5 best online schools

Ground school is the first step a pilot student should take on the road to obtaining most of the flight certificates and ratings, from a sports pilot certificate to an airline pilot certificate.

While most aviation education components need to be completed in person, there are online schools available to prepare aspiring pilots for the FAA knowledge test.

All online options have a variety of suggestions, including an information bank regarding the written exam, sample test questions and links to other resources to help pilots prepare for their knowledge and practical tests.

Quicklook: The best online schools to consider

  1. Sporti’s private pilot learned to fly: the best for pilots with technological knowledge
  2. Gold Seal Online Ground School: Best for free courses
  3. ASA Private Pilot Online Ground School: Best for Future IFR Pilots
  4. Gleim Aviation Online Ground School: Best for multiple ground school options
  5. King Schools Private Pilot Ground School and Test Preparation: Best for Lifetime Access to Digital Resources
  6. Pilot Institute Online Ground School: Best for self-paced learning

6 online options for ground school

Depending on your current level of knowledge in aviation, your budget and your time frame, one of the many online ground schools may suit you better than the others. Below is a look at six of the best options.

Sporty’s private pilot learned to fly

Best for: Pilots who want an easy-to-follow course with in-depth knowledge to prepare them for their written test. They offer a TV app so you can watch your tutorial videos on a big screen, and offer a phone app that allows access to their tutorial resources at any time.

Website: Sporty’s private pilot learned to fly

Instructions: There are a number of CFIs that contribute to Sporty’s Learn to Fly course materials.

Course length: The course is self-paced and is expected to take about 15 hours of study and practical time in order to be ready for the written test.

Subscriber access: Lifetime access – even to updated materials

What will you learn: The Sports’s course offers a very broad outline and you can customize your focus areas based on your weaknesses and strengths. Here are some key points:

  • Maneuvers
  • FAA regulations
  • Familiarity with aircraft
  • Weather patterns
  • Feeling inside the pilot through their video catalog

Pricing: $ 279 (can be split into four payments)

Gold Seal Online Ground School

Best for: Future pilots who want to take some free lessons to test the water first, and also for “rusty pilots”, as they offer a “flight review” course similar to the ground school that helps current pilots refresh their skills.

Website: Gold Seal Online Ground School

Instructions: Russell Steel

Course length: There are 6 modules, and each can be completed in a matter of hours.

Subscriber access: There is a lot of free content, but access to the subscription gives you a lot more and good for life.

What will you learn: Here are the 6 modules:

  • Beginners
    • Pilot skills
    • Aircraft parts
    • aerodynamics
    • instrument panel
  • Your first hours
    • Zulu time / phonetic alphabet
    • Charts
    • Airport operation
  • Skill building
    • Engine systems
    • Ground maneuvers
    • Rounds
    • recovery
  • Aviation weather
  • Flight in the real world
    • In front
    • G.P. ace
    • night flight
    • Flight plans
  • Passing your test

Pricing: $ 229 for full access (about ⅓ of materials free to access)

ASA Private Pilot School

Best for: Pilots who want an extensive information library that can help them learn far beyond the exam study requirements. They also offer ground school pilot equipment for a few extra bucks, and if you plan to continue IFR rating and / or become a commercial pilot, this is a great option to get ahead.

Website: ASA Private Pilot School

Instructions: Multiple instructors across a large variety of learning materials

Course length: 2-4 weeks (at your own pace)

Subscriber access: 24-month access to all materials including prepware.com

What will you learn: According to their website, the sections are:

  • aerodynamics
  • Aircraft systems
  • Flight devices
  • Terms
  • Airport operation
  • Weather
  • Aircraft performance
  • Flight on the way
  • Navigation
  • communication
  • Test tips

Pricing: $ 180

Galilee Aviation Online School

Best for: The waves have many options for a ground school. In addition to the Ground Pilot Elementary School, they also offer ground school training for aspiring sports pilots as well as classes for future instructors, airline transport pilots (ATP), flight engineers and more.

Website: Galilee Aviation Online School

Instructions: Several guides across learning materials

Course length: At a personal pace; An average of 35 hours

Subscriber access: 12 months

What will you learn: Here are the excerpts from their curriculum:

  • Aircraft and aerodynamics
  • Instruments, engines and aircraft systems
  • Airports, air traffic control and airspace
  • Federal Aviation Regulations
  • Airplane performance and weight and balance
  • Aeromedical factors and aeronautical decision making (ADM)
  • Aviation weather
  • Aviation weather services
  • Navigation: Charts and publications
  • Navigation systems
  • Planning scheduled flights

Pricing: $ 110

King School Private school for ground pilot and test preparation

Best for: Aspiring pilots looking to gain knowledge in a light-hearted atmosphere with plenty of one-on-one availability for questions and approvals. The videos are just as enjoyable as they are educational, and the lessons can be adjusted to ensure there is more focus on areas of weakness.

