Good choice in Higher Power. HPA is a great company due to the outstanding folks who teach and work there.
Here’s how I prepared prior to showing up. I started studying about one month prior to my class date.
First, I started writing out the Ops Limits and memorizing these to get my feet wet. I wrote out the Ops Limits daily until I had them down, then went to every other day.
Second, I read the assigned sections in the Dash One to get a general overview of the jet. HPA will give you a sheet telling you the approx. number of hours to study each section.
Third, after reading the sections, I cut the overhead panel section apart from the throttle section on the color handout, then listened to the tapes taking notes into a notebook for each piece of equipment covered on the tape, ie Flight Data Recorder, Stall Warning System, etc. This is somewhat tedious, as I had to hit rewind several times for each section, but letting the tapes just roll straight through continuous was a little too fast for a boy with a Georgia education.
Fourth, I transcribed my notes very neatly on to the color cockpit handouts (it looked like a microfilm when I was done). Once at HPA, I read the notes on these handouts, and reviewed the material we planned to cover in the next day's class.
Fifth, I reread the major systems (electrical, flight controls, fuel, pneumatics, etc.) and practiced drawing the electrical system. I didn't practice drawing the other systems, and don't regret that decision. I can still draw the electrical system in my mind, which is a good thing for your oral.
Sixth, I took the pre-test, and got most of the questions correct, other than the boldface (boxed memory items). Why memorize answers to a test, and not understand the systems? Save the test until the end. If you study well, the pre-test is easy.
Finally, I wrote out the boldface until I could do these. Then I practiced saying them out loud, without writing them, like the USAF makes us do. The words don’t have to be verbatim, but you must get the steps in the correct order. Ie, if you say “Throttle” instead of “Thrust Lever” your still ok. I stuck with verbatim, but hey, I figured if I can do it the hard way I should be ok.
I waited until I got to HPA to do the pre-flight flows. After class, I would practice these for an hour or so each night during the first eights days of class with my sim partner. Again, I figured, if I had a good understanding of the systems prior to getting to HPA, I could practice the pre-flight and flows in front of their trainers.
I felt very comfortable starting class, at my oral, and during the sim phase.
Good luck and let me know if you have any other questions. Some guys in our class struggled during the ground school. I would guess if they had to do it all over again, they would have studied more prior to showing up.
P.S. I suggest you stay at AmeriSuites on Hwy 360 for the entire 14 days. There is no need to switch hotels after ground school. I would also recommend you drive if possible. You will want wheels if you are there for two weeks. Some of the guys in our class used the hotel shuttle bus, but I liked having my car and eating a good meal after nine plus hours in a classroom.
When you get your books in the mail from HPA, there will be a study guide attached. Just do as it says and you will be fine (the course is designed to get a monkey through it). If you are REALLY feeling like an over-achiever, then you could memorize the limitations (very few...like 3 pages) and start on the immediate action recall items (again, very few of them too). There is a multiple choice test on your first day...but they give you a copy of all the questions with you books. I wouldn't worry too much about the course.
I went thru Crew Pilot Training in Houston- great setup. You use Continental sims. And guess what- they're not training any new 737 pilots so the sims are wide open!! Instructors were great. Here is how I prepared and it served me very well.
Sit down first with ops limits for a little and then start reading systems. To help understand systems its best to have the cockpit layouts nearby so you can see switches with the systems. Don't sweat all the fine details- you'll get enough academics when you show that will answer all your questions. I can honestly say I spent about 30-40 hours studying systems and ops limits and then I started doing the preflight flows with refreshers on systems and ops limits. You do enough ground school to get you thru the oral no problem. What is really important is the flying the sim- so the more you have the flows down cold, you can focus your available brain matter on learning to fly, not working your tail off to get thru the before takeoff checks!! So I spent the next 20-30 hours doing flows and learning the checklists. When I was on my (class paid Cont ticket) flight to Houston, I didn't feel like I was going to be the most preapared person in the world, but when I got there and saw the holding your hand though this program approach- I felt more than prepared.
If you have any questions, please ask more questions.
I teach at HPA...study what every switch and light does, the limitations and memory items. You won't be asked every single switch on an oral but know what the switches and lights do as well as the parameters i.e pressure or temps. very little if any perfomance questions are asked on Orals. If you see diffrent limitations anywhere the ones in Volume 1 takes precidence. For the checkride its straight forward...study the sim outlines and know them cold.
The other guys posted real good stuff for you to know before you get there. I just finished my type rating there 2 months ago, and the staff there is great. They really go out of their way to help out, and I found the program very well structured. The oral tapes they send are invaluable as they really help you with the systems. Lynn does a great job with them, and provides solid information. I would listen to them as much as you can stand. Best wishes and happy flying.