Starting a Flight School Business

Learning to fly can be one of life's most rewarding adventures. The freedom of moving in three dimensions is not only fun but can lead to interesting career and travel opportunities. Considering the fact that private airlines are on the rise, a flight school business can be a very lucrative business proposition.

Many flight schools are for sale every now and then; buying one could be a safe bet than starting one on your own as the former have already taken off. Consider this while starting your flight school business.

At the beginning it helps if you have a general idea of what people want from flight schools. Why do they want to learn to fly? What is their ultimate, long-term aviation goal? Do they want to fly for fun, or are they seeking a flying career? Will your flight training be local, or do you want to use general aviation aircraft to train pupils? Do you want to own an airplane or will you rent? These are questions you should answer before you start considering starting flight schools. And you should consider whether you'll train students full time or part time.

Flight schools come in two flavors, Part 61 and Part 141, which refer to the parts of the Federal Aviation Regulations (FARs) under which they operate. The most common and least important distinction between them is the minimum flight time required for the private certificate — 40 hours under Part 61, and 35 hours under Part 141. Considering that the national average for earning a private certificate is 60-75 hours, this difference isn't important for initial training. It does make a difference to commercial pilot applicants: Part 61 requires 250 hours, and Part 141 requires 190.

Accredited schools must meet rigid standards of accountability for virtually every area of operation and must apply to an accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.

Ground School ensures the academic knowledge required to understand how, where, and when to fly safely. Flight schools cater to instructor based classes or self-paced home-study audio/video programs.

After ground school and before the trainee can take the FAA check ride with a designated pilot examiner, he must take and pass (70 percent or better) FAA airman knowledge test at an approved computer testing site.

The training airplane is where students practice in the air what they have learned on the ground. High wing or low, it doesn't make much difference. What's important is how well the airplane is equipped and maintained. It's also important that the school's trainers are dedicated to training and not to rental.

Generally speaking, one trainer serves four or five full-time students. This ratio may be higher with part-time students. Another consideration is the fleet's mix of primary, advanced, and multiengine trainers.

Because trainers are flown often and sometimes hard, how a school maintains its training fleet is important for both safety and scheduling.

A good flight instructor is important because one’s life will depend on what he or she teaches. The primary instructor should be at least a certificated flight instructor (CFI) and the instrument instructor must have an instrument instructor rating (CFII). Instrument training received from a non-rated instructor can cause problems when it comes to meeting FAA requirements.


