Top Flight Schools in the USA Have This in Common

Top flight schools in USA, man next to plane

Ready for your pilot career dreams to take flight? That’s good news. We’ve got the download on what makes the top-flight schools in the USA outrank all the others. Explore program aspects like safety record and ethos, time in operation and FAA certification, facilities and location, fleet, career partnerships, and paths to employment.

Top Flight Schools in the USA Have an Excellent Safety Record 

Safety matters when training new pilots in real-world situations in the air and on the ground. It’s our gold standard at Leading Edge Flight Academy. We have something called the “speak up and stay safe” commitment. This encourages self-reporting of safety incidents by asking students, employees, and customers to record all hazards, incidents, or safety mishaps. A committee then meets to analyze these incidents using industry risk management techniques to prevent future events from occurring. 

When analyzing the safety procedures of any school, asking about preflight assessments and maintenance records is equally important. A school that uses a Flight Risk Assessment tool (FRAT) as a checklist for pilots before every flight, is a good sign. Regular maintenance and upkeep are essential for maintaining the performance of a training fleet. 

Proven Operations and FAA-Approved Programs 

The FAA has two designations for pilots and flight and ground instructor schools. Part 61 schools and Part 141 schools. Both are sections of the Federal Aviation Regulations for obtaining a pilot’s certificate or ranking. The Part 141 designation is specifically for flight training institutions and schools. In addition to FAA requirements, it’s important to consider the experience and training of the management team of pilots at a flight school. 

For a school like Leading Edge Flight Academy, we’ve turned out experienced aviators for the past 20 years in Bend. Our FAA Part 141-approved program equips students with the highest skill sets as professional pilots in the most efficient training time possible. Our management class of pilots has a collective 100 years of experience. 

Career Partnerships and Paths to Continued Certification

When it comes to finding a job as a pilot, there’s no shortage of demand. Whether flying commercially or for corporate companies, that takes building some industry connections. New aviators and well-established pilots should have the support they need to reach their goals. Whether piloting a firefighting helicopter, a transport plane, or becoming a commercial pilot, the top flight schools in the USA have bridge programs that include many perks after signing a contract to complete flight training, including student debt repayment plans and training stipends. 

Not to mention continued pilot development opportunities! Schools like Leading Edge Flight Academy offer continuing education courses for fixed-wing and rotor-wing pilots who can participate in courses for mountain flying operations, night vision goggle training, rotor transition programs, and more! 

Top Flight Schools Have Great Facilities and Locations

Topography is a unique consideration for flight schools. In a mountainous region, flight schools have the added benefit of training pilots in high-altitude conditions and all kinds of weather. Situated within the Cascade Range, Leading Edge Flight Academy’s airfield sits 3,460 feet above sea level. With mountains on one side and high desert on the other, student pilots enjoy numerous blue-sky days and all four weather seasons, helping them learn how to make informed go and no-go decisions. 

The opportunities in mountainous regions are unique because students can learn more complex landing sites like pinnacles and ridgelines in the snow. This is a very special aspect of LEFA’s location.

A Well-Maintained Fleet 

The top flight schools in the USA train both helicopter and fixed-wing pilots. Aircraft availability is an essential factor when considering flight schools. This is because how quickly a student can reach certification hours and complete their flight training affects their financial plans for how long they will be in school. The training fleet at a flight school should be large enough for pilots to fly seven days a week, year-round. Training aircraft should be selected for their flight learning progression, reliability, and safety. 

Leading Edge Flight Academy operates a fleet of Cessna 172 Skyhawks, Beechcraft Bonanzas, and a Beechcraft Baron for our fixed-wing pilots. Career pilots and students who just passed their check rides enjoy training in these airframes. Leading Edge employs the Robinson R22 and R44 and the Bell 206 series helicopters on the rotor-wing side. 

Ready to Choose From the Top Flight Schools in the USA? 

Leading Edge Flight Academy has it all. From the mountain-flying conditions to FAA-certified courses, an unvarnished safety record, and a well-maintained fleet, it’s any student’s perfect choice for a flight school with many benefits. Begin your pre-application process to start your journey with us today!