Ground School

Sport aviation is growing rapidly. But the new sport pilot / light-sport aircraft rules are still a mystery to many flight schools and instructors. To locate a flight school offering sport pilot training and/or light-sport aircraft rentals, click on the "Flight School And Rental Finder" tab above. This is a great place to share ideas on learning to fly, flight schools, costs and anything else related to training.

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EyeInTheSky
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Ground School

Postby EyeInTheSky » Sun Sep 08, 2019 1:05 pm

Hello. I'm interested in earning a Sport Pilot license and have a couple of questions about ground school training.

Can I take ground school training for Private Pilot (instead of one specifically for Sport Pilot) and use that endorsement to take the FAA Sport Pilot written test?

Can I take the written FAA test before I start flight training?

Thank you!

TimTaylor
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Re: Ground School

Postby TimTaylor » Sun Sep 08, 2019 1:40 pm

I don't know about your first question, but yes, you can take the FAA written test before you start your flight training. Personally, I prefer to see them done in tandem, but that is not necessary. Why wait to start your flight training? On the other hand, if you must wait to start flight training, by all means, start your studies toward the written.
Commercial Pilot Airplane Single & Multiengine Land; Instrument Airplane
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nub_pilot
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Re: Ground School

Postby nub_pilot » Sun Sep 08, 2019 2:36 pm

My understanding is that you must take the proper written test for the certificate you are pursuing. I had thought about doing the PPL written prior to determining that I couldn't pass a 3rd class medical (or put it at risk of denial).

I ended up buying an online ground school that is good for life with continuous updates, started taking the lessons, but will wait to take the written exam until I find an instructor and get further into my training.

Remember, if you prepare for the written, take the written and pass, you have 2 years to get your certificate. there is an expiration to the written after you have passed.

things to consider.
Jeremy

TimTaylor
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Re: Ground School

Postby TimTaylor » Sun Sep 08, 2019 2:42 pm

For sure you must take the appropriate written test for the pilot certificate you are seeking. There is no question about that.
Commercial Pilot Airplane Single & Multiengine Land; Instrument Airplane
Sport Endorsement Airplane Single Engine Sea
Flight Instructor Airplane Single & Multiengine
Ground Instructor Advanced Instrument
BS Engineering NC State
MBA Wisconsin

3Dreaming
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Re: Ground School

Postby 3Dreaming » Sun Sep 08, 2019 2:45 pm

You certainly can study for the private pilot knowledge test, but your endorsement to take the test must be for the specific test. Such as Private Pilot ASEL, or Sport Pilot Airplane. You can not use a private pilot endorsement to take the sport pilot knowledge test.

Some of my best students have already had the knowledge test taken before they started training. That being said I also teach a ground school class through out local junior college. Often the students have not done any flying. There are some knowledge items that are easier to understand if you have a little practical experience with flying, and there is some flying that is easier if you have the knowledge.

EyeInTheSky
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Re: Ground School

Postby EyeInTheSky » Sun Sep 08, 2019 3:13 pm

Thank you all for the responses. It is much appreciated! I am doing the written first (and also practicing on a simulator for familiarity) so that I do not have the stress of doing everything at once and make better use of the instructor's time.

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FastEddieB
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Re: Ground School

Postby FastEddieB » Sun Sep 08, 2019 5:16 pm

My take is there would be no harm, and some benefit, in studying to Private Pilot standards. That would give you the vast majority of knowledge areas for the Sport Pilot written, plus some. The only thing you might be missing doing it that way is knowledge areas specific to Sport Pilots, namely the regs and limitations that pertain to Sport Pilots that likely wouldn’t be covered in a Private Pilot course. But it would be just a few things to cover, and whoever signed you off for the Sport Pilot written would certainly emphasize those areas.
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TimTaylor
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Re: Ground School

Postby TimTaylor » Sun Sep 08, 2019 5:27 pm

I agree with FastEddie. There are several ways to train for the written. One is to do some sort of home study course or a private ground school with a CFI or Ground Instructor. That CFI or Ground Instructor could "fill in the gaps" and sign you off for the Sport Pilot written.

