MECC to Offer Private Pilot Ground School Instruction

Big Stone Gap – Interested in becoming a private pilot? Mountain Empire Community College will offer an online course this spring designed to prepare students for the FAA private pilot examination and to operate unmanned aerial systems (drones).

MECC will offer ARO (Aviation) 121 – Private Pilot Ground School beginning March 14 through May 9. This three-credit class will present the fundamental principles of flight. Topics include the theory of flight, aircraft standards and specifications, basic aircraft construction, weight and balance, navigation, meteorology, principles of radio communication, and application of aero-physics.

Jordan Bates will serve as the instructor for the course. Bates holds a Bachelor’s degree in Aeronautics and a private pilot license.

Cost for the course will be $436.50. No textbook is required. For more information, contact Fran Doyle, Assistant Dean for Business & Technology, at 276.523. 2400 or by email at To enroll in the course, visit