Picking the ideal flight school can be a complicated and oftentimes difficult decision. Here are 10 simple questions you should ask your flight school before making the decision on where to invest your money and your time. Remember, this is your dream and possibly your career, it is important to know how your potential flight school operates. Ask your flight school the following 10 questions to determine where they place their emphasis (answers in GREEN are the ideal answers you want to hear from your flight instructor/flight school while answers in RED are considered “RED FLAGS” and should be investigated more carefully. Always be sure to double check the answers you are given for accuracy)
- How many incidents/accidents has your flight school experienced over the last year?
- “We have had no incidents/accidents over the last year”
- “Nothing ever serious has happened…”
- “We’re doing pretty good!”
QUALITY OF AIRCRAFT
- What types of aircraft will I be flying?
- “Our aircraft are equipped with state-of-the art GPS systems and are maintained meticulously.”
- “Anything else…”
QUALIFICATIONS OF THE FLIGHT INSTRUCTORS
- What qualifies you to be my flight instructor?
- “I have real life experience, I have above a 90% checkride pass rate, I have never been involved in an incident or accident”
- Anything other than what is listed above
STRUCTURE OF THE PROGRAM
- How will my time be spent during flight training?
- “Together, we review a structured syllabus prior to each flight lesson to ensure proper use of your time and money”
- Anything NOT including the daily use of a structured syllabus
LEVEL OF INSTRUCTORS AND STUDENTS ENJOYMENT AT THE FLIGHT SCHOOL
- Why do you enjoy working for/flying with ____________________ flight school?
- “It’s professional, structured, safe, and I love to teach students to fly”
- “I’m just looking to build hours and get to the airlines”
- “It’s a relaxed/laid back flight school”
- “I don’t like it here”
- What sort of financing options do you provide for your students?
- “We have multiple financing options available to our students including our own in-house financing!”
- “None, we can’t really help out with financing.”
- Do you have an FAA Approved Flight Simulator available for training to help save me money?
- “We do! By utilizing our approved flight simulator you will be a better pilot and be able to save thousands on your flight training.”
- “We do not have a flight simulator.”
- How are you able to help me get established in a career post-training?
- “We have agreements with airlines to help our students seamlessly transition to an airline career. Also, we have created a Tuition Reimbursement Program to assist our students with cost. In addition we hire our students as flight instructors when they are done with training.”
- “We can help point you in the right direction when the time comes.”
COST OF TRAINING
- What is the total, all-inclusive cost of training in your program?
- “Gives an exact number with details and pricing breakdown.”
- “Gives a general estimate.”
- How is your pay structure set up? Do I pay up front or as I go?
- “We never ask for your flight training money up front. It is a pay-as-you-go system to help you feel more comfortable and in-control of your own training.”
- “We require payment in full up-front.”
Remember, there are many aspects to research in picking a flight school. Knowing where a flight school places their emphasis will help you know if that particular school is a good fit for your aviation goals.