Flight School If you are looking for a flight school to conduct your training to become a pilot, there are a number of things you need to think about before choosing where to train.
All flying schools should be approved by the local Civil Aviation Authority. In Australia this is known as CASA (Civil Aviation Safety Authority). CASA issues the flying school with a licence to conduct the practical and theoretical training. Once the student is ready, CASA will then conduct the flight test or theory exam and then issue the license once passed. The flight school will follow the syllabus of training as outlined by CASA.
If you have any doubts about the flight school you are thinking about, just ask them for a copy of their Air Operator Certificate (AOC) or undertake an AOC search at www.casa.gov.au
You will also need to be sure that the flying school has approval by the Federal Government to train international students and issue the necessary documentation required for a student visa. In Australia this approval is known as CRICOS registration. You can check whether a school has CRICOS registration at: http://www.cricos.deewr.gov.au/Institution/InstitutionSearch.aspx (just enter the name of the flight school you are thinking about training with)
The fact that the flight school has approvals to undertake flying training and teach international students is a good guide that the school “should” be okay but there are a few other things you should think about.
You will need to undertake a careful analysis of the course that the flight school australia is offering. is offering. It is often confusing comparing different offers and it is not as simple as just looking at the price. You need to check what is included and what is not included. Be sure you understand what the extra costs might be.
Check out how many flying hours are included – how many dual hours (with an Instructor) and how many solo / pilot in command hours. Are the hours offered realistic to get you ready for the various flight tests? What type of aircraft are being used and how many hours are in single engine aircraft versus how many hours in twin engine aircraft?
Only once you have done a careful analysis of the course can you really make a decision as to how appropriate it is for you and what the final total costs might be. Remember it is often difficult for the school too as they will be training students of all different standards – some students will complete the course in close to the minimum hours set by the CASA syllabus, some will need a moderate amount of extra training and some will need a lot more flying to achieve the required level of competency. Be careful of all courses that are based on minimum flying hours as most students will need a little more than minimum hours to reach the required standard.
If you have any doubts, ask the school representative to explain anything that is not clear to you.
Finally you need to choose a flying school that has good management along with sufficient aircraft, instructors and facilities to ensure that your training runs smoothly. These things may be difficult to assess however do your research and be sure you feel comfortable with your selection
The choice of flight school is an important decision and one that can set you on the path to a fantastic new career as an Airline Pilot. Good luck with your training!