- Does the facility appear clean, well-maintained, and welcoming? You want to spend your time at a place that reflects pride and positivity in its daily operations.
- Do the aircraft appear well-maintained and tidy? Ask what kind of maintenance program the aircraft follow, whether they are maintained in-house or by a local provider. Either is fine, but there should be no hesitation in the answer.
- Do the flight instructors follow a standard syllabus, or are they free to conduct their own training regime? Too strict of a program may be stifling to some people, but there should be a certain amount of oversight, even in a small operation.
- Does the flight school or ATO ask you for cash upfront, or a large deposit (more than 10-20%) to begin your training? Any more than this amount raises a red flag as to the organization's financial practices and may hint at cash flow problems down the road.
- Does the general demeanor of the place reflect positive attitudes on the part of the staff and students or clients? One person's complaints may be an outlier, but hearing negative comments from multiple sources bodes ill for a good training experience.