Real Answers from Real Pilots

A journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step

(Sergey Kireyev) #41

No. I don’t think the question banks are the same. So, I will buy Sheppard Air for AGI out of pocket and study for it immediately after FIA. FIA has a lot of similar material, but seems to further build on complexity with scenario based questions. Also, the CAX test I took had a substantial number of questions (if not most of them) that were very quite different from the prep software. Thankfully between King’s and CAX question explanations I was able to figure stuff out.



I could be mistaken (it’s been over 10yrs) but I believe the AGI exam does share it’s bank of questions with the FIA (plus some rotor wing questions) which is why they’re listed together on the FAA Test Matrix (if it isn’t it’s the same as the CAX but I leaning towards the FIA). What I can tell you is I used no additional prep for the AGI so I got the info from somewhere? I’m willing to bet since you already passed the CAX if you’re ready for the FIA you’d be fine with the AGI. Here’s a link to the FAA’s Sample test. Take a look and see what you think? You should be able to save a few dollars not buying the Sheppard:


(Trey) #43

I took the CAX written last week and agree that many of of the questions coming from the performance/weight balance section were a little more complex than what was listed in Sheppard. I think that Sheppard prepared me amazingly well for the test but had I simply memorized the questions from the performance section, I would have suffered on this particular test. Onward to FOI and FIA and then I will be complete before my start date.

A quick thanks BTW to all the mentors who have recommended that we take the writtens before starting. Each time I have gone to take an FAA written, current ATP students have commented that they wished they had taken their tests before starting. I think getting these out of the way before day one will help free up a lot of time to study other material.

(Sergey Kireyev) #44

So this is what I’m finding so far with the Sheppard Air FIA bank… The questions topics are similar but definitely another step above CAX. There’s more focus centered on stall/spin characteristics, wing and flap design etc. Interestingly enough, the questions that I found on my CAX test that were unfamiliar are coming up on the FIA question bank right now.

(Lindsay R Davis) #45

Can you only start studying for the written’s when you are in the program and have your start date set to be able to start Kings and then Sheppard Air?

The first book I got which I just started is Airplane Flying Handbook, I have ordered Private Pilot Manual and it should arrive within a week or so. I was wondering which one I should read first or if it doesnt really matter since I think you have to read them both?

Should i just focus on these two books while waiting to get into ATP and get a date set?

(Samuel Loveridge) #46

Hi Lindsay,

(I know I write long, so short version: use Sporty’s Test Prep [info/instructions below], and I also recommend a free ground school course at a site called Fly8MA.)

One of the first things people are going to (rightly!) suggest is going to Sporty’s and using their stuff for test prep. Here’s a link that takes you where you need to go for that. It will likely take you to a login page, but under those fields is a link for “Free Course Demos” - click that. You should then be at a list of courses - click the “Try Free Demo” for the Learn to Fly Course. There will be some videos you can watch without purchasing the course, but the real gem is the link to “Test Prep” at the top - it will drop down the option for “Written Test Prep”, and that’s the actual destination for what you want.

Study Individual Topics is where you will probably want to start. It’s done in test/quiz form, and will instantly let you know the right answer when you select any answer. It also provides info and (usually) direct links to where the related info may be found. Note: the links don’t load exactly to where the related info is on a page, just to the page/document that HAS the info. Refer to the words of the link to get specifics. So, this is the part where you can actually use the site to study for the test. Also, if you find yourself continually/frequently not getting certain concepts, you can focus on just those topics.

The practice test is like the written - 60 questions, timed at 2.5 hours. Each time will be different. Choosing answers will not let you know if you got it right until you finish and grade the test. Once you start feeling like you’re “getting there,” the tests will help you gauge your progress. I took a pair of “baseline” tests myself before ever studying, and my starting point was around 50%

It’s a great place to get lots of info!

Personally, I didn’t find that studying that way was a good starting point for me. Not bad, just I wanted to understand what was going on - for me, rote memorization works better only if I have some base info to link to it. I found the same thing years ago when I took anatomy - learning the meaning of a word like “fossa” helped me understand why a part of a bone was called “such-n-such fossa”. So, I found I was making slow headway just using Sporty’s, and searched some more.

