Archive for October, 2012

Factors That Dictate The Time Frame Of Your Flight Training

October 31, 2012 Leave a comment

Factors That Dictate The Time Frame Of Your Flight TrainingTo take advantage of aviation’s rewards, you must make sure you get the good, solid information and aviation training that you’ll need to be a safe, confident pilot in the air. One of the most important steps in that process is finding the right flight school.

To begin flying aircraft, you must acquire pilot licenses and ratings from the Federal Aviation Administration. You must undergo a rigorous training program to earn your pilot licenses and ratings. Listed below are some of the factors that can contribute to the time needed to complete your flight training. (source)

Types of Flight Schools

Although all flight schools train pilots how to fly aircraft in a safe manner, key differences exist between the two primary forms of flight schools. Federal Aviation Regulation, or FAR, Part 141 flight schools are highly structured training centers with well-defined and FAA-approved curricula. In contrast, FAR Part 61 schools are less-structured schools without a defined curriculum. Although these schools often are less expensive for students to attend, they require individuals to complete more flight training hours than Part 141 centers.

Types of Pilot Licenses

Several types of pilot licenses exist, each with their own flight time-related requirements. A private pilot license is the most basic form of piloting certificate. FAA regulations stipulate that an individual wishing to earn a private pilot license must complete a minimum of 35 (Part 141) or 40 (Part 61) hours of flight training. Someone wishing to earn a commercial pilot certificate must have at least 150 (Part 141) or 200 (Part 61) hours of flight time, while a pilot looking to earn an airline transport pilot certificate must have 1,500 hours of flight time.

Time Frame

The calendar time frame it takes to complete flight training varies on both a flight school and individual basis. Part 141 training centers will often have a set time frame (typically in weeks) for finishing a training course. In contrast, Part 61 flight schools, due to their free-form training structure, allow pilots to work at their own paces. However, neither type of flight school can guarantee an individual will finish a training program at a given time, as each pilot learns at her own pace.


In addition to flight school structure and pilot learning speed, weather also affects how long it takes a person to complete flight training. Flight schools may only conduct pilot training operations, especially private pilot instruction, in good weather conditions. Low clouds, turbulence, high winds, rain, snow, poor visibility and icing can all halt flight training operations. A person training in a location prone to variable weather will need to allow himself more time than someone training under a similar program in a more temperate climate.


The time it takes to undergo flight lesson has a marked effect on a pilot’s training success in the aircraft. Individuals who fly daily retain a greater degree of flight-related knowledge and muscle memory, allowing them to finish their flight training in fewer flight hours than it would take people who fly once per week or less. Pilots who finish their training in less flight time also save money, allowing them to put their cash to other uses.

Why Choose Aviator Flight School For Your Pilot Training
  • Licensed by the State of Florida Commission For Independent Education License #4155
  • Aviator Flight Training Academy is a Division of Aviator College of Aeronautical Science & Technology, which is licensed by the State of Florida Commission for Independent Education and Accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges.
  • 27 Years in the Flight Training Industry
  • To date, Aviator has trained over 5000 pilots for the commercial airline industry
  • Only School Offering 200 Hours of Multi-Engine Time
  • Aviator is the only flight school that has a full 200 hours of multi-engine time included in our program
  • No Flight Training Devices (Simulators)
  • FTDs are not used towards your flight time for any ratings
  • Approved by the Federal Department of Education to offer Title IV Loans
  • Aviator has the ability to offer students federal funding on approved accredited programs
  • Job Placement Assistance with Regional Airlines
  • Aviator offers job placement assistance for our graduates
  • “A” Rating with United States Better Business Bureau
  • Classroom Environment – All classes taught in our educational center, NOT online

Contact Aviator
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Distributed by Viestly


Flight Training Road To A Pilot Job

October 29, 2012 Leave a comment

Flight Training Road To A Pilot JobFAA requirements are the same for any pilot, but the path you choose will have a large impact on the rest of your aviation career. Mark Rambis, who has worked for Boeing and Delta airlines after retiring from the Air Force, stressed the importance of getting the right education early on. Rambis now trains pilots to fly new aircraft. If you even have the slightest inkling you may want to be a pilot one day, give serious thought to what kind of career you would want: commercial, military aviation, or airline pilot, and check out the respective training programs (source).

Asked what single thing he would have done differently, Rambis said he wished he had finished his bachelor’s degree before joining the Air Force so he could have obtained an officer’s commission and pilot wings. “I know everything that a pilot does in an aircraft,” Rambis said, “But never held the certificate to operate the aircraft.”

