Flight Training


Learning to fly is broken down into two aspects. The most obvious aspect is the actual manipulation of the airplane in the air and on the ground. But less obvious and just as important as the manipulation of the controls, is the bookwork involved. We refer to the process of learning to manipulate the airplane as Flight Training and the bookwork as Ground Training or Ground School.


Safety, safety, safety! Safety is the cornerstone of all aspects of flying. And without a careful merger of Flight Training and Ground School, safety is compromised. No matter where or how a student gets the necessary Ground Training, the importance of the Flight Instructor can't be overemphasized.


In years past, teaching flying skills was done mostly by either the military or by private fixed based operators. Fixed based operators, or FBO's as they are referred to, are people or businesses who operate service station-like facilities at airports. They often contract for a concession granted by a city or county which owns the airport, FBO's provide services like: gas (or fuel as it is referred to in aviation), repair, parking (tie-down) and hanger facilities, air charter service, and flight training.


Today many FBO's find little profit in providing flight training services and therefore have curtailed flight training in many cases. Don't get me wrong, there are today many excellent FBO's providing excellent flight training, but it is increasingly difficult to find such an FBO. As a result in the last many years there has emerged a greater emphasis on the independent Flight Instructor who arranges to rent a training airplane, independently conducts flight training services and escapes the high overhead of employees, location rental and the required capital.


You may hear people talk about different types of flight training. They might talk in terms of "Part 61 Pilot Training" or "Part 141 Flight Schools". Flight training at the local airport is usually "Part 61 Pilot Training" like what we are talking about on this Web Site. But there is a more formal "full-time" type of flight training called "Part 141 Flight Schools".


Each "Part 141 Flight School" is enough different that it is difficult to summarize a typical program. But "Part 61 Pilot Training" is very similar program to program. And what is included here is a general discussion of "Part 61 Pilot Training".


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