we had the option of taking the FAA PPL written in lieu of a final exam, so I went that way and got a 93%. A little later that year I was bored one afternoon and ran across a Cessna Flight Center $5 introductory flight coupon in a Sports Illustrated (this was in 1968), so on a whim I pulled it out and drove down to the airport. Took my check ride 3 months/38 flight hours later. I do recall that my instuctor made me tell my parents I was taking flight instruction before he'd let me solo.
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2020
  11. Skip Miller

    Skip Miller Final Approach

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    My CFI instructed me for Ground School. Yes, we had bad weather in the northeast that year, and it made it possible on my regular flight lesson schedule. I did a Gleim review on line and ended up with 60 correct out of 60 questions.

    I think ground school and then seeing what you learned in flight, lesson by lesson, is a great (but not the only) way to do it.

    -Skip
     
  12. Kenny Phillips

    Kenny Phillips En-Route

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    I self studied with some help from my instructor, took the written about one month into training, before my solo.
     
  13. AggieMike88

    AggieMike88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    The original "I don't know it all" of aviation.
    Sheppard Air is good. But for clarification, they do not offer a private pilot solution.

    But for everything beyond that, they are a solid choice.
     
  14. jordane93

    jordane93 Final Approach

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    I never did a formal ground school. I just studied the FAA publications and did a few ground lessons with my CFI if there was a concept I didn’t fully understand after reading. You can take the written test at any time but the questions may make more sense after you’ve had a few hours of flight training.
     
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  15. Trogdor

    Trogdor Filing Flight Plan

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    I think that used to be the case. I think with a great online course and a sim (e.g. X-Plane), you can learn A LOT before even stepping into an airplane in addition to passing the Knowledge Test upfront.

    I highly recommend Pilot Institute. Greg is more focused on drone these days since it is way more popular (and less money) but his PPL course is super fantastic.
     
  16. Kevin Eggert

    Kevin Eggert Pre-Flight

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    I took my written about halfway through my training. I had a private instructor who would block out a little over two hours for each lesson. We spent about a half hour on the ground going over things (not just flight maneuver stuff), then an hour in the plane, and a half hour after going over what we did and book stuff to study before my next lesson. We averaged two lessons a week. Right before I took my written test, we spent a couple hours going over stuff and reviewing on his kitchen table. I couldn't have been happier with the helpful attitude and demanor of my instructor. As I have come to understand, this is not always the case for a number of student pilots.
     
  17. AggieMike88

    AggieMike88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    The original "I don't know it all" of aviation.
    I strongly caution against use of sims before you have practical flight experience at the guidance of a good instructor. Waaaayyy to easy to develop bad habits “video gaming” that accompany the student into the real flight deck and become expensive and frustrating to undo.

    Look up “Law of Primacy” in the FAA AHI. “First Learned is Best Learned”. And what is remembered when the pressure to perform is on. So if wrong thing is learned early.....


    Sims can be a part of primary training if done under the guidance and supervision of the instructor.

    And during instrument training, sims are a good tool to introduce new procedures and practice the.
     
  18. AggieMike88

    AggieMike88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    The original "I don't know it all" of aviation.
    Your instructor is a setting a good example for his peers and his students
     
  19. EdFred

    EdFred Touchdown! Greaser!

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    What I did as well.
     
  20. chemgeek

    chemgeek Pattern Altitude

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    Self-study for me. But I'm a "professional student," being in the academic community. I took my written about month or two into my training. The book stuff made a lot more sense after experiencing some flight training, and I could ask my instructor questions along the way.
     
  21. Half Fast

    Half Fast Final Approach

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    I began studying for the written a few weeks prior to starting SP training, then took the exam the week after my first lessons. Seemed to work out okay.

    For both SP and PP I did not attend a formal ground school. I just did home study using the PHAK and AFH plus an ASA exam question book. When I was getting close to ready, I began using Sporty's "Study Buddy" online practice tests. Once I was consistently scoring in the 90s my CFI endorsed me to take the exam.
     
  22. rtk11

    rtk11 Pattern Altitude

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    I did the written independently with Rod Machado's book, an app on my iPhone to quiz me, and the Gleim online training. I did this to get it out of the way in the evenings after work.

    I think it would be better and more relatable if you did it concurrently with flight training so the CFI can explain any thing that confuses you (such as, "How do I uses the confounded E6B that only Spock knows how to use?"). Alternatively, it was good to know some of the theories, rules, regulations ahead of time so that I could focus on flight training.
     
  23. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I did ground school with a physics professor at the college I attended. I finished it before I started any flying. For my instrument rating I took one ground school with Jepp-Sanderson materials which was atrocious. I went back and go the John and Martha King videos to do the test.
     
  24. Trogdor

    Trogdor Filing Flight Plan

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    You have no idea....just kidding....totally agree!

    However, in the context of this thread, *ground* school, a sim can help you learn for instance about going through checklists!

    Btw, no one has said this, but it is CHEAPER (sometimes by thousands of dollars) to do ground school on your own and then bring the left over questions to your eventual CFI. I know I rather be paying for more time in the air than anything else.

    Finally, the FAA Knowledge exam has very little on it about, well, actual flying. Weather? Sure. Navigation? You betcha. Rules & Regs? Can't get enough. But actual flying? Yeah, yeah, torque and p-factor and step on that right rudder....but flying? There really isn't a whole lot on that 60 question exam that directly relates to the physical act of flying.

    I'd say it's more about the mechanisms of aviation than the skills of actual flying!
     
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  25. Tantalum

    Tantalum Final Approach

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    Same.

    If you have a real drive for aviation self-taught ground school is fine. King's is what I've used. They actually teach the concepts verse just force rote memorization, and there's something charming about their cheesy 1970s vibe