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Invest in Ground School. It might save your life one day.

Invest in Ground School. It might save your life one day.

I’m a tad sick and tired of hearing that Ground School is unnecessary, boring and an avoidable expense. If you feel that way, take up Golf instead. If you have an instructor that promotes that ethos (believe it or not, some do), sack them on the spot and do it publicly. I decided to write this blog because I’ve just read a quote from a student Pilot in a forum who has an IQ of 92: “Ground School is a waste of time and the money you’ll save can get you a few more hours flying”. He’s just got the attention of the Aviation Gods that will, I am sure, insist that his number is called a little more prematurely than he might prefer.

It’s a very sobering thought that 73% of General Aviation accidents are caused by a direct failure to apply some element of Ground School (source AAIB). I understand that reading a book with an average of 400 pages on material that may or may not be relevant is soul destroying. “Why the hell should I waste my time reading all that when I might not even be tested on it ”? some of you may ask. Therein lies your problem. Just because you might not be tested on it doesn’t mean it’s not relevant. If the authorities tested you on everything that was relevant, your exams would have at least a thousand questions in them, each!

How do we combat this cancer in our industry that Ground School is boring and irrelevant? How do we brute force stop the promotion of would be Pilots passing exams by merely learning answers to questions, or worse still, Flying Instructors telling their students what the exam questions are? We do it by getting an education. That goes for Instructors as well as students.

Every student has a fundamental right to a first class education when it comes to learning how to fly an Aeroplane or Helicopter. That first class education should be provided by the flying school. If the the flying school lacks the resources to supply it, then it is incumbent on them to forge ties with those that can, be it employing better qualified staff or forging links with other organisations. Let’s face it, Wall Mart didn’t become as big and successful as they are by just being Wall Mart did they?

A good Ground School that leads to success in PPL and ATPL Exams is potentially a life saver. Why? Because a good Ground School will be built not just on the CAA’s limited syllabus, but on safety case studies as well as promotion of how the theoretical meets the practical. It’s the latter that keeps you out of the coffin by the way.

There is no substitute for having a team of professionals talk about why one shouldn’t use high bank angles at low airspeed or why one must necessarily use more run way on take-off and landing when it’s warmer than usual outside. An organisation that doesn’t have a person to explain this in an intuitive manner is at best negligent, at worst criminal.

So do you read all 400 pages multiplied by 9 text books; an average of 3,600 pages of waffle and hope for the best in the exams then? If you have an IQ of 91, maybe you should. A far more sensible way of doing it is to attend a formal class, preferably delivered by professionals who are subject matter experts. 3,600 pages of waffle is very intelligently streamlined into bite sized very palatable chunks that do your body and brain no end of good. Not least it will go a long way to prevent your number being called prematurely.

“Yeah yeah Adam, you’re only saying all this because The Great Circle runs a course that does all these wonderful things”. Absolutely. I make no apology whatsoever for writing a blog that gives meaningful insight whilst simultaneously promoting one of my business services. Do ASDA or Tesco apologise for making a profit on the fruit they sell you that does your health a world of good? There are other schools to choose from, but I doubt you’ll find one that’s as passionate or knowledgeable.

I’ve worked extremely hard to get us where we are today and I couldn’t have done it without the people that work for The Great Circle. It’s people that make a difference to your training and ultimately your life. It’s your money. It's your life. Make sure you’re working with the right people, moreover, make sure they're working for you.

As always, fly safely and read read read, even when you’ve passed all your exams. That’s what makes an extraordinary pilot compared to an ordinary one.

Adam Berrington (Chief hooverer upperer and Tea maker at The Great Circle)

For a First Class education Click here.

 

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