How to Rank the Quality of Aviation Schools Before You Enroll

aviation schools, two students getting in helicopter

If you’re considering flight school for the first time, congratulations! Many exciting milestones lie ahead in your future. Students from across the country travel to Central Oregon to attend Leading Edge Flight Academy for many reasons. Explore the perks of our program over other aviation schools, like our career partnerships with respected airlines and helicopter companies.

Veteran-Friendly Benefits and Programs for Students Transitioning to Civilian Aviation Schools

For anyone who’s served in any branch of the U.S. military, we offer several full funding options for those pursuing private ratings. Leading Edge Flight Academy was one of the first flight schools to receive approval to offer veteran flight training benefits in the Pacific Northwest. 

This means we comprehensively cover veterans’ full flight program expenses under the Post 9/11 GI Bill (Chapter 33), the Montgomery GI Bill – Active Duty (Chapter 30), and Veteran Readiness & Employment (VRE). But beyond veteran benefits, our program remains competitive with the top aviation schools in the nation. 

Partnership With Industry Leading Helicopter and Airline Pilot Programs 

Assessing aviation schools by their instruction methods and standards is important, but the program’s industry partners are another important factor for students’ consideration. It’s simple: The more industry partners the program provides to students, the better. 

Leading Edge Flight Academy boasts seven industry partners for fixed-wing and rotor-wing aviation companies. Some included are highly-respected companies like Skywest, Ravn Alaska, Horizon Air, Papillon Grand Canyon Helicopters, Temsco Helicopters, Pollux Aviation, and PlaneSense, a fractional aircraft ownership company. 

Things to Do Outside of Aviation School

With the rigors of a flight program, time spent outside the classroom is important for students to recharge and regain focus. Central Oregon provides the perfect setting for outdoor enthusiasts and thrill-seekers to find whatever their heart desires. 

From white-water rafting to world-class rock climbing, skiing, and fly fishing, Bend has some of the best recreational activities in the Pacific Northwest.  Make memories with other students at one of Bend’s famous microbreweries or around one of Central Oregon’s 150 high-mountain lakes.

The Quality of the Fleet

A third way to rank the quality of the aviation school you’re considering is to evaluate its fleet offerings. Every flight school has aircraft designated for student training, but it varies by quality and diversity of instruction. 

Leading Edge Flight Academy offers three helicopter airframes for training, including a Frasca AATD R44 flight simulator and three fixed-wing airframes—a multi-engine airframe and a Frasca Cessna 172 Flight Simulator

In addition to these airframe types, Leading Edge Flight Academy offers something unique with our rotor transition program. This is for students interested in launching a career as a fixed-wing pilot and already trained on rotor-wing aircraft.

Aviation Schools’ Facilities and Operational Hangars

The operational capacity and location of aviation schools are important factors in determining the quality of instruction. Find out how many students an aviation program can support at one time. The distance of the school from the nearest major city (unless the training program has a campus) is also a factor. Also, consider whether your flight school has dedicated operational space for fixed-wing and rotor-wing students. This indicates a program has the resources to train students on both airframes safely. 

At LEFA, our flight school is an easy 20-minute drive outside Bend. Students go to and from our flight school and other activities with ease. With a recent expansion of our operational areas for rotor-wing, we’ve recently welcomed a new dedicated helicopter landing pad and training space at the Bend Municipal Airport.

Considering Enrollment? Take the Next Steps With LEFA

When choosing the best aviation schools, students should consider the industry partnerships, financing options, extracurricular lifestyle, fleet, and facilities. 

At Leading Edge Flight Academy, we have nearly 20 years of experience launching aviation careers. During that time, we’ve developed an FAA-approved curriculum, a robust training program, and an expanding network of industry partners. Ready to become a well-rounded professional aviator? Talk with us to learn more.