Ground school is a great way for anyone who has an interest in flying to learn more, but at a cost less than a typical flight lesson. It’s also great for pilots who feel rusty to get a refresher. The class covers most of the material necessary to pass the FAA’s private pilot airplane knowledge test.
If you would like to enroll or have questions, please contact the instructor directly.
A: No. The class is geared towards those with no prior flying experience.
A: We use the FAA’s Pilot Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge in the class (free PDF available). We normally do a group buy in class for the needed flight computer and plotter (total cost ~$25)
A: While you’ll get the most out of the class by attending all, it’s not mandatory. Most classes “stand alone” so missing a class doesn’t immediately mean you’ll be way behind.
A: No. The material is similar to the former PA80a class, but is no longer a credit course.
A: You can get value out of the class simply by attending. If you want to get the most out of the class, an hour or two per week devoted to reading and sample tests will help.
A: Class size has ranged from 6 to 25 students. The classroom limits us to about 25 students. If we are short of space, first priority is given to Caltech undergraduate and graduate students, then in enrollment order.
A: No. The FAA mandates that you take a written test (60 questions, 2.5 hours, 70% minimum, ~$150). Preparation for that test can done in a ground school or by self study (book, video, etc.)
A: Yes! Several students in the past, who worked on JPL instruments that fly on airplanes took the class as a way to learn more about air operations and airspace that was useful for their job.
- Introduction – becoming a pilot and how ground school fits in
- Airplanes and aerodynamics – the structure and control of airplanes
- Airspace, airports, and charts – understanding aeronautical charts and the range of airspace in the US
- Instruments, engines, and systems – the nuts and bolts of the airplane
- Rules, regulations, and responsibilities – what you can and can’t do as a pilot and how to stay safe and legal
- Weather theory – meteorology for pilots
- Weather services – getting a picture of what the weather is doing
- Planning and navigation – how to prepare for and get someplace in an airplane
- Performance – how to determine expected performance and what influences it
- Aeromedical factor – physiology for pilots
- Operational considerations – decision making and airport and flight operations
Please join me in congratulating JPLer Glynn on his first solo today on his 14th flight.
Over the weekend, I received a “Notice of Violation” for one of our club aircraft from the City of Santa Monica. It reminded me that we need to continue to (re-)educate pilots on the topics of noise, noise abatement procedures, curfews, and other related topics that are very important when flying in the LA Basin and many other areas. Continue reading “Noise abatement procedures, curfews, and violations”