Self-Study on your own

Hi all!

Q: With the amount of coursework and studying involved, couldn’t I purchase all of the coursework/materials and do all of the ground learning on my own?

Then, attend a flight school for the tests/certifications + sim + flying hours required for each level (ie; 40-60 for PPL etc.)

If so, how would I figure out the pricing on all of that?



In theory, yes you could maybe self study for everything, but in reality no. Learning to fly is very complex and multi-faceted, some concepts are easy to understanding, others are rather abstract and difficult to understand. I think you will find that you need an instructor to help you understand many of the concepts. What you are asking is essentially the same as saying “Can I get a book about surgeries and then sit for the medical board at Harvard?”

Also, you will need a CFI to sign you off for several of the written exams. Furthermore, no CFI (including myself) would just accept a student’s word that they were “up to speed” because they had self taught everything, I would put you through a lot of my own ground school, all of which would cost you money.

Bottom line, this isn’t driver’s ED, learning to fly is tough and you will need formal instruction.



Thanks for the information.

For the most part, it’s understandable.

I did think a portion of self-learning could have been demonstrated through your tests result(s).

By-the-way; I have performed a Tracheotomy after have only ready about it -

and he survived! lol :wink:

All the best!


Test results, especially FAA ones, are not really indicative of a level of knowledge and understanding, that is simply an exercise in memorization.

You also have to understand that when a CFI signs off a pilot to take a checkride, they are being evaluated too, their pass/fail record is affected and they are responsible to the examiner and the FAA for your performance. Also, an instructor has to sign a student pilot off to fly solo, which is a huge responsibility, test scores alone would not suffice for this level of trust either.

I would be very, very surprised if you could find an instructor that will buy off on what you are proposing, but you never know.



I have some questions for you. First question is why? To save money? How much do you think you’d be saving? If you look at the cost of flight training the vast majority of it is the flight hours. Do you think you’ll just show up, get in the plane and fly? Do you think you could learn the maneuvers and procedures from a book and then go fly them yourself? What happens when a concept is unclear or you simply don’t understand? Are you just going to Google?

I appreciate your confidence but ATP while ATP features a fair amount of self-study, it’s not an online or correspondence course. All the self-study is “guided”, reviewed and then integrated into the actual flight training.

That all said this is America and you can do as you like and I wish you luck. Let us know how it goes.