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Five ways to maximize your online aviation learning

King Schools’ Barry Knuttila shares tips

King Schools CEO, on-air flight instructor, and Beechcraft Debonair owner Barry Knuttila shares advice for maximizing your online learning experience during stay-at-home orders for the coronavirus pandemic.

Barry Knuttila, King Schools CEO, instructs students during an online class. Photo courtesy of King Schools.

Make learning a priority: “It’s kind of like working from home,” said Knutilla. “You need to be sure you have the time set aside.”

Minimize distractions: “We’re all distracted because of this this pandemic, so I think the best thing to do is to figure out a time of the day when you have minimal distractions and you know you can sit down to focus for a period of time,” he recommended.

Make an appointment with yourself: Add the appointment to your calendar app and then set a reminder. “It’s really useful to make an appointment with yourself where you can focus on online learning,” he said.

Keep the appointment: “Showing up” for the appointment with ourselves is challenging, Knuttila noted, because “we’re inundated by the news and by dealing with different work situations. And we’re concerned about our family and our friends.”

Break off small chunks of your time, and review: “If you’ve got even 15 minutes you can sit down, watch a video that will be five to 10 minutes, and then take the questions that follow the video to reinforce your learning.” Knuttila added that King Schools' products are broken into “bite-size segments” to help expedite the learning process. The process allows pilots to “bite off as many of those as you can handle.” Online tutorials accompanied by companion apps can help pilots—and potential pilots—make significant progress with a minimal time investment, no matter where they are, said Knuttila. “That’s one of the great things about online learning—you can study from just about anywhere.”

The California-based airline transport pilot and active flight instructor said he was pleased that online learning has remained constant in the face of personal and professional distractions for pilots and their families.

Looking for online-learning resources? Here are a few to try:

  • Barry Schiff turns scientist to explain how airplanes fly—you won’t want to miss this free, educational, and entertaining video.
  • King Schools is offering a 21-percent discount on all of its courses through April 9.
  • Sporty’s Pilot Shop is providing several free resources to help pilots stay current, including the Pilot’s Guide to Airspace and several YouTube videos for on-the-go learning.
  • Gleim Aviation partnered with X-Plane 11 software developer Laminar Research to provide an introductory version of the Gleim X-Plane Flight Training Course and the full version of X-Plane 11 for no charge through June 30.
  • Jason Miller of The Finer Points added enhanced content to his social media presence with daily Instagram live Q&A sessions, several webinars, and weekly podcasts.
  • Doug Stewart reduced by $60 the East Coast IFR Experience of flying with an instructor in actual instrument conditions.
  • Mark Robidoux announced a $50 discount for the Pilot Workshops Real World VFR training course, an over-the-shoulder view of ATC interactions, decision making, and VFR cross-country flying with helpful tips and techniques.
  • Jeff Simon introduced an interactive livestreaming program called SocialFlight Live! with topics that cover aircraft disinfecting, stress management, remote meeting tools for flying clubs, and more. Register online.
David Tulis
David Tulis
Senior Photographer
Senior Photographer David Tulis joined AOPA in 2015 and is a private pilot with single-engine land and sea ratings and a tailwheel endorsement. He is also a certificated remote pilot and co-host of the award-wining AOPA Hangar Talk podcast. David enjoys vintage aircraft ad photography.
Topics: COVID19, Aviation Education Programs, Flight School

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