Airline Pilot Qualifications

If you enjoy taking to the skies, becoming an airline pilot is one of the best ways to do it. They are frequently in the air, have control of the aircraft, and are traveling all the time. While many pilots fly more local routes, others travel to international destinations. There are rather strict airline pilot qualifications for becoming an airline pilot and it will take some time, but it will be well worth the effort once you sit in the pilot’s seat.

Employment Outlook for Pilots

As far as job growth is concerned, the Bureau of Labor Statistics is expecting there to be an increase in the number of pilots of about 12 percent between 2012 and 2018. This is equal to most other jobs. They also expect a large increase in the number of commercial and cargo air traffic – which will mean job security and opportunities for advancement.

Pilot Job Responsibilities

Airline pilots are responsible for the smooth operation of the aircraft. Because they are the senior officer on board, they make the final decisions about anything that happens on the aircraft. While the co-pilot (also called First Officer) is performing a general flight check of the aircraft, the pilot will be in the pilot’s lounge where he or she can view the flight information, the weather, and information about the crew members. Then, the pilot meets with the crew to see if there were any problems, plans their route to the next destination with modifications (if necessary), and files the flight plan with air traffic control. The last thing is to check the instruments and switches with the co-pilot.

Job Requirements

While the job of flying is both prestigious and somewhat glamorous, a pilot’s work is not always easy. They are often away from home, may fly irregularly (40 hours one month and 85 the next), and they have variable work schedules. Commercial airline pilots are limited by the FAA to flying a maximum of 100 hours per month, and a maximum of 1,000 hours per year. They also work about an additional 140 hours per month in non-flying duties such as waiting for aircraft to arrive and for takeoff.

Being able to handle stress is part of the job due to the responsibilities of taking care of many passengers and multi-million dollar aircraft. They must be alert at all times while flying, and ready to take control if an emergency situation should arise. Some airlines may require that a pilot be ready to fly within one-and-a-half hours.

Pilot Training & Degrees

It is not necessary to have a college degree to get a small plane pilot’s license. However, college is instrumental to landing a job as a commercial pilot. Although no specific type of degree is necessary to meet airline pilot qualifications, courses in math, English, physics, and aeronautics will help land the job. The most critical qualification for airline pilots is FAA certification. The type of certification varies depending on the type of plane you will be flying, but typically it is an airline transport certification with training specific to the type of fixed-wing aircraft you’ll be handling. Other certifications may be required, such as an instrument rating, night flying, cross country, but it will depend on the type of aircraft you will be flying. There are also a minimum number of hours you’ll be expected to have already flown; 2,500 to 5,000 is an average figure.

Pilots will also need to meet strict physical requirements, too. The FAA wants to ensure that passengers and crew are safe (as well as people on the ground). Psychological and attitude tests may also be required. While some airline pilots are hired from corporate flying, most come from commuter airlines who have had military aviation careers. People with a new pilot’s license can expect to slowly move up to larger aircraft and eventually to commercial aircraft.

Salary & Benefits

Traveling has its privileges – especially for pilots which make meeting airline pilot qualifications worth it. When a pilot reaches their destination, if they have been flying for a shift, the airline will provide for a hotel, transportation, and it will also give a pilot an allowance for meals and other expenses. Other job benefits can be expected to include medical, dental, and vision coverage, life insurance, a 401k with possible matching of contributions, and travel benefits.

The salary of an airline pilot will run between $55,000 and $138,000, but some are even higher. A co-pilot may make as much as $10,100 per month, and a flight instructor can make an average salary of about $108,000 annually.

Quick Summary:
  • Pilots are going to be in great demand in upcoming years.
  • Extensive training is needed to be a commercial pilot.
  • Certification for different types of flying and aircraft are necessary.
  • There are plenty of benefits for pilots.
Jump Start Your Career With Flight Training and an A.S. Degree from Aviator College 565 Flight Hours

Aviator College of Aeronautical Science & Technology provides the most cost effective flight training programs and a two year Aviation degree in Aeronautical Science. The College has a state of the art 37,000 square foot facility, featuring a CRJ Level 5 Flight Training Device (Simulator). College student’s receive a minimum of 565 flight training hours in the aviation degree program. Graduates will have the opportunity to stay on as a flight training instructor.