  • Jeff Gerencser said on August 20, 2008
    I am interested in starting my flight school, so the money goes into my pocket, and the decisions are made the way I see it.
  • darshana said on February 13, 2009
    i would like get some more info.
  • Roger H. said on February 26, 2009
    I have decided to start a part 61 flight school in NJ, and am finding it difficult to locate start-up flight school information. I appreciate any help you can send my way. Roger>
  • Dan W. said on March 23, 2009
    I'm looking at starting a flight school in Illinois, and am also having trouble finding start-up information. Any help you can provide would be greatly appreciated! Thanks for the article!
  • Hercules Viljoen said on April 29, 2009
    Do I need to have a Pilot license to start my own Flight School?
  • Ron Evers said on May 10, 2009
    I would like some information on starting a flight school/plane rental business. What insurance needed and possible cost?
  • Biff Willingham said on May 20, 2009
    Looking to start a Flight school business
  • Ari said on May 25, 2009
    I have already started a school in India which is doing extremely good. i am looking for someone who is interested to buy out completely or part. reason for sale; moving back to Aus. if you are serious and interested please email me your interest.
  • rajeev chopra said on June 22, 2009
    Hi Are, i am interested to buy a flying school but I would like to get he details about It. contact me 09829022256 , 09928139210
  • Joseph Doway said on June 29, 2009
    We are interested in starting a Flying Club and School on Antigua, West Indies. We are seeking investors. We already have the instructors and students. All we need are the investors.
  • john tokunboh said on July 22, 2009
    Please do you have laid out information on how to start a Flight School. I would appreciate any assistance I can get. Thanks. John Tokunboh
  • Julius Indra said on July 24, 2009
    I would like to start a Flight School. I am troubling to get the information, what should I prepare for start up? Please can you provide me all information regards the Start Up a Flight School. Many thanks. Julius Indra
  • Joseph Doway said on July 26, 2009
    Julius Indra, Please contact our office at We should be able to work together to get something going. Where are you anyway?
  • Joseph Doway said on July 26, 2009
    We have done the research. I have had meetings with flight school owners, pilots, retired pilot and instructors. So I have the basic knowledge, especially since wiring Business Plans is my specialty. Contact me 1(268) 723 1935
  • Adam Burton said on July 31, 2009
    I am looking to start my own flight club within my existing aircraft maintenance firm (largest in Europe) and would like some feedback from anyone who owns an aircraft/runs a club on ideas and what is needed. Thank you all, Adam.
  • Stephen Parrish said on August 5, 2009
    I am looking at starting a part 61 flight school for LSA using Challenger Ultralights and eventually J-3 Cubs along with a pilot shop. Already have an airplane paint shop and looking for more information on starting the school. Thank you. Oh and if you are near Jacksonville, Florida and need planes painted can give you a good price
  • Luis said on August 14, 2009
    I am looking for information on how to start a flight school - how can I get at least a Cessna 172 (buy or rent) - types of insurance needed - capital - licenses - office space, step by step will be great - tks
  • kory said on August 19, 2009
    I am looking for the same info as most above. Just a step by step way of starting including insurance needed, licenses, etc. Thanks
  • Dan said on October 16, 2009
    How many hours would it take to break even per month owning a 172?
  • Alan said on October 17, 2009
    Flight School. For those interested in starting a flight school, should call me. I have info, business plans, type and costs. (815)814-3879. I have 30 years in aviation and would be willing to share the information.
  • Pedro said on October 27, 2009
    Luis, Kory, Dan, I would like to have your contact information and where you are located. if you have a chance to call me at 772-485-0627

