Tag: student pilot

Best headset for the student pilot. Compromise performance & comfort for affordability?

No Comments

You are likely overwhelmed with many headsets options for student pilots and tired of seeing different terms like ANR and PNR. I know buying your first headset can be confusing.

The best headset for a student pilot is the one that can withstand all the abuse during pilot training and is price tagged within the student budget.

Like most student pilots, perhaps you are only concerned about getting a headset in your budget and starting flying. It’s a common scenario for student pilots looking for the cheapest option. As a student pilot, my priority was to buy the least expensive headset so that I could manage money for my flight school.

Hence, I listed the student pilot headsets from the inexpensive to the most pricey ones.

As there are multiple options in various price ranges, considering a few factors before buying your first headset is wise. Buying a headset is an investment, depending on your flying goals in the future.

You must understand that the fact “you get what you pay for” is valid for a headset.

Though I organized the list from the less costly headset to the pricey ones, you can expect the inexpensive ones to be less durable.

Cheaper headset manufacturers can’t include additional functionality due to the higher cost of production.

However, without knowing what to expect from an aviation headset, you can’t pick a suitable headset for yourself.

Table of Contents

What is the best headset for a student pilot?

The cheap headsets are at the top of my list because that’s what typical student pilots prefer for their first headsets.

Eventually, as they understand more about the cheap headsets’ discomfort, they realize they could have invested more in a better headset that might last for years to come.

Regardless of your budget, you can find a suitable headset for your pilot training needs in this list post.

Rugged Air RA200 the cheapest headset for student pilots.

Rugged Air RA200 is a headset that costs less than 100 USD. Honestly, what would you expect from something so affordable? I wouldn’t expect much.

But if you approach buying this headset with poor expectations, you will be surprised.

It’s the cheapest headset on my list and trendy among student pilots.

Its popularity is due to the price and its performance with the price.

Cheap headsets compensate for canceling noise by the clamping pressure on your head.

For long cross-country flights, the clamping pressure can become painful. Nevertheless, you can pull the headset outwards to fit your head size perfectly. Not too tight and too loose. It’s already explained in the instruction manual.

So, if you are only starting in aviation and don’t want to use the headset at your flight school, then this Rugger Air RA200 is a blind buy.

Buying this headset for your professional pilot training is not ideal. On the contrary, no other headset can beat its price to obtain a private pilot license. In the worst-case scenario, you can upgrade to a better headset and give this to your passengers to use.

KORE Aviation Headset KA-1.

A headset under 200 USD sounds like a charm for a student pilot. It’s indeed a good headset for the price.

Commonly student pilots have a hard time wearing a PNR(Passive Noise Reduction) headset during cross-country flights. A PNR headset uses the clamp pressure on your ears to reduce outside noise entering.

Thus naturally, the clamping pressure can be uncomfortable during a long flight.

However, student pilots who use the KA-1 headset say that the clamping pressure is bearable due to the gel ear seals.

Though KA-1 is the best PNR headset, the gel ear seals prevent air ventilation resulting in sweaty ears during long cross-country flights.

The significant issue with the KA-1 aviation headset is that student pilots complain the microphone often breaks down and doesn’t transmit audio properly.

Proper communication is the key to safe flights. Your faulty microphone can lead to fatalities if other pilots and the traffic controller can’t receive what you said.

If your aviation goal is to have a cheap headset until you get your private pilot license, this is the best option.

Though It’s a sturdy headset and can get you through entire commercial pilot training, the KA-1 headset’s performance in flight is not reliable as you progress towards commercial pilot training. For CPL, there are better alternatives.

FARO Aviation G2 the only inexpensive ANR headset for student pilots.

A headset around 350 USD for a student pilot is affordable. Similar to a headset over 600 USD, the FARO G2 has ANR (Active Noise Reduction).

At this price point, you can’t expect an excellent headset. This headset is perfect for getting your private pilot license only.

If you are thinking of getting your commercial pilot license, then, as always, I recommend investing in a pricier headset.

Buying an ANR headset for less than 400 USD can’t take you through your professional pilot training program.

There are numerous complaints about this headset’s passive noise cancellation.

Unlike other cheap headsets, FARO G2 PNR is not very effective.

Thus, FARO Aviation suggests replacing the leather air seals with gel ear seals from FARO.

According to the users, the FARO G2 headset gel ear seals by FARO Aviation work wonders in reducing ambient noise.

Most student pilots look forward to buying a different headset before trying out FARO’s gel ear seals made for FARO G2.

As the name suggests, it’s an active noise reduction headset powered by batteries.

The biggest drawback is the active noise reduction consumes a significant battery charge. Some claims that a dual battery doesn’t last more than 3 hours.

So, if you are purchasing this headset, you must consider that you can’t use this headset for a long time with active noise reduction as the batteries dry up quickly.

Secondly, if you buy this headset, buy gel ear seals to replace the leather ear seals for this headset to reduce passive noise to its full potential. It would be best for a pilot that intends only to get a private pilot license.

If budget is your concern and you want a cheaper headset, go for the Kore Aviation KA- 1 headset. It’s affordable and performs well.

If budget is not your concern, then continue reading for the best headsets for student pilots.

The best thing about FARO is that they offer three years Warranty and replace your headset if you have issues with your headset. They also give a lifetime free service for wear and tear.

They have excellent customer service, unlike expensive headset manufacturers.

So if you are determined to get this ANR headset, then make sure you get a gel ear seal for your headsets.

If the battery drains up quickly and your passive noise reduction isn’t working to its full potential without gel ear seals, you might jeopardize your flight’s safety.

Lastly, I want to mention FARO G2 has an auxiliary input for you to connect to any device and listen to music or whatever you want. I don’t know how practical this is for a student pilot, but I assume you deserve some extra functionality with a 350 USD price tag.

David Clark H10-13.4 Pilot headset tested for durability by student pilots.

David Clark is the headset brand you need if you prefer comfort and sound quality over fancy functionality.

David Clark H10-13.4 is a passive noise reduction headset.

Typically passive noise reduction headsets have uncomfortable clamping pressure, but pilots who use H10-13.4 headsets claim they are very comfortable.

The clamping pressure is not as stiff as other PNR headsets.

Thus as a student pilot, you can fly long cross-country flights without becoming tired.

This headset comes with gel ear seals which perform very well to cancel the outside noise of a propeller aircraft.

The price tag is almost 400 USD for this passive headset.

400 USD sounds like a lot for a PNR headset compared to the headsets mentioned above. David Clark is a pioneer in the aviation headset industry. So I suppose the brand value plays a role in the pricing.

Nevertheless, this headset has been tested by thousands of pilots globally and has a reputation for being durable.

David Clark gives a five-year guarantee for their headsets, which means you can use this headset as a student pilot and many more years after that.

.mobile-leaderboard-1-multi-123{border:none !important;display:block !important;float:none !important;line-height:0px;margin-bottom:15px !important;margin-left:0px !important;margin-right:0px !important;margin-top:15px !important;max-width:100% !important;min-height:250px;min-width:250px;padding:0;text-align:center !important;}

You can certainly buy this headset for your professional pilot training.

The sound quality of this headset is transparent. With gel ear seals and excellent audio quality, you will have smooth communication with other pilots and controllers.

H10-13.4 is not a cheap headset, and David Clark is a reputed headset producer globally. I would buy a more inexpensive PNR headset if I were only getting my private pilot license and upgrading to a pricey ANR headset in the future.

However, the David Clark H10-13.4 is a blind buy for big-budget beginner pilots.

Lightspeed Sierra ANR.

Now it’s time to reveal the ANR headset with great functionalities and is budget-friendly. It sounds like Lightspeed Sierra is the best headset for student pilots.

Let’s discuss all the positive sides of this pilot headset first, and we’ll get into the downsides later.

The Lightspeed Sierra headset is 650 USD and is the least pricey in the ballpark. The audio quality of the Lightspeed Sierra is on par with the Bose A20 audio quality. Similarly, the active noise reduction performance is very good with dual batteries that give forty hours of backup.

Pilots who use the Lightspeed Sierra claim it is very comfortable. There is no clamping pressure, yet the plush gel ear seals prevent adequate outside noise from communicating better.

If you are a student with long-term aviation goals, this headset will serve you until you finish your professional pilot training.

This headset has BlueTooth for connecting audio devices and listening to music during your pilot training or hour building. It has Compriority so that the music will cut off automatically when the intercom transmits anything.

