Considering a Pilot’s License? 5 Tips Before Starting an Aviation Program

May 10, 2023

Flight school is an exciting next step in any future pilot’s journey. We see it in the combination of nerves, curiosity, and excitement each student experiences when learning to fly. So what is the best way to get a pilot’s license? Our Admissions office has you covered with these top five tips before starting an aviation program. 

Make Time to Complete Your Instrument Ratings 

We realize most students have several ongoing commitments while completing their flight programs. Family, schooling, work, and travel are the most common. But, students should see flight school as a long-term commitment. Arranging your schedule to fit at least three scheduled flights a week will move you toward your instrument ratings goals faster. In addition, flight school is a financial investment; if you progress through it quickly, you spend less money in the long run.

Have a Financial Plan To Complete The Program

Speaking of finances, if you’re nervous about the financial commitment of earning a license to fly, you’re not alone. This is one of the concerns many students face before committing to a program. Your private instrument ratings will cost a minimum of $15,000, and a more detailed cost breakdown of our airplane programs is available here. But the good news is that many loan options are available for students pursuing a full professional course of study. 

Veterans are especially welcome to explore the host of benefits their Post 9/11 GI Bill (Chapter 33) or Montgomery GI Bill for Active Duty (Chapter 30) offers to cover flight training costs. Leading Edge Flight Academy is proudly one of the first flight schools to offer veteran flight training benefits in the Pacific Northwest. In some cases, this covers the cost of the entire program for veterans. 

Hit the Books (or Apps) and Develop Good Study Habits 

Knowledge is power, especially while in the air. Still, a lot of ground study is involved in becoming a competent pilot. While the check flights are the exciting part, it’s the private study where your knowledge takes off. Apps like CloudAhoy and online resources from Boldmethod and YouTube are great places to take check ride quizzes and learn helpful aerodynamics information. The more you invest in your studies, inside and outside the classroom, the better prepared you’ll be to earn your instrument ratings. 

Complete Your FAA Medical Certificate Before Earning Your Pilot’s License

Before you are “all systems go” on getting your pilot’s license, you need medical clearance. Leading Edge Flight Academy requires this before you begin your program. Here’s how it works: a first- or second-class medical certificate is necessary before entering our flight programs. Please visit the Designee Locator Search on the FAA website for a list of doctors (AME) who can issue FAA medical certificates. This isn’t just a routine doctor’s office visit, but a specific physical required before starting a professional training course. 

Make Sure Your Flight School Aligns With Your Goals

Not all flight schools are the same. It’s important to consider the pace, schedule of flights and ground lessons, available support resources for students, safety record, and chances of employment after training in each respective program. There are many factors to consider in this decision, but those are great ones to start with! Before you decide, consider browsing Leading Edge Flight Academy’s student success page. 

We have all the information you might need, from off-campus housing to tutoring to questions about financial aid or tutoring. At Leading Edge, we aim to see your dream of becoming a successful pilot come true. And we know before committing, you often need the right information. 

Fly With Leading Edge and Explore Getting Your Pilot’s License in Bend

Who’s ready to do check flights in world-class alpine surroundings? Train for your pilot’s license in the high desert with our crew of experienced instructors and enthusiastic students. We currently have 350 students enrolled in our program who love every minute of their flight training. Email to discuss the details of your aviation goals and get on your way to earning your pilot’s license with us!