You know how people tend to think flight training is a complex and daunting process? Well, SharpeAero is redefining Canada’s flight training environment by creating training resources focussed on the practical, in-flight aspects of flight training that are simple, focused and concise. This way, student pilots can save time and money during their flight training by getting in the air faster with confidence and competence, flight instructors have access to a set of comprehensive flight instructor PGI lesson plans, and flight school management can ensure consistent flight training across all of their instructor-student pairings.
Trust us, you need to know about this.
There’s a new player in town disrupting the Canadian flight training market with their new approach to training content. They’re called SharpeAero, and if you’re involved in the flight training industry in any which way (student pilot, flight instructor, flight school management, pilot shop, distributor, etc.), you need to know about them.
In this article we’ll answer the following questions:
- What’s the problem with Canada’s traditional flight training content, anyway?
- What do they do differently?
- What does SharpeAero offer?
- What else is noteworthy about SharpeAero’s content?
- What’s new with SharpeAero’s upcoming 2nd edition content?
- The final verdict?
What’s the problem with Canada’s traditional flight training content, anyway?
Aviation is a relatively old industry. Sometimes industries with a rich and long past, like aviation, can get caught up in a particular way of thinking, using the same approaches to solving problems year in and year out. Naturally, an engineering-like mindset has prevailed throughout aviation’s history. So it is no surprise that this mindset has also found its way into many of the flight training resources available to student pilots and flight instructors in Canada today. This often lends to overcomplicated diagrams and lengthy content compared to what the flight training environment really needs.
SharpeAero’s Founder, Jesse Sharpe, and the Chief Instructor of Canadian Flight Trainers try to fix this problem in our industry. In addition to Jesse’s expertise as a flight instructor and airline pilot, he has an education and past experience in design thinking. This means Jesse is able to deeply understand the needs of those using flight training materials and design them with those needs in mind. It’s a unique perspective and combination of expertise to have in the aviation industry. This is why SharpeAero’s content is so simple, focused, and concise.
What does SharpeAero do differently?
SharpeAero’s training resources fill an underserved gap in Canada’s flight training resources. While there are plenty of resources supporting the type of theory-based content you see in ground school training, as well as content that prepares students for written exams, there is a lack of good resources that really focus on the practical, in-flight aspects of flight training. You know, the type of stuff you need to know before each flight exercise – procedures, factors relating to the exercise to be flown, safety considerations, etc. Think more, how do I make an aircraft climb, or how do I enter and recover from a stall, rather than, what are the physics principles that make an aircraft climb or stall? Don’t get me wrong, there is of course some theory included in SharpeAero’s content as it relates to the practical aspects of flight training, but since other books already do a good job at diving into the theory, SharpeAero puts their focus on the practical aspects. And we think it will prepare students and flight instructors for their flight lessons better than anything else available on the market.
During his own flight training, Jesse became frustrated with how convoluted and dense some of the training content was, saying, “It sometimes felt as if those in the flight training environment forgot who they were trying to create training content for. When we’re teaching something, we need to move from simple to complex, and that should certainly be reflected within our flight training resources as well.” He likes to give this example, “A pilot, especially one in training, does not need to know about every individual gear, linkage, cog, pinion, and screw within a flight instrument to understand or even visualize how it works. Let’s take an airspeed indicator for example. So many diagrams I’ve seen of this flight instrument, and others, look like engineering schematics. As pilots in training, we aren’t building the instruments, nor are we repairing them, we’re just learning how they work. So, why not take out all of the clutter, and make a diagram that communicates the principle of the instrument, not the actual mechanical workings. Rather than including all of the mechanical parts, you can simplify it to just a few: instrument case, aneroid capsule, pitot tube, static port, and linkages. Much better for learning than a diagram that’s essentially a blueprint in my opinion. This is the approach we’ve taken across all of our content. We strive to make sure our content is simple, focused and concise.”
Additionally, in a move that’s way outside of the norm used in training books, much of the content within SharpeAero’s books is actually presented using bullet points. Jesse has received almost unanimous support for the structure he’s used within his books. It makes it significantly easier to quickly absorb the information needed without having to tirelessly sift through paragraph after paragraph to find what you’re looking for.
What does SharpeAero Offer?
