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Reasons To Pursue Your Commercial Pilot License

Are you ready to start out in a new hobby or career and achieve stunning new heights? Well, finding the right flight school is the first step. And, your success may just hinge on finding an organization that puts you, the student, first. Flight schools aren’t just places where you learn to fly – they’re communities where you meet fellow aviation enthusiasts, build lifelong connections and pursue your passion for aviation. 

Let’s explore some strategies that certified instructors like those at Inflight Pilot Training swear by to create a welcoming environment in their flight schools. From great communication to investments in training technologies, facilities and aircraft to socialization opportunities and a commitment to safety, these strategies and more help flight schools build a strong sense of belonging among students, instructors and staff. Here is everything you need to know about finding a student-first flight school. 

Master Communication

Effective communication is a critical component in building a sense of belonging among team members. According to research from Washington State University, a lack of communication is one of the biggest challenges instructors face when trying to identify where students may be struggling with course content or concepts. This is especially true in aviation education, where your and others’ safety depends on clear communication.

To create a sense of belonging, communication needs to be open, transparent and respectful. Encouraging stakeholders to share opinions, beliefs and ideas can foster a sense of ownership and investment in the success of the flight school. When individuals feel that their input is valued and can help shape the direction of the organization, they are more likely to feel connected and engaged.

Regular Meetings

One way a flight school may do this is by scheduling regular meetings for instructors, administrative staff and other employees. These meetings can cover upcoming events, operational changes and any other relevant topics, while also providing an opportunity for open communication and feedback. Instructors can also build a sense of belonging among students and their support system by setting regular progress meetings during the training process. 

Accepting To Feedback

Soliciting feedback on operational improvements and implementing their suggestions can supply a sense of ownership among team members and students. Providing a suggestion box or other means of anonymous feedback allows employees to share their ideas, concerns and suggestions without fear of judgment. It helps to create an inclusive and collaborative environment where everyone’s opinions are valued.

Digital Communication 

Another way to promote good communication at flight school is by utilizing digital communication tools like email, messaging apps and video conferencing platforms. These tools are particularly useful for keeping team members informed and connected, especially for those who work remotely or have busy schedules. Inflight Pilot Training, for example, uses the Flight Circle digital platform to make aircraft scheduling and lesson management easy.

Investing In Students

Investing in students and technology, aircraft, and facilities is a way for flight schools to remain competitive and provide a future-proof education. Many educational institutions across the world are helping students make huge advances by investing in things like educational technology, but that’s not all. By putting their money where their mouth is, flight schools can enhance their reputation, attract and retain talented students and instructors, and provide a modern and safe space to learn. 

Investing In Students

Flight schools, committed to building a sense of belonging, should prioritize investing in their students by offering scholarships, financial aid, and other resources to help students achieve their goals. Anyone who has the drive to learn shouldn’t be hindered by the financial burden of training. A flight school should also hire the best instructors from around the world, and develop internal training processes to give you the most comprehensive and efficient education, so you’re not wasting time and money.

Investing In Technology

Technology can enhance the learning experience by providing students with interactive and engaging training tools. Flight schools can invest in simulation software, virtual reality programs, and other advanced technologies to supplement traditional classroom and flight training. This can also help reduce costs and increase efficiency by allowing students to practice in a safe and controlled environment.

Investing In Aircraft

Flight schools should invest in a modern and diverse fleet of aircraft to ensure that students have access to the latest technology and equipment. Does the flight school have a variety of aircraft models from different manufacturers? If you’re restricted to a single trainer aircraft, you’re missing out on a chance to develop versatility in the cockpit. Inflight’s fleet features Cessna, Piper and Beechcraft airplanes, and we’re even a certified Cirrus partner, giving our students exclusive training access to this exciting line of Minnesota-made aircraft.

Investing In Facilities

Flight schools should invest in modern and well-maintained facilities that provide a safe and comfortable learning environment. This includes classrooms, hangars, maintenance centers and other facilities that meet industry standards and are equipped with the latest technology and safety features. Any organization that wants to foster a sense of belonging should also design their facilities to feel more like a college campus, where you can feel free to come and study, hang out with peers and socialize, rather than a business. With new facilities planned for 2023 and beyond, Inflight Pilot Training is growing to meet the future demand of pilots.

