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Private Pilot License home study course.

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Well-known member
Sep 17, 2003
I have my first private pilot student in a long time. He is 15 and really excited.

Would you please recommend a course?

Any DVD course will do. Sporty's is fine, IMO. Maybe Gleim. It's been a while.

Oh and the books. All the FAA publications (Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge, Pilots handbook, yadda yadda) are just fine. If he likes glossy pictures, Jeppessen makes fine text books, but the FAA stuff is cheaper and contains the same material. Jepp just adds slightly more bells and whistles. also, the FAA stuff is all available for free on the FAA website. All the handbooks, etc. can be downloaded in PDF form. They are exact representations of the hardcopy, just in electronic form. Did I mention that they're free? ;)

There's nothing like having a wet 15 year old infatuated with planes around. LOL That didn't sound quite right!

Good Luck.
Depending on where he lives, some flight schools or community colleges have their own formal ground school class. A formal ground school given in a class room setting will allow him to interact with other students and ask question of the ground school instructor at the time the material is taught. It's also a great addition to your instruction. I have found that King and Sporty's Ground school DVD's tend to be somewhat dry learning.
IMHO for a pvt pilot and 15 year old I'd say not to go the home study this time but to find an FBO course (like the post 2 above). He/she will get face to face time in this important stage of the game. After the pvt pilot then do whatever home study (sportys/king/gleim) but for the pvt. pilot i'd rec an FBO course. Again like the guy above said they usually run like once or twice a week night (5 to 10 students) for 5 week then eveyone take the written. At my local FBo (outside philly) the course is $200 incliding books. The test fee is extra.

Hope it helps, FWIW back in 1990 when I was 15 I took an FBO class for my PVT pilot. Then after used the King tapes for my Inst/comm/cfi when I was in college.

If I had a kid that about to start PVT pilot lessions I would make a kit that included:

1. Written Questions Book (Gleim/ASA ect.) I prefer Gleim
2. FAR/AIM although it is online for free, I think a pvt. student should have a hard copy.
3. FAA Airplane Flying Handbook
4. FAA Handbook of Aeronautical knowledge
5. Pvt pilot PTS
6. E6B, calculator, sectional, flashlight, fuel strainer, notebook
7. POH for aircraft they fly or copies of the important sections (check lists, emg section, limits)
7. standard backpack to carrie it all.

I'm guessing about 200 to 250 worth of stuff.

Then for the inst. add

1. king/sportys tapes
2. question book
3. FAA inst procedures handbook ( I don't think the other FAA inst. book, the instrument flying HB is very useful)
4. Inst. PTS
5. charts/POH data

Comm pilot
-use FAA handbooks from pvt pilot
1. king or sportys tapes
2. comm question book
3. comm pts
4. photocopy of comm maneuvers and complex aircraft POH data


1. king/sportys tapes
2. FOI questions book (what an f'in waste)
3. CFI questions book
4. FAA CFI handbook
5. CFI pts


1. use FAA handbooks
2. POH data

1. ATP written

About a year ago I went and cleaned/purged my book from my training days. I tossed all the written question books, tapes and PTS book.

I kept:

-FAA airplane flying handbook
-FAA handbook of aeronautical knowledge
-FAA inst procedures handbook
-FAA CFI handbook
-Gleim ATP written book, incase I ever have to interview again (hopefully not)
-Turbine Pilots manual

At about the same time I cleaned out the attic in my parents house. In it I found all my fathers flight school stuff from the 60's. The FAA handbooks and question book he had that I found were very similar the one i have from the 90's.
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