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Choosing The Best Flight School/Training

Asked by: 1653 views Commercial Pilot, Student Pilot

Hi, I am currently trying to research the different flight schools to see which one I could be best trained at. From the different webpages and little bit of info I have been able to get from each school, it would seem that the more flight hours one can obtain the better.  I have no experience or flight hours at this time. I have looked at the for profit flights schools ranging from prices $70K to $100k and each one "promises" different amount of hours. The National Aviation Academy which also trains aircraft mechanics states it is a 19 month long program in which time on can earn between 350 hours and even more, up too 500 plus if you become a student instructor there. Then there is the Texas State Community College which is also a degree program and so in two years it will take to earn all the certificates and licenses and about 250 plus hours.

Do you have any advice for one just starting out and the type of training that I should look best for?

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1 Answers



  1. Boiler on Feb 08, 2014

    Wilky,
    It partly depends on what your end goal is. Are you looking to make aviation a career or are you planning on flying for recreation/personal travel? I recommend going to a few flight schools or FBO’s (fixed base operators) around you and talking to them in person. The FAA minimum for the Private certificate is 40 hours but most students in my experience take 50-60 hours so plan your budget accordingly. I would stay away from a school that quotes the price at 40 hours and doesn’t advise you that it will probably take more flight time than that. The cost also depends on what part of the country you are doing your training in. Where I’m from you can rent a 172 with an instructor for about $160/hour. On the coasts and near big cities that cost will typically be much higher. Also, if you do all of your training in an SR-22 vs a Cessna 152 the costs will be much different.

    If you are looking to make aviation a career it MAY make sense to go to a University or Academy type school. There are a lot of things that go into that decision as well. Can you get in-state tuition? Do you qualify for the GI bill? etc. etc.

    As far as “the more flight hours one can obtain the better”… I suppose this is true to a certain extent but I would say the quicker you can get your certificates and then get PAID to do the flying, rather than pay for the flight time yourself, the better. Any flight school would love to have you buy a lot of flight time from them but make sure you do your research first.

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