Flight School - How to decide between Part 141 and Part 61 schools


Probably one of the most confusing decisions you have to make about your flight training is what kind of school you want to attend.  There are basically two types that the FAA says can offer you flight training that will count towards your certificates — training outlined in Part 141 of the Federal Aviation Regulations (FAR’s), and training outlined in Part 61 of the same regulations.

The main difference between the two types of schools is that a Part 141 certified school has a syllabus that they’ve gotten approved through the FAA, whereas Part 61 training just has to make sure to go over the required training outlined in Part 61 of the FAR’s.

There are some pro’s and con’s for each training route, but they ultimately get you to the same destination.  One of the most obvious differences students will see is a Part 141 school is going to feel more structured, fast-paced, and demanding.  They have every incentive to ensure you’re progressing in your program, and are hitting all of the benchmarks at each stage check (essentially a knowledge and skills test at the end of each training module).  Where Part 61 schools excel is when students need a little more flexibility in their schedule, or can’t commit to a full-time program, and many times, the total price tag on their training will be a little lower by going through an “independent” Part 61 school.

Obviously there are a lot more differences than just these few things… but many of them you will need to look for yourself — things like the culture of the school, the level of training, possible connections and placement partners for once your training is complete.  Not every Part 141 school is a good deal, and there are many Part 61 schools who offer better “intangible” benefits than others.

Fly Mesa is a Part 61 flight school located at Falcon Field in Mesa, Arizona.  We are an independent flight school, and we teach the principles required in Part 61 of the FAR’s.  We want all of our students to be successful, and we strive to offer top-tier training.  Our government certified flight instructors work with each student one-on-one to ensure they’re getting the time and attention they need to achieve their goals.

Take your time to see what school is best for you… spend some time actually going into and interviewing schools, talk to some instructors, get all of your questions answered before you sign on the dotted line and start your training.

If you ever have any questions, feel free to contact us and we’d love to spend a few minutes answering anything we can. In the meantime, we wish you the best of luck on your aviation journey!

Happy flying!