Selecting the best online private pilot ground school can help a student pilot in numerous ways and one of which is passing the FAA knowledge test effortlessly.
Passing a knowledge test without re-taking is one of the perks of enrolling in a suitable PPL ground school online.
Other factors a PART 61 private pilot trainee must consider before buying an online course are:
- Getting released for solo flight quickly;
- Acquire aeronautical knowledge without overwhelming; (1)
- Endorsement from a CFI to take the FAA PPL knowledge test; (2)
- Passing the knowledge test on their first take; (3)
- To become proficient in actual flight operations;
- Passing the checkride comfortably;
- Lifetime access to numerous resources on a budget.
You may not have thought about all these factors before landing on this page, but as a private pilot myself, I can tell these factors are critical to quickly obtaining a private pilot license.
Hence, I listed the six best online private pilot license ground schools here, taking all the facts into account:
- Rod Machado’s 40 Hour eLearning: The most budget-friendly and detailed private pilot ground school from a veteran flight instructor;
- Sporty’s private pilot learn to fly: Online PPL course from a famed pilot shop;
- King School’s Private Pilot knowledge test prep: Pricey because it’s from the industry experts. Ancient video quality is a turn off;
- FLY8MA Private Pilot Ground School: Affordable monthly subscription option with access to different courses.
- Gleim’s online private pilot ground school: It is an inexpensive course but not updated frequently.
- Gold Seal private pilot ground school.
What are the best online private pilot ground school to learn aeronautics and pass the FAA knowledge test?
Before moving forward to a brief review of each online PPL course, I would like you to know why online ground schools are a better option for the PART 61 student pilots.
- PART 61 student pilots prefer studying at their own pace.
- Unlike a physical ground school, you’re not obliged to attend scheduled classes.
- You can access online ground school anywhere from a device and internet connection.
- Similarly, you can review a topic unlimited times if you have difficulty understanding it.
Rod Machado’s 40 hours of online PPL ground school has a competitive price and lifetime access.
Instructor: Rod Machado
Course Duration: 40+ Hours
Subscription Access: Lifetime
Although there are many qualified flight instructors, only a few can articulate aeronautical information precisely to new student pilots.
The ability to articulate aeronautical information comes from years of experience, and Rod Machado has decades of experience training student pilots.
Rod Machado’s online private pilot ground school has the peak spot on my online PPL ground school list. 40+ hours of aeronautical knowledge explained effectively for student pilots to grasp. A little bit of humor to make learning enjoyable and an affordable price makes Rod Machado’s course perfect for passing the FAA knowledge test.
Most student pilots have a significant problem: they find aeronautical information overwhelming and challenging to grasp.
Rod Machado knows how to explain topics for students to comprehend and remember for a long time. A ground instructor with little flying experience doesn’t know all and fails to explain matters in depth.
You must understand the fundamentals, and not forgetting them is crucial to becoming a safe pilot.
I always preferred to take instructions from experienced pilots. Their unique storytelling and sharing of their experiences introduce matters never to forget.
Students often fail their FAA private pilot knowledge test because they don’t remember everything they learned in their ground school. The instructor plays a significant role in students learning the fundamentals and passing the FAA knowledge (written) tests.
Rod Machado’s 40+ hours of online PPL ground school is an excellent course and has quizzes to evaluate a student pilot’s progress.
You won’t get a private pilot knowledge test endorsement from Rod Machado without satisfactory progress.
See how Rod Machado challenges you to learn and practice for the Private pilot knowledge test. Without reasonable evaluation, you won’t get your PPL test endorsement and can’t take your knowledge test.
Thus, as a Rod Machado’s online ground school student, you will naturally study harder.
Likewise, Rod Machado gives you lifetime access to his courses. You aren’t obliged to finish your ground school in a limited time, unlike some online courses.
Though the ground school is updated regularly to the latest FAA Airmen Certification Standards, you won’t pay extra fees. The only downside of a course with lifetime access is that you can be lazy and take years only to pass your FAA knowledge test.
You can use this same ground school course even after years to refresh your knowledge of flying without paying a dime.
Rod Machado included some eBooks with this course as resources. One of which is an eWorkbook for the private pilot license knowledge test.
The workbook has roughly 2000 questions with multiple choice answers.
Correctly answering these questions will solidify your aeronautical knowledge and prepare you to take the knowledge test confidently.
You will acquire plenty of knowledge during flight training, but learning from an experienced flight instructor online would keep you ahead of many other student pilots.