SharpeAero offers a suite of flight training resources to prepare student pilots and flight instructors for the practical, in-flight exercises associated with flight training in Canada. Among their products are two training books:
|SharpeAero’s Flight Training handbook provides Canadian pilots-in-training with a practical and procedural guide on each air exercise required for the private and commercial pilot licenses, and is an excellent teaching aid for flight instructors to use as their PGI lesson plans.||SharpeAero’s Night Rating handbook is the first book to provide Canadian pilots-in-training with an all-in-one, comprehensive guide that outlines the practical aspects of flying at night in preparation for obtaining a night rating. It also makes an excellent teaching aid for flight instructors.|
SharpeAero also offers a variety of Kneeboard Templates to stay organized during flight:
|SharpeAero’s VFR Flight Log 2.0 was designed for pilots, by pilots. With its intuitive and organized layout, keeping all pertinent information available at a glance, and even keeping all information oriented correctly when flipping between sides, you’ll be more organized and prepared for your cross country flights than ever before. It’s Canada’s best pilot kneeboard paper.||SharpeAero’s Aircraft One-Pager 2.0 kneeboard template is a perfect companion to your daily flying. With it, you will have all of your aircraft’s core information at a quick glance including various take-off, landing, operational and emergency airspeeds/power settings, and information on fuel, oil, weight and other aircraft limitations and details.|
|SharpeAero’s In-Flight Notes 2.0 kneeboard template is perfect for taking the everyday notes required during flight. It includes sections for desired departure details, ATIS/weather information, clearances and other notes, time remaining until the next maintenance event, available fuel, time up, time down, hobbs start and stop, diversion checklist (HAADTOO) [details found in their Flight Training handbook], and 6 T’s as a navigation reminder [details found in their Flight Training handbook].||SharpeAero’s Frequency Chart 2.0 kneeboard template ensures you always have quick access to the local frequencies around your home airport that you use most often, or use it for long-distance cross countries where you need to keep track of many frequencies en route. Add airport names/codes to the left column, and their respective frequencies in the body of the chart.|
What else is noteworthy about SharpeAero’s content?
As a bit of a bonus, SharpeAero has arranged a licensing agreement with Textron Aviation (Cessna’s parent company) to include Cessna 152 and Cessna 172S Pilot Operating Handbook (POH) procedures within the book. While these specific aircraft aren’t used by every flight school, they are very popular, and the majority of schools do use Cessna aircraft as their training fleet. So even if using a different Cessna model, there is still value in understanding where POH procedures are relevant during training (and really, this point still applies to other aircraft types as well). The best part is that SharpeAero has left space to write your own POH references within the book (SharpeAero strongly emphasizes the importance of always using your own specific aircraft’s POH).
The outline of the books align with Transport Canada’s Flight Instructor Guide since this is the guiding document for all of Canada’s flight training. Canada’s foundational flight training requirements come from this document, so SharpeAero has made sure that their content aligns with the requirements and structure of this Transport Canada document.
As seen in the previous heading, SharpeAero is also releasing a completely redesigned 2nd edition of their suite of Kneeboard Templates. This includes a super intuitive and well-organized VFR flight log, an aircraft one-pager to have the most important information about your aircraft at a glance, in-flight notes that align with the lessons taught in their Flight Training book, and a frequency chart to keep all of your required frequencies organized.
What’s new with SharpeAero’s upcoming 2nd edition content?
The 2nd edition of SharpeAero’s flight training book, now called Flight Training (it used to be titled Flight Instruction Handbook), further expands on the original, including many more diagrams, and the information within each exercise has been slightly expanded upon to be more inclusive for students and not just flight instructors.
SharpeAero has struck a perfect balance of brevity and detail so that the book offers great value for students to learn and prepare for flights, as well as for flight instructors to have a reference guide for teaching their lesson plans. The updates within the 2nd edition have been informed from the actual use of the 1st edition. Where Jesse noticed people kept needing to draw diagrams for students that weren’t included in the 1st edition, he included them in the 2nd edition. Where concepts could be more clearly explained in the 1st edition, he explained them more clearly in the 2nd. You get the idea.
The Final Verdict
SharpeAero’s newest training content is something you definitely need to have in your arsenal. Its simple, focused, and concise design is sure to make a noticeable difference during your flight training whether you’re a student pilot or a flight instructor.
Factor in its potential to save you time and money on the ground and in the air, and it is easily a worthwhile purchase. In fact, after seeing it for the first time on a video call with Jesse, we wanted to get our hands on it right away. Put simply, whether you’re a student pilot or a flight instructor, and you want a resource to help you prepare for each air-exercise during flight training, this is absolutely the resource for you.
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