Encourage Socialization

Creating opportunities for socialization outside of work can be an effective way to build connections among flight school team members. In fact, a paper by the U.S. Department of Education found that a more systematic approach to training supervisors and coworkers in effective socialization practices will help improve the learning process for newcomers. By encouraging flight school students to participate in social events like team lunches, networking events or team-building activities, schools can foster a sense of belonging and create a supportive community. 

Social Events

Hosting social events like team lunches, happy hours, holiday parties or volunteer opportunities, can also help build student connections. These events provide opportunities for team members to socialize in a more relaxed environment and get to know each other better, which can lead to a more positive learning experience.

Volunteering & Community Service

In order to demonstrate their community values, volunteering and community service can also provide opportunities for team members to bond and build connections while giving back to the community. Flight schools can organize volunteer events or support local community service organizations to encourage students and instructors to get involved.

Mentorship Programs

A mentorship program can pair experienced team members with newer team members, providing a structured way for them to learn from each other and build connections. This helps newer team members feel more supported and included in the team. Likewise, flight school managers may bring in special industry speakers to provide guidance to aspiring airmen.

Pilot Clubs

Additionally, some flight schools offer the chance to join a pilot club or enthusiast group for their students and anyone else passionate about flying. These clubs can provide a platform for like-minded individuals to socialize, share experiences and build connections, while saving money on plane rental. They can also offer opportunities for members to participate in group activities like fly-ins or volunteer work. By building a community within the flight school, pilot clubs help create a sense of belonging and camaraderie among team members.

Commitment to Safety

Commitment to safety is a critical component of creating a sense of belonging within a flight school. Ensuring the safety of all team members, students, and passengers helps to build trust and create a culture of mutual support.

Safety Management System

One way a flight school might demonstrate a commitment to safety to flight training students is by implementing a Safety Management System (SMS). An SMS is a formal system that manages safety risks and provides a structured approach to identify, assess and mitigate potential hazards. Flight schools can use an SMS to proactively address potential safety concerns and give you peace of mind knowing you’re learning in the safest environment possible.

Well-Maintained Facilities & Aircraft

In addition to a good safety record, well-maintained facilities and aircraft will also show a flight school takes pride in themselves — and will take pride in you too. This level of investment shows that the school is dedicated to providing a safe and reliable service with well-kept hangars and planes. It also sends a message to students and potential customers that the school takes their safety seriously, which can build trust and foster a sense of belonging among instructors and students. They may even have a maintenance crew on staff to keep the process that much more internalized and controlled. 

Flight School Reputation

At the end of the day, a flight school’s reputation is crucial in the aviation industry, and it is shaped by their commitment to safety and the quality of their services. A positive reputation can attract top instructors and students who prioritize safety and high-quality training. Researching a flight school’s reputation can be an excellent way to gauge their commitment to safety and the quality of their programs. Such things as recognition through major news write ups, an industry-leading podcast, or a free pilot training video channel can also indicate their ability to build students up so they can become their best.

Flight School Is Right Where You Belong – Start Flying Today!

Creating a sense of belonging among peers within a flight school is crucial to the success of aspiring pilots, as it promotes collaboration, teamwork and ultimately, safer flying. Flight schools can achieve this in various ways, from mastering communication to investing in their students and encouraging socialization while prioritizing safety. Flight schools that create a sense of belonging and supply quality services will attract top instructors, build a positive reputation in the industry and ultimately give you the greatest success in the training process.

Choose a student-first flight school – choose Inflight Pilot Training

Because a sense of belonging among students, instructors and staff leads to higher success rates for everyone, it’s become an important thing to consider before choosing a flight school. If you’re searching for a flight school that takes a community-driven approach, then turn to Inflight Pilot Training. With new facilities planned for 2023 and beyond, we’ve crafted our flight training programs around the needs of our students. 

Whether you want to pursue flying as a career or hobby, we can help you become a licensed pilot. Together, we develop personalized plans designed around your goals. With a high-quality fleet of airplanes, experienced crew and diverse training programs, you’ll soar to new heights under our leadership. 

Let our team of certified flight instructors 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.