ground school faqs
What is a ground school?
Ground schools help people acquire the knowledge they need to become safe and competent pilots, while also preparing them to take the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Knowledge Test required for a Private Pilot certificate. Ground school provides a structured learning environment as well as personal interaction with qualified instructors, and therefore is preferable to home-study courses for many people.
What does it take to become a Private Pilot?
To become a Private Pilot, one must be:
- at least 17 years old
- be able to read, write and speak the English language
- obtain a Third Class FAA Medical Certificate
- log at least 40 hours of flight time that satisfies FAA requirements, including a prescribed amount of dual flight (with an instructor) and solo flight (student is sole occupant of aircraft)
- pass the FAA Private Pilot Knowledge Test, and
- pass the FAA Practical Test (an oral exam and checkride in an airplane).
Is the Museum's course certified by the FAA?
The Museum's course is not part of an FAA flight school nor is it certified by the FAA. It does, however, provide all the information and documentation necessary to take the FAA Private Pilot Knowledge Test. The FAA Certified Advanced Ground Instructors on our staff can log instruction given to students and, upon completion of the course, certify them as being eligible to take the test.
Will I be able to fly upon completion of the course?
You may arrange for your own flight instruction at any time, even before the ground school begins. It is advisable to fly during the course, at least a few times, so you can begin to apply the knowledge from ground school.
What equipment or books do I need?
No additional equipment is required to participate in ground school at the Museum; we have materials for use in the classroom. If you are preparing to take the FAA Private Pilot Knowledge Test, however, we highly recommend that you purchase the course study guide as well as your own plotter, manual flight computer, San Diego Class B chart and Federal Aviation Regulations.
Why ground school at the Air & Space Museum?
Presented by our nationally-recognized Education Department, our course goes beyond the curriculum of a traditional ground school. The extensive resources of the Museum add a unique dimension to this learning experience with guest lecturers and interactive applications of classroom material. Our staff includes FAA Certified Advanced Ground Instructors, educators with undergraduate and graduate degrees in Education, and credentialed teachers – all of whom provide a well-rounded and comprehensive approach to learning the essentials of flight.