How to Select a flight school

Pilot training is a costly affair. The cost of training can increase drastically if the candidate fails to €œinvestigate€ the school and the training provided properly. In our experience we have come across numerous number of candidates whom have been lured by agents/representatives/flight schools by false promises and hopes. Aspiring candidates with no aviation background and knowledge usually fell to prey to these thugs and lose money, time and in some cases lose the faith.

On the basis of our experience in this field, we have a compiled a €œ”must to enquire”€ list. Every candidate, irrespective, should seek the following details before join a flight school.

Training Cost:

Most of the agents/representatives offer a consolidated package cost for the training and refrain from giving per unit rates. It is very important on the part of the candidate to enquire about the inclusions and non-inclusions in the package- e.g. Aircraft Rentals, Fuel prices, Instructor’s hourly cost, Written and Practical Exams, Books, Headsets, Medicals, Taxes, Accommodation, Visa charges (if applicable), TSA ( specifically for USA schools), etc, etc… The best and simplest method to check the authenticity of the package cost is to ask for the hourly rental (including fuel) of the Single Engine/Multi Engine Aircraft. Multiplying the rent with the number of hours mentioned in the package will yield an approximate price of package.

Location:

The location of the Flight Training School has a great significance on the safety of the trainee pilot and determines the duration of the training. A flat terrain (non-mountainous), wherein the student pilot does not have to tackle obstacles during the learning phase is considered to be safer environment. The location of the Flight Training School determines the weather condition that the student shall experience. Moderate weather conditions are very important factor to ensure training possible throughout the year. Harsh winters- e.g. Canada, Australia etc. or heavy rains like Monsoons cause hindrances that cause delay in the flight training. Continuous training not only boosts the moral and the perfection in the student pilot but also reduces the boarding lodging expenses.

Fleet:

The most crucial aspect of Flight Training is the Aircraft. For the candidate to receive a quality training the institute adequate number, well maintained Indian DGCA approved training aircraft are required. The duration of the training largely depends upon availability of the aircraft and flight instructor. With respect to a student pilot, an ideal school should be in position to provide aircraft and instructor on demand. With respect to aircraft, the candidate must also confirm that the school possesses DGCA approved aircraft- Single Engine and Multi Engine. Any training done on an unapproved aircraft shall not be accepted by DGCA. It has been observed that naive candidates end up training on such aircraft due to incomplete/false information and fail to obtain a DGCA CPL

DGCA Experience:

This point is needed to ponder deeply if the candidate is planning to join a school in a foreign country. It is highly advisable that the candidates enquires, in detail, about the experience(s) the school has had in training pilots as per the Indian DGCA guidelines. It is very important to confirm the the training program offered by a foreign school meets all the DGCA requirements. The candidate while enquiring a foreign school should ask for the Indian Professional Program details.

Infrastructure:

Flight School located on well equipped airport (Multiple Runways, Controlled Airspace-ATC, Navigation Aids, Fuel Storage, Maintenance shops) that handles traffic, other than flight training, enhances the overall training experience of the student pilot. The candidate should also enquire about the housing infrastructure available and the availability of the daily household and personal items. Schools that lack in the basic amenities can lead to an uncomfortable situation for the student.