Pros and Cons of Learning to Fly at a Small Airport
- February 27, 2018
- Aircraft Management, General Aviation Information
- Posted by Next Level SEM
- Leave your thoughts
Eight out of ten pilots-in-training quit before becoming fully-fledged pilots. When you couple that with the pilot shortage, it’s clear to see that learning how to fly – learning the basics and then mastering the small details that make all the difference – can be an exhausting process. There is a lot to consider when it comes time to pick your flight school. There are pros and cons to learning to fly at a small airport, just like there are pros and cons to learning to fly at the majors. Join us for an exploration of just what those pros and cons are and learn how to make an informed decision that’s right for you!
Choosing a Flying School
The first thing you need to consider is what school is best for you. Do you want to go to a flight “university” or do you want to take the more one-on-one route of a local school? There isn’t one right answer here, your decision will ultimately come down to personal preference. This is as true for choosing a flying school as it is for considering the pros and cons of learning to fly at a small airport. Large scale flight schools offer qualified and experienced instructors. Their equipment and tech are the best of the best. You’ll be held to strict standards and get the opportunity to network with valuable contracts in the aviation industry. You’ll also end up spending a lot of money and be held to incredibly strict flying rules. This is less than ideal when you consider that entry-level commercial pilot salaries can be as low as $31,000. If, on the other hand, you decide to opt for a local flight program, you’ll likely have a more personalized experience. You may not be able to fly in complex, challenging airspaces, but you’re almost guaranteed to spend more time in the air. You won’t learn as many radio calls, signals, or procedures, but you’ll be freer to practice the type of flying that resonates most with you. It’s also worth considering the possibility that a smaller flight school may not be financially stable. You don’t want to invest your time and money into a program that won’t be around in a decade or two.
Commons Pros and Cons of Learning to Fly at a Small Airport
Taking a deeper dive into what we discussed above, it bears mentioning some of the more common complaints about small airports. These are all important to consider when deciding where you want to learn to fly. A major con of learning to fly at a small airport is the lack of complex airspaces. While it isn’t a requirement that you cut your aviation teeth in the Baltimore-Washington airspace – and all the challenges that space entails – it can be helpful. After all, flying above rural fields is a much, much different experience than flying above a city. Another major con of learning to fly at a small airport is that it takes you longer to get comfortable on the radio. This might seem like a small consideration, but feeling comfortable on the radio, and communication with control tower operators, goes a long way towards feeling more comfortable in the sky. A serious pro of learning to fly at a small airport is that you’re going to spend much more time in the air and much less time waiting around. From being tarmac bound in sequence behind commercial planes to vectoring around waiting for those same commercial planes to land – major airports mean major wait time. Ultimately, the choice between a large or small airport for your training comes down to personality. Are you comfortable at a large airport? Then go for it. Not so comfortable? Opt for a smaller airport. Regardless of where you choose to learn to fly, you can trust that Aircraft Sales.US is the easiest and most convenient way to buy and sell aircraft online. Check out our newest inventory and find the plane of your dreams today!