12 Great Online Aviation Courses for Private Pilots in 2024

6 July 2021   |  Updated on February 05, 2024

Learning to fly is a journey that starts on the ground. Before taking off, there’s much to learn. Though the initial step is joining a ground school, there’s more to explore. In a previous article, we covered some of the best online private pilot ground school courses. Yet, there’s a whole sky of knowledge out there on specific topics to make you a better pilot.

While ground school is crucial, there are other courses to consider to enrich your learning. They dive into specialized areas of aviation, each one designed to enrich your understanding, making flying safer and more enjoyable.

These include instrument flight rules (IFR) courses, and advanced courses on a variety of topics. IFR courses, for example, teach you how to fly in poor weather using only your instruments. It’s a vital skill for any pilot wanting to make the most out of his/her license.

Regardless of the path you choose, remember: learning to fly is a journey. Take it step by step. The sky isn’t going anywhere. It will be waiting for you when you’re ready. Keep learning, keep asking questions, and most importantly, enjoy the ride. You’re about to join a unique group of people who can claim the sky as their own.

10 Great Online Aviation Courses for Private Pilots in 2024

Now let’s dive in, and look at some of the best online aviation courses to supplement your flight training, or help you brush up on your aviation knowledge.

1. Understanding Weather – Interactive eLearning Course


Rod Machado’s interactive eLearning course on Understanding Weather is precisely the course you need to help you make sense of the basic weather concepts you either missed or never quite understood in ground school. Presented in Rod’s highly popular Laugh & Learn training style, this 5.5-hour course will have you feeling a lot more comfortable about the environment in which you fly.

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2. FLY8MA – Rusty Pilot / BFR Prep Course


In this course by FLY8MA, they’ll take you through a few quick brief refreshers for those of you who are getting ready for a Flight Review with an instructor, whether you fly regularly or even if it has been 10 years since you’ve been in the cockpit!

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3. Handling In-Flight Emergencies – Interactive eLearning Course


If you’ve ever wondered whether or not you could handle some of the more common and rare in-flight emergencies a pilot might experience, then this is the course that will train you to do so. Rod provides practical strategies for dealing with these emergencies and does so in a fun, interesting and highly educational way. Not only are these ideas presented with animation, you’ll also see actual, in-flight demonstrations of certain emergency procedures. This six-hour course also contains questions to test your knowledge. You can even download the course to your tablet device for offline viewing.

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4. Secrets of Instrument Approaches and Departures – Interactive eLearning Course


If you’re an active IFR pilot or preparing for an IPC or even your ATP or IFR rating, then this course is for you. Why? Because the IFR pilot’s weakest link is approach and departure knowledge as it relates to instrument charts.

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5. The Art of Takeoffs and Landings – Interactive eLearning Course


Every flight starts with a takeoff and ends with a landing, yet many pilots lack the fundamentals to do them consistently because they weren’t properly taught, or they haven’t practiced enough to be proficient.

That’s where this course comes in. If you use it to pick up just one useful takeoff or landing technique, it will be worthwhile because you will use the technique over and over. Good takeoffs and landings start with a solid understanding and good technique — and that’s exactly what Rod delivers in this course.

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6. Basic Cross Country Flight Planning for Beginners – Interactive eLearning Course


If you are a student pilot who would like to learn the essentials of basic cross-country flight planning, then this is the course for you. It is intended to teach you the basic skills of pilotage and dead-reckoning navigation as well as the knowledge necessary to pass the private pilot knowledge exam in these areas. These are the navigational skills that every pilot needs to know.

This course can also be used by flight instructors to help them prepare their students for dual and solo cross-country flights.

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7. Pilot Institute Online – Checkride Made Easy

$39.00 $99.00   

Get advice directly from a Designated Pilot Examiner on what you need to know and demonstrate to pass your checkride.

  • Arrive at your checkride feeling confident
  • 3 hours of short, easy to watch videos
  • Everything you need to know to pass your checkride with flying colors
  • A list of what you need to bring with you on the day of your checkride
  • Learn common mistakes pilots make and how to avoid them

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8. FLY8MA – Seaplanes! How to Fly Them!


Learn all of the basics and some advanced maneuvers of flying floats! In this course we’ll cover both float flying and flying boats using real-world examples of a J-3 Cub, Searey, and Piper Pacer! Use this course to brush up on your float flying skills or prepare to go and take your float rating. You’ll save time and money by using this course and being better prepared for your seaplane training and checkride!

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9. Rod Machado’s Radar Imagery Explained – Interactive eLearning Course


This course is intended to help you identify the convective weather that you would be wise to avoid and how to “avoid it” through the use of cockpit radar imagery. This is an essential course for all IFR pilots who use uplinked cockpit weather. It’s also a valuable course for any VFR pilot with uplinked cockpit weather who wants to make better convective weather avoidance decisions in visual meteorological conditions.

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10. FLY8MA – Tailwheel Training Course


In this course you will get an introduction to the operation of tailwheel/taildragger aircraft while taxiing, taking off, and landing, as well as the ground knowledge to prep you for flying one of these awesome aircraft!

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11. Rod Machado’s Flight Review eLearning Course Bundle


In the United States you’re required to take a Flight Review every 24 calendar months. This review requires that you fly with an instructor for at least one hour and have at least one hour of ground review on Part 91 of the Federal Aviation Regulations. OK, flying is the easy part for most pilots. It’s the ground review of the regulations that often makes us feel as if our mental wheel stopped spinning because our mental hamster just died. It’s simply, boring. That’s why Rod Machado has combined two of his interactive eLearning courses to help you review or refresh your knowledge of Part 61 (Airman Certification and currency requirements), Part 91 (general operating and flight rules) and the rules and techniques for operating in many different types of airspace.

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12. Rod Machado’s The Art of the Instrument Scan – Interactive eLearning Course


All private pilot and instrument rating applicants need to know how to scan their flight instruments. Learning how to scan these instruments properly is one of the biggest and costliest challenges most pilots face during training. Often, students are simply instructed to keep your eyes moving around the panel. That’s good advice if you’re tracking a bee, but not much help with controlling the airplane on instruments. Here is where Rod Machado can help you with his newest eLearning course on The Art of the Instrument Scan.

This 2 hour and 20-minute interactive eLearning course will teach you a unique three-step scan process that’s not only easy to learn, but easy to use, too. This is why even those pilots with instrument ratings will benefit from this scan since it allows them to fly the airplane with a greatly reduced workload. Learn to scan properly and you’ll find yourself progressing quickly at mastering control of the airplane on instruments.

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Taking the step towards becoming a skilled private pilot is a blend of practical experience and solid theoretical knowledge. These 10 online courses are valuable resources to deepen your understanding on specific aviation topics. Whether you’re just starting out or looking to brush up on certain areas, investing time in these courses will surely pay off.

Equip yourself with the knowledge that can help make your flying journey safe, enjoyable, and truly fulfilling. Make sure to use the resources we have on Hangar.Flights, the articles, and the reviews to help guide you, inform you, and inspire you on your aviation journey.

In the Flight training section on our website, you will find some more interesting articles and resources!

If you’re interested in learning more about online private pilot ground schools, we recommend checking out our detailed guide here:

And finally, don’t forget to enjoy the process. After all, you’re learning to do something that humans have dreamt of for thousands of years – to fly. There’s nothing quite like the feeling of taking off into the sky, and that’s a feeling you’ll get to experience over and over again.

Happy learning and safe flying!