15 topics to research on schools before you choose the right flight training

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For any students who likes to become an a Airline pilot the first and the most hardest hurdle to cross is to find the flight school which fits their needs perfectly. When there is thousands of flight school around the world which makes it even more difficult to pick the right one. I cannot emphasize how important it is to be in the school that you feel very comfortable. I can even go a step further to tell you that choosing the wrong school could destroy your life time dream of becoming an a airline pilot. Here are fifteen details which you should go through with each school before you decided to start your training. Alternatively you can always visit www.compareflighttraining.com to compare your selected school to find out which one to choose.

1. Program or course name
Always make sure the course conducted by the school is what you required. If you have to convert your license once you completed your flight training with this school do the research on conversion and the procedure. Each school has it own course pattern and the way conduct the training. Contact the school to be clear on the entire question you have regarding the course.

2. Payment
There is no fixed course price for almost all the flight training. It’s understandable that it varies because not every student will complete the training with minimum hours. This makes it very difficult to make a budget for the students but there is no any other option than add few more thousand from their quoted price also find out the amount you have to pay as deposit and the frequent of the payment. Some school expects most of the money within few months when other school very relaxed and lets the students pay as they fly.

3. Fleet and simulators
It’s important to make sure the school you start your training have numerous well maintained aircraft. Also having difficult types of aircrafts will give you good experience of flying skills. Simulator training is vital for saving few thousand from your course fee. Most importantly it’s the best place to master your maneuvers and approaches before you get in the plane to practice them.

4. Airport, Airspace, control tower, Runway and Landing facilities
School location should be very top of your list to research for many reasons. Never compromise best airport facilities in your flight school because get the training in an atmosphere very similar to bigger airport is important to adapt the transition process from training to get straight in to the job. Ask the school questions about their landing approach systems, navigation aids and runways. Also have a control tower and busy airspace allows you to practice your radio communication in a busy atmosphere. Having a uncontrolled airport close by your training airport will be a bonus for you to practice landing training many time as possible without getting permission every time from tower.

5. Instructors
Great pilots made by great instructors. It’s your responsibility to get trained by the instructor who you think will make different in life and you admire. It’s difficult to find out about the quality of instructors before start your training. So try to contact few old students from the school or request the school to talk to one of the instructor personally so you can ask some question to see his passion towards flying.

6. Students
For many of you don’t really mind the amount of students training in the school or the origin of them. But sometime you can use that information to figure out the schools capacity. For example if they have 100 students and only 5 aircraft then it will be difficult for you to fly frequently. Also some girls might prefer to have many other girl student pilots around. You might spend around 12 months in this place. So know more details always will help you to make the right choice.

7. Accommodation
If you want to save thousands of dollars or whichever currency your countries have, opt out from schools accommodation. It’s simply way too expensive compare to rent a place your own. It might be difficult to find accommodation when you travel to different country but make few efforts to get in touch with housing agents in the area. You can always contact Compare Flight Training office to get some tips and advice to find your own place.

8. Transportation
Most valuable item you can purchase in the city you starting the training is a Car. Don’t have to be a new car, Just a car which can take you from A to B. You can talk to few other students to share the cost so you can buy a car between 3 or 4 students. Many schools do shutter services from home to the school, but these services are not very frequent. Sometime you might waste time waiting around for this shutter for quite long time. Also having a automobile will help you to go to grocery shopping, outdoor activities, small vacations and night life. Relaxation is very important in flight training, so you can recharge over the weekend to give your best the following days.

9. Job
Over 99% of the school can’t guarantee a job with an airline after you achieve your commercial pilot license. Only very few cadet programs gets you to the right seat of the jet but only very few selected candidates gets this opportunity. That doesn’t mean rest of us has to forget about our dream of becoming a pilot. There are many ways you can still get that airline spot with the right training and guidance. Most of the students need to gain experience once you complete the course. So ask the school for an opportunity to work in the school as a flight instructor after you gain your licence. This will open a new world of experience and build hours you require and also make some money back.

10. Activities
Flight training could get intense sometimes. Just like any other industry it has its pressure and hurdles. This makes it more interesting to face everyday and improve ourself into a strong person. Best way to handle these stressful times and recharge ourselves is get away from the training for a while and enjoy some time relaxing and bring our mind together. So it’s good to choose a school close to the city where you have beaches, outdoor activities, gym, shopping malls and night life.

11. Ground studies
Usually there are two types of ground studies conducted by the school. One is class room based and other one is online based. Even though most of the school does class based ground but some other schools are strong believers of online based studies. Its completely students choice depends on which way you can study better. If you are very organized and dedicated person online is fine but I preferred classroom based. It’s always structured and help available when you needed straight away.

