Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon

Course Number:
AVS 120
Course Title:
Airplane: Private Pilot Ground School
Credit Hours:
Lecture Hours:
Lecture/Lab Hours:
Lab Hours:
Special Fee:

Course Description

Covers fundamentals of flight, aeronautical publications, Federal Aviation Regulations, navigation, flight planning, radio procedures and weather. Presents sufficient knowledge to prepare for the FAA Private Pilot knowledge test. Open to the general public. Audit available.

Addendum to Course Description

This course is designed to meet the requirements of Federal Aviation Regulations - 14 CFR Parts 61.103(d) & 61.105(b) for obtaining endorsement for taking the FAA Private Pilot Airplane knowledge test. This course will also provide the information required by 14 CFR Part 141 appendix B (3)(b) to complete the ground training needed to obtain a Private Pilot Airplane Single-Engine Land License. Lectures, discussions, videos, handouts, and written tests will provide to the student the necessary information. Class may also be offered online. Class participants will be expected to invest time outside of class to accomplish mastery of course content. Students who miss a class session must consult with the instructor prior to attendance at the next class session. Material missed by students during an allowed absence will be made available to them as determined by the instructor. In extreme cases, syllabus deviations may be allowed with the approval of the Chief Flight Instructor.

Intended Outcomes for the course

Upon successful completion of this course the student should be able to:
a) Apply for, take, and pass the FAA Private Pilot knowledge test.
b) Plan and explain the execution of a flight typical of a Private Pilot Certificate holder.

Outcome Assessment Strategies

At the beginning of the course, the instructor will explain the methods used to evaluate and record student progress, and the criteria for assigning a course grade. Evaluation methods may include one or more of the following: Tests and quizzes, attendance, and participation, class assignments, class projects.

Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)

The remaining page of this Course Content and Outcome Guide presents the competencies, skills, concepts and themes which are designed to result in the outcomes listed above.
Course Content and Outcome Guides are prepared by the Aviation Science Subject Area Curriculum Committee and approved by College management.
FAR 61.105 (b) and FAR 141 appendix B (3) (b) include the following aeronautical knowledge areas:

  1. Applicable Federal Aviation Regulations that relate to private pilot privileges, limitations, and flight operations;
  2. Accident reporting requirements of the National Transportation Safety Board;
  3. The use of the applicable portions of the "Aeronautical Information Manual" and appropriate FAA advisory circulars;
  4. The use of aeronautical charts for VFR navigation using pilotage, dead reckoning, and navigation systems;
  5. Radio communication procedures;
  6. Recognition of critical weather situations from the ground and in flight, windshear avoidance, and the procurement and use of aeronautical weather reports and forecasts;
  7. Safe and efficient operation of aircraft, including collision avoidance, and recognition and avoidance of wake turbulence;
  8. Effects of density altitude on takeoff and climb performance;
  9. Weight and balance computations;
  10. Principles of aerodynamics, powerplants, and aircraft systems;
  11. Stall awareness, spin entry, spins, and spin recovery techniques;
  12. Aeronautical decision making and judgement; and
  13. Preflight action that includes -
    1. How to obtain information on runway lengths at airports of intended use, data on takeoff and landing distances, weather reports and forecasts, and fuel requirements; and
    2. How to plan for alternatives if the planned flight cannot be completed or delays are encountered.