This site is your online version of the private pilot ground school. It is dedicated to making resources available to you if you are interested in the subject of flying light aircraft as a private pilot.
Read on if you are preparing for the private pilot exam and are looking for the private pilot knowledge test answers, or if you simply want to review a topic from the time of your flight school training and can’t find the books right now.
Or indeed read on if you are simply interested in the subject of flying for any reason, such as because your best friend just joined flight school and you need some background preparation to keep asking the right questions.
I’ve been interested in aviation from when I was a little boy. I started with collecting pictures of aircraft, then I built model airplanes and dreamt of becoming a pilot one day. When I went to college I joined the gliding club to finally take off to the skies. And when I got a job, I started training for my PPL (Private Pilot License) for light powered aircraft. After all these years, I still think that flying is the best hobby in the world.
Now there are a lot of things to say about learning to fly: First thing is of course – it is a lot of fun. If you just started: go on. It is definitely worth it. Second thing is – there is a lot to learn and to remember. Boy and I mean a lot. I remember the day when I got my self study course through the post. It was so much material, that I thought I’ll never finish even reading it. Never mind remembering it all. In the end I can say, I actually enjoyed reading those books – some more than others, obviously – but its still a lot of stuff to go through. The trick is to find some kind of systematic approach and concentrate on the important material. Well, I hope this site will provide you with just that.
I figure the internet is a great resource. Thousands of like-minded people who are willing to share their knowledge with you. And why should this information not be free? The principles of flight and aerodynamics have been known for over 100 years. Everyone talks about the weather. Regulations on aviation are not meant to be secret. So why shouldn’t everyone who is interested in the subject of flying light powered aircraft be able to get to some decent information easily on the internet? Go on check it out. There are some really great sites out there. Chances are though, that a lot of them will swap their knowledge with you for a pile of cash or are trying to sell you something.
Not with this site though: This is the Online Private Pilot Ground School. Everything you find on this site about the private pilot license requirements is completely free and without charge. It covers all the topics from the curriculum of the PPL-A ground school and also goes into the subjects of the practical aspects of flight school (although you will still need to do the flying yourself – I am sure you settle for that).
You need to know about:
1) the aircraft – what systems are part of it and how do they function
2) rules of flying, sometimes referred to as airmanship
3) aeronautical meteorology or weather
4) areonautical navigation
5) the aviation regulations
So, these five areas form basically the outline of this site. From this page you can get directly to the five main areas of aviation knowledge. On each of these pages you will find a short overview of the area and links into more detailed discussion of the topics that are part of the areas. At the end of the knowledge area pages you will find a link to the appropriate question banks.
We have teamed up with universal-challenge.com – a quiz site dedicated to educational quizzes, to check your knowledge at regular intervals. They have designed quizzes that are matched to the information offered on the different pages of this site and they feature a database of the SACAA exam questions from the Airman Knowledge Test Bank for Private & Recreational Pilots.
So if you are training for the requirements of the private pilot written exam, go ahead and check if you are up to it. (These are the official question banks used for the SACAA knowledge tests in the South Africa. If you are a learner outside the SADC, the questions might differ or there might even be no official question banks. However, if you can answer these questions, there is an excellent chance that you will be fit to pass the exam questions that are presented to you in your country. You might need to additionally review the specific aviation regulation in your country before the test.)
Well, I hope time will fly in the Online Private Pilot Ground School.
All the best.
William – your Online Private Pilot Ground School buddy
AIRCRAFT TECHNICAL GENERAL MODULE
What does a pilot need to know about the airplane? In a nutshell, a pilot should have a good idea what makes his airplane get up in the air and keep flying – basically, the airplane systems and aerodynamics. These two basic knowledge areas split into a number of specialist sections. See the end of this page for a list of links that will go into specific details for each of these sections. An aircraft consists of a number of systems, namely the aircraft structural system including control surfaces and undercarriage, avionics and instruments, the aircraft powerplant including the engine, propeller, ignition and the fuel system, and the aircraft electrical systems and vacuum systems. The flight principles area covers the fundamentals of areodynamics, i.e. basic physics of objects moving through air, airplane aerodynamic, i.e. the way airplanes in particular move through air, as well as a number of effects that are encountered when flying, such as ground effect, aerodynamics of a turn etc.
What does a private pilot need to know about aviation weather? Aviation weather is an important knowledge area for any pilot. The general principles of weather formation as well as the effects that certain weather features have on flight, in particular weather hazards to aviation - such as thunderstorms, ice or differing degrees of visibility, are part of this area. In addition, skills in reading weather charts or satelite images, as well as an introduction to the most important aviation weather forecast services form part of the pilot training. This area splits into a number of specialist sections. See the end of the page for a list of these. The knowledge areas covered on this page correspond with the area that is subject of the FAA Aeronautical Weather Question bank. If you want to check the knowledge you already possess in this area click on the link a few lines further down. Clicking on the link will open a new window, so that you can return to this page for further study. Hopefully you will be able tp improve your score after studying these pages. Please note, that the question answer page opening when you click on the link is timed and you might find it easier to try to do this first test in one go, come back to improve your knowledge and then try the test again. There are also a number of smaller tests at the end of each section that you can take and that will help you to retain the knowledge.
FLIGHT PLANNING MODULE
For flights not in the vicinity of an airport, this must include information on available current weather reports and forecasts, fuel requirements, alternatives available if the planned flight cannot be completed, and any known traffic delays of which the pilot in command has been advised by air traffic control (ATC).
HUMAN PERFOMANCE & LIMITATIONS
As a pilot, it is important to stay aware of the mental and physical standards required for the type of flying done. This page provides information on medical certification and on aeromedical factors related to flying activities.
"Radiotelephony" means transmission of sound (audio) by radio, in contrast to radiotelegraphy (transmission of telegraph signals) or video transmission.
Pilot Operating Handbook