12. Financing and Scholarship
Most of the financial help available only for the students if you starting the training in your own country. USA system is very helpful for their students if they want to become pilots. Many other countries can always ask the bank for student loan or personal loan. Contact the school to find out whether they have any tie up with any company.

13. Schools History
Most of you might think its irrelevant to know the history of the school. But find out the years it’s been around could tell you the foundation of the school, structure and also easier to get reviews from previous students. Get some information about the owner and chief flight instructor to find out their motive and dedication behind the flight school.

14. Safety
The hardest part of research will be trying to find out schools safety report. Of course if you ask the school they will always say their record is tremendous. But dig deeper about their plane’s maintenance and accident & incident reports.

15. Weather
Weather plays big part in your training. It doesn’t matter which country you go to, you will have many cancelled flight lessons. If you choose to begin training around winter time in European countries you will be in the ground most of the time than air. Don’t just believe the schools website which says 365 flying days. It’s impossible. But many cities you can fly more than 300 days and that good enough to complete your training within 10 months to 12 months.


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I choose my instructor by recommendation from one of my friends in the flight school. I soon realized he is such a great skilled instructor with lots of passion and dedication towards flying. I had great few flight lessons till I came across on one flight about an outraging personality when I made a mistake he shouted and screamed towards me. Every time he shouts in the plane I lose my focus and started to do many more mistakes. I started to get scared of flying with him as if I was flying with a snake that could bite me any second. Even though I stuck by this instructor throughout my private pilot lesson I hated every moment I was flying with him. I do regret now that I had bit of courage to face him and to tell him that if he is going to carry on this manner I will change the instructor.
My instructor has strict personality which makes it difficult to have friendly talk with him or even difficult to ask any question about aviation and my flying. Usually my instructor turns up to the flight just the minute before I start the engine and goes away as soon as I land and switch off the engine. Even though for a long time I get charged for preflight and post flight but I find difficult to question him. Thirty minutes ground I get charged for each flight. It doesn’t seem too much money for 30 minutes but it adds on when you fly over fifty flights. when I talk about this to other students it seems like many students goes through the same issue with their instructor which made me think this issue it just common in the flight schools.
My course fee had been quoted as $45,500. The school did mention this price is for 40 hours of private pilot license and they did inform me most of the students completed around 50 hours to 60 hours. So I expected couple of $1000 to increase it to a final price. But when I checked my school account on the day I got my instrument rating, I have spent around $49000 already. I still have multi engine commercial license pending and also 30hours of hours building. This is going to push the price more than $15000 than quotation quoted price. The school knows that once you start your training you just have to agree the price and pay for it without questioning them. That’s what many students did in the past. I can see that these extra charges will carry on in this flight training industry.
I started my job in USA after years of saving and clear research. I found this company in India and they guaranteed an airline pilot job as soon u complete your commercial license. It’s a dream come true for any student pilot to start a training and to know you will be flying for a airline as soon as you finish the training especially when you have spend over 40000$. The job confirmation they provided us didn’t look fake to me as the document had job details and an approved stamp from aviation authorities. Once I completed my training, I returned to India in such a joy that my parents are going to see their son as first officer in an airline. All my dreams just shattered when I went to the office in India to find out when I can start my job. It completely shocked me when they told that I am on a waiting list with other pilots and that they couldn’t tell me the exact time period for a job and I need to wait. Be careful of these fake agents and companies.
After a month of training I went for a flight as unusual, when I requested my flight log and the keys from dispatcher lady. She informed me that my account is negative. I was completely shocked because I have deposited fifteen thousand dollars a month ago. I asked her to print my account detail to check where my money went? She printed out my sheets of my flight detail of my account for the last month. In that account, I noticed that they charged me $3000 of administration fee which they never mentioned anywhere on the website or the document they had sent me with the acceptance letter before I started the training. When I complained about this to the school office I got a simple answer “every student get this fee charged”. I was very disappointed and argued a lot regarding this matter to finally realize that I have just have accepted this fee and carry on with my training. After this incident I make sure that I check my account regularly if there are anymore hidden charges applied from nowhere.
Some flight school use desperate measures and try to exploit the situation of the new instructors from abroad. Once they finish the training, the school owners knows that these new instructors wants to build hours and get experience rather than go back to their own country. I only know these details after several of my flights. My instructor never showed any enthusiasm towards the trainee but he wanted to fly many hours every week. When I asked others students they explained to me my instructors doesn’t get paid for his work. It came clearly to me that you can’t expect someone to give 100 % when they don’t get paid for the job they do. By the time I changed the instructor that I already flew 32 hours without even get my solo since then I changed my instructor I wish I had done this sooner.