Contact Aviator
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Get Expert Flying Skills At A Professional Flight School

October 26, 2012 Leave a comment

Get Expert Flying Skills At A Professional Flight SchoolWhether your goal is to fly for a major airline company or improve your flying skills, the flight school you choose will give you the solid foundation you need to achieve your goals in becoming a professional pilot.

There’s a lot more to professional flight schools than just learning how to fly. Before you even get in the air, you need to make sure the aircraft’s engines, controls, instruments, and other systems are functioning properly. You must also ensure that baggage or cargo has been loaded correctly. Plus, you’ll find out about weather conditions en route and at your destination, and then choose a route, altitude, and speed that will provide the safest and most economical flight. Your job’s not done once you’re on the ground, either. A professional pilot must complete records on the flight and the aircraft maintenance status for the company and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

Emergency Landing Flying Skills by Robert N. Rossier

When an engine quits — and won’t restart — the next step is an emergency landing. There are three types of off-airport landings. Precautionary landings are made with power in anticipation of a real emergency. Forced landings are made with a dead engine. And a ditching is a forced landing in water.

The important distinction between the three is their fatality rates. The rate for precautionary landings is 0.06 percent. If you recognize a developing engine problem and can make a precautionary landing, you and your passengers will likely survive. The fatality rate for forced landings is roughly 10 percent, more than 1,600 times greater than precautionary landings. Ditchings have the worst rate, about 20 percent (source).

Precautionary advantages

Precautionary landings offer several advantages over forced landings. You can use power to reach an airport or landing site beyond your gliding distance or to compensate for errors in judgment or technique. If a problem is developing, it might be wise to expedite a precautionary landing. Delaying it could result in a forced landing, as the pilot of a homebuilt Bowers Fly Baby learned.

The aircraft lost partial power while cruising near Conneaut, Ohio. The pilot decided to circle a field below and land. The engine lost all power just after his second pass and while on downwind. The aircraft crashed short of the field, striking a berm beside a road. The aircraft was destroyed and the pilot sustained serious injuries.

Not all engine problems provide time for a precautionary landing. Pilots sometimes have to play the hand they’re dealt. In a booklet titled “How to Crash an Airplane (and Survive!),” FAA Aviation Safety Program Manager Mick Wilson of the Denver Flight Standards District Office makes a number of excellent points regarding off-airport landings.

Controlled crashing

As long as the aircraft is kept under control, Wilson says, slower is safer. Excess speed translates to substantially higher impact energy. To make a survivable forced landing, approach the ground and obstacles just above stall speed.

Psychological considerations are also important. The outcome will likely be better if you accept and deal with the emergency rather than trying to avoid the inevitable. Pilots attempting dangerous maneuvers to avoid off-airport landings often become statistics. Such may have been the case in the following accident.

A Beech A23 Musketeer took off from Runway 27 at Simmons Field at Fort Bragg, N.C., and climbed to approximately 300 feet, where the engine apparently lost power. After requesting an immediate landing, the pilot made a 90-degree-bank turn to the right, lost control, and crashed on a heading of about 030?. The pilot and passenger died in the post-crash fire.

Saving the cockpit is the primary objective in a forced landing, Wilson says. Using dispensable aircraft structures, such as the wings and landing gear, to absorb the impact energy makes this possible. Ground objects, such as fences and small structures, also absorb energy.

When there was no other place to go, many pilots have made successful emergency landings by flying aircraft slowly and under control into treetops. Smaller trees, brush, and vegetation can also help decelerate an aircraft and absorb the impact, a fact that saved a quick-thinking Piper Tri-Pacer (PA-22-150) pilot.

The engine quit at 150 feet after the Tri-Pacer departed from West Plains Municipal in Missouri. The pilot turned to avoid the trees at the end of the runway and, to soften the impact, landed in a thicket of 6-foot briars and blackberry bushes. Neither the pilot nor passenger suffered any injuries.

When planning any emergency landing, assessing the wind direction and speed and the selected site’s length and slope is essential. A large field isn’t always necessary. A survivable (9-G) deceleration from 50 miles per hour requires just under 10 feet of landing distance, Wilson says. As the following accidents illustrate, a clear approach zone and maintaining control of the aircraft are more important than a perfect touchdown area.

Emergency training

One problem with making forced landings is that pilots may be unintentionally biased by their training. For safety reasons, instructors use a good field when practicing emergency landings. In the real world, Murphy’s Law almost guarantees that an engine failure will occur at low altitude over inhospitable terrain. If pilots have been conditioned to think that a reasonable landing site is always available, they may not react appropriately in situations that have no reasonable alternatives.

