Student Resources

Here are the materials that you will need to prepare for your Private Pilot Knowledge Test. These should be part of your aviation library:


Pilot’s Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge

Airplane Flying Handbook

Aviation Weather for Pilots

Aviation Weather Services

Aircraft Weight and Balance Handbook

Aeronautical Information Manual


Airman Practical Test Standards

Airport/Facilities Directory

VFR Terminal Area Aeronautical Charts

Sectional Aeronautical Charts


Advisory Circulars

The FAA issues a series of Advisory Circulars (AC), which expand on various topics not otherwise handled by regulations. The two links relating to weather above are actually ACs.  Here are a few more ACs that the student pilot should be aware of:


AC 61-84B - Role of Preflight Preparation


AC 90-48C - Pilots' Role in Collision Avoidance

Alerts all pilots to the potential hazards of midair collision and near midair collision, and to emphasize those basic problem areas related to the human causal factors where improvements in pilot education, operating practices, procedures, and improved scanning techniques are needed to reduce midair conflicts.


AC 90-66A - Recommended Standards Traffic Patterns for Aeronautical Operations at Airports without Operating Control Towers

Calls attention to regulatory requirements and recommended procedures for aeronautical operations at airports without operating control towers. It recommends traffic patterns and operational procedures for aircraft, lighter than air, glider, parachute, rotorcraft, and ultra-light vehicle operations where such use is not in conflict with existing procedures in effect at those airports.


AC 90-42F - Traffic Advisory Practices at Airports without Operating Control Towers

Contains good operating practices and procedures for use when approaching or departing airports without an operating control tower and airports that have control towers operating part time. Includes changes in radio frequencies and phraseology.


Creating a Navigation Log

This is a step by step guide to creating a navigation log.


Test Questions

Finally, you can test yourself with some sample test questions


Weather Information

In addition to DUATS and the Flight Service Station, (1 800 WX-BRIEF) another very useful source for weather is the NOAA Aviation Weather Center – Aviation Digital Data Service – ADDS

NOAA is the source for our weather data so I like to go straight to the source. They also have a product called a meteogram that is in development. It forecasts flying conditions at various sites. It’s particularly useful for locations like Ramona where, because of its microclimate created by the local mountains, predicting conditions from terminal forecasts (TAFs) is difficult.


Koch Chart

Print this chart and keep this with you. This is a quick way to determine the effect of density altitude on your takeoff performance.


The Written Test (Airman Knowledge Test)

Part of the process of getting a license requires that the student pass a written test (actually it’s multiple choice, no actual writing is required other than signing your name). There are many options for preparing for the knowledge test. Many books and study aids are available commercially; as are ground schools.  It is however  possible to get all the information you need online. The FAA provides the information that you will need to pass the test and even makes it available free of charge on their website. If you don’t want to download it for free (quite legally) you can buy printed versions of the same documents! The links on the left will get you all of the material you need!


This is one area where I would recommend purchasing a book. The commercially available books contain all of the regulations that you will need  to know and should be kept handy.


Pilots are confronted with numerous checklists, procedures and lists of items they need to remember. Here are a few mnemonics to help.

For Instrument Pilots

Instrument Flying Handbook

Instrument Procedures Handbook