Flight school is a big commitment in both time and money, so it is important to ask yourself if you are ready for flight school before you take the plunge. Get your preparation out of the way so you can focus on the joy of learning to fly.
Preparing For Flight School Financially
The cost of flight schools varies from state to state, and between urban and more rural areas. You can often get better rates if there are several flight schools to choose from in your area as they have to compete for students.
Your cost will depend on your ultimate goals. A private pilot’s license through a flight school can run from $3,000 up to $10,000. If your ultimate goal is to get a commercial license, you could spend $40,000-$60,000 or more for a top-rated school.
There are other costs you have to be prepared for, such as the cost of your medical exam, equipment, and FAA exams to get your licenses. Make sure you have enough money in place to finish your training. Having to stop partway through could mean starting all over again.
Get Your FAA Medical Certificates
You don’t need your medical clearance when you first start your flight instruction unless your flight school requires it. You do need it before you can act as the pilot-in-command (PIC) to complete solo flights. It is best to get it out of the way so that if there are any complications you have time to address them.
To get a student’s pilot license, you will need a 3rd Class Medical Certificate issued by an Aviation Medical Examiner (AME). If there is a question about your medical fitness to fly, the examiner can issue a deferral, and you will have to provide additional information to pass.
That adds time, and it’s why it is good to get the medical out of the way so you can focus on learning to fly.
Go In Knowing the Basics
There are some basics to flying that you can learn on your own before you attend flight school. Getting a head start on these concepts can help you cut down your learning curve and build your confidence. There are several areas of knowledge that can give you a leg up, such as:
- Principles of weather
- The National Airspace System
- FAA regulations
- The phonetic alphabet
Choose the Right Flight School
Hopefully, you are in a situation where you can choose between several flight schools in your area. Once you settle on a flight school and start training, it’s important to set aside enough time to make sure you are focused and ready to learn all about the world of aviation and being a pilot.
Start by looking into schools’ reputations in terms of training quality, safety, and student satisfaction. There are other areas you can research to make sure the school is a good fit, such as:
- The curriculum
- Credentials of the staff
- The types and number of aircraft it has
- Types of learning aids such as simulators
- Types of financial aid offered
Get Aircraft Renters Insurance
Preparing for flight school also means protecting yourself in case of an accident. Aircraft renters insurance, also called non-owned aviation insurance, can stop an accident from turning into a devastating expense that makes you stop your training.
Why Do You Need Aircraft Renters Insurance?
Your flight school has insurance. Your instructor has insurance. If you fly from an FBO during your training, it has insurance. But their insurance is to protect their interests, not necessarily yours. Expect the best, but properly preparing for flight school means also preparing for the worst.
If you cause damage to a plane or to other property or hurt another person, the flight school insurance will likely cover that. But the school’s insurance carrier may want to recover some of its losses after paying out the claim. They may look to you for that money. Their right to come after a third party is called subrogation, and it is why you need your own insurance.
The school itself could also try to recover damages from you. Take as an example a bad landing when you are the pilot that leads to $10,000 worth of damage to your training plane. If your flight school has a $5,000 deductible, it could sue you to recover that cost. Having aircraft renter’s insurance is much cheaper than eating an expense that could make you leave school.
What Does Aircraft Renters Insurance Cover?
Despite its low cost, the peace of mind you get from the various coverages offered by renter’s insurance means being able to concentrate on flying, and not on worst-case scenarios.
Bodily Injury and Property Damage Liability
Bodily injury liability insurance protects you if passengers or bystanders are hurt when you are piloting a plane. It will also cover legal fees if you are sued. Property damage liability applies to damage to other property as the result of an accident, but not to the aircraft itself.
Aircraft Damage Liability
To cover damage to your training planes caused by your actions, you need aircraft damage liability insurance, also called hull insurance, as part of your renter’s policy. You have several options for this coverage, including:
- Not in Motion Liability covers damage when the plane is grounded and not moving
- Not in Flight Liability covers damage to a grounded plane that is moving on the ground, or parked
- Ground and Flight Liability covers the aircraft on the ground, in motion and in flight.
Learn More or Get a Quote
Going to flight school is a big decision, and it can be one of the most exciting times of your life. Properly preparing for flight school makes the experience better, and it improves your chances of getting through and getting your pilot’s license. Don’t let the potential cost of one accident keep you from flying.
Make sure you are fully prepared by getting an aviation renters policy from BWI Aviation Insurance. We are a family-owned business and we pride ourselves on our customer service and in leveraging our experience to get you the best coverage and rates.
Why choose BWI Aviation Insurance?
Over our 42 year history, BWI has built longstanding relationships with all of the above Aviation Insurance Companies. We work hand in hand with the above companies and leverage our experience to find the best market for your particular airplane insurance risk.
To ensure that you are getting the absolute lowest rate and best coverage with a rock solid A+ rated Aviation Insurance company, get a quote with BWI today. We specialize only in Airplane Insurance and our office is open 12 hours a day. Our agents are friendly and knowledgeable, and most importantly they are agents that you can trust to get you the best coverage for your needs. Aviation Insurance is all that we do and have done for 42 years.
Call 800.666.4359 today for a free Airplane Insurance Quote or Click Here to submit a quote request online.
BWI is the Nation’s Leader in Aviation Insurance, with offices based in Corona, CA and Anchorage, AK