Things to Consider When Looking for a Flight School

Posted by Wayman Eduardo | 6/10/15 8:30 AM

AlfredoYannellyDo you want to become a great pilot but don’t know where to start? Students must realize that they will become a commercial airline pilot if they have a stable foundation. This stable foundation is an excellent flight school and its importance is not to be overlooked. Many students often waste a great deal of money trying to get their licenses because they are not taught properly and/or are not motivated.

 Good schools will teach you properly and motivate you to become the skilled pilot that you dream to be. So, what factors should you consider when looking for an excellent aviation school?

1) Reputation

Reputation means a lot when shopping around for products or services. This is no different for flight schools. The internet will usually provide useful reviews and information when looking into a school. A bad reputation will usually mean that the school is not adequate and should be crossed off your list.

2) Safety

Does the school you’re interested in prioritize safety? Do they have wind limits for new students? Has the school ever had serious accidents or had certificates revoked? If you don’t feel safe then you won’t feel comfortable in the flight environment and you won’t be able to fly without fear in the back of your mind. A good flight school will go to the greatest lengths in order to insure the safety of their students. A safe environment will let the student concentrate on learning how to fly. This should be the top priority for all aviation schools. If they do not operate in a safe manner then stay away!

3) Quality Of Aircraft

In aviation, you get what you pay for. You might find a cheaper plane elsewhere, but you might not want to get into it. The quality of aircraft will make a huge impact on your pilot training. If the aircraft that a aviation school has in their fleet is not up to par, your training and wallet will suffer. Excessive grounding of aircraft due to maintenance issues will delay your training so it is imperative that you find a school that has an excellent standard for maintenance.

4) Operation

If at all possible, attend a flight school that is part 141 certified even if your course is part 61. The difference is that a part 141 school has been inspected and certified by the FAA and uses an organized syllabus. Flying costs for the different parts 61 and 141 are not usually very different, but the quality and flexibility of a part 141 certified flight school will keep you on schedule and on budget.

5) Cost

Picking a flight school with the lowest rates isn’t always the way to go because there may be safety concerns and it may end up costing you more. That being said, a flight school with very high rates does not guarantee you safety nor quality. In most high end or university programs you will be paying for flight time, but also paying for the network. Balancing your finances is very important when it comes to flying. You must find a reputable aviation school with decent pricing. If you must pay a little bit more for peace of mind then it may very well be worth it!

6) Alumni

A good flight school will have alumni that are willing to stand behind its name. The best way to gauge a school’s quality is to talk to past students. They will be an endless source of helpful information about the flight school you are interested in. A good question to ask is: Where are the alumni flying now? If there are many alumni that have not acquired jobs as professional pilots then that might be an indicator of a bad flight school.

7) Good Instructors

This last point is very important. When it comes down to it, a flight school with bad teachers will produce bad pilots. You will become very familiar with your instructor after being cooped up with them in an aircraft for hours on end. You should find an instructor that motivates you, teaches you proper technique and theory, promotes safety, is easy to get along with, and is available for you when needed. It takes a special person to be able to teach properly and flight schools should employ the very best instructors!

Considering these points will have you well on your way to finding an excellent flight school. In aviation you should not settle. If you settle for a mediocre flight center then you are setting yourself up for failure. Having a good and stable foundation will give you the tools you need to become a well-rounded pilot.

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