Do I need flying experience before starting flight school?
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I received a new question that I will answer in this new article of Ask Oscar the Pilot. "Is it a good idea to have some flying experience before entering a flight school?”.

The Answer - Do I need flying experience before starting flight school?

We can reach our conclusion by answering these questions:

  • Is it necessary? NO
  • Is it required? NO
  • Is it desirable? Hmm .. Maybe?!

Is it Necessary & Required to have flying experience before starting flight school?

No, It's not. I mean, the whole point of flight school is to teach you how to fly! You are not expected to know anything prior. So I would definitely not stress myself over this "Necessary & Required" point as it's NOT.

A light plane taxiing in Ecuador getting flying experience before flight school

Is it desirable to have flying experience before starting flight school?

I would say YES. As in every field of study, you would want to have a few pieces of information about what you are stepping into beforehand, as it helps you identify your next step and also help you relieve a bit of stress from the unknown.

How do you get that flying experience before starting flight school?

Introductory Flights:

I think I should've named it "Introductory Flight" in the singular as I don't think you would need more than one, but hey ... I will leave it there if you would love to do more.

Benefits of Introductory Flights:

Introductory Flights are a great way to experience flying before starting your journey. They are structured and are designed to give you a sense of what to expect throughout your flying training. You will receive constant briefings from the instructor, who will show you around the aircraft and test your abilities at an early stage. If you doubt your ability to fly, doing an introductory flight will help you boost your confidence as your instructor will provide feedback on your performance and what they expect you to achieve if you embark on your flight training as they are more experienced and they've seen thousands of students before you.

The cost of Introductory Flights:

They cost around 100 USD to 250 USD depending on the aircraft, the flight school, and the country you are in.

Some flight schools even offer a free of charge introductory flight.

What to expect on your Introductory Flight:

Expect a 60mn flight experience with approximately 45mn of flight time and 15mn of briefing and pre-flight inspection.

In my opinion, introductory flights are awesome and worth it! BUT, I think there is a better and free way of preparing for flight school.

Flight Simulator:

I mentioned this already in this article when I talked about how to prepare for flight school.

You can learn a decent bit from games such as Microsoft Flight Simulator, X-plane or Prepar3d. I play the first one, Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020, and I love it!

Cessna 152 in Madeira Airport

You can choose a light plane such as a Cessna 152, or get an aircraft addon of the aircraft your desired flight school has and play it.

Look around the aircraft, familiarise yourself with the cockpit, and just enjoy flying and being in control.

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