If you’ve always dreamt of taking to the skies from the cockpit of an airplane, you’ll first need to receive proper certification. To obtain your pilot license, enrolling in flight school is the first step of the process. But, how do you know whether or not you’ll fit in at a certain training center? From the curriculum to the certified flight instructors (CFIs) to the type of aircraft fleet available to students and so much more – there’s a lot to consider.
The Top Things To Look For When Signing Up For Aviation Classes:
1) Type Of Flight Training
Different flight schools can specialize in different types of training. For example, some solely focus on private pilot licensing for hobbyists or personal flyers, whereas others may offer commercial training for those wanting to become a professional pilot as a career. Yet others can do it all under one roof. Make sure to ask about the type of training you wish to pursue, and that the flight school can accommodate your needs.
2) Part 61 vs. Part 141
If you’re just starting out in the world of aviation, you’ll first need to acquire a private pilot certification. This will set you up to fly on your own or allow you to pursue further certifications down the road, such as instrument ratings, instructor licensing or airline transport pilot, among others. When it comes to obtaining your private pilot license (PPL), however, there are two main approaches that a flight school will offer, called Part 61 and Part 141. The biggest difference between these two approaches is the flexibility that Part 61 offers vs. Part 141. The former lets you build your schedule on your own terms, whereas the latter is normally conducted in a more formal setting, like at a university, and requires a much more rigorous training schedule.
3) Graduation Rate For Aviation Classes
Is the flight school willing to supply you with a graduation rate, as in how many students graduate versus drop out? This can provide some key insight into how successful their CFIs are at helping students achieve certification. In a similar vein, ask about the average timeline of how long it takes the average student to become certified. Depending on the program it could take a few weeks, up to a year, but anything longer than that for a basic PPL may be suspect.
4) Flight Instructors
When researching aviation classes, get to know the instructors if possible. Many flight schools will happily give you a tour of the facility, giving you a good chance to get to know the crew, their personalities, and whether or not they’ll mesh well with your own.
5) Aircraft Fleet
What type of aircraft will you be flying during your aviation classes? Take a look at the fleet of planes, find out if they’re older models or modern trainers, and count how many aircraft they have. The sign of a healthy flight school is that they’ll have a full fleet of aircraft, across a span of brands like Cessna, Cirrus, Piper, Diamond and other popular airplane manufacturers. Those with one or two planes can supply good training, but won’t give you the variety you need to truly get a grasp on different flight modules and mechanisms.
6) Aviation Classes Pricing & Financing
Flight school can be expensive, particularly for youngsters or those starting out in a new career path. As such, inquire about their pricing and whether or not they offer low-interest financing. This can be the difference between you graduating or having to delay as you work another job to save up more cash.
Take a look at the flight school’s website and online profiles – are they transparent with their reviews and testimonials? Likewise, while touring a school, ask to speak to current or past students to help you understand what their experience was like and if it lines up with your expectations.
8) Look At The Perks
Does the flight school you’re looking at offer any other perks beyond just instruction? For example, some flight schools host networking events, offer free food and drink for students or have a mechanic shop on-site. Some of these perks can help push you over the edge as to what school you choose to attend.
Are you ready to start aviation classes in Minneapolis?
If you think you’re ready to sign up for aviation classes in Minneapolis, find the best local crew to work with at Inflight Pilot Training. We can help you achieve your dreams of becoming a certified pilot, while creating unforgettable memories throughout the process. We’ve helped countless people take the yoke and fly to new heights, whether through accelerated private pilot programs, instrument training, commercial licensing or anything else – we do it all under one roof.
Let our diverse team of CFIs elevate your learning experience as you take to the skies. If you’re interested in learning more about Inflight programs, contact us today or call (952) 698-3000.