    Steven Parish, I would like to get to know your shop in Jacksonville.
    Please call me. Pedro
  • Dave said on October 31, 2009
    Hey Pedro, you in the Treasure Coast eh? I got a 772 number too lol. And yeah Steve I would love to come up some time and talk to you about it. I'm a CFI/II/MEI and work for SimCom Vero Beach Piper. Problem is I'm down in Stuart, FL... pretty far from Jax unless I have a Cirrus or a Matrix to commute in ;). You can get me at 772-485-1083 or at!
  • George said on November 3, 2009
    i would also like to start a part 61 school. maybe start out with a 152 and eventually move into 172's. would love some more information
  • jerad rivera said on December 8, 2009
    Hey would love some more info on this. San Antonio Texas. Please email me info on starting up a flight school.
  • Sue said on December 14, 2009
    Hi, I am interested in starting a rotocraft flight school with stability in the Phoenix area. I have basic business knowledge but would like more specifics...Have family members with CFIIs.. Any info would be appreciated. Sue
  • Gurmeet Gill said on January 1, 2010
    Hi i want to buy a running flying school in INDIA or United Kingdom. Any school for sale please contact me on 0044 781 88 55 333. Thanks
  • Cpt.Praveenkaduthodil said on January 3, 2010
    I want to buy flight school in India, Any school for sale please contact me on +63 9272675692 or i am ready to Buy share. kindly call me on +693 9272675692 or mail me at kindly call me. kindly call me on +63 9272675692
  • Shawn said on January 9, 2010
    I am interested in starting a flight school. Could anyone help me on how to start? My email address is Thanks in advance.
  • venu gopal rao said on January 20, 2010
    i want to start flight school in india. any partners to invest money in that. mail me
  • Anthony said on January 29, 2010
    I would like to start a flight school. If anyone has any prior experience they are willing to share, it would be much appreciated.
  • Shokar said on March 3, 2010
    We have a Flying school in Vancouver, Canada for sale - Price $50,000 including aircraft and all operating stuff. If interested kindly e-mail at
  • manoj pillai said on May 4, 2010
    I am a business consultant associating with a well reputed corporate law firm in India, have a very good platform to start up an aviation academy in Kerala, Changancherry. All the technical & other implementation can be done from my client including the land. interested genuine parties can approach at
  • PRAVIN said on May 7, 2010
  • PRAVIN said on May 7, 2010
  • Gurmeet said on May 7, 2010
    Hi Parvin, Could you contact me at for full proposal. I am interested to invest in flying school.
  • Pathy said on May 17, 2010
    I would like to buy a flight school in India which currently operates well. Besides, if anybody wish to lease out the flight school may also contact me.
  • ON THE HILL said on May 20, 2010
    All flights schools in India will be closing soon, so dont hurry up and is the worst place to run a flight school...DGCA and the cleaners are corrupt to the core and need greasing the palm for everything. The schools have already been slapped with a humongous service Tax fee in crores. cheers
  • Sunny said on May 29, 2010
    I want to buy flying school in the states. Especially in middle and south bound of CA. I will bring students from Asia. Please kindly contact me if anyone want sale small size of flying school.
  • Mansoor Khan said on June 7, 2010
    Anybody interested in opening a Flying Training Academy (FTA) in India, can contact me at following number +919021895434 or mail me at We specialize in Aviation sector and can assist in airstrip acquisition, DGCA clearances, HR support, aircrafts acquisition and providing prospective students. We already are opening a FTA and are providing students to number of different FTA's.
  • rishiraj said on July 21, 2010
    hi am interested in partnership in a flying school or a new flying school/ my personal land is available for school, airstrip, parking of crafts etc.
  • rishiraj said on July 22, 2010
    contact me on or on number:- 09456214666
  • John said on July 28, 2010
    I have a FAA part 141 with instructors and planes but lacking in students. I'm looking for partners in India, Taiwan, Korea that have access to fresh capital and students. I prefer a partnership in sharing cash flow. I can provide excellent training with 24 years of experience. Please let me know asap.
  • rishiraj said on July 29, 2010
    dear mr. john, kindly mail me all your details with what you looking for in india. my mail id is
  • nikita said on August 4, 2010
    hi, this is nikita here. i want to start my own flying institute, in ajmer(Rajasthan)India. my personal land is available for school. please tell me the process that how we can start the flying institute.
  • Hamdan said on August 6, 2010
    i am planning to establish an aviation academy in the UAE. there are 4 flying academy. two of them not open for public just for contracts and the other two for contracts and individuals. i need a consultant to advice me
  • Leo said on August 9, 2010
    I have had a flight school in California USA since 1994. We are a well established business and have 8 aircraft (2 Robinson R44, 3 R22, 2 Cessna and 1 Piper) available for sale. Along with the school is a current client enrollment with approximately 700 hours future training schedules. All 8 aircraft, 2 fuel trucks, RHC Service Center/Dealership, FAA Tour Operator Certificate, Part 141 submitted and pending approval, great flying weather all year long. We have worked with students from India and throughout the world for many years. The school is for sale at $1.1m US. Complete. email me at
  • Leo said on August 9, 2010
    The company is for sale and averages over 2,000 hrs per year of revenue flying. Owner is an airline pilot and transferring out of state. We are willing to relocate the equipment or we can transition operations here in the USA. If you are looking for a quality flight school with an established training history, this is an 8 aircraft ready to fly today business for sale! Email
  • Bhanu Pratap Singh beginner adviser said on August 10, 2010
    Hello everyone, i have my own flying school and charter business in australia for that i want one CFI, now i am looking forward to takeover / buy established flying school outside australia preferably India, Canada, USA, South Africa, Phillipines etc. If any interested party want to have partnership on share basis or would like to have joint venture can also contact me I have a vast resource of students as well from Asia specially. As i was going through above adds but they miss contact opportunities for business plan i would like to have contact with them if they can make out. Please contact me at +91 9650339677 , +61 402031448 || Consultant

