Thoughts on online ground schools?

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Thoughts on online ground schools?

Posted by Justin Baker on Sep 26, 2017 8:19 am

Hi All,

I am a new AOPA member and getting ready to start training for my private pilot license. I'm a very visual / auditory learner and wondering if any of the online ground schools are worth the money, or if they'll just be redunant to my CFI and ground school time. I've been particually interested in the Sporty's program since seems to be the most modern interface and I like the full package of training materials. I would love any thoughts or feedback from others that have completed, or tried these programs.

Thanks in adavance!
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Re: Thoughts on online ground schools?

Posted by Roderick Kleiss on Oct 9, 2017 11:02 am

I'm currently studying the Gleim IFR course. Not too overwhelmed. Very poor course structure. I basically study the test questions and Google what I don't understand. There is really no educational structure in the course. You can never actually talk to a person about anything specific and it take days for them to respond to a written question.

Re: Thoughts on online ground schools?

Posted by Jim Christoff on Oct 9, 2017 8:19 pm

Just wanted to pop in and say thanks for the comments from everyone on their past experiences -- it's been something I've been contemplating for IFR instruction.

Re: Thoughts on online ground schools?

Posted by David Welch on Jan 1, 2018 1:08 pm

My ground trainging took 3 tries to get the right course:

Try 1: Attened a well known part 141 flight school ground course in person; weekly 90 minute class over 16 weeks.  Dropped out halfway through as I felt the presentation was a little dry and required a lot of memorization.  

Try 2: Next I bought and tried the King course. This course is aligned with the old PTS exam and teaches to the answers for the test rather then a keen understanding of insight for knowledge. 

Try 3: After watching the Pilot Training Solutions examples on YouTube, I bought this course.  It's a the best so far. It's designed for the ACS standards and teachs real insight and knowledge.  Here's an example: the best VOR explaination I've heard yet. It's explained very simply and it sticks.

I preferr an online course, but pick one that speaks to you.  It's to go over the certain material several times as needed and take the sample tests. 

Re: Thoughts on online ground schools?

Posted by Ronald Levy on Jan 2, 2018 1:24 pm

David Welch:
My ground trainging [sic] took 3 tries to get the right course...pick one that speaks to you. 

​That last bit is the most important point of all.  Everyone has their own learning style, and if you want to be successful at this, you'll find the training source which best fits yours.  That could be any of the ones David tried, or other methods mentioned previously.  It might even be an on-line program, but there's no way anyone but you can know which suits you best.


Re: Thoughts on online ground schools?

Posted by Glen Grotendorst on Jan 3, 2018 8:45 pm

I just finished the Spotys Online Private Pilot Training.  I enjoyed it.  For me the video and animation was very good.  I'm 56 and did this on my own schedule and passed the written after studying the included practice test info.  That said I also read the PHAK,  Airplane Flying Handbook as well as Stick and Rudder.  Sportys usually answered any questions I had within 24 hours and I also would sit down with my CFI for questions before flying.  

Re: Thoughts on online ground schools?

Posted by Jonathan Harker on Jan 8, 2018 12:29 pm

I used a multifaceted approach...I used the ASA dvd video's, the jep text books and test prep, and the gliem test prep, and online practice tests... then for my practical/oral, I had a different instructor from the flight school that I had been using help with studying for the oral 3 times for an hour or so, over 3wks.  I passed my written the first try, the oral the first try, and was provided the opportunity to demonstrate short field landings and soft field take offs on a second day of flying.  I took the written about 2 years ago, and the oral/flying test in july of 2016.  I wasn't in a hurry, but just wanted to make sure that I learned everything.  I have all of my material at home to review, and I like to go to "bold method" and take the fun little quizes to see if i need to review something at home.  good luck.  its lots of fun.       .....I may take an IFR class in person at one of the local FBO's.  I havent tried the classroom yet.  and I like the instructors at the FBO...KPUW.

Re: Thoughts on online ground schools?

Posted by Richard Gallaher on Apr 16, 2018 3:03 pm

There is 'ground school' and there is 'test school'... You can sit through a 'ground school' and learn how to fly. You will likely not pass the FAA written test though.
​So, to get your license requires that you do three types of 'school'... the kind where your instructor teaches you how to fly in the air... the ground preflight instruction... and the ground school that teaches you how to take an FAA written test. More 'ground school' with your instructor just pays his/her rent and will likely not help you pass the FAA written test.
​The flying part is easy... expensive... but easy and straight forward compaired to navigating the ground requirements and slowing the leak in your wallet on the ground.

My advise... stop flying all together until you pass the FAA written test. You are likely just wasting your money.
​Go take a 'test' course to pass the FAA written exam.
Once the test results from the FAA are in hand... go learn to fly the plane and only ask for ground instruction in the areas you were not proficiant on the FAA written test.