Passing Ground School

At the start of the semester, our son wanted to take private pilot ground school. We made the arrangements, but there wasn’t enough people to hold the piloting class. My husband convinced me to sign up. I would be the 6 person required before they could have class. Besides, I’ve been muttering about doing it for years. This was a good excuse to finally do it. OK. So we went to the office and signed me up. We showed up on the first scheduled day of class to find there were not only 6 but 9 in the class! Yeah! Everyone was surprised because we all thought the class was cancelled. It was confusing. They had in fact cancelled the class, but since we had enough students on the first day, they reinstated the class.

So, this semester, for 2 hours twice a week I’ve been learning the basics of piloting. All about FAA regulations, aerodynamics of airplanes, flight planning, etc. I was doing fairly well up to the midterm. I bombed the midterm, and haven’t been doing very well since on the quizzes. I’m not comfortable with the calculations. Not enough practice. Or so I thought. Today was the final. You have to score 85% or better to get your endorsement. That endorsement earns you the right to pay $150 to take a similar written exam from the FAA. This is the first half of your pilot certification. The second is the flight check ride where an instructor flies with you ordering you around after an oral exam.

Like I said, I did not have confident in much after the midterm, so I was not feeling very good about my chances passing today’s test. You have 2 hours to complete 60 questions. Getting an 85 means you can only miss 9 questions. I took over an hour and a half. I don’t exactly know my time, but finished about the middle of my classmates. I waited for my son to finish his exam. The instructor had mine graded when he was done. I had scored exactly 85%! I passed ground school!

I asked the instructor what the next step was. He told me to buy a pilot’s logbook so he could give me my endorsement. He also gave me a website to practice more before the FAA exam. Although you only need 70% to pass the FAA exam, the better you do, the easier the flight instructor will be on the oral part of the check ride, since you supposedly know what you’re doing better. After getting the endorsement, I’ll have 60 days to take the FAA written exam and up to 2 years as a student pilot to do the check ride.