  • Leo said on August 10, 2010
    Bhanu, are you looking to buy a business or have a partner? California Aviation Services, Inc is my business and it is for sale in the USA. We are not looking for a partnership, simply selling the business. If you are interested, call me at 1-951-354-5274 ext 14. or email me
  • Pathan said on August 15, 2010
    Hi i want to buy a running flying school in any country. Any school for sale please contact me on Thanks
  • SAM Jr said on August 21, 2010
    I am about to kick off the first private flight training school in port harcourt, nigeria. I need serious partners/investors. if you are interested please send me a, +2348035503947
  • fatema said on August 28, 2010
    i want to start an aviation institute, hence guide me with all the licensing & all other starting procedures.
  • Steven said on August 28, 2010
    I am in the process of writing a business plan for an Aviation Ground and Flight School in East Texas. I am at a stand still with this. I need some more information as to costs, liabilities, licenses, etc.
  • aubrey visagie said on August 31, 2010
    i want to start my own flying school in namibia, windhoek. what are the requirements I need info. Asap email me
  • Lior said on September 6, 2010
    Hi Everybody, My name is Lior, I am hold a CFI, and CFII licenses, I'm from Florida. At this point I am looking for job opportunity as CFI, I am also consider to a person that just started a Flight School business for helping him/her to build the business. Contact with me for more information at
  • Troy said on September 6, 2010
    I have a flight school part 61 and in need of a part 141. Please contact me at if a Part 141 is for sale or lease.
  • A P Singh said on September 25, 2010
    I am running an Air hostess training Institute in Punjab (India). I need a serious partner to start pilot training school. In which we will provide theory classes in India and practicals will be in that institute with which we will do the tie-up. Reputed Aviation schools from any country are requested to send their proposal early who like to start in India also or like to get students from India. Regards to all of you. A P Singh. 0091 98142 95333,
  • basim brhan said on September 27, 2010
    i am looking to buy a flight school in bc canada
  • Ladislau Emiliano said on October 1, 2010
    I am now open a private aviation school in Benguela-Angola. I need serious partners/investors. if you are interested please a mail to
  • Leo said on October 5, 2010
    We just reduced our flight school to $810,000US. This is a complete flight school with airplanes and helicopters included. We have FAA Operator Certification, RHC Dealership and Service Center Certification, and a lot more. All is included in the sale. If you are interested in a 15 year history successful flight school for sale; contact me.
  • Simon Menezes said on October 18, 2010
    hi, i am a holder of a commercial pilot license...I own a C-172 IR rated aeroplane...Also i am planning to buy one c-152..Currently in i am in cebu, Philippines ..i have leased my aeroplane to a pilot training school in cebu...i would like to know if someone could advise me how much it costs to start a flying school in India as well as the requirements ...Also i am looking for a flying school that is operational ..i am even willing to run a school as a partner if possible if anybody is interested in selling the school or if someone wants to offer me a partnership , i am willing to consider it..Please send yr queries to my email or call me on my mobile +63 9292051119...My india number + 91 9945992809...Also if anybody is interested in buying aeroplanes please let me know..I can get you a plane for a very good price..My school here in Cebu has been buying and selling planes for more than 20 years now..Our prices are really cheap compared to others .regds...Simon...
  • Simon Menezes said on October 18, 2010
    hi nikita, can you please forward me you email id ? so that we can discuss about the flying school ? i am also looking to start a flight training school in india and i can supply aircrafts for a good price.. simon.. you can contact me on my email
  • Rehan From USA said on November 7, 2010
    I would like to Contact Number 8 and 34. please contact me ASAP. I am visiting India.Please Contact me in India @ 08860956958, 08853265924, in USA 00-1-281-773-0941. Capt. Rehan Siddiqui 12600 Bissoneet Suite # 575 Houston, Texas USA. 77079. 00-1-281-773-0941 PH. 00-1-281-817-5862 Fax. We want to invest as well open the flying club in India. Best Regard's Rehan.
  • frank maynard said on November 8, 2010
