Learning to Fly: Finding the Right Flight School

Learning to fly Mark Reichman

Learning to fly is an incredible experience.  It’s challenging, thrilling, and cathartic. Learning to fly a plane feels unlike anything you’ve ever felt in your entire life.  But where can you start if you’ve never tried before?

Pilots com from all walks of life.  When you ask someone, “How did you start flying?” you can expect a wide array of answers.  Some people have dreamed of flying a plane for their entire lives and have been saving up money for years to buy lessons. Others have more career-oriented dreams, such as airline pilots who commit to a life of flying commercial planes internationally.


There’s nothing quite like the freedom of flying. But there are a few practical precautions to consider before you get in the cockpit.


Here are some questions you need to ask yourself before committing to flying lessons.  You’ll need cross these necessities off your list when looking for a professional instructor and an institute that offers planes for practice.  First, confirm that all instructors are Experienced Certified Flight Instructors.  These instructors will be closely supervised by an experienced Chief Flight Instructor.  The training syllabus should be highly structured for both on-the-ground and in-flight instruction and FAA approved.  Once you estimate the approximate cost, ask yourself:

  • Is the flight school staff friendly and helpful? Can the school accommodate your scheduling needs? Would you feel comfortable in an aircraft with them?

  • Do they have an FAA approved flight simulator?

  • Where will you take your testing?

  • What kind of license do I need?

Costs vary depending on the license you require. Your ultimate goal for learning to fly should heavily influence your flight training need.  While it’s not advisable to look for the “cheapest” programs, you should know what license you need.  Sport Pilot Licenses and Light Sport Airplanes are less expensive.  However, if you plan to use high performance aircraft you will need to go through more intensive training.

Once you start flying, it’s difficult to stop. So start the right way by finding the best flight school for your needs.