If you're thinking about learning to pilot an airplane or increase your flying skills, take time to look for a flight school that has proven experience in educating beginners as well as more advanced students. By choosing a program that has a full range of instruction programs, you can be sure that you are working with a staff that can help you grow at a pace that works for you.
What kind of programs are offered?
Beginners – There is much more to learning to fly than simply piloting the plane. A flight school program will make sure you understand the mechanics of the aircraft as well. You'll learn about the controls in the airplane, basic rules of flight, and likely take a demonstration ride.
Advanced – After you have completed the basic course and logged in required hours, you may want to have additional instruction on specific types of aircraft or geared more towards commercial piloting. Programs may include specific types of certification, instrument details or preparation for commercial airlines.
Specialized – Does the flight school offer special courses that may be of interest to you? Many will offer refresher courses that are required for licensed pilots on a regular basis. There may also be a need for instruction to keep up with the latest instrumentation or equipment.
What are the school and trainer credentials?
Make sure the school is certified to teach and award the type of pilot license you seek. You'll also want to ask for the education and credentials of the instructors. Depending on the type of instruction and skill level you want to absolutely achieve, you will want to look for the staff to have the experience that fits your needs. Ask for references from current and previous students
What kind of schedules are offered?
Most flight schools will offer a varied schedule for their courses. Since these are more like private lessons, instructors can typically be available when you are able to come, provided it will be a regular schedule. Keep in mind that most instruction will take place during the daylight hours. If you work or attend school during the day, you may need your classes in late afternoon or on weekends. Some instructors may set up your next class each time you attend.
Also make sure you understand how many sessions your course will be. Before you sign up, you will want to make sure you're available for most of the scheduled times or can make arrangements to adjust some of the classes ahead of time.
What is the cost?
This highly specialized type of instruction can be costly. You are paying for private lessons from a highly trained professional, so the charge should reflect the service you're getting. Ask how they are paid and if they are offering discounts for signing up for multiple courses or for paying for a certain number of courses at once.
Flight school is a great opportunity to expand your horizons and get some training you can use for personal or professional reasons! Shop around for one with proven, experienced instructors with courses that will start you out right and keep you flying for years!