    Hi, I am located on the Caribbean islands of Antigua & Barbuda. I would like to setting up a flight school in partnership with a north american (CANADA & USA)flight school. Please send me any info you may have. Please forward my email address to any flight school willing to set up a campus in the Caribbean. Frank
  • Eduardo said on December 2, 2010
    I have a flight school in Mexico, and looking for a joint venture with a flight school in USA, for the first contact email me to
  • BP Singh said on December 3, 2010
    We are interested in buying or setting up a flying school in Canada or Australia. Please mail at or +91 99999013238
  • Anna Kaynezhad said on December 4, 2010
    We are interested in setting up a flying school in Iran. Please mail at or 0098 912 320 15 94 Best Regards
  • David Schoppaul said on December 12, 2010
    Anthem, AZ 85086. I am a commercial airline pilot looking to assist youth in my neighborhood have targeted goals. Flying has proved me with life skill sets. Instructing allows me an opportunity to give back. Would a non profit business plan work here.
  • Patrick Murphy said on December 12, 2010
    I have a client interested in buying a flight school in the USA. Sun Belt location. Part 141 + Sevis approval. Towered Airport. Email me at:
  • S.ASKY said on December 29, 2010
    I am looking to start my own flight club OR interest to buy club in TAMILNADU - INDIA . mam Julius Indra did you received any data pl send to me. my email-
  • S.ASKY said on December 29, 2010
    HELLO Parvin, Could you contact me at for full proposal. I am interested to START/PART in flying school.
  • Teddy Ocean said on January 3, 2011
    I am looking for an investor to partner up with me for a flight school. I already have the facilities constructing and 40 students ready to sign up. I have been in the business for over 14 years and flew all over the world. I am an ex airforce pilot. looking forward to hearing from you soon. you can reach me at
  • CPS said on January 21, 2011
    Part 141 Flight School for Sale / SEVIS approval for International students. PA28-140 / RC1 Elite simulator + aircrafts on lease Kansas City MO, possibility for relocating. Please call or email for further information 415-490-8759
  • Nasir said on January 29, 2011
    Hi, we are seeking genuine partnership to aircraft owners particularly C206/208 for our air cargo operation in Asia region. We are acquiring our AOC soon (final phase in process) and are looking for option on technical investment on aircraft. kindly email to
  • tichaona lovejoy nikisingorima said on February 4, 2011
    l am looking forward starting a flight school business in zimbabwe and further revive our aviation sector
  • Fabian said on February 12, 2011
    i want i open a flight school ..please i want same advices from owners or people are in project to open ...thanks in advance.... email me please
  • jerome said on February 22, 2011
    Aero Training & Safety is establish in Malaysia (Kota Kinabalu) for 2 years. ATS is managing flying schools in Malaysia with a new concept and philosophy to be closer airlines "THE" end customer. We have decided to start a flying school in Philippines with the Chinese support (government and academy) and already customers all around Asia. Today we are looking for an investor to finalize everything. Feel free to contact me for more detail:
  • Desy said on March 8, 2011
    We are intending to start a flight training school in Asia Pacific region. If anyone can help me with government AOC and paperworks in any country. Please let me know. Email me: Thanks.
  • Ajay pareek said on March 12, 2011
    We intend to start flying academy at suitable location in western India. Need interested people from aviation/army background to contact for partnering with specific expertise in the field including commercial flying. You can contact thru given email id
  • Cornelis said on March 14, 2011
    Hi, I want a dual flight school in Belgium (FAA on N reg planes) and Florida. Can u give us some help?
  • Desy said on March 16, 2011
    Cornelis, are you trying to set up a flying school or are intending to take a dual flight lessons? If you are setting up a dual flying school, Let me
  • Shiv Kumar said on March 18, 2011
    i have a flying schools and i m looking for the partners who can send me students from other countries in India for SPL, PPL & CPL. Please mail me at
  • Mansoor Khan said on March 20, 2011
    I need partner for Flying School. Ready to give 60% stake in the company for Rs 2.5 crore. The progress so far:
    1. Airport in Maharashtra has been leased for 5 years.
    2. Layout plan for hanger is ready. Hanger land is allocated.
    3. All the necessary clearances from DGCA have been taken.
    4. Office space in Pune is ready and fully furnished.
    5. Got the quotation for planes and deal signed to procure them.