There are complaints about the sensitivity of the Compriority that even a minor static cuts off the Bluetooth audio, which makes it bothersome to use.

Though I mentioned this is a good headset for student pilots, there are issues with the durability of the Lightspeed Sierra. Many users say it’s not a durable headset and the gel ear seals wear off quickly.

Replacing the gel ear seals is an option, but you may need multiple replacements over the years to keep using this headset, and ultimately it would cost you extra money.

There is a factory warranty for the headset, and students say it’s not always beneficial as the sender has to pay for the shipping.

Ultimately, I take the Lightspeed Sierra as an excellent headset for the price, and with a 650 USD price tag, Lightspeed couldn’t make it sturdy.

Another common problem with the headset is that the boom mic doesn’t hold firmly after a few months of use. It could be particular to faulty pieces, but I heard about the issue from multiple pilots.

Though it’s not the best ANR headset, you can use it throughout your training with comfort. The Bose A20 and Lightspeed Zulu 3 headsets are slightly better than this.

If you upgrade from your 100 USD headset to the Sierra, you will be satisfied with its active noise reduction and volume control for each speaker.

Bose A20 Aviation Headset is the best for all stages of pilot training.

If you want one headset to begin your pilot training and use it as long as you fly in general aviation, invest money in the Bose A20 headset.

The Bose headset prices are around 1100 USD.

Bose didn’t compromise anything constructing this headset for pilots. This headset might seem like an advanced headset for student pilots, but as I said, this headset will last forever in general aviation.

So far, I haven’t heard many complaints from the users of Bose A20 headsets.

The average functionality of aviation headsets is almost the same, but a pricey headset stands out in performance.

When you pay over 1000 USD for a pilot headset, you expect it to be extraordinary in performance.

It’s an active noise reduction headset with 50+ hours of battery backup. Compared to other ANR headsets in the market, Bose A20 is a beast.

Once the active noise reduction is turned on, your Bose A20 enhances your communication by providing transparent audio.

No outside noise can cause disturbance while listening to ATC transmissions and what your flight instructor says.

Bose claims this headset to have 30% less clamping pressure than other aviation headsets. With less clamping pressure, you can operate the long flight without pain and discomfort.

A headset must be comfortable for long flights because allowing a headset to hinder your communication is a fatal mistake.

Also, it’s the lightest ANR headset that contributes to the comfort of pilots.

Bose must add Bluetooth in all their A20s without exception. To get a Bose A20 with Bluetooth connectivity, you need to pay extra, which I don’t like. You are already paying a hefty price for the headset, and Bose decides to ask more for add-ons.

Who needs this headset?

For student pilots that fly Cessna 152 or 172, Bose A20 is a great choice. Bose A20 will prevent you from damaging your eardrums in the long run.

If a student pilot upgrades from a cheap headset from this list to a Bose A20, they would notice a significant drop in outside noises.

Understanding ATC communication early in pilot training can be challenging for a student pilot whose first language is not English. For those students, the Bose A20 headset can indeed work wonders.

The silence inside the earcups and exclusively listening to the transparent audio communication helps understand each detail clearly.

What are the complaints?

Though Bose A20 is a great headset, there are a few complaints.

I noticed most of the issues are about defective units.

Many times pilots that order online receive a defective headset. A faulty unit is not on par with an effective headset.

Another problem arises when the user returns the defective unit. Bose has responsive customer service, but having a store near you would help.

Because Bose wants their customer to pay for the return shipping and the entire procedure for getting your replacement headset may take around 30 days.

What does Bose expect from a student pilot with one headset? Do they think the students must pause pilot training, waiting for their 1000 USD investment to return?

Another issue with Bose A20 headset is that the plug is not universal for all airplanes. You may have to go online and look for a suitable adapter to connect this headset to your aircraft.

My verdict overall:

It’s not the best headset to start your pilot training. However, it’s the best upgrade for any student pilot who intends to be in general aviation for years.

I also heard about airline pilots using these headsets and had a good experience. So I can say if you invest in this headset, you can probably use it throughout your career together with other headsets.


There are plenty of headsets for student pilots. Some are pricey, and others are very reasonable. It would help if you only chose a headset that suits your needs and aviation goals.

Most student pilots buy an inexpensive headset and upgrade to an expensive headset for the best benefit.

Once you upgrade your headset, you can keep the cheap ones as your backup headset or for the passengers.

Choose a sturdy, good-quality headset for yourself, and you won’t regret it. Because missing communication as the PIC is not something, you want. Hence, I only listed the few best headsets for student pilots in the market.

Image Source: horeastraut via Instagram.

Which is the very best iPad for trip institution?

No Comments

Having an iPad inside a little training airplane is not constantly practical. Having a compact-sized gadget with one of the most capability undoubtedly assists throughout flying lessons.

Thus, I reviewed a trainee pilot’s troubles and also exactly how the very best iPad for trip institution can alleviate a trainee pilot’s training sessions.

  • Which aspects of an iPad can influence your trip training? A larger iPad develops inflexibility
  • inside a little training airplane cabin; You can not access the net without mobile connection throughout trip; Without a bigger storage area, you can not conserve ample information; Portability: Instead of lugging hefty publications to ground institution, just bring your iPad anywhere; An obsolete gadget is not suitable with modern-day air travel applications; Lastly, ask on your own just how crucial it is for you to invest those added bucks on

    a new iPad. Table of Contents

    Which is the very best iPad for trip institution? As a pupil pilot, you might choose an iPad that is portable. Acquire a tool with a display dimension sufficient to check out information doubtless as well as tiny adequate to change inside a Cessna cabin comfortably. An iPad with WiFi +Cellular connection is crucial to gain access to numerous applications while carrying out a trip. Continue analysis to make clear which iPad is most ideal for you throughout trip college lessons.

On the internet personal pilot training to find out aeronautics and also flying maneuvers like an expert.

No Comments

When you look for on the internet personal pilot training, you are aiming to obtain aerial understanding and also lessons on useful flying.

Part 61 pilots do not

require a generally structured ground college. They favor to examine at their very own rate from anywhere. Pole Machado’s on the internet personal pilot understanding permits you to examine in your convenience, yet this program’s deepness is absolutely nothing much less than an organized ground institution. In this article, I dived deep right into explaining why Part 61 trainee pilots require

this on the internet training to be successful and also relieve their whole exclusive pilot training. Just How does Rod Machado’s on the internet exclusive pilot training stand apart from his competitors?

  • ; Rod Machado’s years of air travel experience enable him to far better verbalize info for trainees to understand.MCQ technique to evaluate your expertise of aeronautics; Get a recommendation for the FAA personal pilot understanding examination; Get lessons on-line to enhance
  • trip efficiency as well as obtain solo trips rapidly;
  • Be all set for your exclusive pilot dental examination and also check-ride; Study atyour very own speed from your convenience zone.Log in from any kind of gadget with a web link. Table of Contents How does Rod Machado’s on the internet exclusive pilot training attract attention from his competitors? The very first point that makes Rod’s on the internet personal pilot training special is the deepness

    of the training course.

Private pilot ground school course to study for PPL competency.

No Comments

Many online private pilot ground school courses exist, and selecting the right one is strenuous for student pilots on a budget.

In this list post, I will clear all the confusion, and ultimately student pilots can pick the right ground school for them.

I listed online ground school for PPL here in two different categories:

  • The paid online private pilot school;
  • Free online pilot courses for PPL;

As a bonus, I also discussed how student pilots could utilize free resources and free ground school to pass the PPL exam.

Although online PPL ground school is less expensive than conventional ground school courses, online courses don’t fail to provide student pilots fair value.

Most importantly, you can study from your room at your convenience.

Best online private pilot ground school.

Multiple online PPL courses are decent to pass the PPL exams, but some are better.

If you don’t have the time to read through the whole article, you can see the following list of courses:

In the next section, I only discussed each course’s value and how student pilots can use the resources to pass their FAA PPL exams in their first take.

Rod Machado’s PPL eLearning.

Student pilots struggle to interpret aeronautical topics because everything seems unknown to students initially.

As time passes by, pilots acquire all the necessary knowledge.

You don’t have enough time to absorb all the information naturally from experience.

Thus an online private pilot ground school from Rod Machado can help pilots learn everything quickly.

By quickly, I don’t mean the course is fast-paced.

Commonly physical ground schools are fast-paced, and student pilots fail to keep up with accelerated ground school and naturally become unprepared for the PPL exam.

Rod Machado’s eLearning is not fast-paced because it is a comprehensive course similar to college semesters.

