Sporty's Web-Based Courses Arrive


The future of training seems to be with complete online courses you can access from anywhere, and if that's the case, for Sporty's the future begins right now.

Already one of the leading providers of flight training materials, Sporty's has pushed the envelope once again with its launch of four impressive online training courses: the Private Pilot, Instrument Rating, Recreational Pilot and the Transition to Private courses.

The best part of the Sporty's courses is, unlike previous offerings, customers can go from logging on to being ready to take the written test without having to insert, or even own, a single DVD. Everything is online. And Sporty's remembers all of your information on its servers, so you can access your course from any computer with a broadband connection, allowing you to study from the office or your hotel room, really anywhere you've got your laptop and a good connection.

I checked out the courses online as any customer would, simply by logging in on my home computer and going to the course, in my case, the Instrument Rating Online Course.

The courses are organized with introductions to the material and a bookkeeping utility that keeps track of your progress, so you never forget where you where or what you need to work on.

As I expected, the presentation of the material was rock solid, with just the right depth of coverage. Much of the content, in fact, is taken from Sporty's impressive DVD courses and features experts like Flying's own Richard Collins teaching you step by step in the Video Training section. The video quality is excellent, with the different modules downloading very quickly and playing smoothly and with top notch quality, among the best I've seen anywhere on the web.

For getting the test answers down cold, there's the Written Test Prep section, which lets you study in your own way, providing you with three different ways -- Learning Mode, Test Mode and Flashcard Mode -- to help you master the material quickly. You can review your answers, get a quick explanation and reference the appropriate graphic with the click of the mouse.

There's also the Interactive Maneuvers Guide, which walks you through the required practical test maneuvers, using computer animations to show you how to ace the flight test.

Sporty's complete online courses are available right now at Prices range from $99 for the Recreational and Private Transition Courses to $199 for the Private Pilot course and $249 for the Instrument Course. You can also get Deluxe Course Kits, which in addition to the online course come complete with books, reference materials and pilot accessories, all in a nice Sporty's Flight Gear bag. They range in price from $329 for the Recreational Pilot Deluxe Course with a tough and tumble Flight Gear bag to $439 for the Deluxe Instrument course with a high-end leather bag.

For more information, including a great free demo, visit