Most new pilots picture flight school as cutting through the clouds in their training aircraft or experiencing the euphoria of their first solo flight. While these are certainly highlights of pilot training, there’s more to a flight program than flight checks. Knowledge tests and manuals are essential to the success of every new pilot. Ground school helps students learn the practical lessons they need to become proficient in flying an aircraft. But how do you choose between an in-person and online ground school? We’re sharing the main differences.
Firstly, It’s Helpful to Understand How Part 61 and Part 141 Ground Schools Are Different
The FAA allows schools to operate under two primary designations for ground training. The first is Part 61. This designation is more loosely defined, not requiring an approved ground training program but a combination of ground training hours from an authorized instructor or a home study course before you apply for a pilot certificate.
The second is a Part 141 program. Leading Edge Flight Academy qualifies for this more rigorous designation. Part 141 aviation schools must have an FAA-approved training curriculum, syllabus, and lesson plans that create a more structured outline for flight training than other courses. If you’re seeking a commercial pilot’s license, a Part 141 school might have more options for you. However, if you’re seeking a private pilot’s license or the flexibility of a self-guided program, Part 61 school training may be sufficient.
What In-Person Ground School Offers That Online Ground School Doesn’t
The academic side of flying covers immersive training in navigation, radio communications, weather, flight planning, airframes, and aeronautical decision-making through workbooks, training videos, online courses, and manuals. But an in-person course represents the ability to turn your lesson into a conversation.
An online ground school can give you all the information you need to technically pass an exam,. Still, you would miss the opportunity to ask follow-up questions and gain a deeper understanding of unfamiliar topics. While online ground schools are an excellent supplement to your training, ultimately, you get more from your time with a one-on-one experience with a flight instructor.
Consider Your Learning Style When Choosing Online Ground School vs. a Classroom Setting
Learning styles are important when considering ground school. Are you more of a self-directed learner, disciplined about getting your hours in via independent study? Or do you prefer the arrangement of an in-person course that affords you the structure you need to get it done? Some of us can concentrate more easily in a group setting. It’s a matter of personal preference, but getting in your ground school hours is essential before applying for your pilot’s license.
Weigh the Additional Benefits of Student Support Services and Building Peer Relationships
One of the great perks of an in-person ground school experience is the rich friendships you build through your pilot training program. Exploring the high desert is one of our students’ favorite perks of being in Bend for flight training, and we encourage them to explore in their off-time. Building peer relationships is another perk of pilot training. Make life-long friends with similar interests, or get a co-pilot for your journeys to new places once licensed.
Here are three great things about flying in Oregon:
The regions’ unique topography
We have coastal, mountain, and high-altitude terrain all within a relatively short distance of each other in which you can learn the weather and navigation challenges faced in each, all accompanied by a beautiful view.
Endless recreational activities available
There are lots of different leisure activities available to do in your off-time. From mountain biking and white-water rafting to craft breweries and live concerts, you can find just about anything to do.
Quality of life
The quality of life here is outstanding. We have excellent schools, healthcare, and support systems for members of our community. You can easily join flying clubs and find other people to share your passions with as you develop your career.
Set Your Long-Term Goals and Choose Your Ground School
If you want to try a pilot program with certification to fly commercially, opt for an in-person program like Leading Edge’s Part 141 program. This guarantees that your schooling meets the most rigorous FAA standards. But if you seek a private pilot’s license for recreational flying, an online school might be a sufficient option. Remember, with online ground schools, assessing the program’s quality might be difficult, even if it’s less expensive than an in-person option.
Ask about the success rate of graduate pilots for the program you’re exploring. And if a classroom experience is the right one for you, it’s time to make it happen! Contact Leading Edge Flight Academy to start your journey today.