Before start searching for the best school, please remember that you should first be sure about what you are looking for.
In other words, you should know the answer for this crucial question:
What is my career goal?
Once you have an idea of what you want, make a list of possible flight schools which you think might help to attain your career goal- Just like aviators do before commencing a flight. There they always prepare a checklist to make sure that all the procedures essential for a safe flight are adhered to.
Make your checklist for the schools by gathering all available information about each school you are interested in.
The list should include:
Pilot training must be done in a school where they employ faculty with enough knowledge & expertise. Having well qualified aviation specialists with knowledge, experience, competencies and most of all, airline know-how as ground and flight instructors is the first and basic indicator that the school is a good one.
Then find out the instructor-student ratio at the school. So many students waiting for their turn to get instructions is not a good sign.
- Aircraft and other infrastructure
How many and what types of aircraft are used in training program is the second important thing we should find out. Even if the faculty is good a school without minimum essential aircraft types will take you nowhere.
Then find out if the school’s airport have instrument approaches and control tower service. A flying school with a neat airport with these facilities can always be considered a good bet.
Then ask the school authorities that if they have housing and additional training facilities.
- The Age Factor
How long has the flight school been in business?
This is the next question one should always find answer to before opting for a school. Only schools with required infrastructure can survive the first few years of operation. Aviation schools that have been teaching pilot students for 10 years or longer tell us that they have the financial strength and management ability to excel & endure.
- Type of training
Only a flight school that teach students to fly in all kinds of weather can be considered a good one. Enrolling at a school paying huge fees is not to be a blue sky pilot! You are entitled to get the confidence that can be attained only by flying in different weather conditions. The school should teach you that flying is a never ending learning process!!
Then see how the ground classes are conducted.
Proper ground classes are well laid foundation for flying lessons. Because, it is in these classes that, you study the theory part of the flight and acquire the academic knowledge is essential to fly safely. In ground classes you study not only how to control an airplane but also why the plane is being controlled.
- Talk with other students
This is may be most effective method to elicit the exact answers to most of the above queries. Some flying schools might not be much willing to share this kind of information with prospective students.
And here is something interesting about the flying schools across the globe which you may find useful in your hunt for the proper school.
Good schools can be broadly divided in to two:
1. The Serious Type.
2. The Family Type.
The first one will be a large, well established school with so many students from all over the world taking flying lessons in dozens of aircraft. Everything will be according to schedule & time table. A very successful aviation venture- to cut it short. If you are somewhat brilliant and in need of not much individual care and attention and your foremost goal is to graduate as quickly as possible, this type of school is for you.
Now at the Family Type you won’t have all the buzz like that in the S’ Type. Though it might be in the business of teaching flying for three or four decades, the number of students will always be less. The number of aircraft too will be less – below 10. But a handful of faculty who are working at the school for quiet some years will be all attention, care & love when it comes to student-teacher relationship. The owner of the school will be more like a father.
Yes, just like a family. If you are an average student who require more care and attention; if you are a shy type; if you are not that extrovert- you must select this school.
And now something more that you should never forget:
Gather as much info as possible about the school’s reputation on regulation and safety policies. Flying, after all, is all about safety.