Stage 1 – Ground School

Overview: The Stage 1 Ground School covers a wide variety of topics that are needed to provide you with a solid foundation to start flight training. All of the knowledge covered during this ground school will be regularly used and assessed in Stage 1 through standardized quizzes, oral discussions, and in-flight scenarios.

Duration: 6 hours

Preparation: Expect to spend 6-8 hours reading through the reading assignments listed in the table below. Study each resource to be able respond verbally to answer the questions listed below.

Topics You need to be able to explain and answer these questions: Study these resources:
Introduction to Flight Training

  • Role of the FAA
  • Role of Flight Standards District FSDO
  • FARs
  • AIM
  • ACs
  • Handbooks
  • Private Pilot Training Requirement
  • Student Pilot Training Requirements
  • Practical Test Standards
  • Designated Examiners
  • Explain the aeronautical knowledge and experience requirements needed to obtain a private pilot certificate
  • What exams must you complete in order to obtain a private pilot certificate?
  • What are the aeronautical knowledge and experience requirements needed to exercise solo privileges as a student pilot?
  • Which section of the FARs regulates the certification of pilots?
  • What information is contained in the Aeronautical Information Manual?
  • What information is contained in the PHAK?
  • What information is contained in the Airplane Flying Handbook?
  • What are Practical Test Standards? How are they used during the practical exam?
  • What is a Designated Examiner? What is his/her role in the pilot certification process?
PHAK 25BRead PHAK Chapter 1 Introduction to Flying.
AFH 3BRead AFH Chapter 1 Introduction to Flight Training
FAAReview 14 CFR 61.87 Solo Requirements for student pilots
FAAReview 14 CFR 61.105, .107 & .109 – Private Pilot Aeronautical Knowledge, Proficiency Experience
Aircraft Structure and Flight Controls

  • Major structure components
  • Flight controls, control linkage, and control surfaces
  • Secondary controls – Trim and flaps
  • Powerplant components, accessories
  • Propeller
  • Electrical system
  • Landing gear, brakes, tires
  • How is the control yoke connected to ailerons?
  • How is the control yoke connected to the elevator?
  • How are the rudder pedals connected to the rudder? to the nosewheel? to the brakes?
  • What is elevator trim? How does it work mechanically? Aerodynamically?
  • How do you control elevator trim?
  • What type of flaps does your airplane have?
  • What are the flap angle positions in your airplane? How do you set flaps for these positions?
PHAK 25BRead PHAK Chapter 3 Aircraft Construction
PHAK 25BRead PHAK Chapter 6 Flight Controls
POHRead Chapter 7 – Systems in your training airplane’s POH/AFM.
Ground Operations

  • Safety Practices
  • Preflight Inspection
  • Ground Handling
  • Positioning the airplane for engine start
  • Servicing
    • Fueling
    • Adding oil
    • Cleaning windscreen
    • Debug and degrease
  • Postflight Inspection
  • Securing the aircraft
  • What are you looking for during the preflight inspection? What is acceptable and not acceptable for each preflight inspection item.
  • Which parts of the airplane can be used to move the airplane on the ground?
  • What considerations should you consider when starting your airplane?
  • How do you ensure that the engine/prop are secured and communicate that to other people working around the airplane?
  • How do you ensure the safety of other people when they are around your airplane?
  • If we fly the airplane to another airport for lunch, do you need to preflight the airplane again after lunch?
  • What risks are associated with fueling?
AFH 3BRead AFH Chapter 2 Ground Operations
POHStudy your airplane’s Preflight Inspection in Chapter 4 – Normal Procedures of your airplane’s POH/AFM.
Aircraft Systems

  • Powerplant Systems
  • Electrical Systems
  • How does the reciprocating engine work?
  • What type of powerplant is in your airplane?
  • What are the powerplant controls? Describe the function of each control.
  • What are the powerplant gauges? What are the markings on these gauges? How do you interpret them?
  • Describe your airplane’s induction system
  • Describe the airplane’s ignition system
  • Describe the airplane’s oil system
  • What is the function of the oil system?
  • What type of oil is used in your airplane?
  • Describe the airplane’s fuel system
  • What type of fuel is used in your airplane?
  • Describe your airplane’s electrical system
PHAK 25BRead PHAK Chapter 7 Aircraft Systems

 

 

 

POHRead Chapter 7 – Systems in your training airplane’s POH/AFM.

