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Ground school blends online, classroom learningGround school blends online, classroom learning

Flight review students have a new option for brushing up on federal aviation regulations, flight maneuvers, and other basic skills needed for the ground school portion of their logbook endorsement. WINGsReality EDU has designed a blended online and live classroom learning environment, co-founder Michael Lessard told AOPA. Lessard said the physical school, based in Maine, had simply outgrown its confines, so he spread the learning process out from a classroom to a student’s own room—wherever that may be.

The flight review classes begin Oct. 15 and are scheduled through the fall and winter from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Eastern time with Lessard leading the lesson plan from WINGsReality EDU’s campus. He encourages students to participate in discussions either in person or remotely via a computer and video hookup. Cameras are placed around the room so everyone has a good view. "Online viewers can ask questions or raise their hands the same as live students in the room.”

Five different training modules are presented to the class, along with homework and deadlines, to keep everybody on track. Students must pass each module before continuing to the next one. Though Lessard said the ground school review material wasn’t a pushover, nobody has failed yet.

“Each class is recorded and archived,” said Lessard, “and students can watch them over and over as many times as they want or need.” Since all material will be archived, if a student misses a class, he or she can still catch up later.

WINGsReality EDU has offered private pilot ground schools for 11 years that were previously based at the University of Maine, with a satellite location near Atlanta. With the new concept Lessard said he combined the best of his in-person and online teaching methods to appeal to busy aviators.

Completion of the flight review course earns students four FAA WINGS credits—two basic and two advanced credits, said Lessard.

The flight review ground school costs $39.95 and will be offered once per month, with consideration that weekday evenings rather than weekends might be more appealing during the milder weather of spring and summer.

“It’s amazing,” Lessard said of the new blended online and in-person classrooms. “It’s absolutely off the chart fantastic.”

David Tulis

David Tulis

Associate Editor Web/ePilot
AOPA Associate Editor Web/ePilot David Tulis joined AOPA in 2015 and is a seaplane-rated private pilot who enjoys vintage aircraft, aerobatic flying, and photography.
Topics: Flight School, Pilots

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