Sporty’s Unveils New Pilot Training Courses for 2023

Sporty’s lineup of pilot training courses in the year ahead offers new platforms and great CFI integration.

Sporty’s Pilot Shop has unveiled its new pilot training courses for the coming year. [Courtesy: Sporty’s]

Sporty's Pilot Shop's 2023 lineup of pilot training courses include improved certified flight instructor (CFI) integration available on a wider range of digital platforms.

The courses offered by the iconic general aviation outlet and service provider include a comprehensive training syllabus with a quick access feature to suggested study resources, like video segments and FAA manuals. FAA manuals—such as the federal aviation regulations —are continually updated every time pilots log in, so the course always shows the latest information. 

Learners can navigate their way through sections with a search box.

Each video section has also been upgraded, with a “Related Content” tab that links to helpful resources for pilots who want to explore a topic through additional videos, helpful websites, and FAA publications.

"We have made it much more than an online knowledge test prep," says Bret Koebbe, Sporty’s senior vice president, noting the courses have been created to help pilots acquire practical skills, not just rote memorization to pass the knowledge test.

Improved Lifestyle Integration

According to Koebbe, the new digital courses can be viewed on Macbook, iMac or Mac Pro and are designed to work without an internet connection. The Mac app automatically saves test prep components for offline use and videos can be downloaded to the Mac’s hard drive.

"CarPlay integration has been added to the iOS version of the Pilot Training app, so if your vehicle has CarPlay, you can review for your flight lesson en route to the airport," Koebbe said.

Sporty's has been one of the leaders in remote ground schools starting in the 1980s with VHS tapes, then DVDs and eventually moving to online materials. 

Every time the courses are updated, Sporty's adds new segments based upon its customers’ suggestions and requests. This time around, there are detailed lessons on completing a navlog using a paper sectional, plotter, and E6B (both mechanical and electronic), preflight weather briefing tips, and an introduction to glass cockpits.

Improved CFI Integration

With this update, flight instructors enjoy free access to a suite of tools on Sporty’s Pilot Training platform, including a document library and templates for common endorsements. CFIs can also monitor the progress of their students in the Sporty’s courses, including video segments and test prep sessions. Detailed reporting makes it easy to review missed questions during a ground lesson, and CFIs can also watch the entire course to stay in sync on key topics. 

CFIs can get free access to the course by registering their CFI certificate number. This also gives the CFI access to the Sporty's Flight Instructor Refresher Clinic every two years.

“The COVID-19 pandemic taught many flight students and instructors that remote ground school lessons are now a possibility,” Koebbe said. “Sporty’s 2023 courses are taking this idea to the next level, with support for Apple’s unique SharePlay feature. [SharePlay supports training on the] iPhone and iPad, which allows two students, or a CFI and a student, to watch a training video together on a FaceTime call from the app, or share their screen to review or study other parts of the app, like test prep questions or the flight maneuvers guide. It's a great way for CFIs to prepare for or debrief a lesson with a student when away from the airport."

The app syncs video playback and controls, so both people see the same thing at the same time. Smart volume means a student and instructor can talk while the video is playing, making it possible to discuss complicated concepts or their application in the flight training environment.

Sporty’s Learn to Fly Course [E1753A], Instrument Rating Course [E4200A], and Commercial Pilot Course [E249A] may be purchased for $279 each at or by calling 1-800-SPORTYS. Free lifetime updates are included with each course.

Meg Godlewski has been an aviation journalist for more than 24 years and a CFI for more than 20 years. If she is not flying or teaching aviation, she is writing about it. Meg is a founding member of the Pilot Proficiency Center at EAA AirVenture and excels at the application of simulation technology to flatten the learning curve. Follow Meg on Twitter @2Lewski.

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