If you are interested in becoming a pilot or working in the aviation industry, you’ll want to consider attending Part 141 flight schools – here is why.
All flying schools are the same, right? Actually, no, not quite. If you want to become a pilot, choosing a quality flight school should feature high on your list of priorities. But how do you decide? Fortunately, the Federal Aviation Authority has established a code of strict regulations for flight schools, called ‘part 141,’ that details minimum requirements to be met by trainees and flight schools.
Today we will explain what Part 141 flight schools are and why you should choose one over a non-Part 141 flight school.
What are Part 141 Flight Schools?
In the simplest terms, a Part 141 flight school is an FAA-approved flight school that is regulated in accordance with federal regulations. You will tend to find that Part 141 flight schools are very similar to colleges and universities in their methods and facilities because of the structured flight training schedule and syllabus. You can even gain an aviation degree while you train to fly!
In order to gain Part 141 approval, a flight school will have to meet (and exceed) the minimum requirements as laid out in the FAA Advisory Circular 141-1B.
It is a five-stage process that is very rigorous. We will take a brief look at what this entails:
Pre-application phase. This is where the school signifies its intent to become a Part 141 flight school. It requires that the school is familiar with what it takes to gain part 141 approval.
Formal Application. This is where the school submits the required documents to start the process. This will include outlines of what the school’s flying courses entail.
Document Compliance. The FAA will review all of the submitted documentation and ascertain whether the school meets its strict requirements. The school will not pass this stage if there are deficiencies found in its syllabus.
Demonstration and Inspection. The FAA will visit the school to inspect its facilities. Almost everything is looked at in fine detail. This inspection is performed on:
- The personnel, including flight instructors
- The course program
- The facilities
- The equipment
- Overall safety
Certification. After the inspection is complete, the FAA will give final approval that the school has met its requirements and issue the school with a certificate, allowing it to carry out high-quality flight training.
The FAA does not award Part 141 approval easily. If you embark on flight training at these schools, you can be assured that the standard of training is the highest quality.
Why Should You Choose Part 141 Flight Schools?
Now that you have seen what is involved, we will now discuss some great reasons why choosing a Part 141 is the best possible choice when it comes to pilot training.
1. A Structured Learning Environment
The FAA inspection does not just look at physical facilities. As you will have seen, during phase 3, the actual structure and substance of the course are reviewed.
The course must satisfy every requirement of the FAA-approved syllabus. You will also learn in a structured way that has set goals to be achieved at each stage of your journey to becoming a pilot.
Because of the rigorous requirements laid out by the FAA, you can be sure that there will be no gaps whatsoever in your knowledge by the time you graduate.
2. It Can Save You Time
Because of the organized nature of the course, training in Part 141 flight schools will allow you to achieve your goals and qualifications sooner. Because of their larger size, they are well-versed in training several pilots all at the same time and have experience in teaching a course in the most efficient manner.
The location can also be important. In the early stages, learning to fly can be weather-dependent. Schools such as California Aeronautical University have schools in locations that have fewer ‘wet weather days.’ This means that you will spend less time on the ground due to the weather!
3. Flight-Hour Reduction
Perhaps one of the most significant benefits of choosing Part 141 flight schools is the flight-hour requirement reduction when seeking your ATP. Graduates earning their aviation degree from a Part 141 approved institution may be eligible to receive a restricted ATP, which includes a 250-500 reduction in the FAA-mandated flight-hour requirement for first officers.
Students also may benefit by being applicable to receive a restricted ATP (R-ATP) at age 21 verses age 23, putting hopefuls in the pipeline for jobs to include airlines sooner. This means that if your career goal is to be a first officer, you can achieve your goal much quicker and start working sooner.
4. Airlines Prefer Part 141 Flight Schools
Gaining a career, particularly with big carriers, can be competitive. It makes sense to choose a program that may tip the odds in your favor.
Part 141 flight schools offer consistency in their training. By gaining this approval, it also shows to future employers that their graduates will arrive fully trained with no gaps in their knowledge and will have met a high standard.
5. Career Connections
Speaking of careers, an institution that is Part 141 approved may be able to help you get that first foot on the ladder when it comes to applying for your first job.
Because these schools are established and reliable, they can form bonds with many different airline partners. As a result, when a candidate graduates, they will be ideally placed to jump straight into the cockpit in a paid position!
Embarking on flight training at Part 141 flight schools gives you the best possible chance of success. It is a structured learning environment that has exceeded the requirements of a very meticulous regulatory body. They also offer a greater chance of putting that newly found license to good use sooner.
All of this, alongside the fact that with flight training schools, such as California Aeronautical University, you can get a degree as you learn to fly. When faced with the above, it should be an easy choice.
Mr. Matthew A. Johnston has over 23 years of experience serving various roles in education and is currently serving as the President of California Aeronautical University. He maintains memberships and is a supporting participant with several aviation promoting and advocacy associations including University Aviation Association (UAA), Regional Airline Association (RAA), AOPA, NBAA, and EAA with the Young Eagles program. He is proud of his collaboration with airlines, aviation businesses and individual aviation professionals who are working with him to develop California Aeronautical University as a leader in educating aviation professionals.