If the school fits . . .
In America, most people learn to fly at a flight school. Flight schools provide space for pre- and post-flight education which is an important part of your flight training experience. Flight school owners, operators and managers are dedicated to seeing you become a pilot in a safe and cost-effective manner. The men and women who operate flight schools are professionals and are serious about the role they play in your flight education.
Flight schools that are FSANA members are serious about their business and strive to provide consistent, quality educational services with high levels of customer service. FSANA member schools are many of the best flight schools in America.
The most important time of a person’s flight training is during the early days when the core foundational points are learned. These key learning elements (KLE) form the basis for the rest of a pilot’s life cycle whether they remain a private pilot or elect to go all the way in what is termed the Zero to Hero pathway, leading to a career as a pilot.
Zero to Hero pilots start with zero flight time and end their core flight training with their Private and Commercial Pilot Certificates coupled with their instrument rating (fly in the clouds), multi-engine rating (fly aircraft with two or more engines) and earn their Flight Instructor Pilot Certificate.
3 steps to selecting a flight school
Step 1. Locate one or more flight schools near you.
FLIGHT SCHOOL SEARCH >
Step 2. Take time out to visit the school(s). Don’t skip this step.
Step 3. Download and print the FSANA Flight School Visitation Checklist to carry with you on your visits. The checklist includes criteria to help you determine whether the school is a good fit and up to par.
Flight school visitation checklist
Download this checklist (.pdf)
Also ask these questions:
- Were you greeted upon arrival?
- Were you given a tour of the school?
- Did you have the opportunity to ask questions?
- Did a representative of the school ask about your goals with respect to aviation?
- Did they ask for your name and capture your contact information?
- Did they ask how you found their school?
- Did they offer to schedule an Introductory Flight? (normally at a reduced rate)
- Did they guarantee that you will secure your pilot certificate in a fixed number of hours?
- Did they guarantee that you will secure your pilot certificate with a fixed price?
- Did they discuss their insurance levels?
- Did they recommend that you secure Aircraft Renters Insurance?
- Does the school require Aircraft Renters Insurance?
- Did they offer to show you one of their training aircraft?
- How does their aircraft’s overall condition appear to you?
- Was the aircraft clean?
- Do they have a flight simulator(s)?
- Did they offer to show you their flight simulator(s)?
- Did they tell you that you DO NOT need to purchase an aircraft after you earn your first pilot certificate?
- Has the school had any accidents? If so, what was the cause? They should be willing to share information based on the accident investigation information.
- Did you feel comfortable with the representative that was assisting you?
- Did you feel comfortable during your visit at the school?
- Does the school have a Customer Feedback process?
- Is the school a member of FSANA? Serious flight schools are FSANA members.
- Ask if the school operates under Federal Aviation Regulation (FAR) Part 61, Part 141 or both.
- Ask the school how much it will cost you to secure your pilot certificate.
- Ask them what ground training program (syllabus) they offer.
- Ask if you can see their training syllabus. (No syllabus is not a good sign)
- Ask about the schools overall safety record.
- If you are seeking to become a career pilot, ask the school about their career track program.
Choose a FSANA member school
FSANA member flight schools follow the FSANA Code of Ethics for Flight Schools. FSANA member schools are serious about their business and are continuously striving toward improvement. Look for a flight school displaying the FSANA insignia.