Ground School is what all aspiring pilots
must attend to learn the "basics" of learning how to fly. It is most often held on the ground (duh) and covers a variety of topics... Some of them required by the government, depending on the type of flying license the pilot intends to get. The following is based on Canadian
law, and is very similar to European
, and American
- For a Recreational Pilot's Permit, no Ground School is required by government but many flight schools will throw one in anyway.
- For a Private Pilot's License, the government requires that you have at least 40 hours of Ground School, and cover the following topics (in Canada):
- For a Commercial Pilot's License (CPL), the government requires that you have at least 60 hours of Ground School, and cover the following topics (in Canada):
Which is, of course, the same list, but an additional 20 hours is required. I post the list twice because the CPL will soon require a few more topics of study, such as reading a GPS and such. Updates as events warrant!
Each flight school is a tad different, but most teach each lesson as at least 1 hour long and at the most 6 hours long (Theory of Flight is usually one class; Meteorology could be several). In addition, most Flight Schools will offer two evening classes per week at two hours long (it seems to be the standard in the nearby towns where I live, anyways!). This allows easy access for most day-workers and students.
When ground school ends, or even partway through, the Flight School may give you a test to see how well you are retaining information. This is not a government required test; however, before you do the written examination for your pilot's license, you must have a letter of recommendation from your flying school. Most flying schools will write a letter of recommendation only after you have written their tests (it looks bad for the school if their students keep flunking the government's written exam!).