Recommendation to learn GA license - DVD, book or class?

Hey guys:

I’m a brand new student pilot, about 6 hours of flight time at the moment. I’ve got a great instructor but I’m indecisive when it comes to ground school. I’ve got a wife and kids so I don’t have a ton of time to study. What do you folks recommend to study for the ground and oral tests? I think I’d be more inclined to watch videos (Kings or Sporty’s) vs. reading/studying on my own but wanted to get some advice from the ones who know this realm the best… :slight_smile: Would love for anyone and everyone to chime in on what they feel is best for someone who doesn’t have a ton of time but wants to definitely learn the most efficiently way. Have others found the Kings stuff to be beneficial? Or would Sporty’s be a better choice? I’m planning to utilize Cirrus aircraft when I get my license. Thanks in advanced and look forward to hearing from you guys soon.

Gleim book for the written.

One question that only you can answer is: Do I learn better in a class setting or do I have the discipline for self-studying?

thanks guys. I honestly dont think classroom-style learning is in the cards right now. In addition. I’m thinking DVD (ala King) might be best but I don’t want to drop $500 on their program without recommendations from other pilots. Thanks again

I got the most out of the King DVDs. Reading the book was fine, but hearing them (in somewhat boring and often corny fashion) describe various scenarios was most helpful. I could watch them after the family went to bed. I worked through them in a disciplined fashion and then took a weekend crash course just prior to taking the written. Not for everyone, but I learned best that way and certainly would recommend the Kings.

I went the Sporty’s route for my private and also got their Instrument course. They do the job in teaching the material, but they’re dry and boring. I’m kinda wishing I’d put out more for the King course because others have mentioned their corny style helps. Sounds like their courses would be more fun. I’ve started the Sporty’s instrument course a couple of times, but haven’t gotten completely through it once - life interrupts and I get sidetracked. It may be because they’re too boring. I may just fork out the money for the King course anyway!

I’d stick with a formal course–either King/Sportys/Jeppesen or a classroom–when pursuing your first rating. Trying to gain the knowledge you need from an assortment of manuals, regulations, and textbooks is a lot harder than following a well-designed course, especially since some of the concepts will be new and you may not be familiar with where to find the information you need.

Around half the folks I know who have done a King course have enjoyed it, the other half hated the corny jokes and overall style. Sportys is often described is being dull, but everyone seems to think it is at least ‘ok’. You may want to watch a segment or two of both courses (especially the King course) to see which you prefer before you decide. I did the Jeppesen course for Private, the Sportys for instrument, and self-study for subsequent ratings.

Buying a written test prep book is also a good idea. As above, Gleim is good. It’s a convenient way to study if you have find yourself having a few minutes of downtime periodically throughout the day, and a great resource.

I did my private before books :laughing: and DVD’s existed, so it was classroom for me. I got lucky and we had a really good instructor and best of all it was through the adult education division at a local high school so it was practically free. I think they charged us something like $5 plus materials or something like that. Back in those days the flight instructor also supplemented the ground school with an additional 15 minutes before each flying lesson, it was a system that worked very well. Now CFI’s (from what I hear) don’t want to take the time, or charge for ground time when they could be charging the next student for flying, so that system has broken down. It’s too bad, input from several sources is invaluable.
Remember all those times in school when somebody would ask the teacher why we had to learn THAT? Well, your private license puts a lot of THAT to practical use.

Good luck, you CAN do it.

John in Saudi

Everyone has their own processes for learning; you have to choose what works best for you.
If you’re a hands on learner, than a classroom environment might work best.

The King series very informative and well done and you will learn a lot, but I would stock up on Mountain Dew or Red Bull before getting started.