Student Pilot Survival Guide

Hello IFC, Recently, I have seen alot of student pilots on the forum which is a great thing. Below are some of the things i think that will make yourself a better pilot and be prepared for your flight lessons.

Flight Schools When choosing a flight school you should choose one that is well known and has a good training fleet. Also, you will need to choose between a part 61 and part 141 school? Whats the difference you may ask. It depends on your mission. If you want to be an airline pilot, than i would recommend a part 141 as you can get an R-ATP at 1,000 hours instead of the 1,500 hours needed. Some other factors to consider are prices and location to yourself. Flying is expensive so you want to make your money worth while when your flying, so finding the cheapest school in your area with a great training fleet is what you want. You want to stay away from any school that have high performance airplanes as there usually more expensive to fly and rent. Good training airplanes include Cessna 152,172, the Piper Cherokee series, Diamond Da-20 and Katana.

Materials Of course with flying you will need study materials. There are many great courses that are great for studying. For private i recommend Kings schools, but some others are Sportys, Gliem, and Shepard Air. I would also recommend getting your FAA written done before you solo as that is one of the biggest headaches of flying.

Headsets Dont get anything expensive. My first headset 4 years ago was a cheap 100 dollar headset out of the sportys magazine. It lasted me forever and recently upgraded to a more expensive headset since I know fly with people all the time. So, dont be going looking for the Bose or David Clarks because those are expensive and wont need them. I still use my old headset today, so they can last you a long time.

Lesson Preparness Being prepared for your flight lessons is something that your flight instructor will praise you on. Asking questions after flying and asking what you will be doing next, so you can go home and study will save your instructor time on the ground explaining things to you. That equals more flying time for you and money well spent. Get to the airport early enough to where you can preflight, fuel, and be ready to go when your instructor walks out.

Feel free to post questions below or if i missed anything let me know!


Thanks for all of this. It will come in very useful in a few years. I’ll bookmark this! 😊 😀 😆 😄 😉


100000% Reccomend the Piper, love it!


Not a problem at all.

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Thanks man, I think this will be useful sometime this weekend…

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I don’t understand the difrence between 61 and 141. What is it’s meaning?

It has to do with the flight training

These reference the United States Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), Title 14 (Aeronautics and Space) parts 61 and 141. You can look up these parts, and all others, at this link:

Basically, the two parts dictate the different ways that flight schools can certificate pilots in their programs. Part 141 is more rigid and structured, while Part 61 has more flexibility.


Because of the pilot shortage, will it be easier to fly for big airlines?

Possibly. In the US, because of the crash of Colgan Air flight 3407, minimum hour requirements for mainline air carriers was raised to 1500 hours. Some have felt that was an overreaction to the situation, and there is talk of lowering that minimum threshold. Because of the shortage, companies like FedEx and JetBlue are developing their own pilot academy, or pipeline programs aimed at bringing prospective pilots in to get them flying for their companies sooner.

So in short, yes, it will become easier to get to the mainlines moving forward, however, because pilot compensation is increasing, so will the competition for these high paying jobs.

You forgot the advice don’t tighten the oil cap too tight :)

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Have you heard anything on ASA online school?

Asa I know what it is. I’ve never used it

so you have not heard whether it is good or not?

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Working at a flight school, I’ve never had a student use the entire ASA Private Pilot suite. I have, however, used many Prepware products for my ratings. ASA produces some great material which is incredibly user friendly, in both digital and print form.

I would use ASA to supplement ground school, not as your main studying or teaching tool

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I want a descent review as I review to take my FAA written again. my instructor is not the greatest instructor out there and I am trying to change instructors too.

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If you’re just going for a review, I would use Sheppard Air. Much cheaper and is an excellent product to get you ready for a written exam

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I would disagree. You want to find a school that, among other things, values safety, regularly updates its training material, and has a good reputation. Flying is expensive, that’s true, but training is the backbone of airmanship, so, in some way, your life is at stake.
Also, cheaper schools may offer cheaper, and thus less experienced, instructors.

This is a long term commitment, so many things need to be considered before you start thinking about money.


I agree, but to merge the two points, lets keep this in mind:

Finding a cheap school does matter in the context of finding a school with a reasonably priced fleet. I would encourage someone to take lessons at a school offering a PA28 or C172 as a basic trainer vs somewhere that does PPL training in a SR22, assuming school has the same reputation and value to safety.

Another consideration would be to do market research. Look at flight schools in the area and compare rates. If you find a school with a much lower price point, there is usually a reason. The same is true for the inverse, there is usually a reason why some schools are more expensive than others.

I like your post because it highlights the complexity that is involved with picking a school to do flight training at.


there is really no pilot shortage we have the pilots but we do not have pilots that are willing to do the job for next to nothing and also have a horrible quality of life. this is more affecting the regionals.

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