Choosing a flight school – Dos and Don’ts

Choosing the right school for your flight training may be one of the most important decisions you will have to make on the path of becoming a pilot. Whether you are thinking about opting for something local, or your mind already took a flight abroad, there is an overwhelming amount of options out there.

Therefore, it can be quite challenging to navigate through all the dos and don’ts of making a decision, when you are just starting to familiarize yourself with the ways of the industry. There are some key factors we would like to highlight in this article, to help you along the way to make a well-informed choice, that’s most adequate for you and your goals.

1. Set your goal

Taking into account what those goals might be, the kind of license you are seeking, and the nature of your interest – whether you are considering becoming a pilot as a career choice or simply as a hobby – different training options might serve you best. So, before anything else, determining your end goal can be an important starting point.

If you are leaning more towards the hobby side of aviation and fancy yourself a calming flight over the weekend, a Light Aircraft Pilot License (LAPL) could be a suitable option, while a Private Pilot License (PPL) is generally considered the stepping stone (or runway if we want to stick to aviation metaphors) to later pursuing more advanced licenses from a career point of view, such as a Commercial Pilot License (CPL) and the Airline Transport Pilot License (ATPL) which is required by all commercial airlines.

2. Do your research, don’t rush your decision: consider your options both locally and abroad

When opting for a school it is very important to do your research and make sure that the type of school you’re going for is appropriate for you and offers all the requirements of your hobby/career plans. This is a decision that shouldn’t be rushed, as a poor choice can compromise the outcome.

Independent certificated flight instruction is optimal if you are interested in flying for fun and are looking for one-on-one training locally with a flexible schedule. Local flight schools tend to offer both LAPL and/or PPL training, thus they can be suitable for leisure and in some cases professional purposes as well. But, if you are seriously considering professional piloting as a career prospect, a larger academy or university should offer you all the courses, facilities, air crafts, and opportunities to pursue a career in aviation.

Going abroad, in this case, is useful as it can make you more attractive to the airline or company you are striving to work for, as well as provide you with the experience of being exposed to another culture, airspace, and potentially unfamiliar weather system. Location is key when it comes to picking a school for your studies, as it will affect your whole experience and prospects.

Learning in a country with varied terrain and weather will broaden your horizons as a pilot and equip you with the confidence of having experienced a multiplicity of flight conditions. Hungary for instance is a great option to study abroad for these reasons and offers several EASA-approved (European Union Aviation Safety Agency) aviation schools, such as the Airwin Aviator School, with quality teaching, well-organized staff, and a youthful, friendly environment.

3. The devil’s in the details: pay attention to technicalities

There are also some technical things to consider before settling for a school. The training environment of the academy of your choice should be up to the latest standards, so we would recommend you to focus on the following details: make sure to opt for a school that has all the necessary equipment; friendly, experienced instructors, and operates from suitable airports.

Does the school have enough aircraft? Are they well-maintained and modern-equipped? Does the school offer digital training and simulation? What is the instructor/student ratio? How well will your progress be monitored while you are in training? 

The best way to get all the answers to your questions is to visit schools and interview instructors if you can. They should be able to supply you with all the information you need.

4. Take the costs into account

At this point, the money talk has to come into the picture, as your budget can be a determining factor in choosing your school. Flight school costs can vary depending on the scope of your training and learning to fly can add up to be quite expensive in general.

Some schools may require you to pay in advance, but don’t get discouraged, as numerous schools offer the possibility to pay in installments as you progress. What can also be helpful is to acquire some information about your prospective school’s average training hours and what is included in the price to get a better understanding of the costs.

5.Sky’s the limit

To sum it all up, choosing the right flight school can be simple when you know what to look for: setting a goal and getting a general idea of how to achieve that goal is what you should start with. The location of your training is very important whether you are looking for something nearby or abroad, while the quality of the education, the equipment, and the competence of your instructor can make or break your learning experience. 

Do your research and ask lots of questions. We at the Airwin Aviator School are looking forward to hearing from you. Our goal is your success! Avoid making a rushed decision, choose the school that is right for you.