Rod Machado's (Free) Nine-Week Private Pilot Ground School Syllabus for CFIs/BGIs

Rod Machado

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I'd like to offer my FREE nine-week Private Pilot Ground School Syllabus to any flight or ground instructor who is interested in teaching such a class. It's completely FREE. Simply add the PDF eBook to your cart, fill out the information and checkout. That's it. You'll receive an email with the download link to your syllabus. 

There's nothing quite like having private pilots students attend a real-live ground school that doesn't take six months to complete. While students can easily pass the FAA private pilot knowledge exam without attending ground school (the training materials recommended in the flight training syllabus allow them to do that on their own), you might think about teaching your own ground school class. Here are a few things to consider.

How to Set Up Your Own Ground School 

One of the very best things a flight instructor can do is teach a ground school. Not only does this help bring in extra income (typically this is $250/$350 per student with 10 students in each class), it also helps an instructor become a better teacher. Here’s a quick course in setting up an effective course.

The format: Teach an eight to nine week course with classes that meet twice a week for three hours a night. Give short breaks every hour, and have coffee, water, and soft drinks available for every class. Invite your students to bring in cookies or candy for everyone if they want, too.. Start class no later than 7 p.m. and end no later than 10 p.m. Don’t play music or videos before the class or during break time. It deprives the students of the opportunity to chat and exchange stories.

Creating a course: Begin by selecting a good aviation text and a question and answer book of FAA test questions. Have students purchase a copy of each. Divide the course topics between the number of weeks chosen for training. Make a personal outline of the material covered in the FAA test questions specific to each topic you’ll discuss (i.e., aerodynamics, engine operations, FARs, etc.). Use this outline to teach from. It assures you’ll cover at least the very basic material expected in a ground school. Then add more material to help make pilots safer, instead of just teaching test questions. Assign homework from the test question book to cover topics covered in class.

Visual aids: The least expensive way to use visual aids is to visit eBay or the local school district’s surplus equipment warehouse and buy an inexpensive overhead projector. Create transparencies of the pictures, charts, tables and text you want to use (it’s relatively inexpensive to photocopy material onto transparency film). Give each student three 3x5 cards with the letters A, B or C written on them. Show multiple choice questions on the overhead and have students hold up the correct answer card. Don’t allow students to turn around and peek at each other’s answer.

Fun: Make the experience fun for students. They’ll love you for it.




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