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In your post "Learning to Fly" you recommended the King Schools' test prep material. I
was curious if you still think it's worthwhile, or if you'd recommend another method for
learning the practical material. I've found that between my slave job during the week,
with extensive work travel of late, I'm not doing my home study and relying solely on my
instructor. That's proven to be fine so far (btw 15-20 hours of dual), as he's a great
teacher and he gives me ground instruction prior to each lesson in the aircraft.
But I'm at the point where I feel like it's time for me to learn the book material. The
problem is that when I read the Airplane Flying Handbook or the FAR/AIM, I have a hard
time keeping my focus. I've seen some of the King video clips on YouTube, and they seem
My instructor told me not to waste my money, and as I've said before in a previous post,
he's a very knowledgeable guy and a great instructor. So I guess I'm looking for a second
opinion. I'd also like to hear from others out there who've used the King Schools' material.
I guess the big question is this: if one can afford it, is having the PC-based version from
King going to help facilitate learning the material quicker and help me to retain it better
than forcing myself to read through everything? Or will I miss things if I rely too much on
-- Justin Toner, April 25, 2010
The Private exam doesn't have too many tricky/obscure questions and therefore the King Schools video is of less value than on the instrument, commercial, or ATP exams (for example). The Kings have some good graphics that might be helpful for retaining the concepts. You will definitely pass your written test if you watch the King videos. And they're a reasonable value compared to everything else in aviation. But your instructor is also right. You want to understand the concepts at a deeper level and the only way to do that is to read the textbooks (I recommend the Jeppesen text despite the crushing expense).
-- Philip Greenspun, April 25, 2010
I used the King material for both my private and instrument ratings and found the material to be excellent. Yes, the jokes are dumb, and being taught a few lessons by Rick Rockwell (the guy from Who Wants to Marry a Millionaire) is a little weird, but they really give a solid foundation and put you at ease as you proceed through learning to fly.
For both ratings, you can answer every question for the written if you work through the King book and videos together with Gleim. If you don't understand why an answer is correct, just look up the reference Gleim gives you.
For instrument, I also used the Jeppesen text book (about $100), which really helped provide more in-depth understanding, although it is not necessary just for the written.
I used the FAA books more for reference by reading specific sections rather than reading them cover to cover. All are available for free as PDFs on the FAA web site. Two I found particularly useful are Aviation Weather and Aviation Weather Services.
I think it is easier to make it through Jeppesen if you already have a basic (and really pretty good) understanding of the material from the Kings.
-- Todd Ramming, April 29, 2010