  • The detailed animated videos allow students to understand the exact details about each topic.
  • The animated videos are in natural language for student pilots’ better comprehension.
  • With short voiceovers and animated videos, student pilots will absorb all the knowledge by watching once.

Hence the course is forty hours long.

A course is essential to pass the FAA PPL knowledge test, but a well-structured course will help you become a safe and competent pilot.

Watching detailed animation will not forget the lessons for years to come.

RELATED: You can read a complete review of Rod Machado’s private pilot ground school here.

What is the best part?

The available resources for student pilots to practice what they have learned.

Resources such as:

  • Flight computer simulator;
  • HSI simulator;
  • Glide Distance slider, etc.

Forty hours of learning can quickly become monotonous, but with occasional jokes from Rod Machado, this course is winning the list of online private pilot courses.

Rod Machado’s pleasant presentation made the course more enjoyable.

You can check the video to glance at Rod Machado’s private pilot online course here.

Instructor: Rod Machado

Course Duration: 40+ Hours

Price: $279

Subscription Access: Lifetime


FAA Private Pilot Ground School Part 61.

This course is not just for student pilots. Any pilot at any stage of their flight training can refer to this course as a refresher.

Many students prefer traditional style explanation on a whiteboard, and this course is just right for them.

The veteran instructor claims this course is not just to pass the exam but will develop proficient pilots.

I took the course and like the way this instructor teaches.

Traditional ground school learning might not be your thing, but for many, whiteboard explanation is best, unlike animated footage, to comprehend a subject.

The course comes in 5 parts, and I linked to Part 1 of this course. You will find links to the following sections at the end of the Part 1 course.

Part 6 is optional, and student pilots can access Part 6 by private messaging. Part 6 is a written endorsement from the instructor saying you are ready for the FAA private pilot written exam.

Many things will seem difficult to understand in your online private pilot ground school for a beginner.

Rewind and watch the sections you did not understand is one benefit of PPL online ground schools.

Physical private pilot ground school is not affordable for many. Ground instructors get paid hourly, and student pilots must pay extra if they intend to review a subject.

The quality of the videos and audio in this course is perfect, unlike videos from King’s school. Although the king schools course is excellent for acquiring knowledge, their video quality is a turn-off for many students.

Unlike the King School’s class, the Udemy course has HD quality videos.

Why do I like the course?

This course is an opportunity for students not trained in the USA to look at Federal Part 61 ground school.

Take pilot lessons from an FAA-certified flight instructor, and prepare yourself for the private pilot knowledge test from anywhere in the world.

Is this online pilot course not ideal for you?

Do not buy this course at the commercial pilot licensing stage or your ATPL.

This course teaches only the fundamentals and is excellent for student pilots. Similarly, rusty private pilots can use this course as a refresher.

Instructor: Greg Reverdiau

Course Duration: Total 5 Parts = 34 Hours

Price: Complete 5 Parts = $219.95

Subscription Access: Lifetime


King School’s Online Course.

King schools online private pilot ground school has different opinions from different student pilots.

It’s normal to see various opinions when a product has thousands of users.

John King and Martha King have forty years of experience in the aviation industry teaching and training pilots.

Without a doubt, the King School online private pilot ground school is one of the best courses out there. Anyone who picks this course for their PPL test preparation will pass the exam on their first take.

Regardless, an excellent instructor will not help you pass a knowledge test if you don’t study.

The critical aspect is a student pilot’s will and effort to learn.

What makes this course different from other online ground schools?

  • Jon King and Martha King has over 40 years of experience teaching and training pilots;
  • An enjoyable and engaging presentation of topics helps student pilots in vivid learning.
  • King school claims that they prepare pilots for the unexpected, whether in actual flight or the FAA Private Pilot knowledge test.

In my opinion, the video quality is the only downside of this online pilot course. The footage content is excellent, but the actual video quality is outdated.

Many student pilots complain about the quality of video that seems from the 80s.

Nevertheless, you can find detailed lessons and excellent techniques to remember specific tasks in this course. An abundance of technical information is available for students to consume.

Ultimately, it comes down to the student pilots whether they will select this course or not.

You can request a full refund within 30 days of your purchase if you don’t like the course materials.

Purchase this course, and you can access the King School aviation library.

Most PPL online courses today provide ample study materials. However, books alone are inadequate to attract student pilots to a course.

On the contrary, student pilots need tools to simulate tasks to clarify specific topics. Hence Rod Machado’s PPL eLearning stands out from other courses.

Let’s consider the pricing of King Schools ground school.

This course is the priciest online ground school among all other ppl ground school courses. Thus the best purchase is often in a bundle.

The bundle comes with:

  1. Private pilot test prep training;
  2. Lessons to prepare student pilots for their check-ride.

To buy the package, you have to count 600 USD.


After completing the course and passings the three practice tests with at least 70% pass marks, King school will issue an endorsement to take the FAA private pilot knowledge test.

Visit here to find more about the course: King School.

Instructors: John King & Martha King

Course Duration: 15 Hours + 6.5 Hours

Price: $600

Subscription Access: Lifetime


Sporty’s Private Pilot Learn to fly.

If you did some research online, I guess by now you have already read about the sporty’s course.

Sporty’s learn to fly seems the most popular online private pilot ground school.

The condition that people refer to a single program means there is a reason behind that.

What is the reason?

Two excellent ground school courses online are:

  • Sporty’s learn to fly; and
  • King Schools test prep.

Student pilots pick any of these two and compare the courses.

Next, student pilots compare king School’s outdated-looking videos with Sporty’s excellent video quality.

Both Sporty’s and King school frequently update their content to provide up-to-date information.

But people are judgemental.

Once they watch the 80s video quality from King School’s, they can promptly think the king school program is outdated.

They think Sporty’s has up-to-date information in their course.

Comparing Sporty’s with Rod Machado’s eLearning will say that Sporty’s is not the best in the online PPL ground school industry.

Nevertheless, none of the courses I mention in this article is terrible. All of them are of excellent quality.

How about the pricing?

The cost makes a lot of difference too—Kings school Vs. Sporty’s course, the price is indeed a big difference.

Regardless, Sporty’s provides excellent quality training online.

Like any other ppl ground school, online sporty’s come with several resources to prepare for the ppl knowledge test.

Resources include:

  • Frequent updates of test questions database to prepare student pilots with all they need to pass the exam;
  • Document library containing books and PDF files that sporty’s claims worth more than 300 USD.

Another critical factor for the sporty’s online pilot course is including review notes for each video segment. Review notes are a significant advantage for student pilots.

Students will know which key things are essential in each chapter.

Type of materials.

Sporty’s created video materials combining video recordings in flight and animation for precise comprehension of student pilots.

Sporty includes lessons from inside an aircraft for student pilots to clarify subjects in a practical setting.

Once you purchase the course, you can have the system in several formats. Student pilots can study using smartphones, tablets, smart TV, and personal PCs.

You will have access to all the platforms by just paying once.

How Sporty’s course stands out from others?

The unique thing about this course is the test prep database. Sporty’s has 1000 questions for students to practice and a detailed explanation in clear English after answering a question.

CFI from sporty’s includes why an answer is right and wrong.

Instructors: Various Instructors from Sporty

Course Duration: 15 Hours

Price: $249

Subscription Access: Lifetime access & Updates


Gleim Aviation Online Ground School.

As a pioneer in pilot goods, Gleim aviation did not make a comprehensive pilot training course online for private pilots.

This course is for newbie student pilots to prepare themselves for the FAA knowledge test.

Gleim aviation confidently promises you a refund of your money if you do not pass the FAA knowledge test on your first attempt.

Sounds fair enough.

If you can pass your FAA knowledge test with just one attempt, you no longer need the course.

If you do not pass the test in one attempt, you can ask them for your refund and buy a different pilot course online.

The course is 35 hours long, adequate for your private pilot theories.

However, the course will be available to you once paid for 12 months. If you do not complete the course within 12 months, the system will expire.

Once expired, you can extend your online pilot course time by paying 50% of the original price.

The course contents pilot lesson on the topics:

  1. Airplanes and Aerodynamics;
  2. Airplane Instruments, Engines, and Sytems;
  3. Airports, Air Traffic Control, and Airspace;
  4. Federal Aviation Regulations;
  5. Airplane Performance and Weight and Balance;
  6. Aeromedical Factors and Aeronautical Decision Making (ADM);
  7. Aviation Weather;
  8. Aviation Weather Sevices;
  9. Navigation: Charts and Publications;
  10. Navigation Systems;
  11. Cross-Country Flight Planning.

