Private Pilot Ground School

STUDENTS APPLY HERE until the deadline of August 19, 2022

The Virginia Space Grant Consortium (VSGC) will host and offer a college-level Private Pilot Ground School (PPGS) course for high school students statewide. The PPGS course will be offered in partnership with Virginia Peninsula Community College. The course offers 60 hours of coursework and will be offered as a hybrid course, including synchronous instructional hours and asynchronous readings and assignments. Because students will be taking the course in addition to their normal high school course load, the course will be offered over a semester and the synchronous course elements will be made available at a time that makes it easier for high school students to participate – such as on Saturdays or weekday evenings.


VSGC will engage Barry King, an experienced aviation program instructor for this course. King has exceptional real-world aviation credentials that include a degree in Professional Aeronautics from Embry Riddle University, extensive teaching experience in aviation and aviation maintenance course work, and diverse aviation experience doing air taxi and charter work in Alaska, humanitarian relief and conservation flying in Africa, and FedEx and UPS air cargo contracts in the Continental USA.  King will serve as an excellent mentor and role model for these young aspiring pilots. He has taught PPGS classes for Olympic Finishers Flight School at Saranac Lake, New York, and for Pangea Aviation Academy of Kihansi, Uganda.  King will serve as the Certified Flight Instructor teaching the course and will be able to qualify students to take the FAA Private Pilot Knowledge Test.


VSGC is offering the course to 100 students through Summer 2022 and Fall 2022 with 50 students targeted for each session.  In addition to extensive recruitment by VSGC through Virginia school districts and other networks, the VDOAV, VDOE CTE, and the Virginia Wing of the CAP will market the program to strong candidates with a demonstrated interest in commercial aviation. Students will complete an application to be considered for selection to take the course. Accepted students will then complete an application to TNCC’s Workforce Development program. Participants who successfully complete the course will be eligible to apply for the proposed flight training scholarships and to the PFA.


While it is understood that students have an option to self-study for the Private Pilot’s exam, VSGC and its partners believe that by offering this ground school for academic credit, serious high school student pilots who want to become professional pilots will have the benefit of  in-depth professional training, academic credits that can be transferable to a Part 141 flight school program, and mentoring and encouragement in their high school years to sustain them in their career aspiration to be a pilot and help them succeed in their career goals. Students will receive ongoing communication regarding flight training opportunities and programs. We will survey course participants six months after completion to determine their next steps with respect to Aviation studies and flight training and use that opportunity to offer specific additional guidance as needed.