Aviation at Nicolet

Learn to Fly: Private Pilot Ground School at Nicolet College

March 12 - May 14, 2024
Nicolet College, Rhinelander
Cost: $650
Register online here: : https://www.tix.com/ticket-sales/tix/7160/event/1368198

View and download Class Information (PDF)

Nicolet College will offer its next Private Pilot Ground School this Spring. Learn about the joys of flight, what it takes to become a pilot, and the many career options there are in the aviation field. Over 200 Wisconsin companies have ties to the state's aerospace sector, and more than 26,000 people are employed in Wisconsin by companies that support aviation businesses and aerospace manufacturing.

photo of aviation class standing in front of helicopter

Here’s what will be studied:

Have you always been interested in learning to fly? Learn the fundamentals of flight required for your FAA Private or Light Sport Pilot license. Content includes pertinent FAA regulations, principles of aerodynamics, airplane systems and performance, instruments, aero-medical and human factors, aviation weather, airspace, airport operations, charts and navigation, cross country flying, and the various aviation career opportunities.

Upon successful completion of this course and completion of an online exam-prep study course, you will be furnished with the knowledge to complete the FAA written knowledge test. This 30-hour course will be taught by local Flight Instructors with years of aviation experience in a variety of aircraft. Classes will be held in a combination of in-person and online presentations, with an additional tour available to expand your aviation knowledge. Whether you actually want to pursue flight training or a career, or are just interested in learning about aviation, you’re welcome to attend. FAA Airman Knowledge Testing (written exams) are now available at Nicolet College in Rhinelander through PSI. See separate tab on this website for more information.

Class Details

Click here for a detailed schedule.

The ground school is scheduled to begin on March 12, 2024. It will run 10 weeks, and is set to conclude on May 14. Classes will run Tuesday nights from 6-9 pm and Saturday mornings from 10 am - 1 pm. Classes will primarily be held at Nicolet College in Rhinelander. There will also be other nearby locations.

The course will also include an online learning component for aeronautical knowledge and test prep. Computer and online access will be required to complete the course. The course will also feature a number of aviation guest speakers, covering a variety of topic areas associated with the class. There will be special highlights regarding aviation careers. There will also be two field trips during this course to visit local airports and learn more about aircrafts and aviation businesses. Details will be available as the class progresses.


Registration Information

The course cost will be $650. It includes everything listed below.

You can register for the class here: https://www.tix.com/ticket-sales/tix/7160/event/1368198

Ground School class will be limited to 20 students to provide personal support to each student. If you’re interested, please register soon.

The cost of this course includes:

  • Ten weekly in-person class sessions taught by FAA-licensed Certified Flight Instructors (CFI’s)
  • A weekly online Zoom meeting with instructor(s) to aid in your studies.
  • Daily email support from your instructor(s) to answer your questions.
  • Guest speakers. Details to be confirmed.
  • Field trip to airports and aviation businesses. (Transportation is not included, but all locations will be within an hour of Rhinelander)
  • GLEIM Deluxe Private Pilot Kit with Audio Review, which includes:
  • Online access to the Gleim Private Pilot Online Ground School and FAA Test Prep (12 months)
  • Online access to the Gleim Aviation Communications and Security Related Airspace courses.
  • Private Pilot audio lectures – live stream or download to your phone or personal device.
  • 6 hard-copy textbooks and FAA regulations (FAR/AIM) to aid in studies.
  • Pilot logbook
  • Flight planning FAA chart, E6B flight computer and plotter. (current Green Bay sectional covering northern Wisconsin)
  • Pilot Flight Bag

Meet the Instructors

Curt Drumm, Lead Instructor
Curt has been a professional pilot, flight instructor, and aviation business owner for over 20 years. He learned to fly in Los Angeles, and holds Airline Transport Pilot and Certified Flight Instructor ratings, among others. Curt has logged nearly 5,500 hours in a variety of aircraft including single and multi-engine airplanes, seaplanes, and air charter aircraft. He currently teaches Business Management and Entrepreneurship at Nicolet College.

Other instructors will be added at a later date. Stay tuned.

Flight Training and aircraft rental will be available through private flight schools. More information to come on that soon.

FAA Written Exam Testing

Nicolet College is now an Authorized Testing Center for FAA Written Knowledge Tests.

We are the only testing center in northern Wisconsin and can administer over 100 different FAA written exams, including:

  • Pilots: from Light Sport to ATP
  • Flight and Ground Instructors
  • Aircraft Mechanics
  • Foreign and Military Conversions
  • Drone – Part 107 Commercial

All exams must be scheduled online with PSI, the FAA’s authorized test administrator. Please see their website below for all terms and conditions. At this time, only limited testing times are available, but we plan to expand that in the future.

Tests are conducted at the Nicolet College Testing Center on our campus in Rhinelander, WI.

Applicants can drive in to take their exams.  Or, if you are flying into Rhinelander, we are only 10 minutes from the RHI Airport, with free parking at their FBO, Rhinelander Flying Service. Taxi services are available.


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Flight Training in Northern Wisconsin

Nicolet College does not operate aircraft or a flight school, but we are working to establish arrangements with several airports in northern Wisconsin.  We will post that information when it is available.

In the meantime, you can search over 2000 flight schools listed on the Aircraft Owner and Pilots Association (AOPA) website at:


Additional information about flight training can be found at:

Experimental Aircraft Association     www.eaa.org

Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association         www.aopa.org

Aviation and Aerospace in Wisconsin

Jobs in aviation go far beyond flying! The average aircraft contains thousands of parts from hundreds of different suppliers, with many people involved in their operations, resulting in many types of jobs in aviation. There are many careers available other than the pilots up front flying the plane.

Over 200 Wisconsin companies have ties to the state's aerospace sector, and more than 26,000 people are employed in Wisconsin by companies that support the aviation and aerospace manufacturing sectors.

Wisconsin ranks above the national average for employment concentration in many different professions relating to aviation and aerospace. They can include:

  • Pilots
  • Flight Instructors
  • Mechanics
  • Airline pilots, mechanics and flight crews
  • Airline operations and management
  • Air Charter operators
  • FAA inspectors
  • Avionics Technicians
  • Air Traffic Controllers
  • Aeromedical Operations
  • Fixed Base Operator (FBO) operations
  • Aviation Education
  • Aviation Sales and Marketing Professionals
  • Aviation Manufacturing
  • Industrial engineers
  • Machinists
  • Maintenance and repair workers
  • Tool and die makers
  • Welding and fabrication
  • Airport Management and Operations
  • Flight Schools
  • Commercial Drone Pilots Operators
  • Aerial Photography, Mapping and Surveying
  • Aviation engineering

Aviation Education

Nicolet College does not currently offer a for-credit aviation program, but we are working to establish arrangements with several other 2-year and 4-year institutions. In many of these programs, credits earned for passing your written FAA exam, your Private Pilot License, or other General Education classes may transfer to an approved degree program.  We will post that information when it is available.

If you’re interested in an aviation college education, please contact Curt Drumm at Nicolet College.  cdrumm@nicoletcollege.ed