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Recipe for a Pilot

The basic ingredients needed to create a pilot are few, but vital. The first item needed is a commitment to take the training seriously, and stick with it. Learning to fly is a long, sometimes arduous journey marked by elation and occasional frustration. The process will be easier, and more enjoyable, if you can maintain a positive, always-learning attitude. Attitude is the yeast that makes all other ingredients come alive. Along with the right attitude, those other ingredients in our recipe for making a pilot are an airplane, a flight instructor, and a place to learn. Finding a competent, compatible instructor may be as simple as visiting the local general aviation airport, or it may involve considerable research. For insight and advice on how best to tackle the task, consult "Choosing a Flight Instructor", the companion to this guide on "Choosing A Flight School".

As a student pilot, you are not required by regulation to take instruction through a flight school. You could work with an independent instructor. However, there are good reasons why you should consider teaming with an established training provider. Some of the services a school may offer include:

  • A bricks-and-mortar facility with classrooms, helpful teaching aids, and a supportive learning environment
  • A staff of flight instructors from which to choose.
  • A proven training curriculum.
  • A fleet of training aircraft
  • An efficient scheduling system for aircraft and instructor.
  • Flexible hours to fit your training schedule.
  • Experience in teaching primary students.
  • Gear to loan, rent, or sell such as headsets, Global Positioning System (GPS) units, and aviation charts.
  • Financing arrangements to help you manage the cost of learning to fly
  • Some schools that cater to aspiring professional pilots even offer housing and job placement opportunities.

Just as your flight instructor will have lesson plans to guide your training, you should have a plan for guiding your choice of training provider. That's the purpose of this web guide.

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