The best online pilot course is the one you find most suitable for you.

A pilot course may be outstanding for me but may not be helpful for you.

I may discover online pilot training very interesting. However, the same pilot lessons can be very dull for you.

Though individual student pilots’ preferences matter, I always tell my friends to pick a course from the Top 3 mentioned here.

I believe you have decided to get your pilot license and want a heads up on the ground school syllabus contents.

You want to know which subjects will be taught to you in the private pilot ground training or prepare by yourself. The section of this article will help you stay ahead of your pilot training batch mates.

Similarly, from here, you can evaluate whether you are good enough to start your private pilot training or not.

I have designed this private pilot ground school syllabus as a resource for anyone to guide themselves for private pilot training.

Before going for your first flight, you will learn all the subjects during your ground school training.

Use a syllabus as a guideline, study advance, and prepare before enrolling in a flight training institute.

A step-by-step guide includes the chapters of the Jeppesen Private Pilot textbook and the topics in those particular chapters most important for your private pilot training course.

To become a good pilot, you must always keep learning.

The sooner you master the basics, the better you will do in real-world flight training.


Things you should know before buying Rod Machado’s Ground School.

No Comments

A student pilot’s priority is to pass the private pilot license knowledge test and obtain the license quickly.

In this post, let me tell you why Rod Machado’s ground school courses are one of the best for student pilots.

I broke down this post into three sections:

  • What should you expect from a PPL ground school;
  • What would you get by subscribing to Rod Machado’s ground school course;
  • How did I use Rod’s private pilot ground school course to excel in my PPL exam?

Use Rod Machado’s ground school not only to ace your PPL exam but implement techniques you learn from the course in actual flight training.

What should you expect from a PPL ground school?

Student pilots often fail their FAA private pilot knowledge test due to a lack of knowledge. Though a student pilot can have multiple attempts to pass the FAA knowledge test, it’s always better to pass on your first try.

A ground school aims to teach you all the necessary information to answer any question from your knowledge.

Before enrolling in a ground school, you must learn about the ground school instructor. An experienced instructor can articulate information better than others. Without a good ground instructor, all the new aeronautical information will be overwhelming to grasp.

A ground school instructor like Rod Machado is not monotonous and makes learning entertaining.

If you are bored while learning aeronautical information, you will likely give up studying. If it is hard to follow your ground school lessons, you might miss crucial details. As a result, you will have poor flight training experience.

Having a ground school with separate video clips of each lesson is essential so that you can jump into any section you missed or need review.

Next, an online ground school must endorse students at the end of the course so that the student can register for the FAA private pilot knowledge test.

Lastly, lifetime access with one-time payment is necessary. If you subscribe to a course and have access only for a year, you can’t refresh your knowledge in the future as required.

A private pilot ground school contains fundamentals of flying and aeronautics, and it’s good to have access to foundational information anytime you want to revise.

Unlike physical ground school, you have access to Rod Machado’s ground school online whenever you want, and from any device you want. Access the aeronautical knowledge if you are a rusty pilot five years from now. And the best part, you only paid once for all the benefits.

What would you get by subscribing to Rod Machado ground school?

Rod Machado frequently updates the ground school to stay current with the latest FAA regulation.

As a student pilot training in the USA or a rusty pilot, you will know the latest regulations. Likewise, Rod Machado updates the course following the newest Airman certification standards.

Knowing the latest regulations and Airman Certification Standards, you don’t need to worry about the newest question in the FAA knowledge test. You would be ready to answer any question relevant to the latest FAA question bank.

Rod Machado’s private pilot ground school is not only to prepare for theory.

You will learn a lot about actual flying. By learning about accurate flight during ground school, you can implement the knowledge to become a competent pilot at flight.

Practical flights can be challenging and often require extra hours for a novice pilot to grasp everything.

Spending more hours is a common problem among student pilots, and many quit flying due to this reason. Flying fewer hours means you won’t spend more money on actual flights. This ground school may save a few hours in flight training by learning about flight skills during theory lessons.

Participate in quizzes to test your knowledge.

Online courses are designed to pass the FAA private pilot knowledge test and include tests within the system to check your aeronautical knowledge. Rod Machado’s ground school is no different.

After each section, you will have a quiz and a comprehensive quiz after each module.

Every time you finish a module, you can test your intelligence using the quiz. You can point out where you lack and go back to your specific lessons to revise.

Practice multiple-choice questions similar to FAA’s exams from an early stage. It is crucial to practice answering multiple-choice questions to know what you will face during your FAA exam.

Rod Machado also included an eWorkbook with this ground school.

The workbook contains over 1800 questions for you to practice. You can purchase the workbook separately for 19 USD. However, the book is free with Rod Machado’s ground school.

Many students failed their FAA knowledge test because they didn’t practice answering multiple-choice questions adequately. So with this ground school course and eWorkbook, I say you would pass your test on your first attempt.

Use the book to practice answering the FAA knowledge exam questions within the time limit. The more you practice, the intenser you will get with time management during your FAA private pilot knowledge test.

What is better than learning from a pioneer in the aviation industry?

Imagine how much you would spend to take Rod Machado’s instructions in person. Instead, you get 40+ hours of ground and flight instruction from a veteran flight instructor without spending thousand of dollars.

The 40+ hours ground school includes a lot of lessons. Rod Machado claims that the entire course is equivalent to the classes for one semester of an Aviation Degree. Most online ground school courses are around 25 hours. Though the course is lengthy, Rod Machado’s ground school is detailed and teaches every aspect of flying.

I don’t mean Rod Machado is better than others, but I say the course is more detailed than other ground school courses. Similarly, the free books you get with this course will help further studies. With all the resources, you can be a competent pilot.

Sometimes it doesn’t matter how good your resources are. If you don’t practice adequately, you can’t be good at what you do.

Thus, Rod Machado, a pioneer flight instructor, designed this course for pilots to learn, practice, and revise.

You can find each lesson jump to the section right away to revise what you need.

Rod Machado’s ground school will save you time, and you can access the course from any device with an internet connection. Study in your free time if you are a part-time pilot.

Learning has to be fun. Otherwise, students lose interest, and education becomes difficult. Rod Machado has a reputation for being humorous and making learning fun and interactive.

The comprehensive animated videos are fun to watch and quickly obtain precise information.

You will get an endorsement from Rod Machado to take your FAA knowledge test.

After you finish all the lessons and pass all the tests within the ground school, you will get certification from Rod Machado. An endorsement is necessary to take the FAA knowledge test to verify that you have sufficient ground training and aeronautical knowledge.

Get lifetime access to the course and other resources at an affordable price.

As a pilot, you may need a refresher once in a while. Perhaps you want to revise a lesson after five years. You can log in with your credentials and study as you will forever with lifetime access.

Image Source: felipe_spotter via Instagram.

Checkride Preps to steer clear of Private Pilot practical test interrogation.

No Comments

To pass your checkride confidently and avoid facing the check pilot multiple times for the private pilot license, you need a comprehensive checkride prep.

Read this post to find out the most suitable PPL checkride prep for you.

I describe how each checkride prep differs from the other and, most importantly, how each prep course can prepare you to meet DPE’s expectations.

Additionally, I answered some common questions to avoid people’s skepticism about these kinds of courses:

  • Do you need a checkride prep course to pass your private pilot checkride?;
  • How to utilize a PPL checkride prep course and get the most out of your investment?;
  • Are these online flight instructors credible enough to teach you essential materials?;
  • What new facts and ideas can you grasp from a checkride course?;
  • How a checkride prep course differs from a private pilot online ground school course?
  • Can an online system alone guarantee that you will pass your checkride?

I sorted Top Four online courses from the most pricey one to the most inexpensive one:

  1. King School’s Checkride prep; 199, 6.5hrs Money back guarantee if you cannot pass on the first attempt. Available on iPhone/iPad/Android.
  2. FLY8MA;
  3. The Angle of Attack Checkride prep; 99, Includes Checklist PDF and downloadable mp3s, Available for any device with an internet connection, Money-Back Guarantee.
  4. Part-Time Pilot Checkride prep; 79.99

For me, the mentioned courses are the most up-to-date, informative, and have better audio and video quality than all other checkride prep courses online.

However, let’s start by removing student pilots’ doubts about buying a checkride prep course.

Do you need a checkride prep course to pass your private pilot checkride?

The straightforward answer to this question is NO.

It’s not essential to complete an online checkride prep course for passing the private pilot checkride.

