Deciding to take flying lessons is an exciting decision, and you may be ready to take the next step in determining when to start. While you might be anxious to get a jump on lessons right away, there are pros and cons to learning to fly at different times of the year.
Here is a breakdown of some of the top considerations if you’re wondering the best time of year to take flying lessons.
Fall is back to school time, so you might be feeling motivated to start your flying education then. And certainly what better way is there to enjoy the fall colors than from the cockpit? Fall presents a generally neutral time to start flying lessons with no major weather considerations. In fact, depending on when you start and where you live, you might be able to enjoy some 75 and sunny days in skies, as well as a first frost or even some snow. Being able to experience that wide range of temperatures and weather can provide you with real-life experience that others might miss out on doing hands-on, such as de-icing.
While winter might not be the most appealing time to be spending time out at the airfield, it provides many different scenarios that can be valuable to pilots in training. From perfecting your de-icing procedure to practicing taking off and landing on an icy runway, the colder months have special circumstances to take into consideration. But, practice makes perfect, and by forcing yourself to train through these colder-weather processes, you’ll become a pro in no time. What’s more, is that airplane engines actually prefer winter with its cool, oxygen-rich air and can perform better.
Winter months are also an ideal time to tackle the ground training portion of your flying education.
One thing to be prepared for setbacks in timing in case you are restricted from flying due to a blizzard or other inclement weather. You also have less daylight hours to work with – often with heavier cloud cover, so that is another consideration.
With less chance of extreme cold or snow, and longer days spring is often one of the most popular times to pilots to being flight school. Spring is also a time of year that can experience the widest range of weather. From late spring snow storms, to perfect sunny days, to severe thunderstorms and even tornadoes – spring experiences it all! This can be a great benefit for budding pilots, since you will get the opportunity to learn these weather patterns as they happen, and become increasingly familiar with what to expect from a pilot’s point of view. Another benefit of starting your flight training during spring, is that you can be ready to fly solo when summer rolls around.
Summer might seem like the ideal time to take to the skies for flight training, and while there are a number of different benefits to starting when the weather is warmest, there are also some key things to be aware of.
The longer daylight hours is certainly a plus for many who want to be able to make the most of their time in the skies, and for the most part, the weather can be pretty ideal for beginner pilots. But of course summer – especially in the Midwest – can be known for its severe summer weather including thunderstorms and even tornados. So you may experience some delays or other challenges if your area receives a lot of rain, hail, or there is lightning nearby. On the plus side, you’ll soon become a pro at reading and predicting these weather patterns, which is a crucial skill for a pilot.
However, because of many of these benefits mentioned above, airfields are notoriously busy during the summer months. Depending on your learning style, this might be right up your alley. But for others, you might want to seek out a more quiet time of the year.
Are You Ready to Fly?
Get in touch with Inflight Pilot Training today! We are a leading flight instruction company in Minnesota. With a reputable training program and an extensive roster of highly skilled, certified flight instructors, we can help you gain the skills needed to become a private pilot.
For additional information on Inflight training programs, contact us today or call (952) 698-3000.