Types of Pilot Schools
Most airports have pilot training available, either by flying schools or individual flight instructors. A school will usually provide a wide variety of training aids, special facilities, and greater flexibility in scheduling. A number of colleges and universities also provide pilot training as a part of their curricula.
There are two types of schools. One is normally referred to as an "FAA-approved school" and the other as a "non-approved school."
Enrollment in an FAA-approved school usually ensures a high quality of training. FAA-approved schools meet prescribed standards with respect to equipment, facilities, personnel, and curricula. However, many excellent pilot schools find it impractical to qualify for the FAA certification, and are referred to as non-approved schools.
One of the differences between FAA-approved schools and non-approved schools is that fewer flight hours are required to qualify for a pilot certificate in an FAA-approved school. The requirement for a private pilot certificate is 40 hours in a non-approved school, and 35 hours in an approved school. However, since most people require 60 to 75 hours of training, this difference may be insignificant for a private pilot certificate.
Choosing A Pilot School
You must make your own decision on where to obtain flight training. Once you have decided on a general location, you might want to make a checklist of things to look for in a school. By talking to pilots and reading articles in flight magazines, you can make your checklist and evaluate a school. Your choice of a flight school might depend on whether you are planning on obtaining a recreational or private certificate or whether you intend to pursue a career as a professional pilot. Another consideration is whether you will train part-time or full-time.
Do not make the mistake of making your determination based on financial concerns alone. The quality of training you receive is very important. Prior to making a final decision, visit the school you are considering and talk with management, instructors, and students. Evaluate the items on the checklist you developed and then take some time to think things over before making your decision.
After you have decided where you will learn to fly and have made the necessary arrangements, you are ready to start your training. An important fact: ground and flight training should be obtained as regularly and frequently as possible. This assures maximum retention of instruction and the achievement of proficiency with the least expenditure of time and money.
Page Last Modified: 03/19/13 19:46 EDT
This page can be viewed online at: http://www.faa.gov/training_testing/training/pilot_schools/