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How do I Choose the Best Aviation School?

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  • Written By: Sonal Panse
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 16 July 2018
  • Copyright Protected:
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Choosing the right aviation school is important for anyone interested in becoming a pilot. The type of flight training program offered is relevant for the type of pilot license required. The quality of aviation training provided also makes a big difference in the learning experience and in the time required to earn a license.

It is a good idea to spend some time researching different aviation schools. Nowadays it is almost a requirement for a flight training center to have a website. This makes it easier to find information about the licenses they offer, their aviation training schedules, their planes and their instructors.

In the US, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has established certain aviation training standards that are followed by FAA approved aviation centers. A flight school approved by the FAA is designated as part 141. If the aviation school also has a part 61 approval, it can train students to be flight instructors.

A flight school may offer dual pilot licenses or certificates. Therefore, prospective pilots can get a national license required to operate an aircraft in their country as well as a license to operate an aircraft in another country. For example, some schools in the USA offer a FAA certificate, which is required for pilots in the USA and a Joint Aviation Authorities (JAA) certificate, which is required for pilots in Europe.

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Students first gain the FAA certificate and then train in Europe with a partner school to pick up the JAA certificate. The schools offering dual certificates are usually large and the program is more expensive than getting a single certificate. It is worth it though, since the qualified pilot can work in both the USA and Europe.

The location of the aviation school usually influences the selection decision. Many people prefer to attend a flight training academy near their home. This way there is no need to relocate or to make a long, tiring drive every time for a flying lesson.

Another important consideration is the training fee. A flight training program is not inexpensive, but the fees should be considered in balance with the quality of instruction. Paying more for quality instruction may prove preferable in the long run to cutting corners on a cheaper course with indifferent instruction.

An aviation school usually employs several experienced flight instructors. Make sure you receive constructive instruction from the one assigned to you. If this is not the case, you should ask for a different one.

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truman12
Post 2

I have been thinking about going to aviation school, but so much of the information I am finding has to do only with airlines. I really want to go to a helicopter aviation school and learn to be a helicopter pilot.

I know that these schools exist, but so many of the commercial aviation schools focus only on airline pilots. I have looked online and at my library but I cannot find any good information about the other kinds of programs available. Maybe somebody can point me towards some?

jonrss
Post 1

I think that one of the best indicators for judging any school is to look at what their graduates have gone on to achieve. Of course any school has at least a few high achievers and they tend to play these fortunate individuals up. But when you really get into the numbers and look at how many of their graduates have jobs in their desired fields the differences become a little clearer.

I went to aviation school about ten years ago and when I was researching schools I poured over these numbers endlessly. I had always wanted to fly, but more importantly I wanted a job, a good job. I considered a lot of different factors, but graduate success was the most important. I went through school, found a job immediately, and now I am the vice president of a small commercial airline. Things worked out.

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