The student instructor relationship is one of the most critical factors affecting pilot performance, yet choosing an instructor is not an exact science. First, you will have to select a flight training facility that meets your needs. The right flight school will have the best combination available of well maintained aircraft, a convenient airport location, and prices that meet your budget. Each flight school will have flight instructors on staff or a list of flight instructors that are approved to conduct training there.
Once you have selected a training facility, there are many factors that a student should consider when choosing an instructor. The student and instructor will spend long hours together, often in the tight confines of a general aviation aircraft, so it is important that the student feels comfortable with any potential instructor. The student should also be confident that his or her instructor is not just knowledgeable, but is a pilot that can efficiently and effectively relate that knowledge to the student. Learning how to fly can be a challenge, but it shouldn't be a chore, so a student should enjoy spending time with their instructor.
An instructor should also be chosen whose availability matches the needs of the student. The right instructor will be available to fly during the time of day and on the days of the week that a student has allotted for flight training. Since many instructors are aspiring airline pilots, the student may wish to ask the instructor if he or she will be applying for a new job within the time frame that the student expects to be working towards his or her license.
Students should also make sure their instructor understands and accepts their priorities as a student. For example, some students wish to learn to fly in order to pursue a career in a aviation, while others merely wish to fly recreationally. A good instructor will tailor their lessons to meet the individual needs of a particular student.
Selecting the best instructor is one of the first and most important tasks a student undertakes before becoming a pilot. By taking the time to choose the best instructor for your needs, you can find an instructor that will partner with you in your pursuit of flight.