If you’re lucky enough to live near many flight schools and you have got a variety of training options, choosing the right school can be an exhausting task. Choosing the right flight school is a decision that’s worth putting thought into.
There’s more to a flying school than just walking into one and getting yourself enrolled. You have to see the training environment, aircraft, and instructors that will ensure you get through the training easily and quickly. And keep in mind, flying should be fun. If you find that you’re not enjoying yourself at any stage during your flying training, don’t be afraid to switch and go somewhere where you can enjoy and learn.
If you’re ready to start your flight training but confused about which flying school you should go, then consider the following factors.
Learning how to fly isn’t cheap, so it’s a no brainer that saving money, and reducing the cost of flying is the utmost priority for most of the students.
Before choosing the flight school, always compare the entire fee structure, including insurance, taxes, instructor fee, process fee, and aircraft rental (wet vs. dry rental). There are some flight schools that might charge some hidden fees, so you need to consider that too.
Flight instructor’s credentials and experience
While choosing the flight instructor, looking at his appropriate credentials isn’t the only important thing. You’ll also want to know how long they’ve been working at a particular school, where they learned to fly, how many flight hours experience they have, and what their previous student thinks about them.
Don’t go only for flight hours to judge whether the instructor is good or not. And remember that you can change instructors at any point during your training if things don’t go well.
Reputation with FAA
One of the best ways to find a good flight school is to call the local FAA-designated examiner or FAA Flight Standards District Office (FSDO) to ask them about the flight school. While FAA can’t tell you about specific individual programs, they can surely tell you about good and bad schools in your area.
Course structure and lesson plans
Flight schools operate under two different Federal Aviation Regulations, i.e., Part 61 and Part 141.
Part 61 is less structured, allowing an instructor to adapt the lesson plan and syllabus as you go, according to your wish. This is a common method in small flight schools because it allows more flexibility for students and instructors.
Schools using part 141 method are more rigid in nature, following a strict outline and syllabus that must be approved by the FAA. Their programs are more intense and professional.
So, go for a school that provides one of these methods and choose flight-school according to your needs.
Aircraft and its maintenance
The aircraft you choose to fly is completely your own preference. It’s always fun to fly a brand new aircraft with all the technological advancements, but that costs more money. Whereas an older plane will cost less rent and can serve the same purpose, but it will be down for maintenance more often. And also look for how the school maintains its aircraft and whether it has a good staff to take care of these big machines.