Student pilots are knowledgeable to pass a checkride.

However, many students are fearful of checkride because they don’t know what questions might DPE ask. Not only the questions for an oral exam, but student pilots also fret over the maneuvers an examiner wants an examinee to demonstrate.

Most of the time, student pilots fail the exam because they are not confident enough.

However, they know the answers to questions but lack confidence.

Thus student pilots can use Airman Certification Standards (ACS) by FAA as an outline to understand beforehand what to expect from the DPE.

A student pilot can prepare for the private pilot practical test using the ACS and the PPL oral exam guide.

RELATED: How to prepare and pass the private pilot checkride?

Regardless there are student pilots that require a structured course. Without a structured approach, many students don’t understand where to begin preparing.

That’s when a PPL checkride prep can make a significant difference in preparation.

Students that are not fond of studying books and require visual explanation to comprehend must purchase a course. Most checkride prep courses’ sole purpose is to boost students’ knowledge and prepare for the type of questions check pilot prefers to ask.

The structure of a course is not only to answer the examiner’s questions but to explain the examiner:

  • Why something happens;
  • How can a pilot tackle the situation?

After you complete a course, you will likely become better at risk management using appropriate resources.

How to utilize a PPL checkride prep course and get the most out of your investment?

The best way to utilize a checkride prep course is by buying it at an early stage of flight training. After completing the course, you can ask your flight instructor to practice what you learned from the study.

The courses include the maneuvers and essential topics from the Airman Certification Standards (ACS).

  1. Thus to become a competent pilot, form a habit of learning maneuvers that the course mentioned.
  2. Ask yourself the questions you encountered in the online class, and see if you are doing the right thing during the actual flight.

Practicing the items from the course will form a habit of doing the right thing in flight, and you will become a safer pilot.

If you did not buy the course yet and checkride day is nearing, you can still purchase an online prep course and use it as a refresher for your PPL checkride.

Are these online flight instructors credible enough to teach you essential materials?

All the creators of online prep classes are flight instructors in the USA. They are FAA licensed and have experience teaching pilots in multiple stages of pilot licensing. All the flight instructors are instructors at physical locations in the USA.

Apart from that, they have credibility as online ground classes creator to reach more student pilots globally at students’ convenience.

What new facts and ideas can you grasp from a checkride course?

I already mentioned that the purpose of the PPL checkride prep course is to prepare students to answer questions that a DPE will ask. An examiner will not ask any question or request a demonstration for a commercial pilot license during private pilot checkride.

A student will learn techniques from a checkride prep course to answer the examiner’s question quickly and guide the examiner to ask questions you want them to ask.

Similarly, a student can refer to the Airman Certification Standards to prepare what to anticipate.

You will not learn anything outside your PPL stage, but you will understand more ways of cockpit resource management and be aware of any complicated situation.

How a checkride prep course differs from a private pilot online ground school course?

A PPL online ground school prepares a student pilot for the PPL written test. The purpose of the checkride prep course is to help students pass their private pilot practical test with ease.

There is no limit to what you can learn in Aviation.

You might think you already know everything to pass your PPL practical test, but you will be amazed to see how much more you missed.

Indeed, you have learned a lot during your private pilot online ground school, yet the checkride prep will teach you the execution of aeronautical knowledge in real life.

Can an online system alone guarantee that you will pass your checkride?

No, an online checkride prep alone cannot guarantee that a student will pass the checkride.

To pass your checkride, individuals must have adequate aeronautical knowledge from private pilot ground classes. The ground classes can be online or in a physical location.

Let me clarify:

  1. To get an endorsement for your private pilot checkride, you must pass the FAA PPL knowledge test.
  2. To pass the FAA theory test, you need to know aeronautical topics relevant to private pilots.

After your flight instructor endorses you for a checkride, you must ace the checkride to obtain your private pilot license. To ace your checkride, you need to understand what is a checkride all about.

Prepare for the unknown by purchasing any of the checkride prep courses I mentioned in this article.

The course instructors also promise that if you take the Checkride prep courses, you will pass your checkride on your first attempt. If you fail your checkride the first time, you can claim a refund because there is a money-back guarantee.

Now that we have discussed the checkride prep courses and their benefits, I will give you a list of checkride prep courses.

I won’t tell you these courses are the best course to pass your private pilot practical test because the best method for you is the one that helps you to ace your checkride.

These courses are best in my opinion, and your opinion might differ from mine.

Every instructor has a unique way of teaching. Hence, you must purchase a course that is easily graspable for you. Check the videos included in the course’s websites to see if the language is understandable and transparent for you.

I listed the courses from the priciest one to the least pricey one:

King School’s Checkride Prep.

King School is a pioneer in the aviation industry for teaching and training pilots. John King is an experienced flight instructor and has trained thousands of pilots.

John king himself created this course with a designated pilot examiner. In the course, John King is taking a practical test. So it’s a way for a student pilot to see what goes on during the oral exam and practical test.

John King can teach complicated subjects in a technical way for students to remember.

Thus purchasing this course, you will learn a great deal about what to expect on your checkride and how to prove that you are ready to get a private pilot license.

John King is so confident in this course that he guarantees a full refund if a student pilot can’t pass their PPL practical test on their first attempt.

The course is available for Apple and Android devices.

FLY8MA Checkride prep crash course.

FLY8MA is famous for its free youtube content. FLY8MA founder is a former airline pilot and quit his airline job to have his flight school.

Jonathan Kotwicki spends a lot of time in the aircraft to create amazing instruction videos.

It’s easy to understand Jon’s videos as he explains and demonstrates them inside an aircraft. He describes a subject on the ground, and if necessary, he proves the topic in the air while flying a plane.

His checkride prep is not different from his other courses and free videos. However, as his focus is to prepare students for the checkride in this course, you will particularly learn how to answer your DPE’s questions.

You will learn to answer the examiner’s question and simultaneously demonstrate the check pilot’s maneuver requests.

Jon is an experienced pilot and flight instructor for both offline and online ground school. His friendly and fun way of teaching interests many student pilots.

So if you already know Jon from his youtube videos and like his teaching style, then FLY8MA’s PPL Checkride prep course is the best option for you.

At a lesser price tag of 149 USD, this course might be a better option for many compare to King School’s checkride prep. The downside of King School’s checkride prep is that the video quality looks outdated, whereas FLY8MA’s videos are in 4k.

Checkride Ace by Angle of Attack.

The angle of attack founder Chris Palmer is famous for his podcasts. I learned about him the first time from a podcast. It was a Q&A podcast session where Chris palmer answered the student pilot’s questions.

He is a knowledgeable pilot and has 13 years of experience in teaching pilots in Alaska.

I find Chris Palmer’s Checkride Ace online course excellent because he has a talent for explaining aeronautical subjects in an easy, transparent language.

Another benefit of purchasing the Checkride Ace course is getting two different PDF files included in the study.

  1. P.A.V.E. Study guide: A fill-in-the-gaps style study guide to refresh your knowledge from PPL ground classes. This study guide aligns very well with the oral exam part of the practical test.;
  2. Checkride Checklist: The checkride checklist allows student pilots to better cockpit resource management. One crucial part of checkride is to demonstrate your resource management. This checkride checklist aids student pilots to do that flawlessly.

Checkride Ace can be an excellent resource for student pilots to prepare for the private pilot checkride. Lastly, if you fail to pass your private pilot checkride on your first attempt, there is a money-back guarantee from Angle of Attack.

The course is one the least expensive for 99 USD, and you have a money-back guarantee too.

Part-Time Pilot Checkride Prep.

On your checkride, your DPE will mostly ask you scenario-based questions. During your oral exam of your checkride, your flight instructor will ask questions based on the cross-country flight plan. Likewise, during your practical test, the examiner may continue to ask questions based on the scenario.

The Part-Time Pilot did a good job designing this checkride prep course for student pilots to plan a cross-country flight and show you scenario-based questions along the flight route.

  1. Another cool thing in this checkride prep is that the instructor added notes from student pilots after passing their checkride. He asked student pilots to write essential practical test tips for other students and what to expect from your check pilot.
  2. Part-time Pilot included tests and quizzes in this prep course for student pilots to test their knowledge.

The founder of Part-Time pilot Nick Smith, is relatively a new FAA-certified ground instructor. Regardless he has almost a decade of experience in the aviation industry.

I trust his course because he has a Bachelor’s and a Master’s in Aerospace engineering.