    Project report ready, interested party's please contact, Mansoor Khan, +919021895434, Mail ID:
  • S.S.Jaffry said on March 30, 2011
    we are interested to know the business possibilities in aviation sector including setting up an flying club or academy etc. Experience people which may contact with any good offer we are ready with funds and resources. Looking forward only for business in India not overseas. Regards, S.S.Jaffry, +091-9963267710/9246370570
  • M J ARC said on April 7, 2011
    I am from the philippines and I am planning to start up a flying school here .i am looking for a business partner . I my self is pilot and I have qualified instructor and mechanics .interested party may contact
  • Darren B said on April 8, 2011
    Hello. My partners and I are starting a flying academy in Malaysia and we are looking for financial capital to get it up and running. I already have the airport facilities sorted out and will be targeting the Asian cadet pilot market. For further information please email me at Thank you.
  • HL v Linschoten said on April 10, 2011
    Cornelis, please email me at
  • Anil Sinha said on April 11, 2011
    Hello. I am from Nepal and have just started a flying school. In Nepal there is no flying school established yet. So I thought to do something unique.We need a partner. So anyone interested can E-mail me at:-
  • AAKASH RAO said on May 17, 2011
    HELLO, I am PROGRAMMING a flying training and charter business as well in DELHI region (capital ) in india . the most revenue and money making place in india . land available , approvals works will be done in given parameter of time , . looking for well precise work in this field . CONCERNED INTERESTED PERSON. CONTACT ME : +91-9899109191 E-MAIL : RAOAKKS@GMAIL.COM
  • Ved said on May 21, 2011
    I am a Business Broker located in Los Angeles area. I just sold a Flight School in Southern California. I had several inquiries from potential qualified buyers with aviation background from all over the world. Many of them made a trip here to look at this flight school and meet with the sellers. I am working with all these potential buyers to find them a flight school anywhere in U.S.A. If you own a flight school in U.S.A.and are considering selling your business or taking on a partner, please contact me to discuss this matter.
  • Fabian said on June 17, 2011
    dear people here...please i would like infos of possibility lease aircrafts like cessna 152(from USA) example to start my flying school in MEXICO ... thanks in advance
  • Vivek Gangwar said on June 17, 2011
    @Mr AAKASH RAO I do not think that you can get permission to open flying club in Delhi(capital).
  • ali nabil said on June 18, 2011
    i need a partner for flight school in hungary, i need just 2 cessna and i have all else i am from egypt. alexandria
  • Ben Williams said on July 17, 2011
    I am starting the flight instruction part of the business for our new FBO operator in Gallatin, Tn. I need links to sample business plans and any advise on whether it should be a subsidiary LLC or operate as part of the FBO business. Ideas?
  • George said on July 24, 2011
    I have a flight school for sale (part or all of it) in Europe does any one knows any potential buyer?
  • Tomas said on August 1, 2011
    Hi George, Would you please send me the detail of your flying school, purchase options and government approvals. thanks. By the way you can e-mail it to me at:
  • Brian said on August 2, 2011
    I'm going to open a flight school along with my airline in Cambodia. I'm only 2 months away from my AOC . I am in need of a investor/partner for the part of my business. There was one successful flight school in Cambodia a few years ago but at that time the government was only looking at getting bribes and money. Now all that has changed. And I'm going to bring back GA to Cambodia along with my airline.
  • Capt.Virendra Kumar said on August 13, 2011
    Hi I am looking for person who have running Aviation Business- Flying School or Charter Service or Airlines for sale.Specially in India if someone want to sale Flying School, please contact me on 0091-9824879997.or Email Me :
  • NITIN said on August 16, 2011
    i want to start flight training academy western maharastra india .i need 3 cessna 152 and two cessna 172 on dry lease basis .interested parties ,owner send their proposal to me on ASAP.
  • NITIN BARAPATE said on August 18, 2011
    hi everyone, i am nitin from mumbai maharashtra .me and my friend capt biren shortly open an flying club(FTA) in maharashtra .we need three C172 SP aircrafts in good conditions and as per dgca requirements for FTA .interested parties or owner can contact me directly to +919021241515 or mail me


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