I believe you have decided to get your pilot license and want a heads up on the contents of the private pilot ground school syllabus.
Either you want to know which subjects will be taught to you in the private pilot ground training or simply to prepare by yourself, 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.
All the subjects mentioned here will be taught in flight schools before you go for your first flight.
I suggest using this syllabus as a guideline for studying in advance and prepare before even you enroll 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 more apparent it will be for you during the real-world flight training.
Private pilot ground school syllabus.
Introduction to aviation is crucial. Flying an airplane comes with a lot of accountability.
Even a small error by the pilot in flight can be fatal.
Therefore all the student pilots are taught basics from several subjects to build themselves as incompetent pilots.
The number of subjects to become a private pilot is the same as for becoming a commercial pilot.
The only difference is that during private pilot ground training, students learn the straightforward basics.
On the other hand, the subjects for a commercial pilot license are more detailed and in-depth.
Why is that?
As a commercial pilot, you will have the responsibility of passengers aboard.
And as a private pilot, it is highly likely that you will fly by yourself during weekends.
Therefore more responsibility as a commercial pilot requires you to have more knowledge.
However, let’s not talk much about the commercial pilot ground training subjects.
We are here to discuss the private pilot ground school syllabus, thus let’s begin that.
To ease your trouble, I have structured the subjects according to the Jeppesen private pilot book chapters.
I am doing so because the Jeppesen textbook is the most popular book used for private pilot training in the ground.
Pupils from flight schools around the world use this book.
I am expecting you to have Jeppesen private pilot book by now.
If you do not have one order one from Amazon now.
Subjects for private pilot ground training:
There are generally nine subjects shown during ground training.
Aircraft General Knowledge.
The second chapter of the Jeppesen private pilot book contains all the necessary knowledge required for private pilots to know.
This chapter explains the parts of an airplane.
You can learn about:
- Fuselage Construction;
- Wing construction;
- Construction materials;
- Airplane Powerplant:
- Types of powerplants;
- Classification of piston engines;
- Fundamental engine components and operation;
- The sequence of engine strokes;
- Flight Instruments:
- Pitot static instruments;
- Gyroscopic instruments;
- Magnetic compass
- Fuel systems:
- Carburetor construction and maintenance;
- Leaning mixture at cruise;
- Carburetor ice;
- Carburetor heat;
- Fuel injection;
- Hydraulic system;
- Heat & vent system, etc.
- Lubrication systems;
- Ignition systems;
- Electrical systems;
- Vacuum systems
Principles of Flight.
Principles of flight are in the third chapter of the Jeppesen book. The name of the section in the book is Aerodynamic principles.
This chapter consists of:
- Four forces of flight;
- Theory of lift;
- Theory of drag;
- Thrust generation;
- Weight of the aircraft;
- Stability of the airplane;
- Design of the wing;
- Three axes of the plane;
- Stability of the aircraft;
- Longitudinal (Ailerons);
- Lateral (Elevator);
- Directional (Rudder);
- Flight performance:
- Asymmetric thrust;
- Spiral dives
Chapter four in the Jeppesen textbook is “The flight environment,” which is also known as operational procedures.
Knowing operational procedures is essential for student pilots to ensure safety during operation at the airport.
Regardless of where you fly, busy, or not congested airspace, this chapter will teach you to be a safe pilot.
In this chapter, you will learn:
- Safety of flight;
- Uncontrolled airport procedures;
- Controlled airport procedures;
- Aeronautical charts;
- All special procedures;
- Types of airspace;
- Wake turbulence;
- Jet blast;
- Filing, opening and choosing a flight plan
Chapter five has all the details of safely navigating and how to maintain communication to prevent fatal situations.
This chapter has:
- Radar and ATC service;
- Radio procedure;
- Radio frequencies;
- Phonetic alphabets;
- Standard sequences;
- Distress communications;
- Priority of communication
It is essential to learn how to interpret weather to ensure a safe flight.
