Flight Schools Are Dead:

Yup, flight schools are dead. It’s a tired, worn out model of learning how to fly. The flight school is like a payphone. Payphones were once a roaring industry before the advent of cell phones; now you likely have no idea where the closest payphone is. It’s really unfortunate….actually it isn’t at all. Are you sad that payphones are gone? Do you feel bad that you carry an iPhone now instead of making collect calls? I didn’t think so.

When were you last proud of being a graduate of a particular flight school? If you are having trouble thinking of such a moment, I’m not surprised. Most flight schools are like the payphone industry, they haven’t changed from the day they started and they are dropping like flies. Just think about having to wrangle quarters to make a long distance call, YUCK! That is the same feeling of writing a big check to go learn how to fly at a flight school for which you aren’t even proud to be a student or alumni.

People still need to learn how to fly, but where do they go? Well, go to a flying club! That’s one option. It will be a wonderful experience. All of the flying club members will be genuinely excited and interested in your journey toward achieving your aviation dreams. The support network that you have will be as strong as the membership of your club. What kind of support network will you get at a flight school? You’ll definitely be paying for one, but odds are there will not be any.

A lot of the learning at flying clubs comes from social learning. It’s like a bunch of pilots sitting around a campfire telling war stories and reliving a career’s worth of “I Learned About Flying from That” magazine articles. There is so much value in these stories and words of encouragement. Everybody is on the same flying team and is committed to winning by the slaughter rule.

Everybody is an educator at flying clubs. Each club has its “designated” CFI’s but let’s be real here, you learn from everybody. Think about it, you have a club member base that basically consists of all of your teachers for your favorite subject, aviation. Each person in the club has their own talents and things they are really good at to bring from their own outside experiences. This enhances the club, learning experience and delight to a level that cannot be touched by any school.

You don’t even have to be a pilot to learn a ton. It’s okay to pique your curiosity, it won’t really cost anything and you’ll be so much safer. Go ahead, try it!