Once you decide that you want to be a pilot, the next step is choosing the best aviation school. How to decide which one is best?
To get the best training in aviation, aspiring pilots needs to ensure that they get a solid foundation in both aviation theories and practical training from the right flying school. Selecting a good flying school can be a daunting task.
Steps to be followed while choosing a Flight school
Review Course Outline and Training
Before enrolling in any flight school, check the training and course outline. Find out if the flight school is operating under Federal Aviation Regulations (FAR) part 61 or FAR part 141.
Part 61 usually allows you to complete the training on a flexible basis. That means you will be able to train part time.
Part 141 schools utilize FAA approved training courses which you must follow. Part 141 schools are known for being more structured.
Find a Good Location
Location often determines the price for training. For example, in major urban areas, flight training is usually more expensive than in the suburbs.
Find Out the Cost
Learning to fly is not exactly cheap so it’s no surprise that saving money and reducing the cost of training is a high priority for most students. But remember you are investing in your education. It’s a never ending process. Flight schools more or less charge the same, only you have to determine if you are getting your money’s worth.
Some flight schools base their prices on the FAA minimum time requirements such as 40 hours for a private certificate. Some aviation schools include books and supplies, flight testing and FAA written examination fees. Make sure you are getting the best quality training in return for your dollars.
Research Your Flight School Instructors
A good instructor is important because your life will depend on what she or he teaches you. Don’t hesitate to ask questions about the trainer’s training experience. You can also consult with the school’s alumni about the flight instructor. You have to make sure that your primary instructor is a certificated flight instructor (CFI) and holds an instrument instructor rating (CFII).
Research the Type of Aviation Aircraft and their Maintenance Plans
You must consider the kind of aircraft that a flight school uses for teaching. You need to know how many and what are the types of aircraft the school has. Distinguishing the types of aircraft will help you decide whether the aviation school is the right fit for you or not.
You must pay close attention to the aircraft’s maintenance program and log books. Every training aircraft at a flight school should be on a maintenance plan with a reputable maintenance company. You can also ask the flight school to walk you through the maintenance program. If they hesitate or refuse to show the aircraft’s logbook, it’s a red flag.
These are a few guidelines which an aspiring pilot student must follow while choosing the flight school as their future depends on the kind of education they will receive from the school.