While simulating engine-out emergencies where no obvious landing sites exist might better prepare pilots for real emergencies, engine-out training itself is risky business. Simulations can become real when pilots attempt to recover from the maneuver.

An instructor retarded the Cessna 150’s throttle to simulate an engine failure during the initial climb after takeoff. The student maneuvered the aircraft in response to the simulated emergency, but neither he nor the instructor applied carburetor heat. The simulation completed, the instructor added power to recover. The engine coughed and stopped. The instructor made a forced landing in a grain field. Neither occupant was injured, but the aircraft was substantially damaged.

Ditching basics

Wind speed and direction and “terrain” are important considerations when ditching. On large, open bodies of water, pilots must consider both swell and sea direction. Swells are often larger than the prevailing wind-driven seas. They can be in an entirely different direction from the seas, complicating the choice of landing direction.
Pilots must assess wind direction and speed with respect to the aircraft crosswind capability to determine the best direction for a ditching. It’s best to land into the wind and parallel to the swells, but this is not always possible. If the winds are less than 25 knots, landing parallel to the swells may be possible in a crosswind.

Higher wind speeds and crosswind limitations might force you to land at an angle to the swells. Once winds exceed 35 knots, swells and seas will likely be in the same direction. Although the waves may be high, landing into the wind will minimize ground speed and lessen the impact should you miss the top of a wave and crash into an oncoming one.

Beaches with long, straight stretches, where you can land on wet, hard sand, are attractive landing sites. Unfortunately, these beaches are often covered with people. The only alternative in such a situation might be to land offshore. Remember to touch down beyond the breaking waves; landing in high surf often overturns the aircraft, trapping the occupants. If you’re near islands, land along the lee shore where seas and swells are smaller.
The greatest challenge in surviving a ditching is not the landing. Hypothermia, the reduction of body temperature, claims nearly half the victims of ditchings. If you’re over open water, look for boats and land near one to get assistance. If you can, overfly the boat to attract attention before ditching.

If flying over water, you should have the necessary survival equipment. At the very least, have flotation devices. Without them, staying afloat until help arrives might be impossible. Don’t count the airplane. A ditched aircraft may not float for long.

An instructor and a student departed from St. Petersburg, Fla., in a Piper Tomahawk (PA-38) and were climbing through 300 feet when the engine lost partial power. The engine failed as the instructor was turning back to the airport. He leveled the wings and ditched in Tampa Bay. The Tomahawk sank 10-15 seconds later. The instructor and student were rescued by passing boats.

There are few things more frightening than forced landings. But with proper training and planning, they can be made without serious injury. The most important thing to remember is the first rule of aviation: No matter what, always fly the airplane.

Aviator Flight Training Academy

Aviator offers professional pilot training programs with a minimum of 200 hours of multi-engine time. The flight school has a state of the art 37,000 square foot facility, featuring a CRJ Level 5 Flight Training Device (Simulator), large classrooms and individual briefing rooms.

Our FAA-certified Part 141 approved flight programs provide students with the skills and experience demanded by today’s commercial aviation industry. Aviator is accredited by the ACCSC (Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges).

CALL TOLL FREE 1-800-635-9032

Distributed by Viestly

Commercial Pilot Training Schools in the USA

October 24, 2012 Leave a comment

Commercial Pilot Training Schools in the USAIf you are considering pilot training, talking to pilots and reading articles in flight magazines can help you in making your checklist and in the evaluation of a training facility. Your choice of a flight school might depend on whether you are planning to obtain a sport pilot certificate, recreational pilot certificate, private pilot certificate, or whether you intend to pursue a career as a professional pilot. Another consideration is whether you will train part time or full time.
Do not make the mistake of making your determination based on financial concerns alone. The quality of training you receive is very important. Prior to making a final decision, visit the school you are considering, and talk with management, instructors, and students. Evaluate the items on the checklist you developed, and then take time to think things over before making your decision.

Where To Get Your Pilot Training

Commercial pilot training schools in the United States are available in a variety of locations, airport environments, financing options and educational environments. Pilots pursuing commercial pilot training in the United States can do so at local airports, through academy and commercial training businesses, or at educational facilities such as colleges and universities. Each of these options can provide quality and efficient commercial pilot training for the interested individual.

College and University Training

A number of universities and colleges offer pilot training throughout the United States. These programs range from two-year community college add-on programs to full four-year degree programs that offer flight experience and training and business and administrative training. This training offers the benefit of an accredited degree, which can be a positive attribute in the interview and review process for pilots seeking employment after their training.
For individuals seeking commercial pilot careers with a degree to back up their skill sets, this can be the best option.

