When is the best time to start flight school?

Dec 10, 2020

Being a flight enthusiastic, you may want to start your career in aviation. You may also want to switch your job and pursue something exciting. If you feel the urge, you shouldn’t let it pass. The next thing that should come to your mind is attending a flight school.

Start thinking about joining the right flight school to equip you with the skills you require to succeed in the aviation industry.

Why flight school?

Most people believe that they need to spend much time in college to become a commercial pilot. Others think that one must have a four-year degree to be successful.

The truth is that you don’t need any degree to become a successful pilot. You need to know that there is a difference between attending aviation classes in your community college and a dedicated flight school. The courses in a flight school are straight forward, 100% dedicated to helping you achieve your goal of becoming a pilot, and can be finished in a much shorter time. Remember, the earlier you get your airline certification, the earlier you secure better opportunities of becoming a highly paid airline officer.

Factors determining the right time to start flight training

Before deciding when to start your aviation classes, you should take time to analyze your goals. You need to know what you want to achieve after undertaking flight training. Below are some of the factors that will help you know whether you are ready for flight school.

1. Have a full estimation of the total cost

How many times have you heard that some people started undertaking a course and got stuck in the process? To avoid becoming a victim, you need to get the full course fee structure to avoid surprises when pay time approaches. Doing that will enable you to budget in line with the provided fee structure and avoid running out of the fee after beginning your flight classes.

This is one reason you will want to look for flight schools that offer a clear all-inclusive pricing. There are a lot of extras that can add up such as exam fees, room, meals, shuttles to the airport, VAT, flight fees, health certificates, etc. A lot of times these are not disclosed upfront and you will have to tack them on to the total cost of your education later. All-inclusive pricing will help you have the peace of mind that you understand the full cost burden of your education.

Additionally, ensure that you understand the fee collection method used in any flight school. Mostly, the fee collection is through the bank on a specified payment schedule. Ideally you will want to have most of the fees paid on a monthly basis so it spreads out the financial burden over time.

2. Assess the practical training program

Don’t be in haste to join an aviation training school. Ask the school to provide you with an outline of the practical classes. Some instructors don’t earn hourly. As such, they try to minimize the time they take during their practical lessons.

Students need adequate briefings so that they don’t miss when they take the flight. However, in some schools, that’s the opposite. Some instructors tend to take little time briefing the students, thus producing ill-prepared professionals.

It’s wise to inquire from the school about how they track their students’ progress. If they have a good program that allows them to do that, you can opt to join it. However, if it’s not as per your expectations, don’t hesitate to find another institution.

3. Relationship with instructors

Are they permanent instructors or temporary ones who are likely to take you through the training for a while and transfer to another school or move-on to the airlines? While some turnover is inevitable at any institution, a very frequent change of instructors can affect your studies because not all of them have the same tutoring capabilities.

In line with that, you should ensure that the trainers on the ground and classroom are competent. You can do that by inquiring from the previous students or through research about the institutions. Attending flight school Open Days is a great way to meet instructors and interact with current and former students.

4. Learn about their safety history

Don’t assume that every flight school has a clean safety record. Although some accidents happen naturally, some schools might be rampant with accidents. Do proper research on an institution before joining it to ascertain that it’s the best for you.

Make sure that the school has a modern fleet of aircraft with a dedicated maintenance staff that does not cut corners to get a plane in the air. The greater the fleet to student ratio, the less chance a school has an incentive to rush a plane back in the air and the more likely it is you will complete your training in a timely manner.

Importance of joining an integrated commercial flight training program

There are many different ways you could become a pilot. You could attend a dedicated flight university where you will be taught commercial pilot skills along with other diversified subjects which might not directly aid your chances of becoming a pilot. Or you could take a module program where you take different courses over time to accumulate the hours and skills to eventually become a pilot.

The problem with these approaches is that they will extend the time it takes to start earning money as a commercial pilot. On the other hand, if you take a dedicated ATPL integrated program you will spend nearly 100% of your time learning the skills you need to become a pilot. These programs are very intense, with little time wasted on ancillary subjects or the overlapping skills training that can come with ATPL modular program.

