Man isn’t that the friggin truth…
Since I’m still rolling trying to get my PPL knocked out my advice is this…
Seek out others in the area that have recently trained at the schools you’re looking at attending and get their opinions on them.
Make sure you understand how much time each lesson will take, for example, a one hour flight, will be roughly 2 hours at the school or so, pre-flight, lesson plan, q&a with instructor and debrief, factor in drive time to and from.
Once you pick your school and while having a conversation with the flight school manager, explain to them how you learn, how you like being taught and what you need to learn and get paired with an instructor that meets that. If you have certain religious, political or other views, ask about that with the instructor too.
While cheap hourly rentals are nice, learning in a modern plane, 2000’s and newer is much nicer.
Always, always, complete the assignments on time prior to your next lesson.
I started at a school chasing cheap, and got paired up with an instructor that was a good teacher, but was a complete disaster outside that and someone you would never see me associate outside of a lesson. The distance was a lot further than I wanted from my house/work, but again, I was chasing cheap rates.
At 18 hours I had enough of the cheap rates, ancient planes and wack instructor, though he was a good teacher.
I’ve since moved to a new flight school that is $10 more an hour for the instructor, the planes are all 2005 and newer with the option for round dial and g1000, which is a $10 difference, I fly both, but try and stay in the g1000 because it’s just so much easier.
I lost about 10 hours in going over stuff with my new instructor and school but that’s alright, I love this school and hate that I’ll have to go somewhere else for the rest of my training once I’m done with PPL. (Another story due to how I’m paying)
It’s also 45 minutes closer to my house and just down the road from my work. So I’m saving tons of time driving and gas money.
If you can study on your own, find a good online ground school, costs differ, I use the Cessna one as my school is affiliated, it’s decent but there is probably better out there. This will save you money not needing to sit down and study with your instructor outside of the few things you might not understand, example, that ancient stupid E6B wrecks my life and I hate that thing.
Can’t think of anything else. I have like 34-36 hours, spent $9,600 so far.
Any questions PM me.