Are you looking for a flight school? If the answer is yes, you are about to make the most important decision of your flying career. It is common for pilots to change schools once or twice before finding one that fits their needs and desires.
So, if you are considering attending a small flight school in your area, how should you go about choosing which school best meets your expectations?
Let’s look at some things to consider while searching for flight schools in Florida:
- How Much Experience Do You Have?
The first thing you will need to know before looking into schools is how much experience you have. It is essential because if you are brand new to flying, it would be nonsensical to go to a flight school that charges $300 an hour for instruction. If you have never flown or been in a cockpit, the first five hours for a CFI will be devoted to ground instruction.
These hours should cost less than $100 per hour. Instead of spending $5,000 on ground instruction as a brand new student, spend some time getting familiar with the aircraft and flying. Don’t hurry your first few hours. If you rush things this early in your career, it will be much more challenging to pick up on the basics later.
- How Much Are You Willing To Spend?
Flying is not a cheap hobby. You can expect to spend well over $1,500 per month for instruction and aircraft rental as a private pilot. If you are working on an associate’s degree in aviation, those expenses will be higher. Also, if you desire to fly professionally, the costs skyrocket because your studies will consist of a four-year degree.
On the other hand, if you are studying to be a private pilot and only take flying lessons occasionally, the costs will be lower.
- How Often Will You Fly?
The next thing that makes a massive difference in flight school costs is how often you plan on flying. The more time you dedicate to flying, the more often your instructor will have you in the air. If a pilot flies twice a week for two hours at a time, he could expect to pay slightly less than $100 an hour for instruction.
Another pilot who only flies weekly for one hour would have an hourly rate that is double what his friend pays because his instructor would have to spend twice as much time in ground instruction.
- Do You Want An Instructor Who Wants To Teach Part-Time Or Full-Time?
There are benefits for both part-time and full-time instructors, but the difference in hourly rates will be drastic. If you attend a flight school that employs only part-time instructors, you can expect your hourly rates to be lower than other schools where the instructor works full-time.
In a nutshell, when looking for a flight school in Florida, you need to know how experienced you are, how much money you have to spend, and how often you will fly. Then, compare the rates of schools in your area to see where prices fit best for your needs.