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 her or his knowledge about the world of commercial aviation. All are welcome.

Fun and informative!

There will be plenty of time for questions and answers and good interchange and participation by all class members. We should have from 12 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.]

New Format for Commercial Ground Training (starting fall of 2023)

Commercial ground training is different than initial Private Pilot ground training or Instrument Rating study.  Starting in the fall of 2023 the Club will be offering 12 hours of Commercial Pilot ground training for interested pilots on a short term syllabus offered on selected Saturdays and scheduled to accommodate pilots who have indicated interest.  The focus will be on commercial flying knowledge and be tailored to the students’ interests.

Commercial Pilot Curriculum

At the beginning of the Commercial course, various topics will be discussed so that interested students can have input as to what topics (listed below) they would like to focus on in the time available in the class and which topics they feel confident about studying on their own with various materials made available.

  • 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 instructors for this course will be a team of experienced Club flight instructors.


The classes will be offered in the air conditioned classroom at the Club’s hangar facility at the airport.  For driving instructions to the Club, see the Club’s website or call.

Cost and Registration

Tuition cost will be $150 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.

Minimum Class Registration.  A minimum of 12 students must be registered to allow the course to be offered.

If you are interested in attending this class, call Sue Davis at the Club (selection 3) to get on the list before the end of September.


Read what other experienced pilots have said about the Wings of Carolina 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