Chapter 6 is all about aviation weather. A good pilot knows which weather is safe for flying and which cloud to avoid.
In chapters 6 and 7 of the Jeppesen private pilot textbook, you will learn everything from basic meteorology to weather theory.
The important things to study from these chapters are:
- The atmosphere;
- Weather services;
- Weather Hazards;
- Moisture & Temperature;
- Air masses;
- Cloud formation;
- Lifting process;
Flight Performance & Planning.
This subject is related to the weight and balance of the aircraft you will be flying as a student pilot.
If you do not will to stall during landing, then chapter eight is all you have to study.
In this chapter, you will study:
- E6B computer
- Slide rule side
- Wind side
- Electronic computers;
- Pre-flight planning form;
- Performance charts
- Weight & Balance;
- Cross country planning/ Diversions;
- Basic plotting exercise
Chapter 9 in the Jeppesen Private Pilot Handbook is the chapter that will teach you how to navigate in the sky.
Flying an airplane is not like driving a car. Unlike driving a car, you are in the sky, and everything will look a lot different from the birds-eye view.
And during the night, your route may be pitch black.
So if you do not learn how to navigate your airplane in the sky, you cannot reach your destination.
Without knowing how to use visual references outside and not remembering how to use the VOR, you will lose direction in the sky.
Therefore Chapter 9 will explain:
- Latitude & longitude;
- Time Zones;
- Time & Longitude;
- Bearings and headings;
- Rhumb lines & great circle routes;
- Magnetic compass;
- Earth’s magnetism;
- Magnetic dip;
- Variation & deviation;
- Allowing for variation and deviation;
- Compass construction;
- Northerly turning errors;
- Acceleration errors;
- Aviation charts / Maps;
- Projections / Scale;
- Chart index / Symbols;
- Basic plotting.
Chapter 9 also contains sections on the advanced navigation system.
By saying advanced, I mean the radio navigation techniques:
- Radio Communications;
- VOR (VHF Omni-directional Range) Navigation;
- ADF (Automatic direction finder) Navigation;
- GNSS / GPS (Global Positioning System)
- WAAS ( The wide-area augmentation system)
- Primary and secondary surveillance radar
The human performance section speaks about the aviation physiology and aeronautical decision making.
Chapter 10 will explain:
- Hypoxia / Hyperventilation;
- Alcohol / Drugs / Medications
- Environmental factors;
- Sensory Sources & Sensory Illusions
- Decompression effects;
- Trapped gases;
The list, as mentioned above, is about aviation physiology.
NOW let’s discuss what will you learn from the aeronautical decision-making section of this chapter:
- The accident chain;
- The decision making process;
- Factors affecting decision making;
- Situational awareness;
- Stress and stress management;
- Personality traits;
- Hazardous attitudes;
- Managing risk
Lastly, in a structured private pilot ground school syllabus, there will be a few hours of class on the specific airplane you will be flying during the training.
Your flight instructor will refer you all the relevant notes from the Pilot Operating Handbook of the airplane you are to fly.
Such as if you will be flying a Cessna 172 Skyhawk, then you will need a Cessna 172 Skyhawkw pilot’s operating handbook for a Cessna 172.
There are many things you might have to learn and memorize if required from this pilot’s operating handbook.
Air law and regulations.
Civil aviation regulations is a vital subject. Air law is the first subject that students learn in any pilot training ground school.
Depending on your location, the air regulations are slightly different.
The civil aviation body of the respective country will set the rules and publish them through their website or as publications.
During your ground school classes, you will discover:
- Licenses and permits;
- Licensing standards;
- Medical standards;
- Domestic airspace;
- Classification of airspace;
- Aeronautical information manual;
- Required documents;
This private pilot ground school syllabus is simply a reference for students pilots to study at home.
You can use it to prepare yourself in advance or to review the most important things as a private pilot.