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Pilot's Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge
Introduction To Flying

Selecting a Flight School

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Pilot's Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge



Table of Contents

Chapter 1, Introduction To Flying
Chapter 2, Aircraft Structure
Chapter 3, Principles of Flight
Chapter 4, Aerodynamics of Flight
Chapter 5, Flight Controls
Chapter 6, Aircraft Systems
Chapter 7, Flight Instruments
Chapter 8, Flight Manuals and Other Documents
Chapter 9, Weight and Balance
Chapter 10, Aircraft Performance
Chapter 11, Weather Theory
Chapter 12, Aviation Weather Services
Chapter 13, Airport Operation
Chapter 14, Airspace
Chapter 15, Navigation
Chapter 16, Aeromedical Factors
Chapter 17, Aeronautical Decision Making




A complex aircraft.
Figure 1-24. A complex aircraft.

Airline Transport Pilot
The airline transport pilot (ATP) is tested to the highest level
of piloting ability. The ATP Certificate is a prerequisite for
acting as a pilot in command (PIC) of scheduled airline
operations. The minimum pilot experience is 1,500 hours of
flight time. In addition, the pilot must be at least 23 years of
age, be able to read, write, speak, and understand the English
language, and be "of good moral standing." [Figure 1-25]

Type of aircraft flown by an airline transport pilot.
Figure 1-25. Type of aircraft flown by an airline transport pilot.

Selecting a Flight School

Selection of a flight school is an important consideration
in the flight training process. FAA-approved flight schools,
noncertificated flying schools, and independent flight
instructors conduct flight training in the United States. All
flight training is conducted under the auspices of the FAA
following the regulations outlined in either 14 CFR part 141
or 61. 14 CFR part 141 flight schools are certificated by the
FAA. Application for certification is voluntary and the school
must meet stringent requirements for personnel, equipment,
maintenance, facilities, and teach an established curriculum,
which includes a training course outline (TCO) approved by
the FAA. The certificated schools may qualify for a ground
school rating and a flight school rating. In addition, the school
may be authorized to give its graduates practical (flight) tests
and knowledge (computer administered written) tests. AC
140-2, as amended, FAA Certificated Pilot Schools Directory,

lists certificated ground and flight schools and the pilot
training courses each school offers. AC 140-2, as amended,
can be found online at the FAA's Regulations and Guidance
Library located on the FAA's web site at www.faa.gov.

Enrollment in a 14 CFR part 141 flight school ensures
quality and continuity, and offers a structured approach to
flight training because these facilities must document the
training curriculum and have their flight courses approved
by the FAA. These strictures allow 14 CFR part 141 schools
to complete certificates and ratings in fewer flight hours,
which can mean a savings on the cost of flight training for
the student pilot. For example, the minimum requirement for
a Private Pilot Certificate is 35 hours in a part 141-certi.cated
school and 40 hours in part 61 schools. (This difference may
be insignificant for a Private Pilot Certificate because the
national average indicates most pilots require 60 to 75 hours
of flight training.)

Many excellent flight schools find it impractical to qualify
for the FAA part 141 certificates and are referred to as part
61 schools. 14 CFR part 61 outlines certificate and rating
requirements for pilot certification through noncertificated
schools and individual flight instructors. It also states what
knowledge-based training must be covered and how much
flight experience is required for each certificate and rating.
Flight schools and flight instructors who train must adhere
to the statutory requirements and train pilots to the standards
found in 14 CFR part 61.

One advantage of flight training under 14 CFR part 61 is its
flexibility. Flight lessons can be tailored to the individual
student, because 14 CFR part 61 dictates the required
minimum flight experience and knowledge-based training
necessary to gain a specific pilot's license, but it does not
stipulate how the training is to be organized. This flexibility.
can also be a disadvantage because a flight instructor who
fails to organize the flight training can cost a student pilot
time and expense through repetitious training. One way for
a student pilot to avoid this problem is to insure the flight
instructor has a well-documented training syllabus.

How To Find a Reputable Flight Program
To obtain information about pilot training, contact the local
FSDO, which maintains a current file on all schools within its
district. The choice of a flight school depends on what type
of certificate is sought, whether an individual wishes to fly
as a sport pilot or wishes to pursue a career as a professional
pilot. Another consideration is the amount of time that can
be devoted to training. Ground and flight training should
be obtained as regularly and frequently as possible because
this assures maximum retention of instruction and the
achievement of requisite proficiency.