A bit overwhelmed with intro to Instrument

Is it normal for some of this material to seem like a foreign language? Im going through the “intro to instrument” lessons and some of this material (ie procedure turns, attitude instrument flying, etc) is just going right over my head. Do these things start to make more sense as you fly them?


It is absolutely normal for some of the material to seem like a foreign language, it is.

When you start to work with an instructor, and even more importantly start to fly, these things will make a lot more sense. For now, it is really all about rote memorization.



Yes. I would be surprised if you picked it up first try. Flying is not intuitive. Just absorb as much as you can, ask your instructor lots of questions and use your resources to help you understand the concepts.



This is why you can’t take an online course and become a pilot. This also why we have instructors, simulators and airplanes that are required for training and why when people tell me they have 5,000hrs on X-Plane and KNOW they could be a pilot without further instruction I laugh. In short until you receive some training and instruction on the subject it is a foreign language.


I had the same experience. I finally bought the King Schools online instrument course, and it was a game changer for me. They do an excellent job of breaking everything down from the beginning, and the info builds as you go along - a little at a time, as opposed to an info dump that’s overwhelming. Well worth every penny spent, in my opinion, and I would highly recommend it.

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Did you find it was more helpful than the videos ATP provides? Im a big fan of John and Martha. They got me through my PPL training.

Way more helpful, actually, and a lot less boring.

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Awesome. I’ll definitely pick that up. Do you think it stands on its own for the written or should I also use SA?

Which package did you get?

I was using SA at first and just couldn’t stand not having any grasp of the actual concepts. Rote memorization only goes so far for me. The correct answer might be “1.4 DME,” but what good does that do me if I don’t know what DME even stands for? That’s just my opinion and I learn better if I can visualize and grasp actual concepts.

I purchased their Instrument Rating Ground School and Test Prep program. I think it was $279 or something like that. Worth every penny, and I feel infinitely more prepared to get started with actual instrument work at ATP than I would have if I had just stuck with the SA answer memorization method.


I agree with you. I struggled at the pure memorization as well and ended up purchasing the King Schools videos when I went through the program.


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I was happy to see ATP utitilize the King Schools education videos for the Private Pilot test prep (written and practical), unfortunately the King’s videos aren’t used for the rest of training post Private. When it was announced that ATP and King would partner, there was talk in the article about potential to use Kings education for other portions of training at ATP in the future (hopefully near future), but so far we haven’t heard of anything. I would love to see Kings used for all certs./ratings at ATP.

King Schools has a current package deal on their website that is under $1000 for all their primary certs./ratings educational video test prep. (Private, Instrument, Commerical, CFI, and Multi-Engine flying). I would think with the partnership between ATP and King, it couldn’t cost them too much (and hopefully much less than retail price) to implement all King’s primary videos in the training at ATP instead of just the Private. It seems that would be a win all around for ATP, King Schools, and ATP students.



I am not aware of any current plans to extend King Schools material beyond the private, but I will certainly pass on the feedback.

Remember to check eBay for much better prices on the videos. The material hasn’t changed that much, so even a set that is a few years old should be fine.


Is the Sheppard air stuff enough to pass the written or you would recommend purchasing the Kings school instrument course even before taking the written?


The Kings courses are great for learning and more important UNDERSTANDING the material. The thing is the FAA writtens really don’t correspond with the actual curriculum which is why we always recommend completing as many writtens as you can prior to starting the program. The Sheppard courseware only prepares you for the writtens and is basically rote learning which is fine for the task. While I appreciate the desire to understand the material it’s really out of context as you haven’t started training yet so the rote is perfect for just getting it out of the way. Short answer just use the Sheppard Air provided courseware.


Thanks man, this is exactly the answer I was looking for.

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Just spoke to a rep at King Schools and he said he was pretty confident that ATP is going to be offering the Instrument training package very soon, although he couldn’t tell me the date. I’m going to ask my training location to see if they have any additional info. I too struggle to memorize things I don’t understand, so looking forward to this development if its true.


Even if it is not available soon, I would still recommend purchasing the King course. Look on eBay, even an older set will probably still be pretty viable.


Thanks very much for the advice. I just received word from my ATP location that they are not aware of any plan to offer Kings training past private. Oh well…I guess I’ll have to spend the money.

By the way, if there are any veterans on here, Kings offers 20% discount to active, retired, vets. Every bit helps!

I’m currently wrapping up week three at ATP. I came in with credit for private. Like you, I first went through the Intro to Instrument modules completing them no later than 2 weeks prior to start date, as required by ATP. On day one at ATP, sudddenly King’s Instrument Ground School Course appeared in my Student Extranet account…!

I wished it had been available months prior to my start date, but hey, at least it’s there now. So, apparently, ATP is using King’s now for the instrument portion and you may not want to spend money on it. It also includes their series on Flying the Garmin 430/530 and Garmin G1000.

Hope this helps!