When deciding to get into aviation, the first thing you want to do is look for a flight school. You may be looking to start a full flying career, or just earn a private license, the right school can help you achieve whatever you are aiming to accomplish. However, not all flight schools are similar, and there are some key factors to consider before choosing. Here is a list of what to look for.
When it comes to flight training, it’s not one size fits all. Many schools have different characteristics and how much you want to spend can be a factor in how your training will go. As you request a quote from a selected school, you want to check the pricing for items such as training costs, rental fees for airplanes, instructor costs, and test fees. In addition, you should check to see if there are additional costs that aren’t in the initial quote.
If you live close to a regional airport, there is a chance they have some kind of flight training. However, it may not have a large curriculum compared to a dedicated school. These locations are great for those interested in aviation as a hobby. For those looking to be a career pilot, you may want to consider schools found at a larger airport. Once you decide on a school to join, it’s helpful to visit the facility. Doing so allows you to meet the staff, including the instructors. You also can look at housing if the school has it available, and what amenities are surrounding the school.
Before you sign up and pay for training, you want to make sure that your school is of good quality. Reading online reviews from sources such as Yelp or Google can help you understand the experiences that past students had at the facility. Outside of that, you can also check with the FAA Flight Standards District Office in the city the school is located. They can provide you with information about a school’s reputation and if it is considered safe.
As mentioned above, you may have specific goals when it comes to a potential flying career. You may look to become a private pilot, a commercial pilot, or fly a helicopter. Many schools cater to these groups as well as others. It’s helpful to know what your end goal will be, as doing so can help you narrow down the list of schools you should attend.