||| |—|—| | | | In my pursuit of various ratings and certificates over the past decade, I’ve watched countless pilot training video- tapes and I’ve used a number of computer-aided instructional programs. Such materials, while a far cry better than the hit-or-miss do-it-yourself approach of years past, had obvious shortcomings. Tapes are great, but if you discover that you need to review a concept or two, just try to find the subject in the miles of tape that lie in your wake. And while computer programs are great for getting a handle on the FAA’s notoriously ill-written and ill-conceived knowledge exam questions, they lacked a link to the material that the questions reputedly cover.
With a new product line from King Schools, however, all of those problems are in the past. In short, the company’s integrated computer-based DVD instructional package puts all the information you want right at your fingertips. Courses are now available for the instrument and private pilot ratings courses.
King offers two DVD options: one that you can play using your TV-based DVD player ($179) and the second, and the subject of this review, which makes use of a computer DVD player ($279).
Luckily, computer DVD drives have come down in price. I found a $50 drive at CompUSA for my 500 MHz PC clone system and had it installed in less than half an hour. If you’re not comfortable opening up your PC, many computer retailers these days will do the installation for you, some at no charge.
It’s a worthy investment. King’s new DVD product satisfies a long wish list of instructional desires. For starters, the quality of the DVD video is exceptional. There’s no searching for the right part of the tape-there is no tape!
The King DVD program, which the company calls “truly interactive,” teaches to the test, thank goodness, but it does so by clearly explaining and referencing the subject material. Practice the test questions. If you get an item wrong, the program gives you a quick explanation and offers you a chance to review the material, watch the video or both. It’s quick, it’s practical and it’s easy.
Although I’ll never know for sure, I’d guess that by using the computer DVD product, I could have gotten through my IFR knowledge course in a third less time. And for me, and for you too, I’m sure, time is a precious commodity.