What I found that helped me is a relatively new site called Fly8MA, and that offers a free Ground School. There, Jon discusses topics much like you’d expect to find. For free, I feel it’s pretty good, and that it helped me a lot in deciding if I really even wanted to continue down this path. He’s no King, but the website might be worth a look. I’ve actually been thinking about posting a topic in the forum about the site, since there doesn’t seem to be any mention of it anywhere here, at least according to the search. You do have to register for a free account to take the course, but the Ground School, among a few others, is free. Here’s a link.

Hope that helps.

(Sergey Kireyev) #47

Congratulations on your career decision and welcome to the forum!

Once you set the date with ATP and they take your deposit, they will mail you everything you need to get started in the program, as well as provide you with intranet access with learning modules. For Private phase you will learn using King’s Schools set of videos. There’s a iPad companion app that will walk you through the entire course and allow you to take practices tests as well as receive your endorsement to take the written. For all other required tests ATP training support staff sets you up with Sheppard Air software. It is not structured the same way as King’s but it gets the job done. I’ve done equally well in my CAX written as I did on my PAR.
You will receive the Airplane Flying Handbook, Pilot’s Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge (PHAK), a handbook on Instrument flying and about two dozen other books and booklets. No need to spend additional funds on the materials. They are all included.
While I waited I did a few things… I watched a ton of YouTube videos related to flight instruction, I read through the free online version of the PHAK, and I listened to ATC at Daytona through LiveATC app. I had an older version of King’s videos that I started watching as well but when I compared them to the new videos provided by ATP, the old ones had a lot of outdated material. I don’t recommend doing that.
Overall, if I were you, keep reading what you already have, get your medical and financing straight, and hit the books hard as soon as you get your date locked in.
I strongly recommend getting your writtens out of the way. I am working and have other obligations at the moment and studying for writtens is eating my time like crazy. I can’t imagine how much flying time I would lose studying for those if I waited.



While you certainly don’t have to wait ATP will supply you with all the course material you’ll need once you enroll. Keep in mind the tests expire after 24mos so you don’t want to take them too early.




You can sta
rt studying for your writtens whenever you like, but if you would like to use the resources provided by ATP, you will need to wait until you place your deposit down.

Honestly, I wouldn’t spend too much time studying before your start date is secured. The concepts can be rather abstract and you really need an instructor or video series to help explain them.


(Sergey Kireyev) #50

FIA and AGI complete. IRA/FII/IGI are next… 5 weeks to go. It’s gonna be close :blush:

BTW, if anyone is considering taking the FIA and AGI together, keep in mind, the AGI question bank has questions from the PAR/CAX, FIA and FOI banks, plus rotorcraft questions. It is NOT identical to the FIA. If you live close enough to a test center, schedule the AGI a few days after the FIA, pay Sheppard the extra $10 for the AGI question bank and study it.

(Angel) #51

Congrats @forourspam! It was great to meet you today! Hope to see you soon! Keep working hard!

(Sergey Kireyev) #52

Thanks, Angel! I’m really excited to get to it…

(Sergey Kireyev) #53

Took the IRA and FII. Was on a roll so I took the IGI as well. FOI is my last written to take. 3 weeks left before starting date.



Great work, let us know when you finish up, you have plenty of time left.


(Sergey Kireyev) #55

I got all of the writtens wrapped up today. FOI sure was … different, but I’m glad that box is checked and I can focus on flying :blush:
A little less than 2 weeks to go!

I’m ready! I hope my CFI is :joy::joy::joy:



That is awesome! Good work, you will be very glad you did that.


(Sergey Kireyev) #57

Quick update from DAB…
Got to solo early this evening. Weather looked iffy earlier today but it cleared up just in time. Don’t have any crazy photos after the flight and got to keep my “tail feathers”, but here’s the photo of my trusty plane before I left for the solo.



Congratulations! That is very exciting news. How did it feel to be up there by yourself?


(Sergey Kireyev) #59

I loved it! I was up by myself for about 50 minutes. CFI wanted me to keep going as long as I could but it was getting dark. Otherwise, I would have gone longer. More of the same tomorrow

(Sergey Kireyev) #60

As of today, 2 months and 5 days into the program, I’m officially a private pilot! :man_pilot:t2:

Time for some fun instrument stuff :grin::grin::grin: