FAA Expresses 'Concern' About Virtual Learning Options
With more online classes emerging for aviation students, an increasing number of student pilots are reportedly turning to distance learning to help gain their aviation qualifications. U.K.-based pilot supply shop Flightstore says distance learning is proving to be a popular choice for aviation students looking to achieve their qualifications in their own time, however the FAA has expressed some concerns about the amount of students choosing virtual learning options. The FAA has stressed that, although distance learning is a useful option for those unable to attend full time classes, it is important that students still acquire some classroom training during their study.
Flightstore says it has witnessed first-hand the boom in self-taught study, and has increased their pilot training selection. They currently supply a wide selection of pilot DVD's and training software, covering all aspects of Aviation, from radio telephony to PPL training software and FAA test prep training. The company says the appeal of distance learning is evident, with many students completing their hours of study quicker than they would in a classroom setting. Purdue University in the U.S. currently offers a masters course in Aviation Management Technology with an option for 100% distance learning. "Online is the way to go," said Aeronautics department head Dr. Katherine A Moran. "We can do so much now, putting students in these virtual worlds. If you can't have that classroom experience, maybe because of your location, it's the next best thing."
Although online study is still a relatively new addition to the world of aviation, many more U.S. pilot schools are choosing to factor distance learning into their study options. Whether this extends to the U.K. is still to be seen, however for the time being U.K. based training providers are still expecting students to complete the required amount of hours training within their facilities.