Private Pilot Ground School

STUDENTS APPLY HERE until the deadline of July 24, 2023

The Virginia Space Grant Consortium (VSGC) will host and offer a Private Pilot Ground School (PPGS) course for high school students statewide. The PPGS course will be offered in partnership with Certified FAA Flight Instructor and Ground School Instructor, Mr. Barry King. The free online course offers 60 hours of coursework, including live instructional hours plus readings and assignments to be completed outside of course hours. Because students will be taking the course in addition to their normal high school course load, the synchronous course elements will take place on Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 6pm-8pm during the program period of August 1 to September 21, 2023.


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 Aeronautical 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 has previously offered the course to 87 students in Summer 2022 and Fall 2022, and can accept up to 50 students in this upcoming session. Students must complete an application to be considered for selection to take the course. Participants who successfully complete the course will be eligible to apply for further aviation programs offered by VSGC in the future.


While 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 a certificate of completion from the instructor and the instructor’s signature on their Private Pilot license application, serious high school student pilots who want to become professional pilots will have the benefit of  in-depth professional training and mentoring 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 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.