In his lecture, he emphasizes the safety of operating flight, probably because he is an Aerospace engineer. One crucial aspect of checkride is the DPE wants to see how safely a student pilot can operate flights.

So if you learn from Nick Smith about the safety of flying an airplane, you will likely impress your check pilot with the knowledge you have by demonstrating good risk management.

With all this essential information, Nick’s Part-Time Pilot Checkride prep course is yet the least expensive for only 79.99 USD. The best part is you have lifetime access to the study and 24/7 customer instructor access.

Aircraft landing procedure.

No Comments

Get a refresher on aircraft landing procedure. If you are a private pilot going back to flying after some time, you must read this article.

You will never forget how to land an airplane, but your feelings might get rusty. Regardless, the set of rules in this post will allow you to make smooth landings.

If you find your landing skills are soft, then always remind yourself of this one thing:

The combination of airspeed and altitude will determine your perfect landing.

Similarly, the phase for a smooth touchdown begins from the moment you enter the downwind leg.

If you are confused in your downwind and caught up on what to do next, you will be lucky not to crash land your airplane on the runway.

Now you can only imagine if you fail to have smooth landings during VFR flights, what will you face during your IFR flight?

The aircraft landing procedure begins by descending to the traffic pattern altitude.

What is descending to traffic pattern altitude?

The procedure for aircraft entering the traffic pattern can’t be over 1,000 feet AGL. I believe you know that already; thus, I will explain it briefly.

If your destination airport elevates 500 feet above MSL, your traffic pattern altitude would be 1500 feet MSL.

That’s because your traffic pattern altitude has to be 1,000 feet AGL.

Therefore, 500 feet MSL elevation + 1,000 feet AGL = 1,500 feet MSL altitude for the traffic pattern.

So let me ask you now, what would be your traffic pattern altitude if the airport elevation is 300 feet MSL?

You must enter the downwind leg maintaining a traffic pattern and at a 45-degree angle.

The Downwind leg.

Like I mentioned, you enter the downwind leg at a 45-degree angle and maintain an altitude of 1,000 feet AGL.

I am writing this article in contradiction to training aircraft that is below 200 horsepower. Thus let’s take Cessna 172 for our example.

Let’s suppose you are on the right downwind of Runway 09 and flying a Cessna 172.

Before entering the leg downwind, finish your landing checklist for your particular aircraft.

Now reduce power between 1800 RPM to 1900 RPM.

Once you reduce power, the airspeed will reduce. At this point, maintain an airspeed of 85 knots.

That’s the ideal airspeed for a downwind leg. If you find it challenging to maintain airspeed to 85 knots, apply flaps and trim your aircraft.

Remember maintaining airspeed is a key to smooth landing. Always ask yourself whether you are too fast for the leg or not.

 If you are too fast for an approach leg, you will likely fall behind the airplane and mess up your landing.

Abeam Threshold.

Abeam threshold, you are still on your right downwind of Runway 09. 

When you are abeam threshold, you can reduce power to 1600 to 1700 RPM.

Reducing power will allow the aircraft to descend and reduce airspeed. Here you can apply Flaps 2 of your Cessna 172 to keep your aircraft stable.

Maintain airspeed between 75 knots to 80 knots.

You can turn base when you are at a 45-degree angle from the threshold of Runway 09. Expect to have an altitude of 800 feet AGL while turning base.

Also, please communicate with the traffic advisory and tell them about your location.

Base leg.

While you are on base, you are very close to make a landing. There is no room for mistakes.

Quickly ask yourself:

  1. Are you too fast or too slow for the leg?;
  2. Are you too low or too high for the portion?;
  3. Are you too far from the runway or too close?;
  4. Are you aware of the traffic in the vicinity?

If anything seems odd to you, you must adjust to make your landing smooth.

If your aircraft is too fast for the leg, you might end up being short on the Final and high on the final.

So it would be best if you made corrections on the base leg.

Maintaining airspeed is crucial for smooth landings. Maintain 75 Knots on the base leg, and as you enter Final, reduce airspeed between 65 knots to 75 knots.

The Final leg of approach.

Now you are on the final leg of your approach. It is best to enter the final at an altitude of 500 feet AGL to make a smooth landing.

A balance between airspeed and descent rate of the aircraft plays a significant role for perfect landings.

  • Airspeed on final has to be between 65 Knots to 75 Knots;
  • Maintain a steady descent rate of 500 to 600 FPM;
  • Use flaps three if you think necessary;
  • Trim your aircraft to stabilize the controls.

Don’t chase the airspeed, instead use trim to maintain a steady airspeed.

At 65 t 75 knots, you can feel the aircraft is flying slow.

Look at the runway and observe the PAPI or VASI lights if the runway has any. To maintain the glideslope, you can follow the glideslope.

Maintaining the glideslope will allow you to land exactly on the runway.

Typically the glideslopes have an angle of three degrees from the runway.

However, when flying a Cessna 172, a smaller aircraft, you can break the glideslope earlier than an airliner.

The airliners are significant and need to follow a glideslope until they make a touchdown.

Once you follow the glideslope with a smaller aircraft, you will likely land farther on the runway.

That is not a bad thing, but if you are an expert, you can break the glideslope and visually land the aircraft.

Once you are over the threshold.

Typically, you are supposed to be at an altitude of 50 feet when you are over the threshold. That’s when you can level off the aircraft.

The reason for the aircraft level is to reduce the descent rate and allow the plane to sink.

Also, keep an eye on your airspeed. Don’t allow the airspeed to be less than 60 knots here.

Because if your airspeed is too low, you might stall at 50 feet. We don’t want to slow our airplane at 50 feet.

We want to flare our aircraft at 10 feet above the ground.


Flaring is the most confusing phase for student pilots or less experienced private pilots.

Pilots often can’t time their flare right. Many low hour pilots either flare the airplane too early or too late.

What happens when you pull the yoke too early?

If you pull the yoke too early, you will cause the airplane to drop quickly and might as well have a tail strike.

If you flare too late, you will end up having bounce landing due to high indicated airspeed.

So how to time your flare for a smooth landing?

It’s best to flare when you are ten feet above the ground.

It isn’t easy to notice when you are ten feet above the ground. So what you do, you have to realize that when you are above ten feet off the ground, you will see the runway quickly feels up the windshield of your aircraft.

The moment you notice the runway seems to be the fills your windshield, you must flare.

But don’t pull the yoke too much. It’s a common problem for inexperienced pilots that they often pull the yoke too far and lose visibility of the runway due to the airplane’s high pitch, and they abruptly touch the ground and bounce.

Remember this whenever you are flaring pull to the point that you lost visibility of the runway.

Always have the runway on sight and slowly allow the aircraft to sink.

That way, you will make an excellent touchdown. Flaring too far will lower the airspeed quickly.


I guess there is a lot to remember for aircraft landing procedure, and it might be hard to apply all these during the actual flight.

In real flight, you have less time to think act quickly, especially during landing.

You don’t have to remember what I said in this article word by word but use it as a guideline for your next landing.

Be assured if you use this as a guideline, your landings.

PPL checkride prep.

No Comments

Follow the techniques and study materials in this post to pass your PPL checkride with confidence.

Many student pilots struggle during their checkride. Knowing what and how to study for the oral and practical exam can pass the checkride with ease.

In this post, I shared the useful ppl checkride preps and methods to utilize the preps.

Let us begin with preps for the Private pilot checkride:

  1. PPL oral exam guide;
  2. ACS (Airmen Certification Standards);
  3. FAR/AIM;
  4. Pilots Operating Handbook for your aircraft type;
  5. Chcekride Ready (Optional).

As a bonus, I also included some tips for your practical exam day at the end of this article.

How do student pilots prepare for the checkride?

Preparing and passing a checkride is nothing complicated. I want to say this first if your Flight instructor believes you are ready to go for a checkride means you will pass the checkride.

Regardless, on rare occasions, student pilots fail the checkride, which only delays obtaining a private pilot license.

If you don’t follow or bring along with you in your check ride, your DPE might decide you are not ready to get your private pilot license.

The checkride is all about your decision-making and how organized you are to conduct safe flights.

Thus it is crucial before the day of your checkride to go to the hangar and collect some items.

Studying these items will allow you to be more confident in your checkride.

  • Collect engine, airframe, and propeller maintenance logs. Recognize what each information indicates about the airplane’s airworthiness;
  • Speak to your flight instructor and verify whether you have required logbook signoffs and endorsements or not;
  • Complete the integrated airman certification and rating application;
  • Prepare the flight plan for a cross country flight where your DPE often goes and including the alternatives;
  • Find out the METAR and forecast weather reports for your cross country flight the next day;

The last two points, you don’t need to go to the hangar to do it, but doing it with your Flight instructor will eliminate any chance of failing the checkride.

