This page contains answers to many of the questions asked about our products and services. Please have a read of these before contacting us for further information.

Online Ground School - Students

Online Ground School - FTUs

How does the online instruction work?

Each student needs a computer with a browser, broadband internet connectivity and a headset with mute switch. The instructor's voice, whiteboard, video and presentation are transmitted to the browser from a central server and, to receive this, the student needs no special software on his or her computer. The student can ask questions (or answer the instructor's questions) verbally or through a "chat" window.

PCs running Linux, PCs running Microsoft's Windows and Apple Mac computers are all known to work with the remote teaching software. The software has been tested with the Chrome, Firefox, Safari and Internet Explorer browsers.

Students are provided with a web address and password to access the lessons. The browser displays the information that the instructor is presenting and delivers the instructor's voice through the headset. If you would like a demonstration of the remote teaching, please ask and we will set one up at your convenience.

Note that a dial-up internet connexion is not adequate for this training. Unfortunately, iPads do not work as they don't support FLASH.

What does the lesson look like?

The screenshot highlights the main components of the screen:

BBB screen shot

The slide about which the presenter is speaking is displayed on the screen. The presenter can zoom in and out on the slide to draw the students' attention to specific areas, can draw on the slide and can use a pointer to emphasise a particular area.

There is a chat window where students can ask and answer questions. The student can choose their language and all chat is translated to and from that language. Many languages are currently supported: the instructors' answers will be provided in English.

There is a webcam feed that the presenter can use to point to a whiteboard or other drawing surface (ex., an iPad) to demonstrate dynamically-changing information.

The student may arrange the various windows on the screen in any manner convenient for the size and shape of the computer screen.

Can students ask questions during a lesson?

Certainly, your questions are encouraged. We have found that some students prefer to type their questions into the chat window in the browser while others prefer to ask questions verbally. The choice is yours. Students have a button to click which will "raise their hand" - show a small hand next to their name -- to attract the instructor's attention.

Can I get additional assistance with exercises?

Yes. A forum designed for this type of assistance and discussion is made available to students. Students may post questions on topics where they need advice. Other students as well as the instructors can post responses, leading to discussions that can be useful to all students.

If I miss a class or two, can I listen in during the next course?

Yes. The online teaching format means that missing a class is less common than for classroom-based training. We often have students connecting from hotel rooms or even parking lots when travelling on business or vacation. However we understand that this is not always possbile, so we offer several options. The first is that sessions are recorded and the recording can be made available. Another is that a student who has paid for a particular course can attend that course again for up to a year from the start of the original course. After a year we charge half-price for students who repeat a course.

What materials are made available to students?

The Maple Hangar supplies workbooks, textbooks and exercises that form an integral part of the courses. For some courses, students are expected to purchase maps, approach plates or other materials from a pilot-supply shop.

Students are asked to complete homework exercises outside the formal lessons.

How do I connect to the online training session?

Students are supplied with the URL of The Maple Hangar "classroom". Directing a browser to that URL and entering a personal password is all that is required: there is no software to be downloaded or installed on the student's computer. You can visit this classroom now and see a sample lesson.

In addition to the "classroom", The Maple Hangar also provides a link to a site where students may discuss questions, download copies of presentations, examine the schedule of future lessons, etc.

What are the advantages/disadvantages of the online format?

The primary advantage for a student is not having to drive to a classroom for each lesson. This is a major advantage for students living outside driving distance of a conventional ground school, but also means that lessons do not have to be interrupted by business trips or holidays: we have had students attending classes from hotel rooms in remote locations and even from a camper-van in a parking lot. Students also report being able to concentrate better in their own home and finding it a more comfortable environment in general.

The primary disadvantage is the lack of immediate, verbal chat between students. However, many students may prefer the privacy of the online ground school and absence of distractions found in a regular classroom.

Are the courses offered in both French and English?

To date, courses have only been offered in English. However, we have bilingual instructors and the courses can be offered in French if there is demand.

Can my flight instructor sit in to hear what I'm being taught?

Yes, this is encouraged and, within reasonable limits, we do not charge for such participation.

Are The Maple Hangar instructors knowledgeable and experienced?

In the IFR ground school for example, the primary instructors are practising IFR pilots, each with over a decade of ground school organisation and teaching experience. See About Us. Other instructors are occasionally brought in to teach specific topics where they have specialised knowledge.

Are the lessons recorded? Can they be replayed?

Yes. These will be made available to registered students who have attended, and those who have advised us they are unable to attend.

How much does it cost?

The ground instruction is charged at a rate to keep it competitive with classroom-based ground schools. Price will vary depending on the arrangement with the flight schools and the number of students registered. As an example, the approximate price range for the full IFR course is approximately $350 per student for 30 hours of training.

In addition, students may be required to purchase books, maps and other materials for the course.

How can Flight Training Units be involved in the ground school?

There are various levels at which an FTUs are involved in our ground schools. Some for example simply want to be able to point students at a high-quality ground school then have no further involvement, the students registering as individuals.

If your FTU has insufficient students for an economical local ground school, The Maple Hangar is able to combine the ground school with one for other schools. You can register your students and charge them as appropriate. The Maple Hangar then bills the FTU for the number of your students involved.

If your FTU has sufficient students for a ground school but lacks qualified instructors, The Maple Hangar can provide an online ground school just for those students. The ground school would then be offered under the name of the FTU and branded appropriately.

What are the advantages of the online format for a Flight Training Unit?

The primary gain for the flight school is an advantage of scale. If a flight school only has a small number of students then using The Maple Hangar to share the teaching with other flight schools, possibly in different provinces or territories (or even overseas), to provide a single ground school can be more economical. This is made possible by the online format of the classes.

The Maple Hangar will pay a "finder's fee" to schools that recommmend students who subscribe to and take one of our courses.

How do I find out more? How do I arrange for a demonstration session?

We can arrange a free 60 minute introduction session for flight schools consisting of 20 minutes of normal teaching as would be experienced by students followed by 40 minutes of discussion. We would be delighted to set up such a session for you or invite you to the next scheduled one. Please contact us for more details.