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Is Ground School Required For Private Pilots?

helicopter pilot completes requirements for private pilot license

Ready to become a pilot? Whether you’re looking to have fun on the weekends, or starting your journey to a new career in aviation, getting your private pilot license is the first step. One of the first questions we hear from new flight school students is, “What are the requirements?”

In short, there are two main categories of requirements for private pilots: ground school and flight training. While flight training (as the name implies) involves air time with an instructor, ground school can be completed in person or online. While it isn’t always technically required for private pilots, ground school provides the foundational aeronautical understanding you’ll need to pass the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) knowledge and oral exams, which are required in order to obtain your private pilot license.

If It’s Not Required, Why Pursue Ground School?

In order to take the FAA exams, you need an endorsement from a certified flight instructor.

It may seem confusing since ground school is not technically required to obtain a pilot’s license, but it’s often the best way to demonstrate your knowledge of flying and receive an endorsement from a certified flight instructor. Helicopter ground school courses offer the resources and training to best prepare you for the FAA knowledge and oral exams. Also, a key thing to know is that flight schools that operate under Part 141 of the Federal Aviation Regulations (FAR) do require ground school training.

Choose From Online Or In-Person Ground School Courses

Both have advantages and drawbacks to consider before making the financial investment.

Like flight training, ground school is an investment, and you should carefully weigh the pros and cons to each option available to you. While there are benefits to both online and in-person courses, a key factor in choosing the best ground school option for you often comes down to the price. An online ground school course can save you money while still providing the same (or better!) high-quality training of an in-person course. 

Another perk of online ground school courses is the flexibility they offer, allowing you to study at your own pace at times that work best with your schedule. Monthly or yearly subscriptions may also be available, depending on the school you select, which allows you to revisit the course materials even after passing the FAA exams. 

Why Choose an FAA-Reviewed Ground School?

Courses that have been reviewed by the FAA have a structured curriculum and timetable.

Flight schools that operate under Part 141 (where ground school is required) must meet certain requirements and submit curriculum to be reviewed by the FAA. These schools provide students with a more defined curriculum and timeframe in which they should be completed. Often, Part 141 flight schools are the most cost effective for full-time students. 

Independent Helicopters’ online ground school course materials have been reviewed by the FAA and fully prepare students to pass FAA’s exams and start their career as a helicopter pilot with a strong foundation. Our online ground school course for private pilots covers all the knowledge you’ll need to know in three stages: Helicopter Fundamentals, Weather and Flight Planning, and Regulations.

private helicopter pilot after passing the checkride
Before taking your FAA Practical Flight Test, FAA Part 161 flight schools require private pilots to complete a ground school course and pass their FAA knowledge and oral exams.

Take the first step towards pursuing your pilot license with Independent Helicopter’s FAA-reviewed online ground school courses. 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.

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