Real Answers from Real Pilots

Ground School Blues

(Reid) #1

Allow me to preface this thread with gratitude and tribute to the mentors that willingly volunteer their knowledge to newbies like me. I salute all of you. You have been a great and reliable source of information as I have been embarking on my quest.

My experience in aviation is as follows. Take the greenest shade of green you can think of… make it greener. However, the ground school is raising some concerns, I am hoping you mentors can squash. I am currently enrolled in King’s Aviation ground school and preparing for flight training in January. My concern is I feel like I am being prepped just to take an exam. I realize flight training is flight training, and no amount of schooling can prepare for showtime. Yet at the same time, because I am being flooded by an overload of information in 4 minute videos, I am wondering how much of ground school is supposed to stick?

I am not proposing a college degree in aviation is necessary, but let me reiterate, I feel like I’m preparing for an exam and not flight school. I find myself googling a lot of topics to find supplemental information. Sentences get dropped with no backstory- hence my apprehension. My post is not to write a review ripping King’s, because I believe I will do well on the test. I just don’t feel the school is preparing me for the job itself.

Mentors- my questions include:

  1. Was this your feeling when you were at my level?

  2. Is any of what I am learning in ground school useful and applied in the actual job?

  3. Any other information I have not discussed you could lend?

Thank you all and safe travels!



Let’s get to your questions.

  1. By “Ground school” I take it you mean the King Schools course for the private pilot written. That course is primarily designed to teach you how to pass the private pilot written exam. It is normal to feel like you do in this stage of training, perfectly normal. The concepts will make far more sense when you sit down with an actual instructor and go over them.

  2. Yes, much of what you are learning will be applied in real life. Things like crosswind components, airspace, speed limits, radio procedures, etc will be things that you deal with daily. Other concepts like how to read a sectional chart are things that you will use in the beginning, but then put aside as you move onto the airlines.

  3. Don’t over-think the written exams. Just memorize what you need to, pass the exams and move on.

Will you be doing your flight training with ATP or someplace else?

Thank you for your kind words, we appreciate them.


(Reid) #3

Thank you for your response. It was just what I needed. To answer your question sir, no I will not be attending ATP. It is not because of choice but financing issues. ATP was always my first choice even after five minutes of research. On the website, ATP lists Wells Fargo and Fannie Mae as the primary go to lenders. Both of which I applied, both conditionally turned me down. Even with my credit score of over 800 and no debt. Finance isn’t my specialty, but the technical term used was “debt-to-income” ratio. I could have been accepted, if I had a co-signer, but no one loves me that much to put $90k on the table like that.

I tried looking into ways around financing such as AOPA and other lending institutions. I didn’t feel like frankensteining my student loan debt would be smart… Luckily, I was able to find a CFI to get me started. It’s such a shame there isn’t more financing options available for folks like me that have a B.A., good credit, clean record, and a passion for the skies.



As you are not training with ATP, I recommend that you address training specific questions with your CFI. I would not want to speak out of turn with something your CFI is planning.


(Reid) #5

Thank you for the information you have given. It is greatly appreciated.



Just to chime in I started with the King’s Videos a million years ago BEFORE I started flight training. It made no sense out of context so I put them away. I didn’t return to them until I was almost ready for my Private pilot checkride and needed to take the written.

You feel like you’re being prepped for an exam because that’s what it is.


(Reid) #7

Thank you for the reassurance, Adam. Your input is greatly appreciated!