Study Aids and Video Programs
Pilot shops are bursting with study aids and video programs to help student pilots pass their private pilot exams and help other pilots with their advanced certificates. The most valuable study aids I’ve found for the private pilot written exam are the Gleim study guides and the three-volume Pilot’s Manual series by Trevor Thom.
The Gleim books help pilots prepare for the FAA written exam by reprinting the actual exam questions along with the correct answer and detailed explanations of the
principle underlying the question. The Gleim series includes a preparation guide for the practical test, which is the portion of the FAA exam requiring the student and the FAA-approved check pilots to make a flight in order for the student to demonstrate his skill in a series of basic maneuvers.
Check out Append» C, "Recommended Reading," for other books to get you started in your studies as well as materials for flying pleasure reading.
The Thom books, published by ASA, are highly professional guides to ground-school material, as well as an excellent resource for studying the maneuvers and skills required for the practical test.
One other handy book for sharpening flying skills is a little treasure called Visualized Flight Maneuver Handbook, also published by ASA. Every instructor and student pilot should have a copy of this pocket-size gem, which depicts in full graphic detail the finer points of basic and advanced maneuvers.
I find that the perfect supplement to study books are study videos, which can help pilots better visualize their study material. By far the best videos are those produced by King School. The series, which is frequently updated as regulations change and teaching methods improve, is renowned for boosting test scores far above the national average.
In addition to being unequalled learning tools, the King School videos introduce you to John and Martha King, perhaps the most engaging husband-and-wife pilot team you’re likely to meet. They are excellent instructors, in part because they know better than anyone else what pilots should expect during a written exam and a practical test. That’s because both have every certificate and rating the FAA can offer, including the airship and gyroplane. That’s quite a distinction, and one that student pilots can take advantage of.