There is certainly no shortage of flight schools. One might even say that there are too many flight schools to choose from. However, if you are looking for a guide to find the best flight school for you, you have come to the right place. This guide will highlight the best way to take-off your aviation career.
Everything that we will discuss in this article will guide you in making a more informed decision, but you will still need to do plenty of research of your own. This includes peer reviews, talking with alumni, and asking around. You will first need to make sure that you log everything so that you can compare your findings. As we have mentioned before, there are one too many flight schools to make a final decision. You will need to choose the best for you by comparing different schools and using the process of elimination.
Before embarking on your research, you might first want to consider what you want to join flight school for. You don’t need to have a mission or vision statement – just the basics. Such as, if you want to join flight school to become a professional pilot or if you want to join just to pursue your hobby. You can find a flight school for either one. For example, if you are looking to become a professional, you might want to consider a flight school that offers a professional feel and an extensive program. It’s also important to check for flight schools that have the right partnerships with airlines for their students.
Another metric to decide which fight school you should choose is your budget. If you can afford the big bucks, then you should probably search for a top tier flight school in your area. While there is no guarantee that a more expensive flight school will promise you a better aviation career, since that depends on many factors and your own dedication, it will provide you with better opportunities nonetheless, since it will probably take in the crème de la crème of students.
Do You Have Time?
Time is another important factor. You need to make sure that you have your schedule in order. Do you have the time to fully indulge in your flight school program? Or can you only afford to give it part-time attention? If you’re thinking the latter, you should probably search for a flight school that offers:
- Great part-time courses
- Flexible fee structure
- A very capable training staff
Remember, the more you delay your training, the greater the chances are of you increasing your costs than a full-time program, since flying is obviously a very hands-on activity which requires practical experience. If you think you can manage to gain the necessary hands-on, practical experience in your part-time setting, then great! But be wary of increasing costs in any way.
Part 61 vs 141 Schools
The main difference between these types of flight school programs is that Part 61 offers flexibility in your training courses where you have more freedom to pursue your training as per your schedule on an as-needed basis, perfect for hobbyists. Whereas, in Part 141 there are FAA approved courses where you have to follow the training program as per a strict standard. Both Part 61 and 141 schools have their pros and cons. You will find out more about these in your in-depth research.
Location can also be a huge factor if you are open to moving out for your training. For example, Arizona flight schools like AeroGuard Flight Training Center, have an advantage due to the states stable weather conditions. You may probably end up getting your license a bit earlier as well as the state boasts a growing flight school industry with one of the best trainers in the country. However, if you can not move, you shouldn’t worry since location is just one factor out of many that will determine how early you get your certificate.
Flight School Tour
Once you have done your research, which includes peer reviews and alumni discussions, it’s probably time to start eliminating the schools that don’t match your needs. You should ideally bring the count down to the top 3 schools which you can tour in your spare time. We urge you to visit the school and talk to the instructors before you take any decision. Go on a discovery flight and talk to other students. This is a guaranteed way to find the best flight school for you. Happy flying.