How do I Choose the Best Pilot School?

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  • Written By: Ken Black
  • Edited By: C. Wilborn
  • Last Modified Date: 31 December 2018
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Choosing a pilot school is not an easy thing to do. In many cases, aviation training can be highly technical and specifically tuned to the type of discipline one is choosing. Therefore, it is necessary for you first to understand what type of pilot you want to become. Also, if looking at this as a career choice, you should also look at the equipment the school has available, accreditation, costs, and other similar factors that are common among nearly all post-secondary educational institutions.

Many different types of pilots take to the air each day. With the possible exception of those flying homemade aircraft, all have been through some sort of pilot school. Anyone wanting to fly should consider going to such a school, though the type of school chosen will largely depend on what you are hoping to do with the education received. Those wanting to work as a commercial pilot, or pilot for hire, will have different requirements than those who are simply looking to fly for pleasure.

If you are looking to fly just for personal or recreational purposes and desire to operate nothing larger than a single-engine aircraft, you will find many options. Choices are available near almost all major airports and many smaller public airports. There may also be some choices for classes at private airstrips. You should look at factors such as location and cost. Also, check with others who have been through the pilot school by asking for references.


An aviation college is a good choice if you are considering a career in aviation or if you want to operate jets. These institutions should be accredited by a regional accrediting institution and should provide you with that information upon request, if it is not listed in the materials about the college already. This information will help you determine if a degree from the college is going to be accepted in the aviation field. While it is not absolutely necessary to have a bachelor's degree to become an airline pilot, it can help.

Also, consider what equipment the pilot school has. Airline pilots must spend a certain amount of time on certain aircraft to be certified to fly those planes. Getting as much experience as possible in different types of aircraft is important. Some of this can be done through a simulator, but you will also need some real flying time as well.

Another thing to consider are the costs of a pilot school. If you want a commercial pilot license, you are looking at a minimum of 250 hours of flight time, usually charged at a per-hour rate. That can add up to thousands of US Dollars (USD) for a commercial license. Financial aid and other scholarships may be offered by some pilot schools.



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