In aviation theory there’s a growing interest from students across the board for a means of study that sits between a text book and a full-time course – something that’s interactive and computer-based.
Perhaps the best current option for students seeking this form of theory teaching is Ron Newman’s Online Aviation Theory website (www.OnlineAviationTheory.com). The brainchild of Newman, who has been in the aviaiton industry for 55 years, the website offers comprehensive theory courses at PPL, CPL and ATPL levels for both aeroplane and helicopter.
As a testament to the quality of Newman’s online theory courses, several flying schools, clubs and pilot training academies are currently either using his courses as their primary means of theory instruction, or recommending them to their students for home study.
The comprehensive courses are broken up into subjects, topics, and paragraphs, and there is a section on turbine engines within the CPL courses. The graphics within the courses are first rate and include animations to improve comprehension in some of the areas Newman has found to be difficult for students to grasp. These animations cover, amongst others, areas such as the principles of operation of a piston engine, why wings with dihedral aid stability, how trim tabs effect the primary control surfaces, compass turning errors, and how all the components in a hydraulic system interact with each other in both normal and abnormal operations.
Each paragraph in the text has a number of keywords and a number of questions allocated to it. These questions are from a bank of over 11,000 questions that can be repeated as often as the student likes, and unlike some other courses, the questions are randomly selected from a large question bank, meaning students won’t get the same questions each time. When undertaking revision questions, if the student selects the wrong answer from the choices given, they’ll be taken back to the relevant section of text for more study before returning to have another attempt at answering that question.
Students cannot progress to the next question until they answer the previous one correctly, which virtually makes this a forced learning program. And just in case the student merely hazards a guess and selects the correct answer without being sure if it was correct or not, unless the question was straight forward an explanation of why it is the correct answer will be shown to ensure they learn something from every question.
Upon completion of a subject, students can do as many revision questions or revision exams on that subject as they like. When using the exam section, each time the student finishes they are advised of their mark and how long it took them to complete the exam, but unlike the revision questions they won’t get taken back to the relevant paragraph if they get a question wrong.
Courses on Ron Newman’s Online Aviation Theory website have their own search engine that allows the student to find any word or phrase used anywhere in the course. The search results are prioritised in accordance with whether the word or phrase they entered is part of a paragraph heading, a keyword that Newman has allocated to a paragraph, or is in the body of a paragraph. This makes it easy to cross reference things while studying as well as making it an ideal reference source well after students have passed the exams, all without having to scroll through endless reference books.
Costs Ron Newman’s Online Aviation Theory PPL courses cost $400, while the CPL courses cost $600, and the ATPL course $750. The cost of the CPL course includes the PPL course, but ATPL is a stand-alone course. The courses are accessible by a lifetime subscription with no calendar or access time restrictions, meaning students can access the subject matter, revision questions, and exams as often as they like without having to pay any additional fees, other than their own internet provider’s access fees.
When students subscribe, to a course they choose either the aeroplane or helicopter version at either PPL, CPL, or ATPL level, and then by selecting Australia they can access the compass errors and winds for the Southern Hemisphere, along with the Australian weather and the Australian law supplements, which are updated as soon as amendments are issued. And other countries are also available. To find out more about Ron Newman’s Online Aviation Theory courses click here. Ron Newman is a commercial aeroplane and helicopter pilot with multi-engine ratings and instrument ratings (not current) in both. He is a helicopter instructor and CASA approved testing officer with over 17,000 helicopter hours. He is also a licensed aircraft maintenance engineer with numerous fixed wing and helicopter endorsements in all categories except radios.