Syllabus: Private Pilot
For use with the Jeppesen Private Pilot Manual and
FAA's Airplane Flying Handbook (FAA-H-8083-3)

By Scott C Todd, CFII, MEI

This is a course outline for private pilot students. The order is not absolute, because various maneuvers and procedures should be practiced and repeated as needed. Additional ground lessons will be given as necessary to complement student readings, particularly concerning Federal Aviation Regulations and aeronautical information. In addition to readings, students should take on themselves the additional "homework" assignment of "armchair piloting": going through the maneuvers in their heads, and acting them out at home. The readings listed should be done before the relevant lessons. Good reading will save costly ground-lesson time.

I. Introduction to and enjoyment of flying

1. Intro flight: Preflight, taxi, runup, takeoff, climbs and descents, turns, landing.

2. Ground: Syllabus. Preflight and control surfaces. Fundamentals of flight
Flight: Taxi, runup, takeoff, climb and descent, coordinated turns, straight-and-level flight, use of throttle in all maneuvers, landing.

3. Ground: Flight instruments. Collision avoidance.
Flight: Basic maneuvers: Taxi, takeoff, constant airspeed climb and descent straight and with turns, constant rate climb and descent straight and with turns, coordinated turns, landing.
Reading: AFH Chapter 1, and Chapter 4

II. Pre-solo maneuvers, takeoffs and landings

1. Ground: Powerplant and systems, slow flight, steep turns
Flights: Slow flight, climbing and descending turns, steep turns
Reading: Jeppesen, Chapters 2-A and 2-B; AFH pages 5-1 and 5-2; AFH pp. 6-14 to 6-15

2. Ground: Rectangular course, turns around a point, s-turns across a road.
Flights: Taxi, takeoff, to practice area for rectangular course and turns around a point, landing.
Reading: Jeppesen, Chapter 1; AFH pages 6-1 through 6-8

3. Ground: Weather briefing, traffic patterns, normal takeoff, normal landing, airport markings.
Flights: Go to Fitchburg to practice takeoff and landing.
Reading: Jeppesen, Chapter 2-C; AFH Chapter 2; AFH pp. 3-1 to 3-4 and AFH pp. 7-1 to 7-11

4. Ground: Principles of Flight. Stalls.
Flights: Stalls.
Reading: Jeppesen, Chapters 3-A and 3-B; AFH pp. 5-2 to 5-11

5. Ground: Crosswind takeoff and landing. Slips. Go-arounds.
Flights: Crosswind takeoff and landing. Slip to landing. Go-around.
Reading: Jeppesen, Chapter 3-C; AFH pp. 3-5 to 3-6 and 7-11 to 7-14; AFH Chapter 8

6. Ground: Emergency procedures, and avoidance of windshear and wake turbulence.
Flights: Practicing emergency landings: no-power, and no-flap.
Reading: Jeppesen, Chapter 4-A; AFH 7-15 to 7-19; AFH Chapter 12

7. Ground: Radio communications procedures.
Flights: Practice landings and takeoffs to a full stop at a towered airport.
Reading: Jeppesen, Chapters 4-B and 5-B, Radio Communications Handout

8. Solo Preparation: See 14. CFR 61.87 checklist. Practice of anything still not ready before solo.
Remaining pre-solo reading: Jeppesen, Chapters 4-C, 4-D, 5-A, 5-C, and appropriate regulations and airport information, AFH pp. 3-10 to 3-11; 5-11 to 5-14

III. Solo

1. Pre-solo knowledge test
2. Solo: three takeoffs and landings to a full stop.
3. Solo practice: student is given a maneuvers log, and writes dates when those maneuvers are practiced solo.

IV. Instrument work: Three hours dual flight time

1. Ground: Basic attitude instrument
Flights: Cross-check, interpretation, aircraft control. Straight-and-level, constant-airspeed climbs, constant-airspeed descents, turns to headings
Readings: AFH pp. 9-1 to 9-7.

2. Ground: Recovery from unusual attitudes. Navigation
Flights: Recovery from unusual attitudes, more basic attitude instrument flying. Navigation by means of VORs while under the hood
Readings: AFH pp. 9-7 to 9-10.

V. Cross-country preparation: Three hours dual. Five hours solo cross-country

1. Ground: Short-field and soft-field landings and takeoffs. Pilotage and dead reckoning.
Flights: To Fitchburg or Lawrence to practice short-field and soft-field landings and takeoffs
Readings: AFH pp. 3-6 to 3-10; Jeppesen Chapter 9-A

2. Ground: VOR Navigation
Flights: instruction going back and forth to Fitchburg and Lawrence for practice landings
Readings: AFH 11-1 to 11-5; Jeppesen Chapter 9-B

3. Ground: Endorsement for 25 nm solo flight to practice. ADF and advanced navigation
Flights: First solos to another airport
Readings: AFH page 11-8; Jeppesen Chapter 9-C and 9-D

4. Ground: Airplane performance
Flights: More solo practice
Readings: AFH pp. 11-9 to 11-11; Jeppesen Chapter 8

5. Ground: Meteorology. Filing a flight plan, and use of a flight log
Flight: Dual long cross-country to another state
Readings: Jeppesen Chapter 6

6. Ground: Weather data. Solo endorsement for solo cross-country. Student plans and prepares a long cross-country
Flights: Solo cross-countries beyond 50 n.m.
Readings: Jeppesen Chapter 7, Chapter 11

7. Ground: Aeronautical decision-making and physiology
Flights: Student solos, both cross-country and practicing maneuvers and landings
Readings: AFH Chapter 18, Jeppesen Chapter 10

VI. Night work: Three hours dual flight time

1. Ground: Night flight
Flights: Takeoffs and landings at Hanscom, night
Readings: AFH Chapter 10. FAA Aviation News article "Into the Night" (can be found in the FSDO rack)

2. Ground: Preparation for night cross-country
Flight: Short night cross-country to Fitchburg, Lawrence, and home
Readings: AOPA article on night flying (in binder)

3. Ground: Preparation for long night cross country
Flight: Night cross country of more than 100 nm total distance.

4. Ground: Solo endorsement for night flight
Flights: Student solo night practice.

VII. Knowledge Test preparation

1. Ground: Regular and periodic discussions of regulations and aeronautical knowledge throughout the course of instruction
Readings: 14 CFR regulations, as listed on handout (Jeppesen FAR/AIM page vi)

2. Periodic quizzing of questions taken from the Gleim/ASA book of knowledge-test question bank.

VIII. Practical Test preparation: Three hours dual in preparation for the test

1. Using the PTS, go over all required areas.

2. Review and practice priority improvement areas.