Pilot Ground School

The following resources are recommended for student pilots, sport pilots, private pilots, and those pursuing an instrument rating. All of the resources are pretty specific to Airplane Single-Engine Land category/class. Resources for other ratings and/or certificates may be added in the future.

Click on each of the links below to obtain more information about each area of study.

Getting Started

Are you interested in getting started with flight training in the Chicagoland area, and just don’t know where to start? Get information on how to select an airport and flight school to train out of.

General Resources

Information and handbooks that are relevant to all areas of aviation, certification, and general knowledge.

Principles of Flight & Aerodynamics

Information about the four forces of flight, different types of flight, how an airplane creates lift, and the fundamentals of aerodynamics.

Flight Controls & Aircraft Systems

What are all of the components of an aircraft, and how do they work together to create flight?

Flight Instruments, Manuals & Other Documents

Information about the Pilot Operating Handbook (POH) / Aircraft Flight Manual (AFM), and other documents that you may need. Also included here is information about airworthiness: what is it, and how do you know if you have it?

Weight & Balance

Before you take off, you need to know how to ensure that your aircraft meets weight and balance requirements.

Aircraft Performance

How do you know if your aircraft can successfully take off or land at a particular runway given current atmospheric conditions? How long will it take to fly from point A to point B? These are all questions that having knowledge of your aircraft’s performance can answer.

Weather Theory

Understanding weather is 99% of VFR flight, the other 1% is actually flying.

Aviation Weather Services

Now that you know what weather is, how can you determine what the weather is going to be like on your next flight? All of these resources will help you make your go/no-go decision.

Airport Operations

The most important phases of flight (take off and landing) take place at airports. Learn about airport information, markings, signs, lighting, and everything else you need to know to safely navigate the airport environment.


Every aspect of every flight in the US takes place in the National Airspace System. Understanding airspace is fundamental to ensuring we stay safe and legal, and additionally lets us know what types of resources are available to us as pilots.


How do you get from airport A to airport B? What resources are available to us on the ground and in the air? Being able to navigate accurately is an important part of being a pilot.

Federal Aviation Regulations

Flying is fun, but we also need to ensure that we abide by all of the laws and regulations that are in place.

Aeromedical Factors

Good pilots are healthy pilots. Stay safe while you’re in the air by learning about aeromedical factors. Also included is information about the medical certification process, which is required for non-sport pilot certificates.

Aeronautical Decision-Making

No activity comes without risk. Aviation comes with its own share of risk. Being a good pilot involves learning how to accurately assess and mitigate risk during each and every flight.

Part 107 (sUAS / Drone) Resources

Included here are resources for obtaining a part 107 certificate with a sUAS rating.

AGI / CFI-S Resources

Becoming an Advanced Ground Instructor (AGI) certificate enables you to give ground instruction, as well as endorsements for written tests, for all types of aircrafts for all part 61 certificates (excepting instrument). Becoming a Certified Flight Instructor – Sport rating (CFI-S) enables you to give flight instruction in light sport aircraft. Here are resources helpful in obtaining your AGI / CFI-S, and resources once you’ve gotten those shiny plastic certificates in your wallet.

Practical Test (“Checkride”) Resources

Every pilot must pass a practical test in order to get their certificate. These resources include study guides, knowledge requirements, and other things you should know before getting into an airplane with a Designated Pilot Examiner.

Instrument Rating

As of June 2020, I am working on my instrument rating, so I will continue to add resources here as I continue my studies. These resources are intended to assist a private pilot who is working on getting their instrument rating. My links may be geared more towards steam gauges as I am getting my instrument in a steam aircraft. You may require different resources if you are learning in a glass paneled aircraft.

Beyond Sport & Private Pilot Flight Training

So, you’ve got your sport certificate or your private certificate. What now? Here are some ideas to ensure that you keep having fun with your flying!


Some miscellaneous links that don’t quite fit anywhere else, but that are useful enough to include on this website.