Choosing a Flight School: Costs and What to Look for
It’s a bird, it’s a plane! Yes, it’s a plane that you’re flying firsthand. Soaring above the clouds, in complete control, experiencing a euphoria few have ever felt before. Your hands are on the wheel, and you’re in control of the plane, pulling up as you continue going up into the air, away from the bustling city, and into the bright, blue sky. But before you can fly, though, you need to get your wings. Quite literally, a pilot’s license or else that will be one quick flight. When looking for a professional premier flight school near the Scottsdale or Mesa area of Arizona, look no further than the legendary Leopard Aviation Flight School, and here’s why.
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What to Look for in a Flight School
When looking at flight schools for either your private pilot’s license or a commercial airline pilot’s license, there are certain questions you should be asking, how many instructors per student ratio? How long have you been in business? Will I be stuck in a contract if I decide flying isn’t for me? How long will flight school take? When are the classes? Can they be flexible with your schedule? How much will this flight school or license cost me? What’s the flight school’s track record? How many planes are in their fleet? Do they have the latest technology in aviation? Is there an opportunity for you to become a Certified Flight Instructor once you go through the program?
Many pilots, once they have their license and have been through flight school, decide to become an instructor as the experience was so rewarding, to begin with. It also doesn’t hurt that some licenses require instructor hours so that you can pass on your knowledge to the next eager pilot in flight school.
The bottom line, though, is probably going to be overall costs and a question that needs to be asked is how much does it cost to fly the planes per hour and how many hours does it take to obtain your pilot’s license? You want a reliable, professional school where you can learn detailed information from skilled instructors, but you also want to make sure you’re not going to break your budget by spending more hours in the air and more money from your bank than you originally anticipated. Yes, flying is fun, and there is no better way to learn than with hands-on experience flying through the air. However, there is still much you will need to learn on the ground.
There are also many aspects to your pilot’s license depending on if you want to be able to just fly for fun on the weekends, or get behind the wheel in a Gulfstream and go private or fly the friendly skies and go for the commercial airlines. Those decisions don’t need to be made right now, you’ve already made up your mind that you’re going to become a pilot. That’s enough to get started.
There will be many other decisions that you can make while you are going to flight school and figuring out which avenue to take, or should I say, which plane to fly, as you continue to learn all there is to know about aviation. Here’s a breakdown of a few popular careers as far as costs and time it will take in flight school depending on which one you choose.
The Costs of Pilot Certificates
If your goal is to become a Certificated Flight Instructor (CFI), then you will need a CFI and Commercial Pilot Certificate. Each will take about three months to obtain. The average cost of the Commercial Certificate is $12,000 and $10,000 for the CFI after completed the average salaries range in the $38,000 range.
Corporate/Charter/Private Pilot: If you want to fly those lear jets and gulf streams, you will need a specific Commercial Pilot Certificate, one that is a Type rating for large or jet-powered aircraft. You should be finished with flight school in about three months, and after that, you will immediately be seeing some ROI as the average salary is $93,000.
If you want to fly those friendly skies, you will need to obtain an ATP; Airline Transport Pilot License (Instrument and multi-engine rating are included in this). It will take about three months and what’s nice is most airlines pay for this type of training. Once completed, you can expect a salary in the $120,000 a year range. Not too bad for commanding the friendly skies, plus you get to say, “This is Your Captain Speaking”.
Flight Schools: Instrument Rating
What is an Instrument Rating? This is something you study and train for when you want to be able to fly in any kind of weather. You are taught how to fly using the instruments only. This requires a little more time in the classroom but will also benefit you later as the weather is unpredictable, and you don’t want to be grounded due to inclement weather and lack of training and knowledge. There are also many other types of licenses you can obtain in flight school, from crop dusting to law enforcement to the military and Air Freight Pilots. Once you are enrolled in your flight school, you can decide for yourself which career seems more up your alley; the sky’s the limit.
So, where to start? I recommend scheduling a Discovery Flight with Leopard Aviation. Let them take you up in one of their brand-new planes; a 2020 Cessna 172S, with Garmin G1000 NXi Avionics, GFC700 Autopilot, TAWS (Terrain Awareness Warning System), Synthetic Vision, ADS B In/Out, and IFR Certified. You will get to experience firsthand being in a small cockpit with one of our experienced and knowledgeable instructors soaring above the clouds. We know you will love flying and want to sign up for flight school right then and there!
Choose the Right Flight School
Leopard Aviation has everything you’re looking for when researching flight schools. They are reliable, professional and pride themselves on their belief that there are no bad students, only bad instructors. Their fleet is new and well maintained, and they have the technology you need to be a successful pilot. What’s great is that lessons are seven days a week, so they will work with your schedule. The prices are hourly, so you are not locked into a contract. You will learn from some of the top instructors on the west coast and flying the best and newest aircraft. We’ll see you in the air!
Are you looking for the best flight school in Arizona? Check out Leopard Aviation!
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