That said, I think there are some "computerized" training courses that automatically generate your endorsement to take the written. In this case, you could not use a Private written endorsement to take the Sport Pilot written test. There also could be some formal ground schools where you could get your training that might not be willing to give you a Sport Pilot endorsement having taking a Private Pilot course.
Commercial Pilot Airplane Single & Multiengine Land; Instrument Airplane
Sport Endorsement Airplane Single Engine Sea
Flight Instructor Airplane Single & Multiengine
Ground Instructor Advanced Instrument
BS Engineering NC State
MBA Wisconsin

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drseti
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Re: Ground School

Postby drseti » Sun Sep 08, 2019 6:59 pm

Let me clarify one thing about ground instruction. It is a common misconception that its purpose is to prepare you for the knowledge test. Although that may well be one consequence of ground school, it should not be its primary objective. Ground instruction should be designed to promote, supplement, and solidify flying skills.

An aircraft, after all, makes for a busy, noisy, and inefficient classroom. It's hardly the best environment for discussing reasons and procedures for the various flight maneuvers. It's an expensive classroom, because the Hobbs meter is running. And, although ground school information can be gleaned from reading, I find it's better mastered and applied if it's designed around and interleaved with flight training.

For that reason, my curriculum involves simultaneous flight and ground instruction. It's not right for everybody, perhaps for economic or scheduling reasons (or both). But those who are able to combine the two tend to end up learning faster, and better, and become safer and more competent pilots.
The opinions posted are those of one CFI, and do not necessarily represent the FAA or its lawyers.
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TimTaylor
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Re: Ground School

Postby TimTaylor » Sun Sep 08, 2019 7:18 pm

Ground instruction makes more sense when you can apply it to your flight instruction. Flight instruction makes more sense when you can apply your ground instruction. It all culminates with a successful written exam followed by a successful flight test.

Not only that, but the flight instruction keeps you motivated to hit the books.
Commercial Pilot Airplane Single & Multiengine Land; Instrument Airplane
Sport Endorsement Airplane Single Engine Sea
Flight Instructor Airplane Single & Multiengine
Ground Instructor Advanced Instrument
BS Engineering NC State
MBA Wisconsin

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HornedFrogGrant
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Re: Ground School

Postby HornedFrogGrant » Tue Sep 10, 2019 7:05 pm

TimTaylor wrote:I think there are some "computerized" training courses that automatically generate your endorsement to take the written.


This is the route that I went, with the King Schools Sport Pilot (Airplane) course. Once you're done with the course, practice tests, etc, you simply download and print the certificate with CFI endorsement, and you're good-to-go for the real test.

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ShawnM
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Re: Ground School

Postby ShawnM » Wed Sep 11, 2019 7:34 am

HornedFrogGrant wrote:
TimTaylor wrote:I think there are some "computerized" training courses that automatically generate your endorsement to take the written.


This is the route that I went, with the King Schools Sport Pilot (Airplane) course. Once you're done with the course, practice tests, etc, you simply download and print the certificate with CFI endorsement, and you're good-to-go for the real test.


I did the exact same thing but with the Gleim Sport Pilot course and online test prep they offer.

HAPPYDAN
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Re: Ground School

Postby HAPPYDAN » Thu Sep 12, 2019 8:53 am

I don't know about the other online courses, but Sporty's online course is very comprehensive and includes video training and practice tests for Private, Recreation, and Sport. It is also updated periodically to include new and changing material. This is the course provided by EAA Sport Pilot Academy, and for the Young Eagles program. Of course, it also includes an endorsement certificate which is accepted by CATS and LaserGrade. Several years ago I took a formal sit-down ground school course for Private. The material was Jeppesen, and the instructor was excellent. But the cost was around $500 as I recall, all materials included, but not the actual knowledge test. I was in a class with 10 or so like-minded people, and together we developed an excellent learning environment.


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