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.


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.


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.


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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