Student pilot flies a single engine overhead during training flight

How to Find a Ground School in the US: Your Checklist for Success

Aspiring pilots know well that the first step to a career in aviation is to start with a good ground school. Ground school will teach you everything you need to know about flying an airplane, from aerodynamics and air law to navigation and meteorology. Choosing the right school is the key to your success as a pilot, and with so many options available in the United States, it can be challenging to decide which one to pick.

In this article, we’ll provide you with a checklist of how to find a quality ground school in the US, as well as some statistics and anecdotes to support our findings.

Look for Accreditation

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulates flight schools and recognizes several accrediting organizations. It’s essential that you look for a school that is accredited as it ensures that the school adheres to high-quality standards in its aircraft, curriculum, and facilities.

According to an FAA report, over 5,000 flight schools in the US are FAA-approved, and about 2,500 of those are approved for international students. When searching for a ground school, look for FAA-approved curriculums, certified training devices, and experienced instructors.

Check the Curriculum

Every pilot needs to master the basics of aviation knowledge, such as flight planning, weather theory, and airport operations. Look for a ground school with a comprehensive curriculum that covers all these areas.

The curriculum offered by a ground school is often dependent on the type of aviation career you’re pursuing. For instance, if you’re interested in becoming a commercial airline pilot, make sure that the school’s curriculum aligns with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) requirements. Pilots can earn different types of certifications, such as Private Pilot Certification, Instrument Rating Certification, and Commercial Pilot License, each with its own different requirements.

Choose Experienced Instructors

Instructors play a crucial role in your aviation education. They provide students with a foundation of knowledge, skills, and attitudes that serve as the basis for a safe and successful flying career. It’s essential to choose a ground school with experienced instructors who can provide individual attention to every student.

According to a survey conducted by the National Air Transportation Association (NATA), flight schools employing experienced instructors have a much higher pass rate for their pilots’ tests. Also, be sure that the school has a high instructor to student ratio, so you can get the support you need to succeed.

Consider Cost

As a potential pilot, you should consider costs when looking for a ground school. Aviation is a costly profession, and the total cost varies from school to school. Ground schools often quote hourly rates, and it’s important to determine what’s included in these rates.

According to Statista, between 2004 and 2017, the average cost of obtaining a private pilot’s license in the US was around $11,000. However, the cost can range widely depending on the amount of flight time and the type of training involved.

Visit the Facilities

A good ground school will have adequate facilities and a large, well-maintained fleet of aircraft to provide students with the necessary flight training. Schools should have classrooms, flight simulators, and other equipment needed to complete the training.

According to data from JetNetIQ, there were over 200,000 active general aviation aircraft in the United States in 2019. It’s important to ensure that the airplanes used in the flight training are modern, well-maintained, and safe so you can stay ahead of the curve as a newly qualified pilot.

Check Safety Records

Finally, safety is a crucial factor to consider when selecting a ground school. The aviation industry is heavily regulated, and safety records are taken incredibly seriously. Make sure the flight school you attend has a high safety record with no serious incidents or accidents.

Aviation Research Group (ARGUS) is an organization that provides aircraft and operator safety data to consumers. They provide a rating system for airplane operators based on safety data from the past 12 months. You can access this safety data on the ARGUS website.


As you can see, there are several factors to consider when searching for a ground school. Choosing the right school is essential for a successful aviation career. When looking for information about local ground schools, come to PilotTrainingReviews.com. Our website acts as a platform that connects students and flight schools. We are committed to providing valuable information to help you make an informed and confident decision.

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