Academy Training

Training outside of the college and university environment can also be done using intensive academy training services. These are generally business that offer condensed or intensive training programs designed to get pilot candidates through their FAA certificates and ratings in an expeditious fashion. While these types of training programs do not offer college or university degrees, in many cases they offer connections with commercial flight providers that aid in placement for jobs after completion of the programs. Additionally, these programs can be the most expedient in terms of time spent to obtain certification due to their intensive nature.

Local Airport Training

A commonly overlooked method of commercial pilot training is to seek out a local airport and a flight school, fixed based operator or independent flight instructor. These facilities and instructors provide training for U.S. FAA pilots certificates and ratings that are equivalent to any of the same certifications and ratings that can be obtained through colleges, universities and academy training. In most instances, this is the most cost-efficient method of obtaining training, but it does not offer a degree to go with the FAA ratings and certificates.

For individuals who are working, unable to travel to academy training service providers, not interested in pursuing a full degree program or needing to pursue their training at a pace that fits their own life schedule better, this can be the best option. Training in this environment is highly customizable and based on the individuals needs and scheduling availability much more than college and university or academy training environments.

Flight School Pro Pilot Programs

The programs at Aviator Academy are designed to provide what the airline industry demands of future commercial pilots. The training you will receive at Aviator is one of the most intensive and challenging programs offered in aviation today.

The school’s new 37,000 sq. ft. training facilities are open from 7 am to 6 pm daily and provisions are made to access the aircraft for flight training 24 hours-a-day, rain or shine.

During your flight training you will fly a total of 259 hours, of which 200 hours will be in a multi-engine aircraft. The ground school portion is a structured classroom environment. You will receive a minimum of 643 instructional hours, including all of the ground and flight training. Student housing is on a contract basis, pricing is selected from the options below, terms included in the students’ enrollment agreement are as follows: Private Pilot program includes 6 months of housing, if you come with a PPL 5 months will be included. Commercial Pilot program includes 4 months of housing, if you come with a PPL 3 months will be included. After your flight training, you will have the opportunity to become an entry level flight instructor.

Please provide two weeks advance notice before arrival so that we may reserve your accommodations. A deposit of $ 500.00 is required and should be submitted with the enrollment form. This deposit will be held on account and refunded upon completion of the program. Payments will be made in three equal installments according to the contract.

CALL TOLL FREE 1-800-635-9032

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Red Flags in Your Flight School Search

October 22, 2012 Leave a comment

Red Flags in Your Flight School SearchBefore beginning any sort of flight training you really need to do some homework on flight schools you would like to attend. The best way to ‘interview’ any potential flight school is to visit the school in person. Talk with the instructors and students, and then most importantly ask to see the maintenance hangar.

During your flight school visit inquire about the following things:

  • The school’s philosophy, goals, and objectives, and how they match your needs.
  • Are there such benefits as housing, financial aid, and additional pilot training, such as aerobatics, that will broaden your experience?
  • How important is flight training to the organization?
  • How long has the flight school been in business?
  • What about the school’s instructional staff, its enrollment numbers, and credentials?
  • How many and what types of aircraft are used in the school’s flight instruction program?
  • What are the school’s classrooms like?
  • What services are available at its airport (instrument approaches and control towers)?
  • What is the school’s reputation on flight regulations and safety policies?

After the official tour, get away by yourself and talk to other students in flight training. Ask them to rate the training’s quality and explain what problems they’ve had, if any, and how they were dealt with.

Other important flight training information resources can be the local FAA Flight Standards District Office, the Better Business Bureau, and the Chamber of Commerce. They may offer important insights on such topics as a school’s safety record and business practices. Don’t forget such applicable sources as the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, National Air Transportation Association, Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology, if so accredited, and the Immigration and Naturalization Service, if you are an international student.

Red Flags in Your Flight School Search

There are many things to consider, but avoiding a few “red flags” can save you a lot of grief-
By Kyle Garrett

Instructors Are Difficult To Reach

Flight training is a two person job–you and your instructor. If you can’t reach your instructor or any instructor you’re probably never going to get your training completed. When you’re searching for a flight school, make sure you actually speak to an instructor. You may have to wait a little bit, but don’t just talk to the dispatcher/office manager and leave. A good school should have at least one staff instructor who is there when the school is open. At larger schools, there may even be several staff instructors. In either case, you’re looking for a school where instructors are easy to reach reliably. If you can’t get in touch with an instructor while you’re shopping around, it probably won’t be any easier when you are training.

