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Sporty’s upgrades online training courses

Whether they study on a mobile phone, tablet, portable or desktop computer, or Web-linked TV, the new Sporty’s app allows students to pick up where they left off—regardless of the devices they use.

“All the platforms talk to each other,” said Eric Radtke, president of Sporty’s Academy. “Whether a student uses Android, an iOS device, Apple TV, Roku, or Chromecast, our app tracks their progress.”

Sporty’s online training courses for the private pilot certificate and instrument rating contain about 15 hours of video content and 20 hours of test prep, and they have a retail price of $249 each. Students get lifetime access to Sporty’s courses, so they can review the material even after they pass their checkrides. Course content is periodically refreshed so that test questions and other material remain current.

Each course contains an online ground school and test prep, and students can obtain completion certificates that allow them to take FAA knowledge tests after completing the online courses. If students have questions along the way, they can ask Sporty’s flight instructors by phone or email.

“Everyone studies differently,” said Bret Koebbe, Sporty’s vice president of video. “Now, students can pick their platform and decide for themselves how they want to use it.”

Koebbe said Sporty’s has been working on the upgrade for one year, and the Ohio-based company made large technology investments to provide a better customer experience.

Sporty’s has operated its own flight school for many years, and the school serves as a laboratory for online content. Sporty’s students typically take the online ground school and pass FAA knowledge tests before they start flight training.

Tens of thousands of student pilots have used the Sporty’s online training content in the last decade, company officials said.

Each course gives students real-time reports on how they’re doing in a variety of subject areas. It also provides online flash cards that enable them to focus intensively on certain topics.

Sporty’s online courses provide links to ForeFlight and CloudAhoy digital logbooks for automatic record keeping.

Sporty’s has a large and expanding video library, and students who sign up for online flight training often revisit the material throughout their flying careers.

At first, their focus is on passing a test or a checkride. Later, it shifts to advanced ratings and aircraft, or remaining current on regulations and technology.

“People come back to us again and again,” Koebbe said. “Our courses often serve as reference material for pilots that they search at their convenience.”

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