When choosing a flight school you must consider the
of training as well as the professionalism exhibited by the
school’s management, flight instructors, and
its staff. The quality of flight training you receive
role in your future
as a pilot. The aeronautical knowledge, flying skills, and
flying techniques taught to you from initial to advanced
will be utilized throughout your flying career. Choosing
a flight school that meets your flying goals and individual
needs is not an easy task and is an important
to make, especially if you have little or no aviation experience.
to ensure that you choose a flight school that meets your
flying goals, you must take the time to research and evaluate
each flight school that interests you. We have developed
help you choose a flight school:
your aviation goals
2. Collect information about each flight school
3. Make a list of flight schools that interest
4. Visit the flight schools
5. Make a final decision
Determine your flying goals
Before you start any research, you must determine your flying
goals. To help you identify your goals, you should ask yourself
the following questions:
Do I want to fly for pleasure, business, or as a career?
• Where do I want to train?
• What type of flight school do I plan to attend?
• Will I train as a full- or part-time student?
• How do I plan to pay for my flight training expenses?
• Will I need financial aid?*
Don’t base your choice(s) on the cost, since some flight
schools offer financial aid (i.e. loans, scholarships, etc.)
to eligible students.
you have answered these questions and others you have thought
about, you should identify and select several characteristics
of a flight school (from the list below) that are important
• Quality of Training
• School Accreditation
• Safety Record
• Type of School (i.e. Public or Private School, college,
university, etc.) (link)
• School Certification: Part 61 or 141
• College Credit/Degree Available
• Financial Aid Available
• Housing & Transportation
• Professional Pilot Program
• Career Assistance Available
• Pilot Certificates and Rating Offered & Costs
• Aircraft in Service
• Facilities (i.e. computer labs, libraries, etc.)
• Internship Programs
• Regional Airline Partnerships
• Affiliation with a Nearby Institution
Collect Information about each flight school.
Now that you have a general idea of what you want from a flight
school (according to the characteristics you have chosen),
you can start your research. Register and search My
AvScholars’ Collegiate and/or Flight School Directories
to identify schools located near you or in another state/province.
Our directories provide detailed profiles on colleges and
flight schools that offer various flight training programs.
Each school’s profile includes complete contact information,
certificates and ratings offered and their associated costs,
available financial aid, training aircrafts, facilities, airline
partnerships, and much more. Other methods of researching
flight schools are to scan aviation magazines for advertisements,
search the Internet, talk to people in the aviation industry,
and/or visit a local flight school in your city.
that interest you, you should call and request a current information
packet, application (if necessary), training syllabus for
each certificate or rating you plan to obtain, and a copy
of the school's regulations and flight operations procedures.
want to check the school’s safety record and business
practices, you can contact the FAA
Flight Standards District Office, Better
Business Bureau, and the Chamber of Commerce for additional
3. Make a list of flight schools that interest you.
After receiving the flight schools’ information packets,
you should carefully read through the information, take notes
on your likes and dislikes, and write down your questions
and comments. Don't base your choices on the information packets
alone! Some of the color brochures/catalogs can be misleading.
As you read through the packets, you should ask questions
about the nature and quality of the school’s training
our list of Questions
to Ask and the Flight
School Checklist to help you take notes on the
school’s features and services. After reviewing the
literature, you should narrow your choices down to four or
five schools using the process of elimination based the flight
school’s characteristic you selected.
Visit the flight school(s).
It is very important that you visit the flight schools that
you have a strong interest in attending. A personal visit
allows you to observe, ask questions, and determine if you
like the “feel/personality” of the school as well
as assessing the features and services offered to their students.
visit to each school should include:
tour of the campus.
If you are interested in attending a college, university,
or flight academy, call the admission’s office to
inquire about campus tours and possibly speaking with
an admission and/or financial aid administrator.
tour of the flight department.
You should definitely tour the flight department (including
the administrative offices to the maintenance area), check
out the airplanes, facilities, weather room, simulators,
interview with an Chief Flight Instructor and/or faculty
During your interview, ask questions about the school’s
training programs, maintenance procedures, job placement
programs, internships, etc. To help you with your interview,
download our list of Questions
to Ask during your visit.
interview with current and former students.
During your visit, ask current students a few questions
about their training experiences and whether they would
recommend the school to friends and family members interested
in becoming a pilot. You should also ask the school for
a list of former students and contact them. Download our
list of Questions
Ask if you could go on a Discovery
Flight with an
5. Make a final decision.
The flight school you choose to attend ultimately depends
on your flying and career goals, the school’s personality,
and most importantly the quality of training you expect to
receive as a student (customer). If you select a flight school
that meets your needs and matches your personality, you will
feel comfortable in the training environment and hopefully
enjoy your training experiences.
you make your final decision, you should reassess your visits
and compare all the schools against one another, and then
against your flying and career goals. If you completed a Flight
School Checklist for each school you visited,
it may help you with your final decision.
by: Sedgwick Hines Copyright 2004-2011 AvScholars Publishing, LLC.
All Rights Reserved.