Commercial Pilot Ground School

This course will carefully introduce interested pilots to the regulatory, practical, and operational issues involved with becoming a certificated Commercial Pilot. As with all Club ground schools, there will be an emphasis on real-life situations and safety. In addition to presenting all of the subjects mandated by the FAA for commercial applicants, this course, by popular demand of students, will also present additional turbine engine theory, Part 25 airplane (airliner) performance, loading, structures and jet (swept wing and high altitude) aerodynamics.

This course is aimed both at the pilot looking towards a professional career in aviation AND the pilot who simply wants to increase his or her knowledge about the world of commercial aviation. All are welcome.

Fun and informative!

As much as care will be taken to make sure that this course is thorough and complete, there will be plenty of time for questions and answers and good interchange and participation by all class members. We should have from 10 to 15 highly-motivated students and most all have significant flying experience. Learning is enhanced by the sharing of experiences by the more advanced students who have their unique perspective to share with us all. The result is a lively and fun class for every one. [Please see (below) the comments of experienced flight students who have taken the WCFC Commercial Ground School in recent years.]

Serious Training

This is a 12-week course involving 36 hours of class time plus about an equal amount of reading and exercise completion. It is thorough and both practical and theory based. This will not be a “cram course” typically experienced in a weekend. While we will take care to be sure that the student will be thoroughly prepared to pass the FAA knowledge examination, the emphasis will be on thoroughly understanding the material. The approach to most of the required topics will be more technical and aimed at commercial operations, but those who have taken the WCFC’s Private Pilot Ground School should feel quite at home.

Commercial Pilot Curriculum

  • Aerodynamics – [Emphasis on aerodynamic and structural limitations]
  • Flight Instrumentation – [Emphasis on operation and failure modes]
  • Engines – [Emphasis on operational considerations, indications, and limitations]
  • Systems – [Emphasis on propeller, landing gear, hydraulic, electrical, and other systems]
  • Airports – [Emphasis on complete familiarity of airport operating environment]
  • ATC and Airspace – [Thorough review of AIM and FAR requirements and expectations]
  • FARs – [Complete coverage of FARs applicable to Commercial Pilot operations]
  • Performance – [Emphasis on all performance considerations for a commercial pilot]
  • Weight & Balance – [A thorough understanding of W&B is critical for commercial operations]
  • Aeromedical – [A thorough review of aeromedical factors effecting pilots]
  • Aeronautical Decision Making – [A review of factors that influence good and bad flying decisions]
  • Aviation Weather – [Understanding weather theory and practical application is imperative]
  • Charts and Publications – [A thorough review of published resources and their use]
  • Navigation – [Navigation planning and systems including HSI, RMI, GPS and others]
  • Flight Operations – [Comprehensive review of flight considerations including emergencies]


Your principal instructor for this course will be John Hunter. John is an experienced pilot and holds numerous FAA certifications. He has taught in an airline environment, and has extensive experience in commercial (jet and turboprop) operations. He has been teaching aviation courses for over 35 years at the Club. Other instructors will include Club CFIs who have been (or are currently) flying with airlines and commercial operators.


Until further notice all classes will be offered on Zoom due to the prevalence of COVID in our area.  However, beginning on May of 2022, in person attendance may also be offered at the air conditioned classroom at the Club’s hangar facility at the airport, pending the current COVID transmission rate in our area.  For driving instructions to the Club, see the Club’s website or call.


The classes are all taught in the evening at 7:00om and are typically on Mondays. For specific dates, please see the ground school page.

Cost and Registration

Tuition cost will be $195 payable at the first class. Books and other required supplies will be about $80. Two separate payments (one to the instructor for tuition and a second to the Club for books and materials) will be required. Payment can be made by check or cash only.

This is a bargain compared to commercially available programs. The first two classes will be FREE. Registration must be completed before the third class.

NOTE:  Minimum Class Registration.  A minimum of ten students must be registered to allow the course to continue.


Read what other experienced pilots have said about this commercial ground school

“I particularly liked the lecture and hand-outs about lift. This is the first time that I have heard such a thorough and believable explanation.” Russ D. 12/2019

“Loved the advanced aerodynamics and jet engines, but wanted more. (Just personally interesting to me.)” anon 12/2019

“I appreciated your time given to aerodynamics of lift. The most clear and correct explanation I’ve heard. I also liked your general insights into commercial aviation.” Sean 12/2018

“Thoroughly enjoyed this class. Keep the jet operations lecture -it was great! Would recommend this ground school to other [pilots].” anon 12/2016.

“Weather and aerodynamics lectures were worth taking this class alone!….Your ground schools are orders of magnitude better than what was provided by my initial flight school.” Marc S. 11/2015

“Better than expected – broader scope.” Turner W. 11/2013

“As my first experience with a civilian aviation course, this was a fantastic tool and eye opener between the differences and similarities of military and civilian aviation.” Steven M. 11/2013

“Felt there was a true learning atmosphere… Especially enjoyed the aerodynamics lecture & photos.” Cheryl M. 11/2012

“The focus on practical applications and real life examples is what makes this class, and other ground schools at the Club, so enjoyable and beneficial. Well worth the time!” Adam D. 11/2012

“An excellent job of bridging the gaps between FAA questions & practical knowledge while making it interesting.” Morris W. 11/2011

“A very enjoyable class. John’s depth of knowledge is amazing and the long history he brings to the class is of tremendous value.” Dwight F. 11/2010