Aircraft Are Always Out Or Broken

When searching for a flight school, make it a point to visit any school you’re considering. In addition to testing the waters with instructors, take a look at the aircraft available. Unless you own a plane, you’ll need to rent one from the flight school or somewhere else. Ask to see some of the aircraft. Like instructors, you may need to wait a bit if all the aircraft are out, but make it a point to ask about the typical availability. There is nothing worse than having time and money to fly, but not being able to schedule a plane. Ideally, the school will have several aircraft of the same or similar type that only require short notice to schedule. When you look at the aircraft, take note of their condition. Not every plane will be a brand-new Cirrus, but they should be clean and well-maintained.

The Flight School Requires Up-Front Payment For The Full Course

This is one of those areas where your mileage may vary, but in general, be wary of schools that require full payment before they will start your flight training. The important distinction to make is between a very large, well-established flight school that offers accelerated training and a fly by night operation renting a room in the back of a hangar.
There are certain schools that paying up-front is not a risk. They are generally big, national operations with many aircraft, instructors, and employees. They may have airline, academic, or other industry connections and there are plenty of people to vouch for them. In contrast, there have been cases where flight schools closed with students in the middle of training left holding the bag. In general, don’t do anything you’re not comfortable with. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get your training at a brand-new flight school with nothing but a couple of planes and a hangar, but think twice before handing over your hard earned money to just anyone.

Flight training is one of the most fun and exciting things you can undertake. As in any industry, there have been a few bad apples, but there are literally thousands of great flight schools all over the country that will turn you into a pilot in no time. By watching out for these “red flags,” you should be able to find a great flight school easily.

Aviator Flight School

For more than 27 years Aviator has been the leader in multi-engine flight training. We have provided over 5000 professional pilots to the airline industry, both nationally and worldwide, through our Professional Pilot Flight Training Programs. Our FAA-certified Part 141 approved flight programs provide students with the skills and experience demanded by today’s commercial aviation industry. Aviator is accredited by the ACCSC (Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges).

Before spending thousands of dollars on your college education and flight training, we recommend you come and visit us here at the Aviator.

For further information and to make reservations, please feel free to contact Admissions at 772-466-4822.

CALL TOLL FREE 1-800-635-9032

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Choosing Your Flight Instructors

October 19, 2012 Leave a comment

Choosing Your Flight InstructorsFlight instructors are licensed by the Federal Aviation Administration, or FAA, to give flight and ground training to pilots. Certified flight instructors, commonly known in the aviation industry as CFIs, are employed by many institutions including aviation colleges, flight schools and flight training centers.

Certified Flight Instructors, or CFIs, teach students how to fly an airplane. CFIs offer instruction on private piloting, instrument and commercial training and ground instruction. They also perform FAA-regulated flight check outs and proficiency checks. Depending upon the level of training, a CFI can teach either single- or multi-engine courses as well.

A good flight instructor is important because your life will depend on what he or she teaches you. Don’t hesitate to ask questions about the training and experience of the flight instructors. You might ask what the average flight time is and what the pass/fail rate is among the instructors. (A pass rate of 100 percent doesn’t indicate good instruction.) You might also talk to some of the other students at the school to ask about their flight instructors.
Your primary instructor should be at least a certificated flight instructor (CFI). Ensure that your instrument instructor has an instrument instructor rating (CFII). Instrument training received from a non-rated instructor can cause problems when it comes to meeting FAA requirements.

A good way to get acquainted with your instructor is to take an introductory lesson (not just a demonstration ride). During your lesson, assess your instructor’s attitude. Only you can determine what personality best fits yours, but you want an instructor who expects perfection, who will work with you until it’s achieved, and who cares about you as a person as well as a student.

Compatibility of Your Flight Instructor

What questions should you ask to assess the compatibility of a flight instructor, and how can you switch instructors gracefully if yours isn’t a good fit?

Max Trescott , 2008 National Flight Instructor of the Year, recommends the following”

The most important questions to ask when choosing an instructor are not the ones you ask the instructor; they’re the ones you ask yourself after an introductory meeting or demo flight with a potential instructor.
First ask “Will I enjoy spending time with this person?”

Second, ask yourself “Do I trust this person?” We need to trust that our flight instructors will always keep us safe during the training. We also need to believe that they are knowledgeable and know what they are doing, something we can determine by questioning them and others. We also need to trust that they will always put our needs above their own self-interest.