Purchase this online PPL course and utilize all the resources to become a proficient private pilot in a short time.
I would mention that Rod Machado’s online Private pilot course is not fast-paced but 40 hours long, similar to college semesters.
- The detailed animated videos allow students to understand the exact details of each topic.
- The animated videos are in natural language for student pilots’ better comprehension.
- With short voiceovers and animated videos, student pilots will absorb all the knowledge by watching once.
A course is essential to pass the FAA PPL knowledge test, but a well-structured course will help you become a safe and competent pilot.
Rod Machado bundled this course with essential resources for student pilots:
- Flight computer simulator: Learn to use a flight computer from your smart device;
- HSI simulator: Practice how to read a horizontal situation indicator for free;
- Glide Distance slider;
- Rod Machado’s Private pilot handbook (PDF);
- Rod Machado’s How to Fly an Airplane Handbook (PDF): Excellent book to learn actual flying techniques;
- Rod Machado’s PPL Workbook (PDF): Use this book as a test prep to practice.
You can check the video to glance at Rod Machado’s private pilot ground school.
Sporty’s Private Pilot – Learn to fly.
Instructors: Various Instructors from Sporty
Course Duration: 15 Hours
Subscription Access: Lifetime access & Updates
Sporty’s Learn to fly course is precisely what the name implies. It’s a course focused on learning to fly rather than elaborately explaining aeronautical concepts.
I have nothing up against Sporty’s, and the video quality of this course is outstanding.
However, imagine the entire private pilot ground school is crammed into 15 hours of the online course.
Most PPL students have a hard time understanding the fundamentals of aeronautics and remembering them. It’s common for students to forget all the information they learned in their previous class.
On the other hand, going through the ground school at a fast pace is neither a PART 61 pilots priority. Often PART 61 pilots love to take it slow and won’t mind if a PPL ground school is elaborate and comprehensive.
I recommend Sporty’s learn to fly course to pilots with prior knowledge as a pilot myself.
Using this course as a refresher for a private pilot renewal would be great. However, for a novice student pilot, not so much.
As a student pilot learning to fly, your priority is to get a private pilot license as early as possible. To do so, the first challenge you must overcome is passing the FAA private pilot knowledge test.
To pass the knowledge test, it’s crucial to remember topics you learned during PPL ground school and answer the questions correctly. As I mentioned, Sporty’s doesn’t do a great job of elaborate explaining in the 15 hours, but they nailed it with the test prep tool within the course.
I must emphasize that regardless of what you learn in the Sporty’s online course or using supplementary resources, utilizing the test prep in their course with 1000+ questions may allow you to pass the FAA PPL knowledge test with good marks.
Many student pilots fail their knowledge (written) tests because they don’t adequately practice answering multiple-choice questions.
They either run out of time or answer multiple questions incorrectly in their FAA knowledge test.
Sporty’s updates its questions database frequently to keep up with FAA’s question bank.
So, if you acquire your aeronautical knowledge from other places, such as books or a different online Private pilot ground school, you can practice using Sporty’s learn to fly course’s test prep tool.
Without understanding the key concepts, you can’t answer questions. Understanding the concept is critical.
Sporty’s even gives you the option to create custom quizzes based on your past sessions. I must say using test preps to prepare for knowledge tests is essential.
If you did some research online, you would notice sporty’s is a popular choice among student pilots.
I assume that student pilots always compare Sporty’s learn to fly course with King School’s Private pilot ground school. Comparing King School’s old-fashioned videos to HD quality Sporty’s video clips doesn’t do much justice.
I mean King school’s courses are fantastic. They do a great job explaining and communicating with student pilots.
I would instead compare King School’s ground school with Rod Machado’s ground school. Both Rod Machado and John King have decades of experience teaching and training pilots.
Not having decades of industry experience doesn’t necessarily mean Sporty’s learning to fly is a terrible choice.
I believe the course is designed to teach more about practical flying, as the name implies. Sporty’s includes lessons from inside an aircraft for student pilots to clarify subjects in a realistic setting.
The fundamentals of aeronautics are not explained so much in this course for a novice pilot to grasp.
Considering the same price as Rod Machado’s PPL course, I would choose Rod Machado’s 40+ hours course with free eBooks and workbooks any day.
As a PART 61 student pilot, I would love to acquire as much information as possible. It helps me to become a safer pilot.
King School’s Online Course.
Instructors: John King & Martha King
Course Duration: 15 Hours
Subscription Access: Lifetime
King schools online private pilot ground school has various opinions from different users. I see where are all the statements coming from, especially when an online course has thousands of students.
