Ground School Materials
Our instructors recommend either of the following; the choice is up to you:
- King School's Cessna Flight Training Private Pilot Course
- Sporty's Learn to Fly Course Private Pilot Prep Course, which is available in three formats: online, DVD, or iOS app.
- Let's Go Flying! the Aircraft Owner's and Pilot's Association's (AOPA's) introduction to flight training
- AOPA Flight Training A great place to start your investigation, and an opportunity to get 6 month free subscription
- LearnToFly Cessna's site on learning to fly
- FAA has something to say
- Free online Ground School from Gold Seal
- PilotEdge Air Traffic Control simulation
- FlightSchoolList provides an aviation school directory
Paying for Training
We have found it best to have enough funds available up front so that you are not delaying lessons for financial reasons. Either save up sufficient funds, obtain scholarships, or obtain financing. Delays in training only serve to increase the overall cost, as you will need to revisit lessons that you have forgotten. Here are some links that may help with scholarships and financing. Note that we are not affiliated with any of these organizations and do not provide scholarships ourselves.
Search the Internet! There are many out there, and too often they go unclaimed because no one applied! There are hundreds or even thousands of dollars available! Some of the ones we're familiar with include:
- The FAA lists many scholarships, some of which are for pilot training
- The Ninety-Nines, the International Organization of Woman Pilots, has a number of scholarships available, both locally and nationally. These are available to pilots (including male and student pilots) who are members of the organization.
- Women in Aviation International scholarships (for both women and men).
- AOPA Learn to Fly Scholarship
- Aviation Careers Podcast maintains an eBook of many available scholarships
- AOPA Internet Flight Planner (membership required, 18yo+)
- Airnav - Information about any airport
- CSC DUATS - Official Briefing
- Lockheed Martin AFSS - Official briefing
- SkyVector - Online charts
- FlightAware - Track a plane's progress on an IFR flight plan
- FltPlan.com - a highly recommended free Flight Planning website for General Aviation pilots.
- Published NOTAMs - Not given by AFSS unless requested!
- AeroPlanner - web-based flight planning service. Free for EAA members!
- DUAT - Official Briefing (expires 7/15/2015)
- Aircraft Owner's & Pilot's Association (AOPA) The grand-daddy of pilot organizations
- Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) Concentrating on light sport/sport pilot and home-built
- Ninety-Nines, International Organization of Women Pilots
- Women in Aviation, International Another organization for those interested in women in aviation
- U.S. Pilot's Association a grassroots organization of general aviation pilots
- Illinois Pilot's Association
- Air Safety Institute (ASI) an offshoot of AOPA, providing a lot of safety education
- The Chicago Flight Instructors' Association
- FAA Safety Team: Safer Skies through Education (SPANS) Seminars and the Wings program
- National Transportation & Safety Board (NTSB) Aviation Database
- Aviation Weather (AC 00-6A) The "official" book about understanding the weather from the people who write the tests.
- Aviation Weather Services (AC 00-45G) and the companion "official" book about how to get a weather briefing; also from the people who write the tests.
- aviationweather.gov NOAA has put together some really good weather information here. It does not constitute an official briefing, however!
- JesseWeather shows weather trends. It also provides notifications when the weather is better or worse than the criteria you set! Get notified when you can get some solo time or can get some actual instrument time!
- intellicast This private site has some very good severe weather radar.
- noaa.gov If you're interested in overall or non-aviation weather, this is a good place to start.
- Chesapeake Aviation Training has a series of intensive training CD-ROMs and one-on-one online consultation by CFI and former NWS meteorologist Scott Dennstaedt focused on weather.
- RUCsoundings for the Skew(t) Log(P) diagrams.
- Pilots of America, aka the Blue Board, is one of the best gathering places of general aviation enthusiasts on the Internet. It is also open to conversations outside of the aviation realm. They have annual gatherings, including the Gaston's flyin that's one of our 2009 destinations.
- studentpilot a forum run by Neil Glaser of PilotMall.com
- AOPA Forums, aka the Red Board, is an extremely active general aviation community that focuses solely on aviation.
- Purple Board was started as a combination of the "red board" and the "purple board".
Podcasts & Aviation Media
- University of North Dakota Aerocast
- Uncontrolled Airspace
- The Finer Points
- Aviation Podcasts Network
- Thirty ThousandFeet's listing of Podcasts
- Airplanista Online Magazine
Public Benefit Flying
This is a chance to put a purpose behind your flights! You can enjoy the freedom of flight while making a contribution to the public good! Air Care Alliance serves as a clearinghouse for many of the organizations. We don't begin to list them all here!
- Air Care Alliance
- LifeLine Pilots
- Civil Air Patrol
- Angel Flight Central
- EAA Young Eagles
- Cloud Nine Rescue Flights
- Cessna Pilot's Association
- Fly 2 Lunch a free $100 Hamburger site
- Adventure Pilot Fun places to go on and around airports nationwide
- Illinois Aviation Museum at Bolingbrook
- National Association of Flight Instructors (NAFI)
- Society of Aviation and Flight Educators
Buying a Plane
Many planes will be shown at the Cavalcade of Planes.
- Trade-a-Plane has many available and is available free in the A & M Lobby
- Diamond aircraft
- Cessna Aircraft
Getting your Certificate
- Aviation Medical Examiners Unless going for a Sport Pilot, glider, balloon, or a few other certificates, you'll need a medical!
- Application for Certificate (IACRA) You can fill out your application online!
- Airman Certificate and/or Rating Application for Pilots, Flight Instructors and Ground Instructors (8710-1) or print it out yourself
- Airman Certificate and/or Rating Application for Sport Pilot (8710-11)
- Update your address with the FAA if you already have a certificate and have moved
FAA Source Documents
This is the "official source" for much of the information you'll need when flying. They actually have a good deal of very useful information. A word of warning, though. While you can certainly print out the documents here, it is actually cheaper in many cases to purchase them printed and bound.
- Student Pilot's Guide (FAA-H-8083-27A)
- Federal Aviation Regulations (FARs)
- Aeronautical Information Manual
- Airplane Flying Handbook (FAA_H-8083-3A)
- Pilot/Controller Glossary
- Pilot's Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge (FAA-H-8083-25)
- Instrument Flying Handbook (FAA-H-8083-15A)
- Instrument Procedures Handbook (FAA-H-8261-1A)
- Certification: Pilots and Flight & Ground Instructors (including endorsements) (AC 61-65E)
GPS Operating Guides & Simulators
- Cockpit Reference Guide (System Software Version 0563.03 or later), Rev. A, Mar, 2007
- Cockpit Reference Guide Addendum (Cessna Nav III), Rev. A, Jul, 2005
- Pilot's Guide (System Software Version 0563.03 or later), Rev. A, Mar, 2007
- Garmin G1000 PC Trainer (for purchase from Garmin)
- KAP140 Pilot's Guide autopilot