Selecting a Flight School
Selecting a flight school is not an easy task for any student unless there happens to be one in the back yard; in that case it's almost a no-brainer unless you start to get ripped off. The best method to determine if a particular school is worthy of your consideration is to ask them a few key questions which you already know the answer to.
It is important to note that bigger is not better, and a Part 141 flight school is not better than a Part 61 flight school. If a school states either of those two items, that should be your first sign that they are being less than truthful. I am not saying that a small school is always better, but they commonly have a more personal relationship with their students. They actually see you as an asset rather than an account number.
I am not saying that a Part 61 school is better either, but I can say that the biggest rip-offs that have ever occurred in any flight training has been Part 141 flight schools. Here are a few questions you should ask. More
Part 141 schools verses Part 61 schools, what is the real difference?
Contrary to what some people will tell you, like the large school in Titusville, Florida who, in their literature states that a part 61 school is not a school at all, is WRONG, and the statement itself is as ignorant as it gets. A Part 141 school is structured according to the requirements of FAR Part 141, and has direct oversight of the FAA.
A Part 61 school is structured by the people operating the school and has the same oversight as any other aviation company conducting operations under Part 61 or 91. Both Part 141 and Part 61 schools have exactly the same maintenance intervals, exactly the same tests, exactly the same certificates are issued, and in both cases are taught by instructors with exactly the same qualifications. More
How long should Flight Training really take?
Just how long should it take to complete your flight training, and do you have to buy a program, or can you pay-as-you-go? All good questions. A full-time student who takes training serious, should easily be able to complete the Private Pilot rating in 4-weeks or less.
A part time student will obviously take longer, but flying two times a week, should be able to complete the rating in 4-months or less. If it takes a full-time student longer than 4-weeks, one of two things is occurring. First, the student may not be taking the training serious, and may not be studying enough. If the first case is not the problem, then maybe the school is overbooking aircraft and instructors. The later is a common problem at large flight schools. They just have more students than they can accommodate. If that is the case and they have your money, you're screwed. More
The FAA, who they are, and what it means to you
The Federal Aviation Administration (The FAA) is the governing body created to oversee Aviation in the United States. The FAA has unbelievable power often unchecked as they answer basically to no one. All the FAA has to do is slow down air traffic which they can conivingly do in a heartbeat, and even the President of the United States will give in to whatever they ask in a second. Yes, this has happened, and it will happen again. More
Solo, when is the right time?
Most flight training students solo as soon after 20 hours of flight experience as possible, and if they weren't flying Robinsons, sometimes much sooner. Airplance students commonly solo much sooner than that. What is the rush to solo? Rarely is a student truely ready to solo with so few hours, but flight instructors are usually under a lot of pressure to get students soloed as soon as possible so they can get on to the next one. Is this good for the student? No, it is not; not only is it not good, it is not really safe either, so why risk it? More
Some other sites with good information for Pilots and Students
Helicopter Flight This site has a tremendous amount of information for the Helicopter Pilot.
Florida Helicopter Service This site has flight training information for students in the Florida area.
Tennessee Flight Training This site has flight training information for students in the Tennessee area.