After your discovery flight, the next step on your journey to receiving your private pilot certification is ground school. Helicopter ground school will not only prepare you to pass the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) knowledge and oral exams, but will also provide foundational understanding that will shape your ability as a pilot for years to come.
Traditionally, ground school is taught in person at a flight school as a stand-alone program or offered concurrently with flight training. Soon-to-be pilots today, however, have another option: online ground school, which offers the flexibility to study at your own pace and often comes at a lower price tag than in-person courses. If you’re ready to start your helicopter ground school training, here are a few factors to consider when choosing whether in-person or online ground school is better for you.
In-Person Ground School
Assessing the benefits of in-person ground school training
For those opting to complete ground school in-person, courses are typically administered concurrently with flight training. Together, the two programs can take as long as several months to complete. At the end of the program, a certificate of ground training completion will be issued by an instructor.
What are the drawbacks of an in-person ground school course?
Cost is the biggest barrier to completing ground school courses in person. Most flight schools offer one-on-one sessions and charge $50-75 per hour with a minimum of 40 hours required. Over time, cost for in-person ground school can add up to $2,000-$3,000 or more, depending on the student and his or her needs.
In addition to the steep price tag, in-person courses offer less flexibility than online helicopter ground school options. Flight schools typically offer a set schedule that students must adhere to in order to complete the program. Helicopter online ground school, however, allows students to complete courses at their own pace and at times that best suit their schedule.
A common criticism of in-person ground school is that instructors often prepare students for the tests, but graduates don’t always retain the knowledge they’ve learned after passing the exams. Students also take a gamble as to whether or not they will be in a class with a good instructor. A positive in-person ground school experience involves an instructor who can help students not only understand the material but be able to draw on that information long after they’ve passed their exams.
Online Ground School
Unique advantages to helicopter online ground school courses
Online ground school courses afford students the flexibility to set their own schedules and study at times that are convenient in their busy lives. Online ground schools also grant students access to course materials from anywhere in the world from their smartphones, tablets, and computers. Students can achieve the required level of understanding from the comfort of their home or office.
Helicopter ground school courses — both in-person and online — provide students with all the necessary information to pass their FAA knowledge and oral exams. However, online courses provide the required resources and materials at a much lower price tag. Students who choose to pursue their ground school courses online can expect to pay between $40-60/month, or $400-600 for a yearly subscription.
Monthly or yearly subscription options also allow students to revisit the lessons even after passing the test, encouraging better understanding and retention of information. This added benefit of online helicopter ground school provides limitless opportunities for continued education. Pilots can complete refresher courses or browse course materials to find answers to questions that arise after their training has finished.
Independent Helicopters’ Online Ground School Covers Everything You Need
Get started with the best online ground school course for helicopter pilots
Independent Helicopters’ online ground school courses were created by Founder Heather Howley, the only female helicopter Designated Pilot Examiner (DPE) in the Northeast region. The premier online training course can be accomplished in three stages, each of which guide students through the necessary aeronautical knowledge for the Private Pilot Rotorcraft Helicopter knowledge and oral exams. Independent Helicopters’ course materials have been reviewed by the FAA and fully prepare students to take the test — developed by the one who knows it best!
Materials include up-to-date 3D images and animations to reflect the modern experience of flying a helicopter. Through its Learning Management System (LMS), Independent Helicopters is able to offer a number of tailored services to support students throughout their training and beyond through continuing education. All students receive access to support from Heather and the team of highly qualified CFII flight instructors at Independent Helicopters.
Online ground school is an integral part of Independent Helicopters’ start-to-finish flight school program. From the first discovery flight, to online ground school and exams, flight training, and check rides, take every step towards your helicopter private pilot license with Independent Helicopters. The complete Private Pilot Training Course is available now in monthly or yearly subscription for pilots training with either the R22 or R44 helicopter.
Online ground school courses offer the same knowledge of an in-person program, but the lower cost, flexibility, and convenience, deliver a better value for your investment overall. Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Instagram to stay up-to-date on our schedule of events, learn more about helicopter flight training, or schedule your own private adventure.