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Florida Flight TrainingTop Five Reasons the Sunshine State is Home to Over 150 Flight Schools
By Matthew Everett
Flight training is a fulfilling but potentially difficult and expensive undertaking. It's important that you do everything you can to help yourself out. Sometimes, traveling somewhere is the best way to ensure your success. Florida is a popular destination for flight training for five major reasons: weather, geography, airports, family attractions, and international flying.
Florida's weather makes the state popular among vacationers and flight schools alike. With an average temperature of over 70 degrees Fahrenheit year-round, there's little distinction between winter and summer flying. The Florida "winter" is short and very mild; snow is unlikely, but you might want to wear pants. Summer is warm, but not unbearably hot thanks to the near constant breezes off the ocean. According to Phoenix East Aviation, a flight school in Daytona Beach, Florida, the state offers about 360 clear flying days a year - perfect for flight training. (learn more about Phoenix East Aviation)
While most people consider Florida for its perfect weather, its geography is also excellent for flight training. Florida has plenty of flat open land that allows you to focus on learning to fly and the maneuvers at hand rather than potentially rising terrain. The relatively low elevations throughout the state also provide a safety barrier in that even low-powered aircraft are operating at ideal altitudes for maximum power. This is in direct contrast to some areas of the U.S. where certain aircraft wouldn't make it off the ground because of high airport elevation.
It's also important to note that the state of Florida is home to many lakes. Flying over any point in Florida you're probably not very far from a sizable body of water. While this isn't hugely beneficial for flight training in general, it does open up an exciting training possibility - a seaplane rating. While seaplane ratings aren't required for many airline jobs, they're often a fun way to build time and learn new skills. Incidentally, it's relatively easy to add seaplane ratings once you've earned other certificates. For example, someone with a Private Pilot Certificate with a single-engine airplane (land) rating only has to perform the seaplane specific elements of flight with an examiner in order to receive the seaplane rating.
With more than 100 Airports throughout the state, Florida is home to plenty of interesting places to land. This is very helpful for cross-country phases of your training, because it will introduce diversity to your flying. After all, the goal of training is to become a proficient pilot, not win a race to the check-ride. With so many airports at your disposal, you can fly to new airports in Florida on every training flight.
While most pilots who travel somewhere to train fit a mold similar to the average college student (travel alone specifically to attend school), you might want to bring family along. Florida is home to many tourist attractions, such as Disney World, Everglades National Park, and hundreds of miles of beaches, that are perfect for occupying family, or perhaps you during down time. This is also a plus for later in your training, because with the multitude of beaches and tourists in Florida, there is a strong demand for commercial pilots to tow banners.
One potentially overlooked aspect of Florida that creates yet another training opportunity is its proximity to the Caribbean sea. Florida is close enough to some international destinations, such as the Bahamas, that pilots can easily experience international flying in a traditional training aircraft, such as the Cessna 172. Not only does this allow pilots to become acquainted with flying internationally and dealing with U.S. Customs (something uncommon in many areas of the U.S.), but it provides a memorable cross-country flight.
As you can see, Florida is an ideal location for flight training and flying in general. From fun flying to international vacation hotspots like the Bahamas, to 360 VFR days a year flight training, Florida has you covered. For more information on Florida flight training, see Tailwheels Etc. Flight Center. Tailwheels Etc. was voted Florida's number one flight school and is located in Winter Haven.
For more information on flight training and choosing the right school, check out our Flight Training Resource Center.