But at this stage, you are supposed to do forecast weather and plan cross country flight all by yourself correctly.

Now let’s discuss why do you need the materials I mentioned in this article.

PPL oral exam guide.

The Private Pilot oral exam guide is an excellent book to prepare for all the questions you may face during your oral test on checkride day.

The checkride has two parts:

  1. The oral exam in the ground;
  2. Practical exam to test flying skills.

For the oral exam part, you don’t know what type of questions your DPE may ask. But if you study the book, you will have a clear idea of the problems you will face during your oral exam.

Not just that, the oral exam guide will teach you the answers to those questions.

Thoroughly reading this book will prepare you for all the relevant questions your DPE may ask. The DPE won’t ask you anything that is not relevant to the private pilot licensing stage.

During your Oral exam, your DPE may ask you many questions to which you already know the answers. But it is only to verify how safe of a pilot you are.

YouDPE will ask you scenario-based questions, and what will you do in that situation. Reading the oral exam guide, you will exactly learn how to use your existing knowledge to come out from a difficult situation in flight.

The flight instructor will also ask everyday calculations acronyms, policies, and procedures to conduct safe flights.

Thus remember this oral exam’s purpose is to verify how safe and competent you are to have a private pilot license.

Airman Certification Standards (ACS)

Airman certification standards have everything a check pilot will possibly ask you to do on your practical exam on checkride.

You can get ACS PDF online and read through it.

Studying through this book will give you an idea of what maneuvers you should practice before the check ride and tasks you have to accomplish on the practical checkride.

The DPE will not expect you anything more than what is in the Airman certification standard for your PPL checkride.

As a student pilot, you learned most things based on the ACS.

Thus it is likely you have learned everything you need to know for your private pilot checkride.

Use ACS to verify if you have missed something or not. If you see something you are unfamiliar with, discuss it with your flight instructor and request him to explain that to you.

Knowing the materials in ACS will ready you for the practical exam on checkride.

If your DPE asks you anything out of the ordinary and is not in the ACS, don’t hesitate but try to complete that task if you can.

That would mean that your DPE is satisfied with your practical exam and trying to see if you know something more.

However, it is unlikely the DPE will want you to perform more in-flight than necessary at this PPL stage.

If you feel your DPE is asking you more than what you learned from your ACS, you can tell him that you did not see such maneuvers or tasks in the ACS.


Get yourself the latest copy of FAR/AIM. Keep it with you on your checkride day. You DPE would not prefer you to have an outdated FAR/AIM.

You can use this book to learn about the latest airport regulations and air traffic control procedures in your area.

On checkride day, the FAR/AIM can help you in many ways.

Before your exam day, go through the book and have an idea of informations on the book. Especially keep note of things your DPE would want to know on your check ride.

If your DPE asks you something that you can’t remember, you will have the chance to check through FAR/AIM and find the exact information.

If you point out the most relevant information on that book and by any chance you forget something about an airport procedure, go to the exact page of the book quickly and find the correct answer.

The check pilot won’t fail if you need to go through the FAR/AIm and find the correct answer instantly.

Checkride Ready.

The checkride ready is a popular online course available by Dauntless Aviation. Taking these courses is optional.

But if you want to go that extra mile to pass your checkride, then you can take this course.

Checkride ready is a course that emphasizes on necessary materials for the checkride.

Most materials in this course are familiar for any pilot who is ready to take their checkride.

Nevertheless, as a pilot, it is always good to learn more.

If you take the course, you will learn new ways to accomplish tasks that will wow your designated pilot examiner.

This course emphasizes on how to do things and tasks to satisfy DPE exactly. Sometimes you may do something right during your checkride, but your DPE is not fully satisfied with how you have performed the task. The checkride ready will train you exact techniques to satisfy your DPE’s expectations.

Likewise, you will see numerous questions and how to answer them in this course.

If you have the chance and money, so spend a little more to buy this course instead of failing your checkride.

Failing your checkride means you have to retake the check ride and spend some more money.

One last tip.

Lastly, I was hoping you could talk to your flight instructor about your DPE.

Each area or flight school has one DPE. So your flight instructor has a perfect idea of what kind of questions a DPE may ask. Your flight instructor is familiar with the airport a DPE prefers to fly to, the questions he asks, and the maneuvers he wants to examine during a checkride.

Typically, each DPE has their way of examining a checkride. They ask the student pilots to do the same tasks and, if not the same, similar tasks.

What does the check pilot prefer, electronic charts or paper charts?

There must be an emergency procedure that a particular DPE often wants student pilots to demonstrate.

Does the DPE wants to know about the aircraft logs?

Knowing about what you may get on your check ride is a pretty good idea of lowering your chances of failing the checkride.

If you know what you may face on your checkride day and prepare beforehand, that will boost your confidence.

Prepare well and go for your checkride with confidence.

Being confident will help you to perform better on your checkride.

If you have already studied adequately and prepare using the books I mentioned, there is nothing to fear.

How difficult is the private pilot checkride?

No Comments

The private pilot checkride is nothing more than a regular cross country flight.

A good student pilot knows everything and can easily pass the private pilot checkride.

The private pilot checkride is difficult for those with poor aeronautical knowledge.

I assume you are a student pilot and passed your ppl knowledge test by now. Thus you are concerned about the difficulties in checkride.

Follow this article, and you will know why there are no reasons for you to fear ppl oral exams.

I shared some techniques to ease your mind and avoid complications in a private pilot checkride.

  • If you passed the knowledge test, you could pass the checkride;
  • Your instructor endorsed you for a checkride means you instructors believes you are ready for the checkride;
  • You finished a mock checkride;
  • Read the ACS thoroughly;
  • How long does a private pilot checkride take? (BONUS).

If you passed the FAA PPL knowledge test, you could pass the checkride.

Probably you are about to take your PPL checkride next week. If you have come this far, it means you have already passed your FAA private pilot knowledge test.

Without passing FAA knowledge, you will not have an endorsement for your checkride.

Passing the knowledge test already proves you are ready for the private pilot oral exam.

The check pilot will not ask anything out of the ordinary for your stage of pilot license. The check pilot will only ask questions that are relevant for the private pilot licensing phase.

If you studied adequately and aced your private pilot knowledge test, you can answer all the questions during the oral exam straightforwardly.

So, stop worrying about what the check pilot may ask and if you cannot answer.

Just be confident that you know enough flying theory, and you can answer any relevant questions to become a safer private pilot.

It is also prevalent for Designated pilot examiners to not ask too many questions if a student pilot scored high marks on their private pilot knowledge test.

If you scored over 90% marks, then the chek-pilot will automatically trust your knowledge of operating an airplane.

RELATED: A guide to achieve

That does not mean he will not ask you questions. It may not be the same for you, and he might ask you many to verify your understanding.

Your flight instructor endorsed you for a checkride because he trusts your ability.

Without the endorsement from your flight instructor, you cannot take a ppl checkride.

Your flight instructor will endorse you for a checkride if he firmly believes that you can pass the checkride.

Yet some student pilots fail their ppl checkride. But that is a rare case.

Typically flight instructors will not endorse you if they think you are not ready for a checkride. One reason for that is if a student pilot fails the private pilot checkride, it will directly reflect on a flight instructor’s ability.

A student pilot’s failure means the flight instructor failed to teach the student pilot properly. Similarly, the flight instructor doesn’t understand the student pilot’s ability to safe flight operations.

So trust your flight instructor when he endorses. Use the endorsement as a confidence booster for yourself.

Have a mock checkride with your flight instructor.

Did you take a mock checkride? If no, then you should take a mock checkride.

Ask your flight instructor and schedule a mock checkride. Taking a mock checkride will help you understand the differences of training flights then from a checkride.

The Designated Pilot Examiner at your location will ask similar questions during the oral exam.

The flight instructor in your location understands what kind of questions and what tasks the DPE will during the actual checkride.

So you can request your CFI to ask questions similar to the DPE in your area. That’s how you can get a heads up on your actual checkride with a check pilot.

After you take the checkride and your flight instructor is satisfied with your flight performance, you can believe that your check ride will be simple for you.

However, if you have already passed your mock checkride, you must not worry about the oral exam. You already know what is essential to pass your checkride and get your private pilot license.

