Economics of Flight Training: Taking The Written Test First?

Behind the Prop


So the big question. The one that kind of started all this this. This particular episode for us was while i get asked all the time or i see people all the time. Walking the only go. You know what i'm gonna. I'm gonna start flight training but i'm a couple months away i'm gonna take my ridden first and then i'm gonna come back and see you ever heard anybody with that guidance. I have and i've had a lot of people Suggest that to say go ahead and get the written out of the way or As as the faa calls it the knowledge test So we're gonna use those terms interchangeably the written or the knowledge tests. We're all talking about the same thing. And and ironically when we say the written there's really nothing written about it. It's all online That's that's a little bit old school but The faa has done has gone to great lengths to Make the written or the knowledge test more relevant in the the the scheme of flight training in and they're making strides. I don't think there where they wanna be with it As far as it it making a whole lot of sense. I know when back in the day. When i was learning to fly and taking these these knowledge tests For my first several ratings seventies. On all mine written tests and then i i learned how to pass the tests and then i started making nineties If i go back and i look at my experience. I don't think i ever made an eighty something on a written test anywhere higher low. Yeah yeah i was barely passing it. And then all of a sudden i figure out the tricks to pass the test and then i was making ninety five's and as an examiner I i've never really taken paid attention to The data but i think that's pretty. I think if i were to actually track the written test scores i think the majority that i would see are in the seventies or in the nineties You know you'd think Just statistically that about a third of your tests scores will be in the eighties. But i really don't think that's the way it it turns out so I think the the the idea of getting the written out of the way before you even start training is. It's a nice idea in that. Okay that's just something you don't have to worry about but the fact is that You just don't Me you you just memorize answers. Yeah and and You know there's a lot of the things on the knowledge test that make are gonna make a whole lot more sense if you've actually done it in the airplane princeton. If you're gonna let let's let's just use this example. Let's say you you've got a friend who has come from a foreign country and they have never will us golf. We'll use the sport of golf since you're an avid golfer. They have never played golf. And you want to teach them how to play golf. Well you're probably not gonna give him a book and say read this book and then in three weeks will go out and we'll we'll get a golf club and hit some balls probably pretty fast pre- pretty upfront in the process. You're going to go outside at least out in the backyard and show okay. This is a golf club. This is the way you hold it. This is the way you swing it. You're gonna let them get some hands on stuff so You know use that with the airplane. You want some hands on knowledge before you start attacking the the knowledge test. at least. that's my opinion. yeah. I'm a big believer in that. As well and i don't know under which context you this question. Obviously i get it when people are coming in here looking for a flight school there asking these questions. Normally they're saying. I was told that it'll save me a lotta money. If i do this. It'll save me a lot of money. That just doesn't make sense to me at all. I think you know i. I like the idea of saying. I could get that done but it really is memorization and there are no. There are no time requirements for the knowledge exam. I just have to take it before. I'm endorsed to take my practical exam. Which would be the check ride and mine. My normal advice to young people and adults and parents would bring their. There's sip in i say. Look when would you take a test that you're gonna be graded on and then have to speak to orally about your results. Would you take it before you ever did any flying or would you wait and do it like five to ten days before you had to take that practical exam if there really is no timeline on it. Why would i ever take it before. I finished all this training. You know right. I do my cross country planning probably a month into my flight training but i'm going to go take a written exam how to do cross country flight planning before i ever do any cross country flight planning right. It really is either memorization at that point. Or you're missing the opportunity to truly understand the material like

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