Formal ground school or DVD/self study for instrument?

pscraig

Well-Known Member
I am considering getting my instrument rating at a small FBO, and need to learn the material for the instrument written. I have an option to take a 2-week formal ground school at a larger flight school, or do self-study and use the Sporty's DVD course. The self study/DVD route is a fraction of the cost (1/5) of the ground school, but I want a solid knowledge of instrument material since most of my career will be based on instrument flying.

Anyone ever used the Sporty's DVD course, and was it really effective? I have the first volume they sent me for free, and it looks good but has no real content as it's just an introduction.
 

chunk75

Well-Known Member
I've seen the DVD course from Sporty's...it's *okay*. I think there was a lot of fluff and not much meat. A formal course would be great....depending on who teaches it!

Get Volume 2:Instrument Flying (it's the blue one) of ASA's series...it's an authoratative book that will answer all of your questions. Something the DVD cannot do.

The FAA's Instrument Flying Handbook is a great primary source of study material.

Good luck!

Chunk
 

flyitup

Well-Known Member
Paul,

I'm also working on my instrument at an FBO. I've been using the King course and it is excellent. It's very well organized in lesson format, and is loaded with hours and hours of information...

I prefer instructional videos over formal ground school because you can always go back and replay them when you need a refresher...
 

EricT

New Member
I have been using a King course for my prep. I also have spent a lot of time with my CFI-I. He has over 10,000 hours and I can learn a lot more from him than I can from a tape. It also depends on your personality for your success. In my case, if I schedule with my instructor, I know that I have a deadline I need to meet to get things done. Otherwise, I could get distracted from all the other things life has to offer.
 

farwellbooth

Well-Known Member
I asked a similar question a little while back... http://www.jetcareers.com/ubbthreads/showflat.php?Cat=&Board=CFI&Number=35966&page=0&view=collapsed&sb=5&o=&fpart=1
I opted for the Sporty's DVDs and don't think they provide nearly enough info. you need to know. They would make a nice supplement to an occasional GA pilot who's no longer IFR current. I have all the info. in Jepp and the FAA flying handbook but getting a little overwhelmed with all the info. and most of my flying is in actual. Those discs run for $160.00 on ebay, how much is your ground school?!? If the instructor was really good I'd opt for ground school.
 

sxauer

New Member
i'm going to piggy back on this one....does anybody know if there is a ground school course for the inital CFI?
 

flyitup

Well-Known Member
[ QUOTE ]
i'm going to piggy back on this one....does anybody know if there is a ground school course for the inital CFI?

[/ QUOTE ]

If you're talking about a self study course, I'm pretty sure the Kings have one...

They certainly seem to have a video for everything else!
 

Eagle

New Member
As much as John and Marth King creep me out, they do have a very good ground school test prep.

I am one of the people who does the Learn to pass the test angle. you will be learning the rest from your instructor while you fly.

some people disagree. but 20 years of taking government tests, and it just becomes so much easier to just pass the test.

I took a formal Instrument GS at the FBO, I was way way over my head, it took 2-3 months (the class) done in the winter when there was little flying... so the retention was lost,

The king tapes are good because you can spend a day watching or just having them on, before you test. plus I **think** they all come with DVD or computer test prep now..
 

davetheflyer

New Member
Personally, I recommend the King or Jeppesen video courses and computer prep. For any other questions, consult your CFI. I'm sure he'd be willing to give you some extra groundschool.

The problem with ground school courses is that the quality is directly linked to whoever does the teaching. As such the quality is unknown before you go into the course. It could be great or not-so-great.
 

ready2fly

Well-Known Member
I have the King Instrument video series. John and Martha are a tad over the top in the Geek Kingdom, but they do a bang-up job of putting it in plain language.

Also - I took a formal ground school.... and it was a waste of $200.. mainly because the instructor who was "teaching" the class got lazy and quit halfway through and handed it off to another CFI who read to us from the ASA Test Prep booklet.... so it was a waste of time and money.

You man not (hopefully won't) have the same experience.
 

E_Dawg

Moderator
Well... I did both. I got the Sporty's DVDs, which were okay, and I took the ground school at a community college for a total of $33. I learned nothing in the ground school (mainly because my teacher sucked); and the DVDs were good, but sooooooooooo boring. I do recommend the Air Facts video on IFR flying. I think it's only $25 on DVD.
 

Ophir

Well-Known Member
[ QUOTE ]
I've seen the DVD course from Sporty's...it's *okay*. I think there was a lot of fluff and not much meat. A formal course would be great....depending on who teaches it!

[/ QUOTE ]


Man, I could agree more with Chunk. If you have a great teacher for the ground school, you could really learn a lot extremely important info. As opposed to learning a little of extremely important info.

I checked out the Sporty's tapes for the instrument and found them to be really bland and not very imformative. In fact, I made the switch to King tapes half way through. As corny as the Kings are, they are pretty good at getting the info across.

Again all of the above then hinges on having a good instructor in the air too.
 

flyitup

Well-Known Member
I want to mention one more thing about the King course...

As everyone has said, and I have to agree, the Kings are really, really corny. However, there are about three or four other folks that do a large portion of the "teaching" in the cd-rom lessons that I'm using and they're not too bad...
 

Mavmb

Well-Known Member
Yeah I wouldn't attend the ground school. Just buy a DVD set from Sporty's, Cessna, or King and then go over questions with your CFII. One book that really helped me through my instrument rating was Rob Machado's instrument manual. You might want to buy that from a pilot store or catalog somewhere. He takes a lot of dry material and makes it entertaining and easy to learn.
 

HankHill

New Member
I used Sporty's dvds (tapes back then) for my private. they were great. i didnt attend a formal ground school.

not sure if thats viable for instrument training.

and whats up with john and martha???...
 

pscraig

Well-Known Member
[ QUOTE ]
If you have a great teacher for the ground school, you could really learn a lot extremely important info. As opposed to learning a little of extremely important info.

Again all of the above then hinges on having a good instructor in the air too.

[/ QUOTE ]

I should have mentioned it earlier, but the flight school is Flightsafety. How useful is the instrument ground school here? I may be leaving FSI for a number of reasons, but I am considering taking the instrument ground school before leaving. I've been reading the FAA, Jepp, and Machado books but still feel I'm missing something. I realize there is much to learn in the air with a CFI, but want a solid academic foundation.
 

aviator

New Member
The instrument ground is very good, but I question the wisdom (dollar wise) of doing the ground school if you have no plans to complete the training at FSI....
 

davetheflyer

New Member
[ QUOTE ]
Machado's Instrument book...well....sux.

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I think that is a little strong. I like it as a supplement because Machado explains things so well.
 

flyitup

Well-Known Member
[ QUOTE ]
Machado's Instrument book...well....sux.

[/ QUOTE ]


I agree with Dave. If my memory serves me right, he made it clear in the beginning of the book that it was for supplemental value only, and should not be used to replace the "official" instrument flying manuals/books.

Machado does have a humorous whit about him that makes his writing entertaining.
 
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