Choosing a flight school

Tips for finding the right flight instruction.
Whether you're interested in pursuing a career as a pilot for a commercial airline or corporate jet company, or simply want to fly away on the weekends and enjoy cruising the skies, there are a number of local flight schools than can help you take off.

Your flight school training will focus on achieving the first level of certification — the private pilot certificate.

How long does it take to learn?

The time it takes you to complete this level will depend on how frequently you can train.
  • Students who train two to three times per week can expect to spend about four months in training.

  • Students who can train five to six times a week can complete the course in about four to six weeks.
Many schools offer private pilot programs designed to allow the student to complete the certificate in four to six weeks. For this kind of training, you should expect to pay about $3,500 to $4,500.

Most students require about 55 flight hours to achieve the necessary proficiency. Keep these hour requirements in mind when selecting a training facility — some schools base their course prices on FAA minimums, while others base the price on actual hours needed to complete the certificate.

Don’t forget to ask schools about post 9/11 changes in training and licensing requirements.

Start here at to find a list of flight schools in the area. Regardless of which school you choose, the most important thing is that you feel completely comfortable and safe with the facility, its equipment, and its instructors. Visit schools and interview a number of instructors until you find one with whom you're comfortable.


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