© Aviate Navigate 2019.

I am a private pilot and now a cadet at L3 Airline Academy (CTC) and future pilot of the Airbus A319/20 at easyJet.

I have an absolute passion for aviation and have wanted to be a pilot for as long as I can remember.

I found that although many 'pilot blog' websites exist, there is nowhere that pilots, cadets and aspiring pilots can connect together and share resources and information - hence why I wanted to create this site.

 

About the author:

Choosing a Flight School

Choosing the right flight school is the most important decision to be made, for anyone wanting to become a commercial airline pilot. Once you have decided whether you are going to go modular or integrated with your training, and whether you are more interested in an ATPL or MPL, you now need to choose the right flight school.

There are many things that you need to consider when looking at the glossy brochures of the many flight training organizations around. Before looking at our flight school directory, have a think about the following questions:

  • Are you looking to train with a partner airline, or complete your training before choosing an airline?


    Airlines such as British Airways, Virgin Atlantic and easyJet run future pilot programs with partner flight schools. Cadets can apply through the flight school to train with them and their chosen airline. For example, you can apply for the Generation easyJet pilot program with L3 CTS or CAE Oxford - and complete your training with these schools. The main advantage of this, is that you have a conditional offer of employment with that airline when you graduate. In addition, you will be trained under the SOP's (Standard Operating Procedures) of that airline throughout your training.
    If you are looking to train with a specific airline in mind, then your options for flight schools will be limited to those that the airline has a partnership with.

     

  • Where do you want to complete your training?

    You need to consider how far you are willing to travel for your training. If you're a graduate of college or university - then the idea of completing flight training abroad is probably quite appealing; however if you have family commitments or like the idea of staying in the UK for flight training - then you need to look carefully at the training locations for your flight school.
    Generally, ATPL Theory Training, or 'ground school' is conducted in the UK, but flight schools will send you to a foreign country for the flight training phases of training. There are good reasons for this:
    The UK weather is unpredictable and very British... It is therefore likely that bad weather would ground you during your initial flight training - delaying your training. In addition, the cost of fuel, maintenance and landing fees are all more expensive in the UK than in the US or Europe.
    There are flight schools where all the training can be completed in the UK - for example FTA Global in Brighton. There is however an increased cost of £14,000 to do this.

    Another important consideration is that the training locations can change. It is advisable to not pick a flight school purely on where you will be going for flight training. I use the example of a flight school - where Arizona or New Zealand were advertised for flight training; however shortly after, cadets were sent to Bournemouth and a new facility in Portugal.
    You have to remember that an integrated ATPL is a full time course, and flight training abroad is not  a gap year. Wherever you go for training, the primary focus should be your flight training - and not having a holiday (that's not to say there won't be time to explore the country where you are training!)

     

  • Are you looking to stay with one school for the duration of training?

    Although an integrated ATPL will all be completed with the same provider, when it comes to the later parts of training such as AQC (Airline Qualification Course), MCC (Multi-Crew Co-operation), JCC (Jet Orientation Course) and type rating require full motion simulators; which is often only offered by the larger training schools. You should consider whether you want to complete the entire training with one organization, or if you are happy to train at multiple organizations.

     

  • How much can I afford to spend on flight training?

    The cost of an Integrated ATPL varies massively between flight schools. This is because the "total" cost often neglects to include some of the true training costs. Things to consider when researching the cost of training:

    • Does the training fee include:

      • CAA Theory exam fees

      • Flight exam fees

      • English Language testing

      • Training equipment

      • Uniform

      • Type rating training

      • Accommodation

      • Insurance

      • Cost of medical renewals in training

      • Transport to/from the training centers

      • Cost of air travel and visas (if training overseas)