A new approach to ground school

For me flight training is such a remarkable experience. You go from knowing simply nothing about an aircraft with so many laughable misconceptions, to being able to become familiar and eventually comfortable enough to be in command of an aircraft operating solo.

I reminisce about my own training. I won’t go into the whole story, but eventually I did end up earning my ATP-L (Airline Transport Pilots License) and also became a CFI (Certified Flight Instructor). All of this required much discipline, dedication, and training as you might have imagined.

During my training I learned that there was good training, and not so great training. One thing I found many to get hung up on was the theory portion of training. After becoming an instructor myself, I really wanted to know if there was anything I could do to enhance the experience and to help my students to really learn the fine art of flying. I recalled that during my training in some cases the ground school portion of training was either done sloppily or was simply non-existent. Students in most cases were simply left to fend for themselves.

Another case in which I noticed flight schools letting their students down in was that they were simply teaching just enough for the student to pass the written exam. I couldn’t and still don’t think this is what being a flight school is all about. True we all have an agenda, we all want to see our students pass, and we all want our students to be successful. I also realized that students were at times were on budget constraints in regards to either time or money, if not both.

But I felt that these needs could be met by providing a more quality learning environment, and course material.

The numbers show that when students are neglected, are given sloppy ground training, or excessively high rates of unsupervised self-study programs this can in some cases increase the total cost of earning a pilot’s license by 25 percent. Further only 36 percent of self-guided pilots ever complete their training and most of them quit due to lack of direction, discipline and other life activities.

These astounding figures really bothered me; after all we are already facing a pilot shortage. So in some ways the industry is shooting itself in the foot by not starting the next generation off on a good foot.

So, what was my solution? I knew I wanted to bring a new fresh concept to the table. To do this I realized I had to really stand out in my training methods.


In order to assist in the training of those wishing to become a pilot, I created 10-week regular pace and a two-day accelerated course program for the FAA private knowledge test and the FAA instrument rating written test. With the support provided through the courses I feel that even busy individuals can gain the knowledge needed to pass the tests in as little as 2 days.

The courses are offered through Pro Aviation Trainers online live classes. (You can see a sample lesson here). Again my thing was not to just quickly help pilots make a passing grade; I wanted to give pilots in training the latest and most up-to-date aviation instruction. Another thing that I think is unique is that the classes are interactive and live, which means that pilots in training can ask the qualified instructors questions during the session. Each student can receive personal attention in the small classroom sizes; I never want the students to feel like cattle being rushed through a course.

After taking a look at the courses from a student’s perspective I feel that they are effective and enjoyable. Being able to receive aviation instruction from the comfort of your own home or anywhere you are, I think that aspect is simply priceless.

I felt so confident and proud of how I was able to put the courses together that I went out on a limb and attached a 100 percent guarantee to all of them. I thought it was only fair that if a student fails to achieve a passing score after training, Pro Aviation Trainers allows the student to retake the class as often as needed at no charge and then we will even pay for their next FAA test fee.

Now I am extending an offer to flight schools to partner with me and offer ground school to their students. In doing so I hope to extend the benefits of my online classes to as many as possible. Partnership with Pro Aviation Trainers will include both enhanced training opportunities for our partner schools along with financial benefits of being paid promoters of our courses. I consider this offer of partnership to be a unique opportunity for any school to really gain the cutting edge and superior reputation as a quality training provider; so really any flight school who chooses us as a training partner wins both ways.

I created these courses in a way I wish I could have taken my own training. I feel too that these courses address a lot of the problems in today’s ground school training environment. Flying is a passion for me, and I think that the courses I offer through my online ground school indicate that to be a certainty.

–Al Naqui,education director, Pro Aviation Trainers