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Different Types of Flight Schools and Flight Training Offered in US

Different Types of Flight Schools and Flight Training Offered in USWith a shortage of pilots evident in US, now is a good opportunity for students who ever thought of becoming a pilot.
U.S. airlines are facing what threatens to be their most serious pilot shortage since the 1960s, with higher experience requirements for new hires about to take hold just as the industry braces for a wave of retirements.

Federal mandates that took effect in 2013 require all newly hired pilots to have at least 1,500 hours of prior flight experience—six times the current minimum—raising the cost and time to train new fliers in an era when pay cuts and more-demanding schedules already have made the profession less attractive. Meanwhile, thousands of senior pilots at major airlines soon will start hitting the mandatory retirement age of 65.

Another federal safety rule that effect in early 2014, also will squeeze the supply, by giving pilots more daily rest time. This change is expected to force passenger airlines to increase their pilot ranks by at least 5%. Adding to the problem is a small but steady stream of U.S. pilots moving to overseas carriers, many of which already face an acute shortage of aviators and pay handsomely to land well-trained U.S. captains.

“This is going to come to a crisis,” said Bob Reding, recently retired executive vice president of operations at AMR Corp.’s American Airlines and now a consultant to FlightSafety International Inc., an aviation training provider.

With new strict requirements in flight training time, the decision to become a pilot should not be taken lightly. The career path to become a pilot requires commitment and financial resources to achieve your goal. Flight training is a very serious investment and should not be taken lightly. Do you research to find out which flight school to choose that will best suit your needs.

Choosing Flight School

With over 1,900 flight schools to pick from, you’ll have lots of options. But which one is right for you? It helps if you have an idea of what you want from aviation. Do you want to fly for fun, for business, or as a career?

What is common for most flight schools is that all of them have a chief flight instructor. This is the person in charge of all flight training and can be compared to the principle of an ordinary school. Depending on the size of the flight school this usually is a person with a lot of flight time and instruction time. Quite often they are retired airline pilots or ex-military pilots with a genuine interest in flying and flight training.

His or her job is to look after all the flight training with the school and you are likely to fly with him on stage checks or progression tests. Depending on the size of the school he may have own students.

Under the chief flight instructor you find from one to several assistant chief flight instructors. They are senior instructors with the flight school or have a lot of instruction time. Like the chief flight instructor they perform stage checks or progression tests. Often they are responsible for a certain area of the training, ex. private pilot courses or instrument rating courses. The assistant chief flight instructor(s) may have own students, and quite often teaching other instructor students due to their experience level.

Under the chief and his assistant(s) you find all the flight instructors. They do most of the training at the flight school. Depending on the instructor certificates held he or she will do most of the flight training with you. Many instructors are fresh out of flight school and work as instructors to build flight time. Unfortunately some are not very interested in instructing, so always pay attention to your instructor’s behavior in the beginning and go to your assistant chief flight instructor or chief flight instructor if you experience no progression. Sometimes the problem is the instructor, not you.

Dual Certificate school
These are flight schools offering certificates to more then just their national certificates. Good examples are schools in the United States offering training to both FAA (USA) and JAA (Europe) certificates. These are usually large flight schools and they may be offering it through partnering schools in other countries. Some even have courses leading to both FAA and JAA certificates. This is commonly done by making you an FAA pilot first and build up flight time in the United States (as a flight instructor, small cargo or banner pilot), before you go back to Europe for conversion to JAA. Even though this way usually is a little more expensive it is a good way to build flight time and get dual certificates.
Types of Flight Schools—Part 61 and Part 141 Schools, Flight Time, and Earning a Pilot Certificate
Flight schools come in two flavors, Part 61 and Part 141, which refer to the parts of the Federal Aviation Regulations (FARs) under which they operate. The most common and least important distinction between them is the minimum flight time required for the private pilot certificate (sometimes called a pilot license)—40 hours under Part 61, and 35 hours under Part 141.

Considering that the national average for earning a private pilot certificate is 60-75 hours (how long you’ll take will depend on your ability and flying frequency), this difference isn’t important for initial pilot training. It does make a difference to commercial pilot applicants: Part 61 requires 250 hours, and Part 141 requires 190.

What differentiates the two is structure and accountability. Part 141 flight schools are periodically audited by the FAA and must have detailed, FAA-approved course outlines and meet student pilot performance rates. Part 61 schools don’t have the same paperwork and accountability requirements.

Learning under Part 61 rules can often give students the flexibility to rearrange flying lesson content and sequence to meet their needs, which can be of benefit to part-time students. Many Part 141 schools also train students under Part 61 rules. Source

Ground School, Distant Learning and Online School

In addition to all the flight schools you also have schools only offering the theory part. As there is a lot of reading involved to become a pilot some only offer this part. The benefit is you can get rid of all the written pretty fast and then concentrate on the flying. With distant learning and online schools you can also be anywhere in the world and still do their programs.

Especially pilots brushing up on lost knowledge (there is a lot to keep track of), flight instructors renewing their certificate or pilots converting from one nationality to another use ground, distant learning or online schools.

Also as many part 61 schools do not offer ground school classes and paying an instructor by the hour to teach you may be expensive, doing a class this way may be smart when starting your training.

Make A Summary Flight School Checklist

What flight school you ultimately choose depends on the quality flight training you desire in a method convenient to your schedule. In earning your private pilot certificate, you will have achieved a license to learn. Aviation is an ever-changing activity, and good pilots are always learning.

  • Determine your aviation goals. Are you learning to fly for fun or do you plan to pursue a career?
  • Compile a list of schools to examine, and request literature from each. Review material from each school and answer the questions outlined earlier here.
  • Once you’ve done your homework, visit the final two or three schools that pass the test. Ask questions and get a feel for the personalities of the schools. Ask specific questions and insist on specific answers. Talk to other students and flight instructors.
  • Once you’ve decided on a school, be sure a written agreement outlines the payment procedures.
  • Use online flight school directory to find a flight school near you.
Aviator Flight School in Florida

Location is very important when you are looking for a flight training school. Florida is a great place to earn your wings. The moderate and mild climate makes flight training a pleasure. The good weather allows you to log more flying hours faster, get your degree quicker and be on the way sooner to your new aviation career. Ft. Pierce is a small city with friendly people – without congested traffic on the ground or in the air.

Founded in 1982 Aviator Flight School offered opportunities to students looking to receive training to fulfill the specialized demands of the airline industry. The Aviator Flight School moved from Addison, Texas to its current location at the Fort Pierce, Florida, campus in 1999.The school has continued to grow and evolve. In 2009 Aviator became a college and expanded into the current 77,500 sq. ft. campus.

Since 1982, when the first students signed up for flight training, students at the Aviator Flight School have earned more than 20,000 FAA Licenses. From the beginning, Aviator has been committed to excellence in education. The majority of our graduate pilots are flying professionally in the U.S. and around the world.
Today we operate a fleet of more than 30 aircraft that fly over 30,000 hours yearly. As the Flight School advances and the alumni increase, the college remains focused on developing leaders and professionals in the aviation industry.

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