November 26, 2013
By Jill W. Tallman
If you’ve ever wanted to be a fly on the wall of the ground portion of a private pilot checkride, Flight Training Apps makes it happen in Private Pilot—Ground Portion.
The same high-quality HD camera work employed effectively in the company’s Private Pilot—Flight Portion app is employed here as an actual designated pilot examiner sits down with a private pilot applicant (played by an actual pilot) to conduct the ground portion of the private pilot practical test. Granted, there are no flying sequences, but the app works hard to overcome what could have been a static presentation. For example, as the examiner questions the student, pertinent sections of the federal aviation regulations appear on screen. Chart segments illustrate flight planning and lost procedures. Checklists pop up during a discussion of emergency procedures. A light gun signal chart appears as the DPE and the pilot walk through a scenario in which she has lost her radio. There’s no shortage of visual elements that bolster each video segment.
Lest you think you’re eavesdropping on a perfectly executed session, the pilot applicant does stumble on some questions, and the examiner delves deeper into those responses, just as would occur in an actual checkride.
The course is divided into eight sections: eligibility, certificates and documents, airworthiness requirements, cross-country flight planning, performance and limitations, National Airspace System, lost procedures and diversion, and aircraft systems. Two additional segments provide insights from the examiner and a flight instructor. The course also includes the complete text of the Airplane Flying Handbook, the Aeronautical Information Manual, the Risk Management Handbook, and the Private Pilot Practical Test Standards, plus calculators for maneuvering speed, load factor, and stall speed, and top of climb, and a 22-question knowledge quiz.
Private Pilot Course—Ground Portion sells for $29.99 and is available for iOS, Android, and instant downloads for PC and Mac. A DVD for PC and Mac will be available Nov. 30 through Marv Golden Pilot Supplies.
AOPA Technical Editor Jill W. Tallman is an instrument-rated private pilot who owns a Piper Cherokee 140.
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