When you are looking for a flight school you should carefully research and choose the school that best fits your flight training needs and goals. There are a lot of flight schools out there: big schools, small schools, some offer 141 flight training, others don’t have that kind of certificate. Some are at busy or big airports, others are located at smaller airports.
Everything has it’s pros and cons, and this is how we think about it.
Part 141 versus part 61 flight training:
Every flight instructor can do flight training under part 61. No certification is required for that. A part 61 flight school does not need to meet any requirements.
The flight training:
A part 141 flight school needs to have a syllabus outlining your flight training with several stages that are concluded by stage checks. This syllabus has been checked and signed off by the FAA to make sure it meets the standards required for the appropriate certificate.
A part 61 flight school doesn’t need that. They sometimes have one, but they don’t have to stick to it making your training less coordinated.
The ground training:
We think your ground classes are very important, because you learn what is important to be a safe pilot.
A part 141 school has to have an approved syllabus for the ground training as well. It usually consists of 2 stages, like the flight training. Usually you are not allowed to continue your flight training into stage 2 unless you finished your stage 1 ground training. These guidelines make sure you learn the topics required for each stage through your training.
Again, a part 61 school doesn’t need to have these guidelines or doesn’t need to follow a specific syllabus. This makes it possible for the flightschool to schedule a checkride because they think you can fly an aircraft while you are behind with the important ground training.
A part 141 school has to apply for this status with the FAA. This is a complex application and a process that even includes certain needs for the classrooms, flight instructors, ground and flight training. Everything needs to be approved by the FAA to make sure your flight training will meet the high standards required to be a safe pilot.
A part 141 school is always able to enroll you in a part 61 course to tailor the training to your specific needs. This would be the case if you already have some experience.
Talk to your flight school in advance and make sure they understand your particular situation. This helps you to get the best flight training you deserve.