Read the Airman Certification Standards thoroughly.

If you are still not satisfied or are confused, you may fail the exam, and I suggest you one last thing. Study the Airman Certification Standards (ACS).

You can find this online for free on the FAA website. Read that book thoroughly, and you will know what a private pilot needs to know for operating an aircraft safely.

The DPE will likely ask you questions that are relevant from the ACS. Any question outside the ACS is not necessary to get a private pilot license.

So read the ACS, and you will have an idea of the private pilot oral exam.

How long does a private pilot checkride take?

Many student pilots fear the length of their checkride before the examination date.

Let’s put it like this:

The private pilot checkride consists of an oral exam and a theory exam. The oral exam takes around 1.5 hours, and the practical exam takes about another 1.5 hours. In total, the exam will be for 3 hours.

So what is the oral exam?

The oral exam is the ground part of your checkride. During this time, the DPE will ask several questions regarding aeronautical theory knowledge. Similarly, the DPE may want to know about flight operations. If you have passed your FAA knowledge test, this part of your exam will not be difficult.

Then comes the actual part of the practical flying exam. It will be a short, cross country flight.

You will need to prepare a flight plan within 1.5 hours. This part of the private pilot checkride will not be difficult at all. Just fly safely to your destination and return to base.

During the checkride, your Designated pilot examiner may ask a few questions relevant to flight or the airspace. Still, if you have studied as I suggested, you will pass your private pilot checkride with confidence.

Private pilot checkride requirements.

No Comments

Fulfill all the requirements before you schedule your private pilot check-ride.

The last thing you want is to fail your private pilot practical test because you were not ready.

You must be aware of multiple private pilot check-ride requirements before scheduling a flight with DPE.

Figure out if you are eligible for a check-ride or not.

Don’t let this happen that you are in the airport for your check-ride to find out that you lack a few hours of solo cross-country flight requirements.

The scenario is uncommon, but it doesn’t mean it will not happen to you.

Check each of the following questions with a “Yes” answer means you meet the private pilot check-ride requirements.

  • Do you have adequate flying hours?;
  • Are you done with the FAA knowledge test?;
  • Have you mastered the essential flying skills and the complicated ones?;
  • Does your flight instructor think you are ready for a check-ride? Do you have an endorsement from your flight instructor?;
  • Go on a cross-country flight using VFR charts and a bit of radio navigation;
  • Did you have a mock check-ride with your CFI?;
  • Can you answer any question the DPE asks you during your practical exam? Learn to ask why something happens and what is the correct answer with an explanation to the why.

These bullet points are by no means a must for all student pilots. Instead, use these points as a checklist to determine whether you are ready to pass your private pilot checkride or not.

You can use the above list to identify your flaws in PPL flight training and boost your oral exam confidence.

Let’s discuss elaborately further in this article. I broke down the checklist in two sections.

SECTION 1: Standard check-ride requirements you must satisfy to schedule a flight with DPE.

SECTION 2: Checkride requirements to ensure you don’t fail your oral exam.

Standard private pilot checkride requirements.

The basic requirements for a private pilot license are to be at least 17 years old and speak, write, and read English fluently.

It is essential to have a third-class medical certificate and student pilot license.

Apart from these basic requirements, individuals must meet the flight hour requirements.

Do you have adequate flying hours?

The FAA requires a student pilot to log at least 40 hours of flying time before applying for a private pilot license. However, the national average in the United States is between 60 to 65 hours for a stu3dent pilot to obtain a private pilot license.

I believe not just in the USA, likely anywhere in the world, a student pilot needs somewhere between 50 hours to 70 hours to apply for a private pilot license.

Initially, student pilots don’t recognize the cross country flight requirements or solo requirements.

The forty hours requirement won’t make you eligible.

Understand these:

  • A student pilot must have 20 hours of dual flight or receive instruction from a CFI;
  • These 20 hours include:
  • 3 hours cross country flight;
  • Three hours of night flight that include one cross country flight of 100 nautical miles total distance. Also, ten takeoffs and ten landings with full stop at an airport;
  • 3 hours of flight training using instruments;
  • Have three hours of dual flight within 60 days of the private pilot checkride.
  • Fly ten hours solo that includes 5 hours of solo cross-country flight.
  • A cross country flight that is over 150 nautical miles and landing at three different airports. Each airport must have a distance of at least 50 nautical miles.
  • Perform three solo takeoffs and landings at an airport with an operating control tower.

By looking at the requirements, you can realize why the national average hours for student pilots is high.

It takes a while for the student pilots to combine and satisfy all the requirements, and not fulfilling the requirements means you are not eligible to apply for a private pilot license.

Therefore, before contacting a DPE for a practical exam, ensure you meet each requirement.

Are you done with the FAA knowledge test?

You can’t take the PPL checkride without passing the FAA private pilot knowledge test.

PPL knowledge test or written exam should be the first step for any student pilot. I recommend before you start your flight training, it is best to complete an online ground school and take the ppl written test.

With the written test out of the way, complete your flight training. That way, you will also have aeronautical knowledge to ease your flight training.

Have you mastered the essential flying skills and the complicated ones?

To become a pilot, you need to master essential flying skills.

But to become a better pilot, you also must learn complicated flying skills.

Usually, your flight instructor will teach you all the essential flying skills during the pre-solo stage. Regardless knowing the complicated flying maneuvers can aid in your flight in numerous ways.

Ask your flight instructors to teach you more challenging flight skills.

Do you have an endorsement from your flight instructor?

At this stage, ask your flight instructor if you are ready to schedule a practical exam date or not.

You have passed the knowledge test and have adequate hours, but why do you need your CFI’s approval?

It’s your flight instructor who ensures safety and can verify whether you are ready to pass the oral test or not.

Once your performance is satisfactory for your flight instructor, he will endorse you for taking the practical exam.

Without an endorsement, you can’t take the oral exam.

So it is also essential to prove your flight performance to the CFI so that he completely trusts you with safe aircraft operations. Show satisfactory flight performance, and you will get your endorsement for the private pilot checkride.

SECTION 2: Checkride requirements to ensure you don’t fail your oral exam.

Now that you have your flight instructor’s endorsement to take the private pilot checkride, you must ask yourself are confident enough to pass the exam.

Many student pilots lack confidence on the check-ride day. It is common for most pilots.

Although they are experts in flying a single-engine prop, they doubt themselves and think they might fail the exam.

But going through the following checklist to ensure you know everything to pass the private pilot chek-ride.

Typically you will do all these during your private pilot flight training. However, sharpening your skills before the exam will indeed increase your confidence.

Go on a cross-country flight using VFR charts and a bit of radio navigation.

To improve the chances of passing your private pilot checkride, be ready to use ready navigation.

You don’t know what question your DPE may ask. Thus knowing how to use radio navigation, especially VOR, to navigate a flight will certainly help.

Although going to VFR cross country flights using VFR sectional charts is the norm, knowing navigating using VOR will help.

Likewise, many pilots know how to use a VFR chart but don’t know what each sign and symbol means on a VFR chart.

So ensure you learn a bit about the sectional charts so that you can answer a question in case your DPE asks you any question about the symbol and signs on your sectional map.

Have a mock checkride with your CFI.

Many student pilots don’t understand the importance of a mock checkride.

But it helps massively to gain confidence for your actual oral exam.

Talk to your flight instructor and go on a mock checkride.

Most flight instructors have an idea about the DPE in your area. Flight instructors can demonstrate what kind of questions a particular DPE prefers to ask during oral exam maneuvers the DPE wants to see.

Next, you can have a flight where you will simulate an oral exam.

This simulated oral exam will give you an idea of what to expect during a private pilot checkride. After a mock check-ride, you will know how to answer your DPE while flying the airplane and pass the oral exam to obtain a private pilot license.

Be ready for any question that your DPE may ask.

Lastly, I believe the most critical requirement for a private pilot checkride is to prepare for any question the DPE may ask.

Your DPE will not ask any questions out of the ordinary. Everything he will want to know is relevant to a private pilot license.

So don’t fear and read thoroughly any good book for the private pilot license.

After you read a book, often question yourself in flight, why something happens, and the correct answer to that question. That way, you will remember what you read in a textbook.

You DPE will not ask you any advance question during your private pilot checkride. So if you know what you need to know for the private pilot stage, you will undoubtedly pass. 

If you fail to answer any advance question your DPE asks, don’t think you failed the exam. Think it like this: the DPE is satisfied with your performance and wants to know how much more you know.

Are you eligible for a private pilot checkride?