With countless ground school options available online, it’s challenging to figure out which one is the best fit for your needs.
Choosing the wrong ground school can lead to inadequate preparation, wasted time, and potential exam failures, so making the right choice is critical.
We’re here to help.
We’ve researched, compared, and compiled the top online ground schools to ensure you get the quality training you deserve.
We do not make a commission on any purchase you make.
We are not directly affiliated with any brand mentioned, and we signed up for these services anonymously.
The “best” option in this list will largely depend on your own personal learning style. We encourage you to watch sample videos from each company to see which one you prefer.
When you step into the virtual classroom with Sporty’s, you sign up for a time-tested and reliable learning experience.
Sporty’s is a trusted name in aviation training, and their online ground school continues to uphold their reputation for excellence.
Sporty’s offers an interactive course structure that balances theory with real-world flying situations, making the learning practical and engaging.
Their courses, complete with 4K videos, 3D animations, and quizzes, allow you to grasp complex concepts quickly.
Additionally, Sporty’s boasts dedicated apps for Mac, Apple TV, Roku, Android TV, Amazon Fire TV, CarPlay, iPhone, and Android.
Sporty’s has a strong track record, with an excellent pass rate for the FAA knowledge test. Their pricing model includes lifetime access to the course, including all updates.
Plus, you can count on a full refund if you fail any of the three FAA tests after completing their course, underscoring their confidence in their curriculum.
You can try a sample of the course here.
Pilot Institute is a popular name in online aviation training.
Pilot Institute’s courses are video-based in a presentation format with slides and animations. If you’ve received traditional ground school before, Pilot Institute’s course will feel familiar.
Their community interaction and support is top-notch, and their production quality is great.
In addition to interactive quizzes, you’ll also receive a flashcard app and illustrated study guide with your purchase of the Private Pilot Made Easy course.
Pilot Institute offers many free courses and previews that we recommend you watch to get a sense of their style.
Additionally, they guarantee a full refund if you’re not happy – and they’ll send your money back if you fail the knowledge test on your first try.
This offer, coupled with the 4.9 stars from over 22,000 independent reviews, means you really can’t go wrong with Pilot Institute.
Gold Seal hits the sweet spot when it comes to marrying tradition with innovation. They were the first flight school to enter the online ground school market, and you can tell they’ve got the experience.
Gold Seal offers an interactive, intuitive online platform with various resources, including videos, interactive lessons, and practice exams.
Gold Seal courses focus on engaging the student with an interactive platform, so you aren’t just watching a video and answering questions.
They also feature support from Certified Flight Instructors and offer a money-back guarantee if you aren’t happy. They’ll also send your money back if you don’t pass the FAA knowledge test.
If you have a hard time paying attention during ground school, Gold Seal is the answer.
With King Schools, you’re not just getting a curriculum; you’re getting the combined expertise and passion of John and Martha King, two of the most renowned figures in flight training.
Over the years, King Schools has established itself as a heavyweight in the aviation training community.
Known for their engaging video lectures, the Kings make complex flight concepts entertaining and understandable.
Their courses are characterized by humor and clear instruction, making the learning process enjoyable and memorable.
Some may not like their style, but their expertise is undeniable.
Rod Machado, a distinguished flight instructor and author, brings a unique blend of expertise and humor to his lessons. This makes his 40-hour course not just informative but downright enjoyable.
The strength of this course lies in Rod’s ability to explain complex aviation concepts in simple terms. His engaging anecdotes and clear diagrams ensure that every concept sticks.
The course covers all essential private pilot ground school topics, ensuring students are well-prepared for their FAA exams.
While Rod’s website and videos aren’t as modern as some of the newer courses, many find Rod’s relatable teaching style more important.
MzeroA provides a unique offer with a monthly subscription. This means that you’ll receive access to a wide range of material in a membership-based format.
Beyond the training material and quizzes, MzeroA’s courses immerse students in real-world lectures. You’ll find many of MzeroA’s lessons take place in the actual aircraft, giving their courses a more hands-on feel.
They offer a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Angle of Attack
Angle of Attack is similar in style to MzeroA, as they also utilize a good amount of in-cockpit footage.
Chris Palmer, the instructor and founder, uses more of a conversational approach to ground school, and the lessons don’t feel scripted.
Their website is modern, and the production quality is fantastic. They also offer a money-back guarantee if you don’t pass the written test.
Frequently Asked Questions
Should I Take Ground School Online or In-Person?
Pros of Online Ground School
- Flexibility: Learn at your own pace, anytime, anywhere. It can sometimes be difficult to find in-person ground school classes, especially at smaller airports.
- Resource-Rich: Access to a variety of tools to enhance learning.
- Cost-Effective: Often cheaper than traditional schools, without commuting expenses.
- Up-to-Date: Digital platforms can be updated swiftly, ensuring current content.
Cons of Online Ground School
- Lack of Social Interaction: Missing out on networking and peer interactions.
- Self-Discipline Required: You must be motivated to keep up with lessons.
- Limited Face-to-Face Feedback: Immediate, personal feedback might be less accessible.
Online ground schools offer flexibility that traditional classrooms can’t match. They cater to different learning paces, ensuring you never feel rushed or held back. You can replay a challenging lesson, pause for note-taking, or skip ahead if you’re familiar with a topic.
Moreover, digital platforms often come equipped with many resources – interactive quizzes, simulations, and visual aids. These tools cater to various learning styles, enhancing comprehension and retention.
However, there are considerations.
Some pilots value the social interaction and networking opportunities that in-person classes provide. Face-to-face sessions might offer more immediate feedback and allow for in-depth discussions.
Is Online Coaching Different from Online Ground School?
Online ground school is a structured course offering comprehensive content on various subjects essential for pilot training.
These courses, often self-paced, are designed to guide you through aviation theory, preparing you for the FAA exams. They provide materials such as pre-recorded videos, quizzes, and simulations.
On the other hand, online coaching refers to live, real-time video sessions with an instructor. Think of it as a virtual classroom or a one-on-one tutoring session.
The primary advantage here is immediate feedback and personalized instruction. Direct access to a seasoned instructor means you can ask questions, get clarifications, and even deep-dive into topics that particularly interest or challenge you. The CFI can draw on your computer or EFB to illustrate concepts clearly.
Benefits of 1:1 Online Ground School Coaching:
- Personalized Instruction: Tailored lessons cater to your unique needs, strengths, and areas of improvement.
- Immediate Feedback: Instant answers to questions and prompt correction if you need clarification on a concept.
- Interactive Learning: Engage in discussions, scenario-based training, and real-time problem-solving.
- Flexible Scheduling: Schedule sessions at times that are convenient for you, making it easier to balance other commitments.
- Convenience: No need to commute, saving time and money.
- Flight Sim Integration: If you have a simulator, your remote instructor can help you use it to more easily understand difficult concepts.
While online ground school and online coaching offer valuable learning experiences, online coaching provides a more hands-on, interactive approach.
If you’re looking for a blend of structured content and personal interaction, using a mix of both might be your path to success.
At Flight Sim Coach, we can connect you with remote CFIs who specialize in providing 1:1 ground instruction (including written and oral exam prep), regardless of whether you have a simulator.