The Morristown, New Jersey-based company has produced pilot training software for about four years, according to CEO Gian Luca (“Lucas”) Noia, and began offering courses for the iPad because of customer demand. The latest course, designed to help students pass the instrument knowledge test, includes 12 hours of interactive presentations divided into 13 chapters. Each chapter has a 10-question quiz at the end, and students may take a practice test at the end of the course.
The company’s private pilot checkride prep app was added to the app store in November 2014, followed quickly by the instrument rating checkride prep and Private Pilot Virtual Test Prep knowledge test preparation app. Noia said the company plans to roll out app versions of its other courses in the coming months.
The instrument knowledge test app, which sells for $109.99, uses audio, images, video, and animations to help students understand important concepts. Each time the app presents a difficult concept, the student must then interact with it in some way, Noia said.
“These interactions are like little games inside the class and all of us here at PTS are strong believers that, no matter the age, playing games is one of the better ways to learn,” he told AOPA in an email.
Noia, who has a background teaching weekend in-person ground schools, said that Pilot Training Solutions’ courses’ main goal is to help students pass the test, but that they’re also designed so that students will be able to apply the concepts they’ve learned.
“Ours is a real training platform,” he said. “We teach the material—we teach it all.” Many customers use the software as a refresher, for an instrument proficiency test or just for a deeper understanding, he added.
In addition to creating app versions of existing courses, Pilot Training Solutions is developing an online flight instructor refresher course and airline transport pilot course to cover all fixed-wing pilot certificates, Noia said. (The company recommends certificated flight instructor-instrument applicants use the instrument knowledge test course.) The company also plans to release an IFR procedures app to help pilots become safer and more confident in the IFR environment; Noia said it will cover such topics as steps to take while planning a flight, executing an ILS approach, and understanding all the weather available.
A current promotion on the company’s website offers an “All-In-One” package of software for its courses, including the app version, for $125 each.