Mark wrote:Hello, I read some of your posts on sportpilottalk. I want to start training for my Sport Pilot certificate very soon. Can you point me to some relatively inexpensive training materials that will get me started? I want to be somewhat prepared for my first lesson and possibly take the FAA knowledge exam prior to even starting. I was considering the sport pilot book by Rod Machado but I'm not sure what to get.
Thanks for any help you can give. I live in central California.
Since this falls under the category of an FAQ, I figured I'd share my response with all of you:
drseti wrote:Nice hearing from you, Mark. I spent quite a few years in Central CA myself (was one of the founding members of the Frazier Lake Airpark, 1C9, in Hollister).
There are a number of very fine training resources out there for Sport Pilot candidates. Gleim, King, Sporty's, Machado, and ASA (to name a few) all produce good training material -- all in different styles to appeal to different kinds of learners. Many flight schools standardize on a particular curriculum and set of books for all their students. So, rather than recommend one over the other, I would suggest that you interview a few possible candidate flight schools, ask each one whose curriculum they use and whose training materials they would recommend, and then go with the kit used by the flight school where you're most likely to train. (Hint: if a flight school uses no formal, structured syllabus, or worse yet, asks "what's a curriculum," then look elsewhere. )
Now that I've evaded your question, I should point out that studying for your written before beginning flight training might prove counterproductive. In my flight school's syllabus, for example, we integrate test prep into the individualized ground instruction which accompanies flight instruction. I recommend that my students hold off on taking (or even much preparing for) the written until after the first solo flight. This is because, after putting in intensive effort for five or six weeks to get up to speed for solo, and after the elation of accomplishing that significant rite of passage, most are ready for a break. So, I have my immediate post-solo students take a couple of weeks off, and use them to go through the test prep software I provide them with (we use the Gleim, but there are other good sources as well). Then, they can get their written out of the way, and come back for post-solo training with that hurdle already surmounted. As a hidden advantage, the experience they gained in pre-solo training allows them not just to memorize answers to test questions, but to truly understand and apply the material.
Good luck with your training, Mark. Keep us all informed of your progress.