Website: Private school on the land of King schools

Guides: John and Martha King and others – custserv@kingschools.com

Course length: Self-paced – Recommended 15 hours of involvement with video and materials.

Subscriber access: Lifetime access to all training materials is included in the price.

What will you learn: The course is divided into these focus areas:

  • aerodynamics
  • Aircraft performance
  • Airspace
  • Communication and radar services
  • How to read and understand cross-sectional charts
  • Flight operations
  • FAA regulations
  • Safe flight operations
  • Navigation
  • Weight and balance
  • How to pass your test

Pricing: $ 279

Online Pilot Institute – A private pilot with ease

Best for: Nervous pilots about their investment in the ground school. If you do not pass the written test, the Pilot Institute will send you $ 175 in cash in addition to a full refund for the course. This option is also self-paced, and 99.8 percent of students do pass the written exams. They also offer a Facebook group for online study and discussion with classmates and a 44-page study guide.

Website: Pilot Institute Online

Instructions: A number of certified instructors teach more than 540 (35 hours) video lessons.

Course length: Self-paced with a long list of practice exams – 20 hours, usually (you can speed up or slow down the courses to suit your learning style).

Subscriber access: This includes lifetime access to all materials, even those added after you have passed the exam.

What will you learnA: In addition to these areas of study, the course also offers a flash app for your phone to help you practice for the exam.

  • Airports and language
  • Weather patterns
  • How to choose a flight school
  • Aircraft systems
  • Flight devices
  • aerodynamics
  • Performance limitations

Price: $ 389

What is an online land school?

Ground school is the first thing all aspiring pilots have to go through to prepare them for the FAA written exam that will prove their competency, and will ultimately allow the pilot to get a student ID. This certificate is the gateway to all types of pilot certification. Some ground schools are personal, but with so much technology available to make the online classroom look more like the simple classroom, online flight schools hold a similar level of certification to their personal counterparts – but can be completed at home and usually on the student’s own schedule.

How do online ground schools work?

It is not actually possible to qualify through an online land school (or personal land school, for that matter), but preparation for the FAA knowledge test is very important, as the test is expensive and can only be tried a limited number of times in each calendar year.

Online ground schools use video and text to educate ambitious pilots about everything that can be asked of them in their exams to get their student pilot certificate.

What to consider with an online school

Because the FAA exam is the same regardless of your previous level of education, most elementary schools will offer the same basic package. Depending on your areas of expertise, bank account, flexibility and learning style; However, it is good to have several school options to choose from. Before enrolling in an online training program, you need to consider the following.

Instructor expertise

In order to apply for the FAA Knowledge Test, ambitious pilots must obtain approval from the CFI stating that they are willing to take the test. If you know this, you must first be sure that your online primary school offers a path to this approval.

Some courses have individual instructors while others have a large number of teachers, but as long as it is possible to ask questions of a qualified instructor, the ability to ask an individual instructor versus multiple teachers has a fairly equal combination of pros and cons.

Easy access to the course

If you are very busy, an online school is almost certainly your best option. Furthermore, some of these courses offer apps for phones and tablets, as well as downloadable content that you can learn without an internet connection.

Quality of course materials

All of these courses offer a preview of their course materials, and it is up to you to decide which style you prefer. Some are more video based, and others more text, but all the options in this list offer quality knowledge.

Strong community support

If you’re someone who likes to study in a group setting, the online option may be a little daunting, but some of these courses offer real-time support with a tutor, as well as group meetings using Zoom (or similar) so you can interact with classmates.

Online land school reviews

The aviation community is quite small, so each review has a bit more weight than that of something like a restaurant, so maybe take a look at reviews about a course.

Course pricing

Most of these courses range from $ 250 to $ 300 – though some even less so – but be sure to check if you have unlimited access to materials. If not, you may want to consider a slightly more expensive option that allows you to continue accessing classes long after you have passed the FAA written exam.

Online Ground School vs. Physical Ground School

With so much progress in distance learning (many were created out of necessity during the epidemic), the digital classroom has almost everything you would want in a physical classroom, beyond the handshake with the instructor.

For more practical aviation applications, such as check travel, a significant amount of hands-on training is a necessity, but for the purpose of preparing for a written test, such as the one the ground school prepares you for, it may serve you well in online studies.

Study time

With both online and class meetings, there are plenty of options to prepare you to pass the FAA exam required to obtain your Private Pilot Certificate. Online offers a little more flexibility, and money saved on travel to and from the brick class.

Online classes also offer access to materials that you can use even after your exam. If you are knowledgeable in technology and need a flexible schedule, an online school is probably the best option for you.

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Common questions

Can you study at a land school online?

Yes, you can, but only in preparation for the FAA written exam. The exam must be taken in person.

How long is an online land school?

Most courses are self-paced and recommend 15-30 hours of preparation with their materials.

How much does an online land school cost?

The cost of online schools ranges from free to $ 300. Entry-level individual courses typically start at $ 250.

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