Wednesday, October 7, 2009

How to Find a Reputable Flight Program

To obtain information about pilot training, contact the local FSDO, which maintains a current file on all schools within its district. The choice of a flight school depends on what type of certificate is sought, whether an individual wishes to fly as a sport pilot or wishes to pursue a career as a professional pilot. Another consideration is the amount of time that can be devoted to training. Ground and flight training should be obtained as regularly and frequently as possible because this assures maximum retention of instruction and the achievement of requisite proficiency.

Do not make the determination based on financial concerns alone, because the quality of training is very important. Prior to making a final decision, visit the schools under consideration and talk with management, instructors, and students.

Be inquisitive and proactive when searching for a flight school, do some homework, and develop a checklist of questions by talking to pilots and reading articles in flight magazines. The checklist should include questions about aircraft reliability and maintenance practices, questions for current students such as whether or not there is a safe, clean aircraft available when they are scheduled to fly.

Questions for the training facility should be aimed at determining if the instruction flits available personal time. What is the school’s operating hours? Does the facility have dedicated classrooms available for ground training required by the FAA? Is there an area available for preflight briefings, post flight debriefings, and critiques? Are these rooms private in nature in order to provide a no threatening environment in which the instructor can explain the content and outcome of the flight without making the student feel self-conscious?

Examine the facility before committing to any flight training. Evaluate the answers on the checklist, and then take time to think things over before making a decision. This proactive approach to choosing a flight school will ensure a student pilot contracts with a flight school or flight instructor best suited to individual needs.

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