The big benefit is, of course, that you can become a certified pilot as quickly and inexpensively as possible because you are cutting out all the unnecessary elements out of the program. For example, at FlyBy Aviation Academy you can go from having no flight experience at all to becoming a qualified commercial pilot in as little as 14 months for only €74,900.

Other benefits include:

1. Professionals will train you

Dedicated flight schools are capable of hiring the best trainers in the aviation industry. The advantage is that you will get trained by experts who will share detailed information on how to encounter various obstacles.

2. Better chances of getting financing for your education

If you are joining a dedicated 14-month program focused on obtaining a marketable license as soon as possible, a commercial lender might be more inclined to offer a loan and feel better about the prospects of you paying it back sooner. You are closer to earning an income than a four-year university student who is studying a variety of subjects and might not emerge with any practical skills or whose career focus could be lost along the way.

3. Better chances of getting hired

It is no secret that commercial airlines prefer students who complete integrated ATPL programs. They can feel more confident that the training was completed in a coherent manner with no skillsets lost amongst going from flight training module to module. The commitment upfront to an integrated program also shows you have a high enthusiasm for the profession versus a modular student who might be considered developing the skills on a part-time pace.

4. Access to the relevant equipment

When you join a local college dealing with aviation training as a second course, you might have limitations considering the access you’ll have to the equipment. However, when you opt for a flight school, you will find the necessary equipment that plays a vital role in aviation training.

5. Spending time with peers

The most fantastic thing about joining a flight school is that you will interact mostly with your peers who all share the same goal of becoming a pilot. Studying with a close set of peers will help you in acquiring knowledge and passing exams. It will also allow you to have close contacts in the same industry after graduating.

6. Equip you with the various licensing requirements

You will know some of the criteria to qualify for licensing. For instance, EASA will require that;

• You are 18 years of age to obtain licensing
• Have class 1 medical certificate

In an integrated program you will be trained and tested to receive all the major forms of licensing necessary to begin flying with a major commercial carrier. If you take a modular approach, it is up to you to take all the right modules to make sure you have all the credentials you need to achieve your dream job with an airline.

So, when should you join a flight school?

With that background, we come back to the original question. If you are of the proper age and can get access to the financial resources to start your education the best time to join a flight school is right now!

Below are the reasons:

1. There is a Demand for pilots

Many airline companies keep rising. New destinations and flight routes also keep increasing. That means that the demand for pilots will keep growing. You need to join a flight school now to prepare you for the opportunities ahead.

It is true that there has been a pause in the industry due to the global pandemic in 2020. However, during past slowdowns such as 2001 and 2008, industry demand bounced back sharply once economic conditions got back to normal. People will always have a desire to travel and it is unrealistic to believe that the current economic conditions can continue into perpetuity. At the same time, the fleet of captains is getting older and older, creating more eventual demand for trained professionals. Those who begin training now might be graduating in a time where demand for travel has started to pickup again.

2. Lucrative pay

Piloting is one of the best careers in terms of income. When you become one, you will secure an opportunity to give you a sustainable income that will make you live the life you’ve been yearning for. Although your entry pay won’t be high as many may think, over a given period, you will start earning a big paycheck along with many fringe benefits such as the opportunity to travel the world and getting paid to do so.

3. More opportunities

When you join a flight school, don’t think that you will only be open to opportunities in the airline industry alone. You will also secure opportunities in various corners of air transport. For instance, you can fly cargo or even the common one-Passengers.

4. More money quickly

The longer you put off your flight training, the more time passes before you start to earn a paycheck. If you can join a 14-month integrated program versus a 4-year university program, you can potentially start earning an income nearly three years earlier. If you think about the amount you can save from your paycheck each month and then calculate your lifetime earnings potential, those three years make a very big difference.

The above information illustrates to you why NOW is the perfect time to start your aviation career. When you join, you can opt for an ATPL program that will enable you to complete the training within a shorter period such as FlyBy’s ATP integrated program. To learn more about how we can take you from zero to pilot in as little as 14 months click here.

Are you ready to get started?