Private pilot ground school by correspondence

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by nosborne48, Oct 10, 2020.

  1. nosborne48

    nosborne48 Well-Known Member

    I'm coming up on retirement very soon and I've started thinking about realizing a bit of a dream, learning to fly. My health is good enough but I'm not sure about my vision so I will get a third class medical done before I do anything else but does anyone have any advice about ground school?
    rodmc likes this.
  2. copper

    copper Active Member

    I liked the Gliem books:

    Also, I am so impressed with microsoft flight simulator. Flight sim 10 (X) doesn't need the computer power like Flight sim 2020 but its a great tool to supplement your lesson. The runway layout, flight instruments, visuals are awesome! I use a logitech extreme 3d pro joystick.See FS2020:

    There appears to be some free online ground schools as well, can't comment on the quality.

    After you finish the private pilot, I recommend earning the certified ground instructor (CGI) FAA license which allows you to teach aviation ground schools. It is three written exams and no oral or practical component.
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2020
    rodmc likes this.
  3. copper

    copper Active Member

    Another organization that may be an option is the Civil Air Patrol, a volunteer organization with a lot of red tape but pretty good ground schools. I've attended interesting lectures on physiology, aircraft systems, weather, safety, etc. I'm sure the caliber varies across the country though. Also consider joining AOPA, they have a lot of resources as well.

    Also I will mention Light Sport Aircraft and Gliders as well just in case you have issues getting a 3rd class medical.
  4. rodmc

    rodmc Member

    I completed online ground school with The training is comprehensive, and I was able to pass my FAA written exam with no problem. Smart to complete your physical exam before attempting your pilot license. The FAA does have restrictions, and glasses are acceptable as long as they correct your vision. The list of disqualifiers are at

    If you are over age 40, you must complete a physical exam every 2-years, so stay in shape. For those under age 40, the physical is good for 5-years. Flying is great fun, and it’s nice to get away on your own terms.
  5. nosborne48

    nosborne48 Well-Known Member

    Thanks for these comments. I've looked over the disqualification conditions and physically I should be okay but I have some touch of cataracts and macular degeneration. The FAA says 20/40 distance and close up in each eye with or without glasses which I can do as of now. Not sure sure for how long I will be able to do that in both eyes, though.
  6. copper

    copper Active Member

    That's why I mentioned light sport pilot because you don't need a physical exam just a drivers license. In any case, if you get a private pilot and it looks like you won't pass the third class, then don't go for it because you won't be able to fly at the light sport level if you actually failed an FAA flight physical or at a minimum, you'll have to jump through a lot of hoops. If you simply don't renew a medical then the drivers license rule will work for LSA, glider and hot air balloon.

    I'm not saying, I'm a know it all in aviation but I've been around the patch a few times with 40 years and 15000 hours logged in airplanes, seaplanes and gliders. I still want to fly so light sport looks like a great option for me if I can no longer hold an FAA medical.
  7. nosborne48

    nosborne48 Well-Known Member

    Well. I have a regular eye exam in a couple of weeks with an optometrist who knows about the FAA. He should be able to give me some idea.
  8. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    This is amazing stuff. I have an intense fear of heights, but absolutely no fear of flying. I was always fascinated with the world of ultralights.
  9. copper

    copper Active Member

    Some LSA aircraft are fancy ultralights but for the most part, they are airplanes with limitations of horsepower, max 2 seats day VFR and max speeds of 120knots, etc see:

    even the old Piper J3 cub can now be classified as a light sport. Some LSA are equipped with glass cockpits and are very impressive. The big advantage is the ability to operate without a faa medical.
  10. nosborne48

    nosborne48 Well-Known Member

    This might sound a bit odd, but I don't really want to escape from the FAA medical screening. My uncle died in a small plane midair collision about fifteen years ago. He was an experienced pilot and I've never understood how it could have happened in broad daylight over an uncontrolled airport. Someone didn't see what was going on. I don’t want to be that "someone".
  11. copper

    copper Active Member

    I can understand that, I have lost a few friends over the years to small airplane accidents. What I like about the LSA class is that it has come a long way from the old lawn chair with wings. Many aircraft are newer built with composites and a ballistic chute. Sure there are POS LSA aircraft basically a lawn chair with wings, but a lot of the general aviation airplanes currently instructing in are 50 years old or greater. I recommend applying for the student pilot license which is now a laminated FAA issued license that is free from the FAA with a picture of the Wright Brothers. You have to have a Certified Flight Instructor (CFI) check your IACRA online application, so consider an introductory flight and bring your birth certificate and a logbook to get the endorsement (no medical needed until solo). If you see a school down the road that offers an introductory flight in gliders or LSA, consider a ride and get it logged. Another fun endeavor is the Remote Pilot license which allows you to fly drones commercially. I had a drone that I used to take pictures for real estate agents.....kind of fun!
  12. Vonnegut

    Vonnegut Well-Known Member

    Not a pilot but have many friends who are and have their own planes, learning to fly is something I've been pondering for awhile. Sounds like you have a family connection to flying, but would simply share what has been repeatedly recommended to me; casual pilots should train in what they're planning on flying in the future. Access and hourly rates are certainly different if you're looking at a Diamond or Cirrus, but if you're looking at casual flying in retirement, I'd want every advantage that I could have.

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