Choosing your flight school and applying to BFC
Start your training off right
There are many great flight schools out there, but choosing the wrong one can lead to frustration, unnecessary expense or worse, leaving before you reach your goals. With so many options to choose from, how do you know you are setting yourself up for success? Before you start applying to flight schools its important to know what your goals are and what is important to you in a school. A school may be perfect for one student, and absolutely terrible for another if there is a mismatch between your goals and personal values.
Here are a few questions to ask yourself:
Are you flying for fun, or are you looking to make this a career?
Do you want to complete your training full time, or part time?
Is a college track program important to you?
Where do you want to study?
Do you do best in a really structured environment or are you looking for something more relaxed?
How flexible can you be in your schedule?
Once you have an idea of what works best for you then you can start looking for schools that fit your need. Transport Canada maintains a searchable database of all the authorized flight training units in Canada so you can search by region or province, by category of aircraft (fixed wing, glider, etc) and by the license or rating offered. Once armed with this list, you can start researching the best school for you.
What to look for in a flight school
There are many factors to consider when looking at flight schools. Besides basic location, things like access to housing, size of airport, type or volume of traffic and training fleet can all factor in. If you are a new pilot, starting out a busy airport or one without a controlled airspace can be really intimidating. Other things to consider are wind pattern and typography, weather will be a factor no matter where you fly but some areas are better than others. The other factor is always your budget. Training is expensive so choosing schools with funding supports or in areas where the cost of living is low can really help.
Don't forget to consider:
The number and availability of instructors/ aircraft.
How experienced is the school, does it have a good record of safety?
How far away is the nearest city and how difficult is it to access the airport?
What is the cost of living in the area?
Is the school registered to accept student loans or scholarships?
Does your school have a simulator or flight training device?
How many runways does the airport have and how long are they?
What sort of traffic is there and how busy is it on any given day?
Does the school provide any other services at the airport or is it strictly a training unit?
What additional programs or ratings are available to customize your training?
Once you have narrowed down your list to the top 5 or so, start contacting your favorites and get to know what they are like. Most schools have open houses or are happy to have you come in for a site visit and a tour. If you can, talk to the instructors, administrators or other students to see what they like and what they don't. Don't forget to look for reviews, they can be a great source of insight.
Once you have it narrowed to a couple, try and book a discovery flight with them to get a feel for the full experience. These flights are usually offered at a discount and if you decide to continue to train they will often count towards your training hours. One last tip is to make sure you ask lots of questions. Don't be afraid to ask them to explain something in more detail to you or to take notes. The more information you have the better your likelihood of setting yourself up for success.
So you love BFC, now what?
Gather up all your required documents and get ready to apply. You will need:
Proof of your legal name, date of birth and citizenship.
Your medical certificate or the date of your medical if it hasn't arrived yet
If you are applying to the Aviation Management Certificate you will also need your secondary school transcript and a reference.
International applicants, or students who completed a Canadian high school in a foreign language will also need to submit proof of English proficiency.
There are two different application forms, one for domestic students (Canadian Citizens, landed immigrants and permanent residents) and one for International Students (all other citizenships, excluding landed immigrants and Permanent residents). Please make sure that you select the correct form as there are some important differences.
There is no fee to apply however upon acceptance international students and Aviation Management Students will need to place a deposit to hold their place. Once this deposit has been received your letter of registration will be sent to you via email. For all other programs a letter of registration is not automatically processed. If you would like this letter, please let admissions know so that one is generated for you.
Provided you meet the entrance requirements BFC is happy to work with you to achieve your goals. However some programs are competitive or have capacity limits that may impact our ability to accept students. To avoid disappointment here are a few tips to make sure your application process goes smoothly.
1.) Complete the application form.
This should go without saying, but missing information will immediately derail your application. Admissions will follow up with incomplete applicants but only after completed application forms have been processed. This may mean programs are full or that your preferred start date is no longer available so make sure to check before hitting submit.
2.) Check for accuracy.
While missing information is easily identified and resolved, incorrect data is not. Errors in contact information mean BFC has no way of notifying you of your acceptance and errors in demographic info can't participate in. Please double or triple check before you send it in. If you have not had someone follow up with you more than 1 week after your submission, contact BFC to make confirm your contact.
3.) Missing documents.
If you are missing documents you are welcome to submit them directly as they come in to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please note that until your application is complete a letter of registration cannot provided to you.
Brandon Flight Centre uses jotform online forms to process our applications. In the event that the forms are not loading please contact email@example.com to request a PDF copy of the application. Make sure to mention that the page isn't loading so that we can troubleshoot.
If you are having trouble uploading your documents you can also send them directly to the firstname.lastname@example.org email. Make sure that your name is included in the email so that your documents go to the correct file.
If you are having problems with anything else please contact BFC so that we can resolve the issue.