At the beginning of your flight school search, it helps if you have a general idea of what you want from aviation. Why do you want to learn to fly? What is your ultimate, long-term aviation goal? Do you want to fly for fun, or are you seeking a flying career? Will your flying be local, or do you want to use general aviation aircraft to travel? Do you want to own an airplane or will you rent? These are questions
you should answer before you start considering flight schools. And you should consider whether you'll train full time or part time; that can make a big difference in your school selection criteria.
Types of Schools — Part 61 and Part 141
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 certificate — 40 hours under Part 61, and 35 hours under Part 141.
Considering that the national average for earning a private 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 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 schools
are periodically audited by the FAA and must have detailed, FAA-approved course outlines and meet student 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 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.
Which type of school is best for you depends on your needs, available time, and other factors, such as veteran's benefit eligibility (only Part 141 schools can qualify for VA-reimbursed training
) and location. When it comes to the FAA checkride, which is the same for all, it doesn't matter where you learned to fly, only how well — including your understanding of aviation academic material.
Although flight schools fall into two basic categories, Part 61 or Part 141, there is a third category that bears serious consideration by prospective pilots, particularly those planning a professional piloting career: nationally accredited training institutions. Accredited schools /FlightSchool must meet rigid standards of accountability for virtually every area of operation and must apply to an accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.
Aviator Flight School and Flight Training Programs
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).
Our Professional Pilot Program
is set in a flight training, structured environment to ensure the student receives the knowledge that is required to be a professional pilot. This program is from 0 hours to over 250 hours, of which 200 hours will be multi-engine time. The program includes Private Pilot Single Engine through the Multi-Engine Flight Instructor Certificate. Cross Country flying is coast-to-coast, if desired.
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