Private Pilot Ground School Overview

Private pilot ground school
Happy ground school students surround their instructor, Captain Judy Rice.

Epic Flight Academy offers a step-by-step process for becoming a pilot. After being accepted as an Epic flight cadet, the first course you will take is Ground School. Classes are typically held for 8 weeks in the main classroom at Epic Flight Academy for 2.5 hours per day, Monday through Friday. Captain Judy Rice is your instructor. However, during the COVID-19 outbreak, we are providing ground school online. The online course lasts 12 weeks, and you can complete it from the comfort of your home.

About Ground School

Epic’s Private Pilot Pilot Course Ground School is taught in conjunction with our Virtual Flight Academy and Aviation Skills Development flight simulator instruction. We literally teach it “on the ground” instead of “in the airplane,” which is why it’s called “Ground School.” During this time, however, you will also take flight lessons. This way, you can apply what you’re learning in the classroom inside the airplane. We believe in teaching theory and practice at the same time. Learning aircraft terminology and concepts from the textbook is important, but it’s also important to experience these things firsthand.

Topics Taught in Ground School

Ground School provides the basic knowledge you need to become a licensed pilot, so it covers a broad range of topics. Whether you’re a domestic student or an international student, you’ll want to learn the best study skills, which we teach you. Because the course is only 8 weeks long, you will want to make the most of every day. So, after class, you will want to review and practice the material we’ve covered. In Ground School, we teach the basics of flight training, and we prepare you for your FAA tests. We help you study and prepare for these important milestones. Epic’s Ground School provides the foundation that ensures your flight training success. Here are the topics you will learn about:

  • aircraft systems
  • Instruments
  • aerodynamics
  • Federal Aviation Regulations (FARs)
  • aeronautical decision-making
  • aeromedical factors
  • airport operations
  • airspace
  • weather theory
  • services
  • aircraft performance
  • weight and balance
  • navigation
  • sectional charts
  • NOTAMs
  • weather charts
  • runway diagrams

While attending Ground School, you can also receive additional instructional support if needed, such as one-on-one ground school instruction covering specific topics. For international students, we can also provide English tutoring to support your Aviation English skills, if needed. Once you successfully complete your pilot training at Epic, you are certified by the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) to IACO (International Civil Aviation Organization) Level IV English. We welcome students of all nationalities. Aviation connects the world!

New student orientation – March 2020! Welcome to Epic Ground School!

Success in Ground School

We have found that our students are here because they have a dream to become a pilot, and we love teaching people how to fly! With your enthusiasm and our knowledge, you will learn the Ground School material quickly. All of our instructors are highly qualified not only in aviation, but also in teaching methods. They use every excellent educational strategy to make learning easy. We take great pride in our students’ success rates, which is why you will never be just a face in a classroom. We get to know you personally and become a true partner in your success. When you pass your FAA written exam, we are right there to celebrate with you!

View Ground School Schedule.

Meet Your Ground School Instructor

Captain Judy Ground School
Captain Judith Rice is known affectionately at Epic as “Captain Judy” – Epic Ground School Instructor
  • Epic Flight Academy Private Pilot Ground Instructor
  • Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education
  • 16 years Formal Classroom Experience in Special Education
  • Instrument, Commercial, Multi-engine, and Citation type-rated
  • Advanced Ground Instructor and Certified Flight Instructor
  • Around the World Flight, 2015
  • World Speed Record, 2015

Captain Judy Rice has had a life-long passion for aviation and aerospace technology. This interest and sixteen years in formal education eventually brought her into the field of aerospace education. She values the experience gained as a teacher in special education because it gave her a broad knowledge of the learning process.

Captain Rice has visited more than 100 countries and all of the United States, including Alaska and Hawaii. In 2015, she successfully piloted a Citation Mustang around the world visiting over 10,000 students in 35 countries. She is an instrument rated, commercial, multi-engine, Citation type-rated pilot, advanced ground instructor, and Certified Flight Instructor, and she has logged more than 3,000 hours in numerous aircraft. She is the owner of a Grumman Yankee airplane.

Rice’s portfolio includes numerous awards and accomplishments, most recently a world speed record. She is a member of many aviation and space organizations. Captain Judy also contributes to aviation knowledge outside of the classroom by writing aviation articles in a series known as Captain Judy’s Corner. Other than flying, her favorite way to spend her time is to assist Epic Flight Academy students reach their goals. She is proud to be part of the Epic family – and Epic is proud to have her on our team!

After Ground School

After you complete Ground School, your Private Pilot License training continues with your Certified Flight Instructor. You are on your way!

“Sometimes, flying feels too godlike to be attained by man. Sometimes, the world from above seems too beautiful, too wonderful, too distant for human eyes to see…” -Charles A. Lindbergh