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Old 03-06-2009, 04:09 AM   #1  
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Arrow New Flight school information

I am seriously considering opening a part 61 / 141 flight school in North NJ. There is little if any useful information on the internet, and would appreciate any help you can send my way.

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Old 03-06-2009, 06:49 AM   #2  
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Not sure exactly what kind of info you are looking for...I would think that if you were considering it that you'd already have quite a bit of information before even reaching that point.

Perhaps try calling other flight schools or the FAA directly...(?)

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Old 03-06-2009, 07:27 AM   #3  
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To open a 61 school all you need is CFI experience and some business knowledge. Rent an office, lease some airplanes, hire some instructors (and maybe a mechanic) and off you go.

To open a 141 school you will first probably need to get established as a 61 school. I think the FAA likes to see a couple years of history before they entertain a 141 application. You will also need a key player on staff who has been formerly certified as a 141 chief pilot or assistant chief pilot.
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Old 03-06-2009, 07:37 AM   #4  
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Joined APC: May 2006
Position: ATP, CFI etc.
Posts: 5,988

It should be pretty obvious that you need to talk to the local FSDO about a 141 approval. You'll be sick of it by the time you're done- it is a highly regulated system and every single word in your Policy Manual, which will be 30+ pages has to be approved. This includes further approvals to change anything. Here are some typical areas that need to be covered in a Manual.

Section 1 General Information
Policies and Procedures
Contact List
Safety Guide
Your Instructor
Lesson Preparation
Physical Condition
Student Progress
Course Completion
Dispatching Procedures

Section 2 Ramp Operations

Preflight Check
Ground Operations
Fire Precautions

Section 3 Flight Operations

General Flight Operations
Currency & Auth.
Traffic Rules
Local Flying
Cross-Country Flying
Flight Plans
Collision Avoidance
Fuel Reserves for Local Flights
Weather Minimums
Student Pilots

Section 4 Emergency Operations

In-Flight Emergencies
Dispatch Procedures after Precautionary/
Emergency Landings
Emergency Security of the Aircraft
Aircraft Malfunction or Damage
Incident or Accident
Simulated Engine Failures

Section 5 Winter Operations

Preflight Inspection
Fuel Contamination
Aircraft Fuel Filters and Sumps
Engine Starts
En Route
Post Flight
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Old 03-29-2009, 10:37 AM   #5  
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Joined APC: Oct 2008
Position: Captain G1 & EMB120
Posts: 81

They are right. The 61 stuff you could run out of a hangar if you really wanted to. The 141 stuff is much more complicated. There is a lot of red tape with the FAA and it takes about 2-4 years to get a location certified. The 141 school I worked for previously had several locations in the same state. Each location had to be in operation for at least 2 years (I think it was 2, could have been more) in order to get 141 approval. They do not just approve 141 for a company and allow each company location to operate as 141, it is site specific.

First place I would check, insurance. I think you may be surprised about how costly it is going to be to cover your operation. Insurance and maintenance costs will kill a flight school quicker than anything else.
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Old 04-02-2009, 11:51 AM   #6  
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The main thing is:


You will never get in trouble if you follow this advice.
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Old 04-02-2009, 04:51 PM   #7  
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Joined APC: Mar 2009
Position: PA-44 Left Seat :P
Posts: 216

I highly advise you to find some sort of management position with a flight school first to get to know how the business works and also, if you haven't already, get a degree in business or something. Aviation Administration or similar would be good to start an FBO and can be achieved over the internet so it could be something you do while you run the FBO. But don't go into the aviation industry without any knowledge of how to run a business, you won't last a month. You also need to consider that most businesses don't just make money from the classes, they sell fuel to other FBOs in the airport, have pilot shops, maintenance shops etc. At least the ones that have been around for a long time. I suggest you get a good amount of starting capital and some to spare especially in this troubled time. I suggest you start writing a business plan and look for investors. If you are a CFI, you can rent a small hangar and purchase something cheap like a 152 and give classes independently.
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Old 04-02-2009, 09:20 PM   #8  
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Position: King Air 200 CA Hawker 800/900 FO
Posts: 809

Another possibility if you have the intial capital or other investors is buying an existing flight school. A small operation located at a good airport that maybe isn't completely living up to its potential. I know the owners of my school were able to buy it from the previous owner shortly after his wife served him (he was a little apprehensive prior to that).
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Old 04-28-2009, 08:33 PM   #9  
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Keep in mind your biggest costs are going to be aircraft and insurance as well as maintenance.
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Old 04-12-2010, 03:34 AM   #10  
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Default flight school insurance

Im looking at purchasing a C-172 or C-152 (25-50K) to flight instruct out of and to rent to Licensed pilots. Anyone have experience with what insurance will run for this?
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