John King and Martha King have forty years of experience in the aviation industry teaching and training pilots. Let’s take a note: With four decades of experience, I can only imagine the extent of knowledge they acquired and are sharing with novice student pilots.
The King School online private pilot ground school is one of the best courses. However, this fifteen-hour course is designed to pass the FAA PPL knowledge test.
If you want a course to pass the knowledge test and checkride, you have to pay extra.
Let’s say you were never good at studies. Studying for hours and reading books is not your thing. You have trouble remembering topics when it matters the most.
If you are this person, then King School’s online course is mainly for you.
King School’s students emphasize that John King’s interactive, cheesy teaching style implants the topic in their minds and automatically yields when it’s necessary. Therefore, students are ready for the unexpected.
I might sound a bit dramatic, but that’s what the student pilots claim, and this is how a pilot becomes excellent at decision-making.
Thus remembering the concept and correctly answering the questions during your FAA knowledge test would make the difference.
After consuming fifteen hours of technical information in video format, you can randomly generate private pilot practice tests—practice, practice, and practice.
This is how you can become good at answering multiple-choice questions answers on time during an actual exam.
The footage content is excellent, but the actual video quality is the only downside of this online ground school. Many student pilots complain about the quality of video that seems from the 80s.
King School also offers a refund if you can’t pass the FAA knowledge test within a year of your purchase.
It’s an exciting offer and tells how confident John King is about passing the knowledge test.
Without a doubt, John King and Martha King are excellent instructors and designed the course particularly to pass the knowledge test.
However, passing the knowledge test is one thing, and becoming proficient in actual flying is another.
Rod Machado’s effort to create 40 hours long requires honorable mention. Rod Machado gives forty hours of theory and practical flying lessons at the same price point.
King school has a 400 USD bundle for those who intend to pass the knowledge test and pass the checkride. It naturally means the single King School’s private pilot ground school doesn’t help you pass your checkride and become proficient in actual flying.
To become proficient in actual flying and pass checkride, you can check out this combo by King School. The checkride prep by King School focuses on practical aviation and flight planning.
FLY8MA Premium private pilot ground school.
Instructor: Jon Kotwicki
Course Duration: ***
Subscription Access: Lifetime
I am trying to make things easier for student pilots in choosing a suitable online PPL ground school. The good ones get lost with a plethora of pilot courses available online.
Hence, I placed Jon Kotwicki’s premium PPL ground school on this list.
Though Jon Kotwicki is a transparent and concise instructor, FLY8MA doesn’t get much attention in the online ground school business. I suppose his online courses get lost among all the veteran instructors in the pilot training field.
Jon Kotwicki is slowly building a reputation for offering courses in various aspects of flight training.
The issue with FLY8MA courses is that I often find them pricier. Though the courses are costlier than the average online private pilot ground school, they have a monthly subscription option.
The monthly subscription option gives you access to numerous courses at an affordable price. But who is eligible to grasp all the subjects in a month, right?
We aren’t here to talk about all the other courses. Let’s discuss what FLY8MA offers for the PART 61 student pilots.
Jon Kotwicki claims the premium Private pilot ground school is adequate to pass your FAA PPL knowledge test. On the contrary, some student pilots say to use this course to supplement another course is best.
That shows perhaps this course is not adequate by itself to prepare for the PPL knowledge test.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t intend to buy multiple courses and test preps for my private pilot license.
Regardless let me explain further: This 350 USD course includes 20 lessons, and each lesson contains multiple video clips on various topics. The video lesson is on the fundamentals of aeronautics and gives you a heads up on practical flying.
If you put time and effort into learning and passing the quizzes after each lesson, you are ready to take the FAA knowledge test. However, I can’t say for sure that you’ll pass the FAA knowledge test.
However, Jon Kotwicki included the Private pilot written test Bootcamp in this course, which he sells separately. For 350 USD, including this Bootcamp was essential to making the method worthwhile.
This course aims to get you to pass the FAA knowledge test. Without the Bootcamp online course, I can’t be so sure that you’ll pass the exam.
I mentioned in a different post that FLY8MA written test Bootcamp courses are great test preps.
Thus if you study this packaged course, you’ll become knowledgable in flying theories and have a test prep designed to practice for the FAA PPL Knowledge (written) test.
There are responses from considerable students claiming they scored 90+ after taking this course.
Jon Kotwicki will also endorse you to take the FAA knowledge test at the end of the course.