If the answer to these first two questions is yes, you’ve probably already answered the last question, which is “Can I form a productive working relationship with this person?” If the answer to any of these three questions is no, find another instructor. By the way, a savvy instructor is also asking himself or herself these same questions about you!

There are dozens of reasons why particular CFIs may not be a good fit for you. You don’t need to give them a reason; just tell them that you think you have found a better fit at this time and that you’ll let them know if that turns out not to be the case.

Finding a certified flight instructor (CFI) that is a good fit for your training needs is important for your flying success — both short-term and long-term. Research indicates almost 80 percent of all starting students fail to finish — many due to instructor issues.

Speaking of research, it is important that you do your homework in selecting a CFI. A good place to start is the Web. SAFE ( and NAFI ( — the two prominent flight instructor associations — have CFI programs that list the best of the best flight instructors across the country. You might also check the FAA’s FSDO website for your area and contact a designated pilot examiner for an instructor referral — after all, they see the results.

If you are considering a flight school, interview several instructors who work there. Ask for a copy of their resumes and their primary training focus? Ask for a copy of the instructor’s training syllabus if the instructor is teaching under Part 61, or the flight school syllabus if Part 141 rules are used. Ask the instructor for a list of referrals. Follow up with those former students. If the instructor is younger, you might inquire as to his or her career goals. If there are airline aspirations, you might find yourself without an instructor when he or she gets hired. That’s fine if there is a transition plan to get you to a new instructor.

If you are at a flight school, address it with the chief flight instructor. If you are training outside of a school, give one of the other instructors you interviewed a call and get together for a lesson. Safe flying!

Flight Instructors at Aviator Flight School
Pierre Lavial, Chief Pilot and Director of Education

Mr. Lavial trained as a pilot in the French Naval Academy. He oversees all flight training as the Chief Pilot for Aviator College. He handles all licensure and compliance requirements with the Federal Aviation Administration, and he oversees the development and currency of all flight training course syllabi, along with standardization and training of instructors. His guidance and impact on the school and the students is tremendous.

Nathan Zoeller, Chief Pilot for Private

Mr. Zoeller earned his CFI ratings in 2008 and began his instructional career with Sky Warrior, Inc. focusing on 141 PPL and IRA ratings. He also conducted introductory flight screening for the NAVY, Marines and Coast Guard. He came to Aviator College in March of 2011 as a check airman and since then has been approved by the FAA and appointed as a Chief Pilot. With about 3,000 flight hours Aviator College is pleased to have Mr. Zoeller serving as the Chief Pilot for Private ratings.

Haskell Pryor, CRJ Simulator and Career Planning Instructor

Mr. Pryor came to Aviator College after more than 20 years and 11,000 hours of flying. He has flown with various types of companies and departed as an airline captain. Having flown as a CRJ 700 captain, he is uniquely qualified for the position of teaching Jet Transition, crew resource management and the CRJ simulator.

Aviator Faculty & Instructors

Faculty and Flight Training Instructors are hired directly from the ranks of our graduating student population and have more than 200 hours of multi-engine flight time. The Faculty at Aviator College hold a minimum of a Bachelors Degree and teach all flight training, classroom based courses. The Academy Flight Instructors are hired directly from the ranks of Aviator graduates. The Flight Training Instructors work one-on-one with their students in the air.
Students often complete the entire program with the same Flight Training Instructor, which allows them to find a comfortable relationship and learn faster. Flight Training Instructors are available to fly with students 24 hours-a-day, rain or shine. We encourage our Flight Training Instructors to provide actual instrument flight time with their students whenever possible to gain real-world experience. Our Flight Training Instructors continue to grow in their skills while flying in the high density traffic operations of Florida’s airspace.

To speak with an instructor contact the Aviator College at 772-672-8222 or toll free 800-632-9032

Our instructors have more than 200 hours of multi-engine time before they begin instructing. Our instructors have been hired by the regional airlines starting at 500-1000 hours total time. To-date, none of our instructors hired by the regional airlines have failed to pass indoctrination and initial training.

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Verifying Citizenship Before Flight Training in USA

October 17, 2012 Leave a comment

Verifying Citizenship Before Flight Training in USAThe Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has issued regulations that require flight schools, including ATP, to verify students’ proof of U.S. citizenship, or ensure that TSA approval to train is received prior to beginning flight training. Outlined below you will find information that applies to U.S. citizens who wish to conduct flight training in an aircraft weighing less than 12,500 lbs.

