Aviation is an exciting field that can literally take you to new heights. If you dreamed of becoming a pilot as a little kid, aviation is the field that can help make that a reality. That said, aviation courses are no cakewalk. Aviation is a complex field that requires significant training and commitment.
Read on to learn about the different kinds of aviation courses you can take on your journey to becoming a pilot.
Best Aviation Courses
If you just want to learn the nuts and bolts of aviation before committing to any kind of pilot training program, Aviation 101 may be the right course for you. This free online class is a MOOC available to anyone with Internet access and with an interest in aviation.
Canvas Network, a MOOC provider, offers the course in partnership with Embry Riddle Aeronautical University, one of the country’s leaders in aeronautical education. The course is directed toward people who have no prior aviation knowledge. It is meant to give students a head start in the fundamentals of aviation and help them decide whether they want to move forward with an aviation career.
The nine tutorials that make up the class include: aircraft systems, aerodynamics, flight instruments, airports, airspace, radio communication and ATC, aeromedical, aviation weather, performance and navigation.
The course is self-guided, giving students maximum flexibility and the ability to take the class at their own pace. Once you finish the class, you will receive a special badge credential from Canvas Network and Embry Riddle University.
In addition to Aviation 101, Embry Riddle partners with Canvas Network to offer a variety of other free online MOOCs for those interested in sinking their teeth further into the world of aviation.
This course is meant to teach students about human error and situation awareness to promote safety. Students will study accidents and potentially dangerous situations caused by human error or poor judgment.
The course will focus on teaching a few major topics: human performance, the importance of training, aviation technology, automation, and situation awareness. By the end of the course, students should have a strong appreciation for the importance of human systems in aviation and aviation safety.
This is a great option for younger prospective students who might be exploring what they might want to be when they grow up. Aviation Is Your Future explores aeronautics, the science behind air travel from take-off to landing. The idea is to get kids and teens interested in the actual science behind subjects that already interest them: airplanes and flying.
This course is great for anyone trying to reconcile their interest in aviation with their care for the environment. The aviation industry is indeed responsible for high carbon emissions but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t working to become as sustainable as possible. The course teaches students how to contribute to sustainable initiatives from within an aviation organization.
Want to learn about the global MRO space? There is a lot to learn about when it comes to human resources, logistics, and challenges in aircraft maintenance. This class will introduce you to the fundamentals and teach you about opportunities for advancement in this aviation subfield.
IATA Aviation Courses
IATA, the International Air Transport Association, has an entire course catalog of self-study and partner-study courses in many different areas of aviation and air transportation. While IATA offers many courses for potential pilots and aviation enthusiasts, it offers courses for people in all areas of the industry, including those who work for airlines, airports, cargo operators, government, ground service providers, travel agents, young professionals, and more.
If you’re interested in the managerial, operational, and regulatory aspects of the aviation industry, you can take courses specifically targeted to civil aviation authorities. These courses would focus on aspects of aviation management like safety, economic regulation, efficiency, sustainability, and consumer protection. Courses around the civil aviation authority include introductory courses for those interested in the field as well as advanced courses for senior civil aviation management.
Meanwhile, if you are interested in protecting the environment while working in aviation, IATA offers a course catalog in Aviation Environment and Fuel. Subjects include waste and emission management, environmental economics, and the principles of carbon offset programs.
Other specializations in IATA’s catalog include: air navigation services, airline management, airline operations and quality, airport planning and operations, cargo and logistics, dangerous good regulations, fares and ticketing, finance and accounting, ground operations, law and regulations, management and leadership, safety, sales and marketing, security, and travel and tourism.
You might be surprised to see how many flight courses you can take online. Obviously, you can’t learn the actual logistics and technical skills of flying while sitting on your couch behind your computer. That said, you can learn everything you need to know before getting behind the wheel. Here are a few online platforms with extensive aviation catalogs that will get you ready for your first in-person flight class.
For example, Udemy offers a fundamental course to help you prepare for the Flight Aviation Association’s Private Pilot Knowledge Test (PAR) in FAA Private Pilot Ground School. Part 1 of the course will prepare you with an introduction to flight training, aircraft structure, and systems & flight instruments.
Other Udemy courses include Airline Strategy: How to Run an Airline, Learning to Fly an Airplane: Beginner, Aviation operations on the ground: health and safety, and Aviation: Everything you need to know to become a pilot.
Should You Take an Aviation Course?
There are so many opportunities to learn about aviation online, often for free, that there is no reason to limit yourself. Whether you know you definitely want to pursue aviation or even if you’re just a little curious, take the leap and consider taking an online course.