The only complaint about this course is that occasionally the video freezes or the student can’t access the online platform. However, it’s getting solved, and I heard the FLY8MA support team is more responsive.
When you spend 350 USD, you expect a smooth service. But there is an option just to try out how the course works.
You can enroll using their monthly subscription option.
You have a month to access all the courses. The monthly subscription is cheaper if you dedicate a month to preparing for the FAA PPL knowledge test.
On the contrary, PART 61 student pilots are not in a race to get the licenses, so purchasing the course bundle is a better option. You can take your time to study and pass the FAA knowledge test.
Gleim Aviation Online Ground School.
Gleim aviation did not make a comprehensive pilot training course online for private pilots as a pioneer in pilot goods.
This course is for newbie student pilots to prepare themselves for the FAA knowledge test.
Gleim aviation confidently promises you a refund of your money if you do not pass the FAA knowledge test on your first attempt.
Sounds fair enough.
If you can pass your FAA knowledge test with just one attempt, you no longer need the course.
If you do not pass the test in one attempt, you can ask them for your refund and buy a different pilot course online.
The course is 35 hours long, adequate for your private pilot theories.
However, the course will be available once paid for 12 months. If you do not complete the course within 12 months, the system will expire.
Once expired, you can extend your online pilot course time by paying 50% of the original price.
The course contains pilot lessons on the following topics:
- Airplanes and Aerodynamics;
- Airplane Instruments, Engines, and Sytems;
- Airports, Air Traffic Control, and Airspace;
- Federal Aviation Regulations;
- Airplane Performance and Weight and Balance;
- Aeromedical Factors and Aeronautical Decision Making (ADM);
- Aviation Weather;
- Aviation Weather Sevices;
- Navigation: Charts and Publications;
- Navigation Systems;
- Cross-Country Flight Planning.
The best online pilot course is the one you find most suitable for you.
A pilot course may be outstanding for me but may not be helpful for you.
I may discover online pilot training very interesting. However, the same pilot lessons can be very dull for you.
Though individual student pilots’ preferences matter, I always tell my friends to pick a course from the Top 3 mentioned here.
I believe you have decided to get your pilot license and want a heads up on the ground school syllabus contents.
You want to know which subjects will be taught to you in the private pilot ground training or prepare by yourself. The section of this article will help you stay ahead of your pilot training batch mates.
Similarly, from here, you can evaluate whether you are good enough to start your private pilot training or not.
I have designed this private pilot ground school syllabus as a resource for anyone to guide themselves for private pilot training.
Before going for your first flight, you will learn all the subjects during your ground school training.
Use a syllabus as a guideline, study in advance, and prepare before enrolling in a flight training institute.
A step-by-step guide includes the chapters of the Jeppesen Private Pilot textbook and the topics in those particular chapters most important for your private pilot training course.
To become a good pilot, you must always keep learning.
The sooner you master the basics, the better you will do in real-world flight training.
Gold Seal PPL.
Instructor: Multiple Instructors
Course Duration: Total 5 Parts = 34 Hours
Price: Complete 5 Parts = $219.95
Subscription Access: Lifetime
This course is not just for student pilots. Any pilot at any stage of their flight training can refer to this course as a refresher.
Many students prefer traditional style explanation on a whiteboard, and this course is just right for them.
The veteran instructor claims this course is not just to pass the exam but will develop proficient pilots.
I took the course and like the way this instructor teaches.
Traditional ground school learning might not be your thing, but for many, whiteboard explanation is best, unlike animated footage, to comprehend a subject.
Many topics seem challenging to understand for a beginner during online private pilot ground school.
Rewind and watching the sections you did not understand is one benefit of PPL online ground schools.
Physical private pilot ground school is not affordable for many. Ground instructors get paid hourly, and student pilots must pay extra if they intend to review a subject.
The quality of the videos and audio in this course is perfect, unlike videos from King’s school. Although the king schools course is excellent for acquiring knowledge, their video quality is a turn-off for many students.
Unlike the King School’s class, the Udemy course has HD quality videos.
Why do I like the course?
This course is an opportunity for students not trained in the USA to look at Federal Part 61 ground school.
Take pilot lessons from an FAA-certified flight instructor, and prepare yourself for the private pilot knowledge test from anywhere.
Is this online pilot course not ideal for you?
Do not buy this course at the commercial pilot licensing stage or your ATPL.
This course teaches only the fundamentals and is excellent for student pilots. Similarly, rusty private pilots can use this course as a refresher.