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Starting a career in aviation is a very big decision and we want to make sure to help you on every step of the way!

Below is a short guide to show you what to expect.

1. Research

Before you enroll in a flight school, make sure you do your research. Look at the school’s websites, talk to their admissions team, and ask to speak with former or current students from your country.

Most of the following information applies both to airplane and helicopter schools, but some information is specific  to one or the other.

Some of the things you should consider when choosing a flight-school:

Post-Graduation - What can you do with your license after graduation? Due to the high flight hour requirements at aviation operators, many schools in Europe have no clear path for their graduates to enter the workforce. In the US, if you are on the F-1 Visa, you are able to apply for work authorization as a flight instructor after you complete your training. 

Visa - What visa is offered by the school and can you work after you complete the training? Most schools only offer the M-1 Visa, which does not allow you to work in the US. We offer the F-1 Visa with CPT and OPT opportunities, which allow you to gain flight experience and get paid to work for potentially upto 23.5 months after you complete your training.  Learn more

Reputation - Learn more about the school and their history. Some schools have the reputation of producing high-quality pilots, some schools have a less favorable reputation in the industry.

 

Price - Of course price will play a big role in your decision. Make sure to get a quote for the flight training that includes taxes and also ask about other costs, such as  living expenses.

Payment - Don't ever pay for your entire training before you start! There have been times when school have gone bankrupt, and the students never got their money back. 

Type/number of aircraft - Many flight schools in the US train in the Robinson R22 helicopters. The FAA requires flight instructors to have a minimum of 50 hours in this type of helicopter. To increase your job chances, you should look for a school includes at least 50 hours or R22 flying as part of your training . 

Location - When thinking about the location of your future school, there are a couple of ways to look at it. 1. You can pick a "nice weather" school. This usually means that you fly more often and complete your training quicker. 2. You can pick a school with more challenging weather. This usually means your training will take longer, however you will also learn to fly in challenging weather and learn to make go/no-go decisions based on current or forecasted weather conditions. It’s important to think about which of these options will benefit you more in your future career.

Connections - Flight schools cannot hire all of their graduates in many cases so be weary of a school that guarantees you a job. You should ask for details on how the school supports their graduates in finding jobs. 

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2. Learn more about us

To learn more about our school, you can contact our international student representative and also check out our Webinars! 

Phil Haupt - phaupt@flyhaa.com

WhatsApp - +1 321 360 6570

3. Medical

Before you enroll in a flight school, you should get your aviation medical. To fly in the US, you have to pass the FAA class 2 medical examination. You can find FAA approved aero-medical examiners (AMEs) worldwide : https://www.faa.gov/pilots/amelocator/

Prior to your examination, you have to create an account with your medical history here: https://medxpress.faa.gov/

If you are from Europe and are considering to take our FAA/EASA combined course, you also have to get the EASA class 1 medical. This is a very thorough examination and the initial medical has to be taken at an EASA-approved aeromedical center - AMC. Most AMCs are also able to issue the FAA medical.

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4. Application

After you received all the information that you were looking for, you can start the application process. For this, go to www.flyhaa.com/apply  and fill out the international student application. 

For this you will need to provide proof of finances that show you can cover the cost of training and a valid passport. After we receive your application, you have to take an online English and math test that evaluates your skills.

5. Visa

After your application is accepted and you’ve paid all required fees, we will send you the I-20 form. With this form, you can apply at the US embassy or consulate for your visa interview. For this you have to fill out the DS-160 form. Visa interviews are usually scheduled 2-3 weeks in advance. You can check current wait times on this website:

https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/us-visas/visa-information-resources/wait-times.html

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6. Travel to the USA

You can enter the US up to 30 days before your training starts. We recommend booking flights that have no layover in the US, since the passport controls can take a long time and some students have missed their connection flights. Delta Airlines and Iceland Air have flights with layovers in Amsterdam or Iceland and continue straight to Portland from there. We offer limited student housing for new students so you can have a place to stay on arrival and don't need to book a hotel. Most students live with other students in shared apartments or houses and we have a designated Facebook group where you can find a room or roommates. 

Our staff is also always there to help you!

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