Plane & Pilot
Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Live Interaction: A New Way To Learn

Pro Aviation Trainers combines Internet learning with live instructors

The courses are technically rich. They can be run on Mac or PC computers, and even most tablets or mobile devices. No special software is required, though a small-footprint client app will download to your computer the first time you access a course. Ground instructors are certified, of course, and the seminars contain the usual components including practice exams, FAA-approved endorsement and progress tracking. The instructor will administer a practice exam upon completion of a seminar, and the student must pass with an 85% or better. "The FAA requires a minimum passing score of 70%," adds Naqui, "so we set our bar higher. Students can take the final practice exam as many times as they like until they reach the magic 85%. They will then receive the proper endorsement to take the real knowledge exam."

My impression from taking a subset of the Instrument seminar is that it's effective. It's interesting to hear others' questions, and being able to ask the instructor for clarification is probably the course's strongest selling point. The graphic format is nice, though I found it much more akin to a PowerPoint presentation than the sophisticated graphics of, say, the Sporty's course. Still, the information is relayed effectively. When one considers that some of the graphics in the King courses are nearly 20 years old, the difference fancy graphics make to success on the FAA exams seems overrated. I think it depends on the student.

Scheduling seemed amply available, and at $279 for the 10-week Private course, the price is reasonable for what the student receives. The materials you receive a week before your course will give you everything you need to succeed in the course. Like all FAA-prep programs, success on the exam is up to the individual. There are no magic bullets, and—especially for the Instrument rating knowledge—you have to study until you really understand the material. There's no universal method of learning that works for everyone.
Like all FAA-prep programs, success on the exam is up to the individual. There are no magic
have to study.
I think systems like Pro Aviation Trainers have a place in our increasingly complex aviation world. I love the idea of interacting with a live instructor while still enjoying the convenience of home study and participation. It adds a option for passing the FAA exam.

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