The art of flight has come a long way since the wooden framed gliders that first conquered the skies. The world of aviation has spanned century’s exploring hot air travel, propelled aircraft and military ingenuity so much so that nowadays, practically anybody can learn to fly.
Some people dream of being able to fly, others may be looking to conquer a fear whilst many look to embrace a new challenge. The fact is that operating an aircraft is enough to stiffen the muscles of even the bravest of fanatics but with the right instruction and an inkling of bravery, you will be up in the air in no time at all.
Flying is one of the most rewarding, exhilarating and enjoyable experiences one can have and isn’t as hard as you think. Many flying schools offer lessons and experiences for people of all ages and abilities as well as fully-taught Private Pilot Licence (PPL) lessons giving individuals the chance to become a qualified pilot.
But with so many flying schools out there, how can you find the right one for you? Don’t worry, we can help you with our guide of things to look out for…
A key part of your selection will be how accessible and local your nearest flying schools are. Many flying schools will be situated out-of-town due to their size and activity so be prepared to travel and think logistically about the commitment you will be making.
The facilities on offer will help you make a definitive judgement on the standards and security of a flying school. Look for modern hangers fitted with secure high speed doors, fully-functional classrooms and access to a range of resources that will help you on your program.
Ask what security procedures your proposed flying schools have in place. This covers everything from hanger security, to flying licenses and instructor accreditations. Safety should be your first concern. Think about it, if hangers and aircraft can be breached, what else may be compromised?
Explore what programs and experiences that the flying school has on offer. This will help you get an understanding of the capabilities of the flying school as well as discover other experiences and packages that may be of interest to you. From group flights to vintage flights to private tuition, don’t be afraid to ask questions about what packages include.
Learning to fly is a massive financial commitment and unsurprisingly is the deciding factor for many people when choosing a flight school. Never lose sight of the potential costs and be sure to find out when your package includes e.g. membership, lessons, flight time, accessories etc.
Take the time to go and visit the flying schools and get a real feel for the place. Go with a number of questions in mind, as well as a checklist of your expectations. You will be able to experience the environment of each school, meet the people and pilots as well as view the aircraft on offer.
By following our simple checklist, you can make your dream of flying that one step closer by choosing the right flying school.
Phil Warrington, a trainee PPL pilot, gives his insight into choosing the right flight school. When it comes to airfield and hanger security, he recommends Attenborough Industrial Doors; established and bespoke industrial roller shutter door manufacturers.