Avinca's lessons are provided remotely using the latest remote teaching technology and are all interactive, not prerecorded.

Frequently-Asked Questions

This page contains answers to many of the questions asked about Avinca's remote groundschool training. If you have other questions then please do not hesitate to contact us by writing to queries@avinca.ca.

How does the remote teaching 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. Unfortunately, iPads do not work as they don't support FLASH.

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.

What does the lesson look like to the student?

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 his or her language and all chat is translated to and from that language. Many languages (including English, French, Lithuanian, Serbian, Spanish and Chinese) are currently supported.  However, the instructors' answers will be given 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 a student 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 a student misses a class or two can she listen in during the next course?

Yes. The remote 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, a student who has paid for a particular course (e.g., the IFR 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?

Avinca 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 does a student connect to the remote training session?

Students are supplied with the URL of the Avinca "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", Avinca 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 of the remote format for a flight school?

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 Avinca to share the teaching with other flight schools, possibly in different provinces or territories (or even overseas), to provide a single groundschool can be more economical. This is made possible by the remote format of the classes.

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

What are the advantages and disadvantages of the remote format for the student?

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 groundschool, 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 "remote" groundschool 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.

May the student's flight instructor sit in to hear what their students are being taught?

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

Are the AVINCA instructors knowledgeable and experienced?

Yes.  The primary instructors are practising IFR pilots, each with over a decade of groundschool 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?

Currently, not. The technology is being upgraded to allow this and, when this comes available, we shall investigate recording the classes and making them available to the students who have attended. We want to avoid providing "pre-recorded" classes. If you feel that recording would be advantageous to you, please let us know.

How is the student's Flight School involved in the groundschool?

There are various levels at which a flight school may be involved:

A flight school may simply want to be able to point students at a high-quality groundschool then have no further involvement, the students registering as individuals.

If a flight school has insufficient students for an economical local groundschool then Avinca can combine the groundschool with one for other schools. The flight school can register its students and charge them as appropriate. Avinca bills the school for the number of your students involved.

If a flight school has sufficient students for a groundschool but lacks qualified instructors, Avinca can provide a remotely-taught groundschool just for those students. The groundschool would then be offered under the name of the flight school and branded appropriately.

How much does it cost?

The ground instruction is charged at a rate to keep it competitive with classroom-based groundschools. Price will vary depending on the arrangement with the flight schools and the number of students registered. The approximate price range for the full IFR course is from $295 to $345 per student for 27 hours of training. 

For more details, see the course descriptions.

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

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

Please send an email to queries@avinca.ca.. We arrange free, 60 minute introduction sessions 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.

But what about ...?

What else can Avinca offer?  Avinca is able to design courses and provide individual training in all areas relating to General Aviation. We are also qualified to do Language Proficiency Tests and tests for Radio Certificate - Aeronautical for students in the Ottawa, Canada area.

Feel free to email us at queries@avinca.ca.