Applicability and Proof of Citizenship/Citizenship Verification

Before a U.S. citizen can begin flight training toward an initial FAA pilot certificate, recreational, sport pilot, or private pilot certificate; instrument rating; or multiengine rating, a CFI must verify citizenship.

Determine applicability. The requirements for determining citizenship status for any student, whether U.S. or alien, applies only to flight training towards an initial FAA pilot certificate, including a recreational pilot, sport pilot, or private pilot certificate; instrument rating; or multiengine rating.

Proof of citizenship. Student must show evidence of U.S. citizenship to instructor with one of the following:

  • Valid, unexpired U.S. passport
  • Original or government-issued birth certificate of the U.S., American Samoa, or Swains Island AND a government-issued picture ID
  • Original certificate of birth abroad with raised seal (Form FS-545 or DS-1350) AND a government-issued picture ID
  • Original certificate of U.S. citizenship with raised seal (Form N-560 or N-561) or a Certificate of Repatriation (Form N-581) AND government-issued pictured ID
  • Original U.S. Naturalization Certificate with raised seal (Form N-550 or N-570) AND a government-issued picture ID

Logbook or record-keeping requirements. An instructor must do one of the following:

  • Keep a copy of the documents used to provide proof of citizenship for five years
  • Make an endorsement in the instructor’s logbook or other record used by the instructor to record flight student endorsements AND the student’s logbook with the following:
  • “I certify that [insert student’s name] has presented me a [insert type of document presented, such as a U.S. birth certificate or U.S. passport, and the relevant control or sequential number on the document, if any] establishing that [he or she] is a U.S. citizen or national in accordance with 49 CFR 1552.3(h). [Insert date and instructor’s signature and CFI number.]”
  • Students who change flight schools and/or locations will be required to prove citizenship and receive a logbook endorsement. Recurring logbook endorsements are required when students change flight schools or instructors (if the instructor did not know the student when the student received the initial logbook endorsement).

The segment of our blog below outlines information and requirements for non-US students seeking flight training in the United States.

What is the Alien Flight Student Program (AFSP)?

The mission of the Alien Flight Student Program (AFSP) is to ensure that foreign students seeking training at flight schools regulated by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) do not pose a threat to aviation or national security. Section 612 of the Vision 100 – Century of Aviation Reauthorization Act (Public Law 108-176, December 12, 2003) prohibits flight schools regulated by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) from providing flight training to a foreign student unless the Secretary of Homeland Security first determines that the student does not pose a threat to aviation or national security. Vision 100 transferred responsibility for conducting security threat assessments for foreign students seeking flight training from the Department of Justice to the Department of Homeland Security.

On September 20, 2004, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) issued an interim final rule establishing the Alien Flight Student Program (AFSP). Legal notices are available on the Candidate and Provider menus. These include the notices about the Vision 100 – Century of Aviation Reauthorization Act, Paperwork Reduction Act, Information Verification, and Privacy and Security within the AFSP website.

For more information, first review the Flight Training for Aliens and Other Designated Individuals; Security Awareness Training for Flight School Employees Interim Final Rule (IFR) 49 CFR 1552, which is at IFR_Alien_Pilot.pdf. Also review the rulemaking docket, which contains exemptions, interpretations, and other legal documents associated with the IFR. The rulemaking docket is available at For the AFSP rulemaking docket, click on “Simple Search” and then enter the docket number for the AFSP rulemaking docket (19147) and click on “Search”.

If you have further questions regarding legal notices on AFSP policy, please send questions with all relevant details by e-mail to

International Student Department At Aviator Flight Training Academy

The International Student Services Department provides guidance to international students. Staff members assist students in interpreting U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) regulations. Services include assisting visa holders with travel signatures, new I-20’s, social security and visa extensions, international student orientation, as well as other immigration matters.

The Aviator College of Aeronautical Science accepts aspiring International Students who wish to complete an Associate of Science Degree in Aeronautical Science. The Aviator Flight Training Academy accepts International Students who wish to complete a certificate program or earn specific licenses. The Degree Program will take up to a 24 months for completion. Students complete five consecutive semesters. The last two semesters contain an internship component. Interns are required to instruct a minimum of 153 hours each of the two semesters along with completing the General Education Requirements. Transfer Credit may be given for the General Education requirements and previous flight training completed. Send transcripts and copies of any current flight licenses to the Registrars Office for determination.

Please review our International Students section of the website to get information on TSA Requirements and Registration. Contact our office for more details.

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