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Flight School

 

In the US there are two types of flight schools: FAR Part 61 and FAR Part 141 flight schools. Both types of flight schools differ in their training system, partly in their ground and flight hours required and in their FAA approval (Federal Aviation Administration is the principal US authority for aviation affairs, comparable to the German Luftfahrt-Bundesamt).

 

What schools suits you best has to be evaluated in cooperation with your flight instructor, depending upon your time and financial capabilities and the planned flying career. In any case you receive a thorough and sound training with identical fields of knowledge in both types of flight schools.

 

FAR Part 61 Training

 

A FAR Part 61 training means that every Certified Flight Instructor (CFI) and every Part 61 flight school that trains pilots commercially can -within the course of their licencing- give ground and flight instruction according to clearly identified contents. The contents for the ground schools are defined, minimum hours for ground school, however, are not prescribed. Content and miminum flight hours are required for the flight training.

 

The exams consist of the following parts:

 

  • Written test (knowledge test) to be done on a computer in a so called Test Center. A completed home study course is sufficient. Prerequisite for the exam admission: Endorsement by a Certified Flight Instructor who verifies and confirms the candidate's preparation. The validity of such a written exam is 24 months.

  • Oral test

  • Practical test (checkride) according to the Airmen Certification Standards for the respective license desired

  • A FAR Part 61 flight school is neither approved nor controlled by the FAA.

 

FAR Part 141 Training

 

A FAR Part 141 training, however, consists of a fixed training program (course) that is defined in the respective syllabus for each licence / rating. Ground and practical training is subdivided into training blocks (stages) that each are terminated by passing a stage check and end-of-course test. Without having passed these exams the next block of training sessions cannot be started. E.g., when applying for a PPL, the ground school consists of 3 stages with a minimum of 15 hours, the practical training consists of a total of 5 stages with at least 26 flights. The exam -after passing the stage checks und end-of-course tests- consists of the following parts like in a FAR Part 61 exam: 

  • Written test (knowledge test); to be done on a computer in a so called Test Center. Prerequisite for admission to exam: Endorsement by a Certified Flight Instructor, who verifies and confirms the candidate's preparation. The validity of such a written exam is 24 months.

  • Oral test

  • Practical test (checkride) according to the Airmen Certification Standards for the respective license desired

 

A FAR Part 141 flight school is checked by the FAA on a regular basis and is approved for a specific period only depending e.g. on the pass rate of the students.

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