Best Private Pilot Course Materials?

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Does anyone have opinions on the best Private Pilot course
materials: King/Gleim/Jepp/Sporty's/Cessna? My CFI says I can use
any of these ... thoughts?

-- Joel Wacknov, July 12, 2009


For fixed wing, the Gleim question/answer book is fine (use ASA for any helicopter knowledge test; Gleim does not include the helo questions). For Private there really aren't any tricky questions on the knowledge test. If you have knowledge, you will score in the 90s. The examiner won't look at your test results for more than a few seconds, so the difference between a 100 and an 85 is not significant. My advice would be to invest the time reading two or three different textbooks rather than watching videos that teach to the test. Go through the Gleim book. If you stumble upon a confusing question, go back to one of the textbooks to study the subject again.

Remember that the FAA books, including the excellent Pilot's Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge, are free online and the questions are basically targeted at people who've read those books.

-- Philip Greenspun, July 19, 2009

Joel: To your followup question below, I think the Jepp textbook is a good supplement to the FAA stuff because they invested a lot in good illustrations. Jepp also has a good textbook called "Aviation Weather" that is expensive but extensively illustrated. You'd be a lot better off spending two days reading this textbook than watching some videos that will boost your score from 90 to 99.

Don't forget to re-read the AIM every 6-12 months. Most of what you need to know is in there!

-- Philip Greenspun, July 20, 2009

Thanks, Phil.

Which of the study guides do you feel are the best (in addition to the FAA books)? Not just to pass the test, but with the best content, explanations, and advice?

Also, what syllabus do you think is the best to follow for flight training?

Thanks again!

-- Joel Wacknov, July 19, 2009

I found the King School DVD's convienent, but they really only teach to the questions. Don't know about the others. One place I would spend a few bucks is ground school test software. They just do practice tests, track what you did wrong, allow you to flag questions to create you own 'greatest hits' to review. Overall I thought good value...

-- fabio savoldelli, July 20, 2009

With respect to the best ppl material, you can't get much better than Rod Machodo's Private Pilot handbook and workbook.He is the master of aviation. Sam Riolo

-- sam riolo, February 13, 2010

My CFI had me use FAA materials for reading, and the Ground School Workbook for homework assignments. I'd read a chapter in the FAA Pilot's Handbook of Aeronatuical Knowledge and then do the matching questions and exercises in the workbook. Actually, pretty good system as the process kept me awake and I felt like I knew the things I had to know. Full name is Ground School Workbook for Private Pilots put out by Dyer Flight Training.

-- Randy Kennings, April 29, 2010