How to Chose the Best Flight School for You
If you’re interested in learning how to fly, you’ll need to attend a flight school to gain the necessary knowledge and experience. In the United States, there are two types of flight schools, Part 61, and Part 141. When choosing a school it is important to be aware of the differences each has to offer.
Let’s take a closer look at the differences between these two types of flight schools.
Part 61 Flight Schools
Part 61 schools operate under the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulations outlined in the Part 61 of the Federal Aviation Regulations (FARs). These flight schools are typically smaller and more flexible in terms of curriculum and scheduling. Part 61 schools require a minimum of 40 hours of flight time to earn a private pilot rating, and a minimum of 40 hours for an instrument rating. With 250 total hours you can also earn a commercial pilot rating. These are the minimum hours required, depending on progress it may take longer to achieve the competencies needed.
Part 141 Flight schools
Part 141 flight schools, on the other hand, operate under the regulations outlined in Part 141 of the FARs. These schools are usually larger and more structured than Part 61 schools. They are required to follow a specific FAA-approved curriculum and have a higher level of oversight from the FAA. Part 141 schools require a minimum of 35 hours of flight time to earn a private pilot rating, 35 hours for an instrument rating, and 120 hours while working on the commercial rating. This allows Part 141 students to obtain their commercial rating in as little as 190 hours. They are, however, required to have ground instruction time adding to the total cost.
Differences in Curriculum
One of the main differences between Part 61 and Part 141 flight schools is the curriculum. Part 141 schools have a more structured curriculum that is approved by the FAA. This means that students are required to follow a specific course of study and meet specific milestones before moving on to the next phase of flight training. They are required to attend classes along with other students. Part 61 schools, on the other hand, have more flexibility in their curriculum and may be more tailored to the individual student’s needs. Part 61 gives students the opportunity to learn the same information but at their own pace. You can watch training videos on your own time, work with your instructor when you choose and learn all the skills you need to be successful on your schedule.
Differences in cost
Another difference between Part 61 and Part 141 flight schools is the cost. Part 141 schools are typically more expensive than Part 61 schools because of their more structured curriculum and higher level of FAA oversight. However, the actual cost will vary depending on the individual school and location.
Choosing the Right Flight School
When choosing a flight school, it’s important to consider your goals and preferences. If you prefer a more flexible schedule and curriculum, a Part 61 school may be the right choice you. If you prefer a more structured curriculum and are willing to pay more, a Part 141 school is the better option. Ultimately, the choice comes down to your personal preferences, how you learn best and your ultimate goals. A Part 141 school isn’t for everyone especially if you’re not planning to be a commercial pilot. Part 141 schools tend to operate like a traditional school setting, serving multiple students at the same time. With a Part 61 school, you’ll have more one-on-one time and the focused attention of your instructor. You can focus on areas of concern with a more individualized plan to target your areas of need and perfect your areas of strength.
To sum up, both Part 61 and Part 141 flight schools have their advantages and disadvantages. It’s important to research and compare different schools before choosing one that’s right for you. Remember, the key to success in flight training is finding a school that meets your needs and allows you to achieve your goals.
Now that you have the information you need to choose a school, we hope that you’ll consider starting with us! Best wishes as you navigate the friendly skies.