16.687: Private Pilot Ground School
Next class: January 2018 (free and open to the public)
Site Home : Teaching : One Course
Schedule and room:
Credit for registered MIT students: 3 units, pass/fail
- Tuesday, January 16, 2018: 9a-5p, MIT Room 5-134
- Wednesday, January 17, 2018: 9a-5p, MIT Room 5-134
- Thursday, January 18, 2018: 9a-5p, MIT Room 5-134
Sign up: via this Google Form.
Read in advance:
Please do read all of the above chapters in an evening or two. Write
down your questions. Don't worry if you are confused. We are going to
cover this material during the class as well.
Would you like to fly a plane, helicopter, or commercial drone? Or
understand the engineering behind today's human-occupied aircraft and
air traffic control system? Come spend 3 days with us and learn
everything that an FAA-certificated Private pilot or Remote Pilot
needs to know for the official knowledge test.
The course includes qualitative aerodynamics, airplane and helicopter
systems, practical meteorology, navigation and cross-country flight
planning, and human factors. We present the FAA-required theory, pose
some thought-experiments, and offer practical advice based on
instructors' real-world experience.
Course staff: Philip Greenspun, an FAA Airline Transport Pilot and
Flight Instructor for both airplanes and helicopters, MIT alum (Course
18 S.B.; Course 6 Ph.D); Tina Prabha Srivastava, pilot and MIT alum
(Course 16 S.B.; System Design and Management S.M.; Engineering
Systems Design Ph.D, supervised in Course 16, ESD, Sloan); and Matt
Guthmiller, a Course 6 undergraduate who flew a 6-seat Bonanza around
the world at age 19.
Prerequisites: About two evenings of reading (see above). Download
ForeFlight (iOS only) or Garmin Pilot (Android or iOS) and set
yourself up with a 30-day free trial. Bring your tablet or phone to
class and also a laptop, if convenient. In-class exercises will be
done in pairs, so you don't need to have your own devices.
After the Course
Take the FAA knowledge test at a local flight school,
e.g., East Coast Aero
Club. Start flying at one of our local airports. Hanscom Field in
Bedford, Massachusetts (KBED) is the closest. Lawrence (KLWM) is also
popular with MIT students. Beverly (KBVY) and Norwood (KOWD) are also
nearby. All of these airports have flight schools, with Bedford being
the most popular. You'll need about 50 hours in an airplane or
helicopter to get your pilot certificate, so you should be able to
finish during the summer.