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EAA AirVenture Today is published by the Experimental Aircraft Association for EAA AirVenture from July 27 - August 3. It is distributed free on the convention grounds as well as other locations in Oshkosh and surrounding communities. Stories and photos are copyrighted 2008 by EAA AirVenture Today and EAA. Reproduction by any means is prohibited without written consent.


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The official daily newspaper of EAA AirVenture Oshkosh

Volume 9, Number 6 August 1, 2008     

King Schools fly the virtual skies
By Kristy Hemp

Aviation students can access their materials online delivered through full-screen video.

When pilots hear the names John and Martha, they are most likely taken back to their examination days. The famous aviation couple revolutionized the way pilots learn and are regarded by pilots as their personal aviation mentors through their training company, King Schools. They have spent numerous hours, via videotape, with pilots throughout the world. Now, they are communicating in the virtual world.

King Schools is making it possible for aviation students to access their study materials online delivered through full-screen video combined with the convenience and flexibility of the web with their King Schools Online Private Pilot Test Course. This well-known, award-winning test course is now on the web, and the instrument flight rules (IFR) test will be in the next 30 days. The private pilot and instrument checkride courses will be up soon, and the other exams will follow.

"I was slow picking up on going to the Internet because I was so used to dial-up," John said. "When high-speed Internet and Google came out, I went ‘whoa,’ this could work. If we didn’t get on the Internet, we’d be left behind."

In the past students would have to carry around discs or a laptop if they wanted to work on the courses. "They can now access their courses in a hotel, airplane, beach, or motor home," explains John. "The great value in the virtual courses is that the student can do

a video segment if they have a 30-minute break in between classes, meetings, or on vacation."

Students can also keep track of what they are doing no matter where they are. Before, the tracking would be on the computer they were on. Now it is accessible wherever there is Internet. Students can see how they did on the questions and how far along they are. With a click of the button they can get a report card that details how they are doing. Students can also click on a word, and it will find all the FAA questions that have that word in it.

The FAA also changes its exam questions four times per year. King Schools will be able to update the questions almost immediately, and students will also get an e-mail that tells them that questions have changed. This virtual system also has its benefits for King Schools. They won’t have to throw out all the DVDs and CDs it has left when the questions change or there are updates.

The Kings feel that it’s a much more powerful way to take the exams. "Our course was designed for computers. Your can take questions by category. It’s a much more organized way of doing it," says Kenneth Kaplan, senior vice president of marketing and sales at King Schools.

The Kings put huge efforts into the interface of the program. "It took a while for us to be happy with the quality and capabilities of it [online courses]," Martha explained. "We wanted the same experience as if the user bought the DVDs and installed them on their computer."

AirVenture visitors that want to find out more about King Schools Online can go to Booth 1132 in Exhibit Hangar A or to www.KingSchools.com.

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