I’ve Been Ground Schooled(-ish)

Every potential private pilot has to go through Ground School and so did I. I signed up, payed my fee and was given a bag filled with books and gadgets. What this stuff was I had no idea. I had no time to think about it since I signed us up for ground school on the Friday before class started. 4 hours a week for 8 weeks was punishment for what I did not know.

I prepped for classes by dutifully reading the assigned chapters and the completing the study questions. Chris made fun of my effort but I wanted to learn. Unfortunately, I had no basis for many of the concepts so would torture Chris with my questions on the drive to school before every class.

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I’ve been to more than my fair share of schooling and have been an instructor on and off throughout my career. So I find it absolutely tragic when a qualified instructor is not allowed to actually teach. Not that he can’t, but rather isn’t allowed to under the FAA Part 141 School Regulations. To keep lesson plan deviations to a minimum I get to watch 1990s era Jeppessen videos and the instructor is reduced to proctor status. So sad.

We spent a ton of time on theoretical fight which I got right away. Yoke forward=nose down. Yoke back=nose up. Got it. And if I didn’t learn that I would learn it as soon as I got in an actual airplane. I did not learn how to use a E-6B. A 25 min video was supposed to teach me how to use the darn thing for navigation. There was a few pages in the course book about how to use it but those were very similar to the accompanying E-6B instruction book. Now I can read and have a Master’s degree but I did not understand that instruction book. The author, apparently was the same guy that wrote Inception.

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As a good weapons officer, I tried to find the objective of ground school. I didn’t find a clear cut one. I did become more familiar with general flight information. I looked at a chart, read a METAR and learned about virga.  The course testing was similar to ‘everyone get’s a medal’ sports teams. So guess what? Everyone graduated.

The lack of class rigor failed to prepare me to take the FAA written exam as soon as class was over. I would write more on this post but I should get back to studying so I can take the real exam before the earth’s magnetic poles reverse and the instructions on my whiz wheel are wrong.

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5 responses to “I’ve Been Ground Schooled(-ish)

  1. Don’t worry about the E-6B. I don’t think Chris knows how to use one and look how far he’s made it in aviation!

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