What to read


New Member
What written material must a potential pilot know in order to pass the FAA exams for the PPL? I found the "Pilot's Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge" on the FAA website (http://av-info.faa.gov/data/traininghandbook/faa-h-8083-25-1of4.pdf for the first part). Is this the bulk of what I need to know? I won't be able to start flight training for another 6 months, but when I do, I'd like to get straight to flying instead of going to classes. Besides, I like to learn on my own. So can anyone recommend to me what I need to start reading?


You need to know the AIMs and FARs. Now I am just a student pilot so you'll have to ask wich AIMs and FARs to read for your specific kind of ops. Like, if you are practicing for the ppl, you wouldn't be worried about how the military operates their stuff. So make sure you read the right ones. Hopefully, someone here will tell you which. Hope I helped.


Well-Known Member *giggity*
There have been a million threads like this, but just to recap:

Rod Machado's book is great, if you can get through the cheesy humor (which I didnt mind). Highly recommended.

Get the latest version of the FAR/AIM... part 91 is what you mainly need to be concerned with.

Get Gleim or King stuff to study for your written... I would suggest Gleim bc its much cheaper and to the point... but if you dont like to read and you can REALLY handle cheesy humor, go with King.


New Member
"Pilots Book of Aeronautical Knowledge" is good. I would also suggest getting the FAA's "Airplane Flying Handbook" and reviewing the FAR/AIM is a good idea. I usually get the ASA FAR/AIM, in the front of the book there is a suggested study list. That would give you an idea of what sections of the FAR/AIM to study. I second getting the Gleim to study instead of watching the King videos for your written prep.

Good luck.


New Member
Get the Gleim PPL written test prep book. That will have you ready for the written. Get your ASA FAR/AIM. As mentioned it has a "suggested study list" in it that will tell you what regs are relevant to VFR private pilots. Focus on Parts 61 and 91. Dig in to the AIM. PHAK and AFH are pretty good publications considering they're government-produced.


Well-Known Member
You will also need to glance over part 1(terms), 43 (focusing on the preventative maintenance section), and NTSB 830.


Well-Known Member

Welcome to the forums! I hope you are enjoying and learning, just like I always do here.

I second the opinion on Rod Machado's Private Pilot Handbook. I used it for my PPL training (will be taking my checkride within the nest month). It is a great book, giving you all the "book" knowledge that you need, plus tons of practical advice on many subjects. I agree, again, that his humor can be cheesy and distracting at times, but overall a great book.

The "Airplane Flying Handbook" and "Pilot's Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge" are both good advisory circulars to read as well. They will have basically the same info as Rod, but in a "governmental" type language. I would also suggest the "Aviation Weather Services" advisory circular. That will explain any weather report you will ever see.

"Stick and Rudder" is also a great book to explain how and why airplanes physically fly.

It is my opinion that books are the biggest "underdog" in today's society (for lack of a better word). They are so cheap for how much knowledge you can gain from them and it is sad how many people overlook their value. There is a book on almost anything, and I highly suggest that you don't stop reading and studying after you are done with the "book" stuff for your written. Books are filled with so much knowledge and will keep sharpening your piloting skills. Have fun.



Penalty vectorer
i currently am a student pilot in a university program.. i highly recomd the jeppesen private pilot manual i found very helpful also with that book is the written exam test guide which has actual questions answers and explanations for the faa written test.. also asa puts out a private pilot oral exam guide which is very helpfull.... good luck


New Member
I would like to thank everyone for their replies... I'm going to look into getting Machado's book, but for now, since I have pay (too much good) money to use the laser printers at school, I'm going to print out the FAA's book. Luckily a lot of this stuff is familar from univ physics I,II.

How hard would you guys say the tests are?


New Member
Considering that all the questions and all the answers are available to you (courtesy of the Gleim book) as far in advance of the test as you wish, I would say that the written test is pretty darn easy. The oral and flight practical test is somewhat more challenging but a good instructor will have you well-prepared. I wouldn't sweat it too much.