Flight Instruments

  • Pitot/Static System
  • Pitot/Static Instruments
  • Gyroscopic Instruments
  • Magnetic Compass
  • What is static air pressure?
  • What is pitot (ram) air pressure?
  • Describe the aircraft’s pitot/static system
  • Which flight instruments are pitot/static instruments?
  • Describe each pitot/static instrument, its principle of operation, its information source, what is the scale of each instrument, how you read each instrument, and how do you check the instrument during preflight and run-up.
  • What are the effects of non-standard pressure and temperature on the altimeter?
  • From which sources do we set the altimeter prior to flight?
  • What is the altimeter’s maximum allowable error?
  • Approximately how many inches of pressure equal 1,000 ft of altitude? 100 ft? 10 ft?
  • Define the different type of altitudes used in aviation
  • How do you convert IAS to TAS in the cockpit?
  • Define the different types of airspeeds used in aviation
  • What are the velocity (v) speeds marked on the airspeed indicator? What is the significance of each?
  • What are the operating arcs marked on the airspeed indicator?
  • What V speeds are not marked on the airspeed indicator? What is the significance of each?
  • What is the effect of a blocked static system?
  • What is the effect of a block pitot sytem?
  • What is the purpose of the drain hole in the pitot system?
  • Does your airplane have an alternate static port? When would you use it? How do you use it? How does it work differently than the normal static port?
  • Describe each gyroscopic instruments, its principle of operation, its power source, what is the scale of each instrument, how you interpret each instrument, and how do you check the instrument during preflight and run-up.
  • What is rigidity in space?
  • What is precession?
  • Describe your airplane’s vacuum system.
  • What does the vacuum gauge measure? What is normal suction?
  • How many vacuum pumps are in your airplane?
  • What is the purpose of the adjustment knob on the attitude indicator?
  • What is the purpose of the adjustment knob on the heading indicator?
  • What is the inclinometer? How do you interpret when flying? How do you check it during preflight?
  • How do you check the magnetic compass during preflight?
  • How do you read the magnetic compass?
  • What errors can be induced in the compass?
  • How often does the heading indicator need to be checked against the magnetic compass?
  • In which aircraft attitudes is the compass reliable?
  • Where is your aircraft’s outside air temperature gauge? How do you read it? How do you use OAT for piloting?
PHAK 25BRead PHAK Chapter 8 Flight Instruments
Principles of Flight

  • Standard Atmosphere
  • Airfoil Components
  • Effects of air moving across airfoils
  • Describe the International Standard Atmosphere
  • What are the two ways to determine pressure altitude?
  • How does density altitude affect aircraft performance?
  • Describe the components of an airfoil
  • Describe how airflow over an airfoil generates lift
  • Describe the center of pressure
  • Describe the center of gravity
  • Describe relative wind and angle of attack
  • How does the center of pressure vary with the angle of attack?
PHAK 25BRead PHAK Chapter 4 Principles of Flight
Aerodynamics of Flight

  • Four forces of flight
  • Aerodynamic Forces in different flight attitudes
  • Weight and Balance
  • Describe the four forces of flight?
  • Describe the components of each force in straight and level flight, a stabilized climb and a stabilized descent
  • What causes an airplane to climb?
  • What causes an airplane to descend?
  • Describe the different types of aerodynamic drag
  • What is the significance of where the parasite drag curve and induced drag curve meet?
  • How are wingtip vortices generated? How do they affect the airplane?
  • What precautions should you take when operating behind aircraft?
  • What is ground effect? What is its affect aerodynamically? How does it affect the aircraft during takeoff and landing?
  • Describe the three axis of an airplane
  • Describe how each flight control manipulates the airplane around each axis
  • Describe how varying airspeeds affect the forces generated by each flight control
  • Describe the stability characteristics of an airplane around each axis
  • Describe the aerodynamics forces in a turn
  • Describe a slipping turn
  • Describe a skidding turn
  • Describe an aerodynamic stall
  • Describe the aerodynamics of a propeller
  • Describe how the propeller generates thrust
  • Describe how the propeller generates the left-turning tendencies of an airplane
  • Describe load factor
  • What is the load factor at 60 degree angle of bank
  • What is the relationship between angle of bank, angle of attack, and stalling speed in level flight?
  • What is an aerodynamic spin?
  • What is a V-G diagram?
  • How does airspeed affect the radius of a turn? How does bank angle affect the radius of a turn?
  • How does weight affect aircraft performance?
  • How does balance affect aircraft performance?
PHAK 25BRead PHAK Chapter 5 Aerodynamics of Flight

 

 

Flight Manuals and Other Documents

  • Airworthiness Documents
  • Airplane Flight Manual (AFM)
  • Airworthiness Inspections
  • Inoperative Equipment and Instruments
  • Describe the required airworthiness documents that must be on board the aircraft prior to flight
  • How often does the airworthiness certificate expire?
  • How often does the registration certificate expire?
  • What information is available on the weight and balance certificate?
  • Describe the chapters in the AFM
  • Describe the airworthiness inspections required before flight?
  • Describe the process used when inoperative equipment or instruments are discovered during a preflight inspection?
  • What is a minimum equipment list?
  • Describe the preventative maintenance that can be performed by a certificate pilot
  • What is a special flight permit?
  • What is an airworthiness directive?
  • Who is responsible for ensuring that required inspections and maintenance are performed?
  • Who is responsible for ensuring that required inspections and maintenance have been performed prior to acting as Pilot in Command of an aircraft?
PHAK 25BRead PHAK Chapter 9 Flight Manuals and Other Documents
Airport Operations

  • Runway and Taxiway Markings, Signs and Lighting
  • Traffic Patterns
  • Radio Announcements
  • Wind Indicators
  • Visual Glide Slopes
  • What are the sources of airport information?
  • Describe runway markings, signs and lights
  • Describe taxiway markings, signs and lights
  • What is the significance of a hold short line
  • Describe the airport traffic pattern
  • Describe the radio calls made when approaching and entering the pattern at an uncontrolled airport
  • How can you determine airport pattern directions and altitudes?
  • Describe the sources of wind information at an airport
  • Describe a visual glide slope system
  • What is pilot controlled lighting?
PHAK 25BRead PHAK Chapter 14 Airport Operations