How to Choose a Flight School

At North-Aire we pride ourselves in honest customer service. You don’t like fine prints, neither do we. Getting a pilot license is expensive and we want to make sure you get the most out of your investment. We also want to educate you and help you find the best fit for your flight training. Hopefully North-Aire can offer you what you need at the price you want. Maybe you will find a better deal somewhere else and we are ok with that. We want to make sure you understand what you are getting into and that you understand how to choose a flight school, so here’s a list of questions to ask before you sign up for flight training.

How much does the training cost and…

…and how many hours do I get for this amount? Most flight schools advertise their services by quoting the minimum number of hours it takes to complete a license. BEWARE: only a few select students complete the course within minimums, you will likely have to pay extra to complete your training. When comparing flight school, be sure to always compare how many hours of airplane and instructor time you will receive. What is the best value for the number of hours?

If the price is quoted based on course minimums, what is the average completion time for this course? If the school is honest, they will give you a number that should help you come up with a better estimate. Don’t forget to ask how much it will cost for each extra hours. If the school tells you that all students finish within the course minimum times, run.

How long will it take me to complete my license?

Beware of the schools who promise you a license in a few weeks. Accelerated training is possible, this has been North-Aire’s specialty for over 40 years. Remember that housing and food cost extra if you have to extend your training. Ask the flight school if they include weather cancellations in the projected completion time? How about maintenance cancellations? Our experience has allowed us to design curriculum that make sense and that are realistic.

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How many times a week can I fly?

The equation is simple. The more often you fly, the more you will retain, the faster your training will be, the less you will repeat lessons, the cheaper the training. We recommend flying at least 2 or 3 times per week to ensure continuity in training and to increase your chances of success. If the school tells you that you can only fly once a week, you might want to look elsewhere. We hear horror story often of students who only get to fly once or twice a month! This is not an efficient way of doing training…

Our students fly at least twice or three times per week. Some fly every day. We create custom courses based on your availability and expectations.

How old are your airplanes and can I see them?

An older fleet is not always a bad thing, as long as airplanes are well maintained. Most airplanes flying today were built in the 1970s so don’t be surprised to hear that the fleet is 30+ years old. Take a look at the airplanes, you don’t have to be a mechanic to know if you will want to fly the airplane. If the school has a maintenance department, ask for a tour of the facility. A professional outfit is easy to identify and should make you feel comfortable that you will be safe flying.

How many instructors do you have?

How experienced will my flight instructor be and how many students does he/she have? For obvious reasons, you will want an experienced instructor. However, many young instructors are eager to teach and are fresh on teaching techniques. Ask to talk to your future instructor if he/she is available. You will spend a few weeks/months with them so be sure you are comfortable. A flight instructor usually handles 6-8 students, 10 at max. Passed that, they will likely have little time for you, which means your training will be extended and will cost more.

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