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With airplane and drone flying becoming such a lucrative industry as well as a lot of fun, many find themselves searching for the right course. In this Pilot Institute review, we look at the overview of the company as well as what they offer their students through their pilot program. We actually went inside Pilot Institute so you can get an inside look at what the course offers.
Let’s break down the course so you can feel confident in your decision.
Overview of Pilot Institute
Based out of Phoenix, Arizona, Pilot Institute is one of the only courses that is accredited by IACET because of its continuing education courses. For this reason, they have taught over 100,000 students in over 98 countries boasting a powerful 99% success rate. Most importantly they are a FAA Safety Team Member.
They emphasize four values that they stand behind when they teach their courses.
- Connected – Through large groups on Facebook, students can connect to help each other and bond over course material and the process.
- Current – They are constantly updating their courses and YouTube channel to stay consistent with developing FAA guidelines as a top priority for Pilot Institute.
- Capable – Through multiple methods and metrics, they make sure their students retain the information and are completely capable of working with airplanes and drones.
- Confident – Execution is the most important part which is why confidence to fly is also a priority.
Led by Greg Reverdiau and Johann Beishline, they emphasize leading with experts to make sure the information passed down is reliable and correct. Reverdiau has a Master’s Degree in Aviation Human Factors from Florida Institute of Technology and Beishline has a bachelors in Computer Information Systems from Arizona State University.
In-Depth Look at Pilot Institute
In this Pilot Institute review, we can see that they have a lot to offer backed by strong teachers. While we will get more into their satisfaction guarantees, their promise to you is to leave the program feeling like the four pillars mentioned above were met.
For commercial flyers, they have a section dedicated to airplane flying and another section dedicated to drone flying with their drone pilot training. But not everyone wants to use their drone or airplane commercially. That’s why their TRUST program offers something for recreational flyers.
What Do Pilot Institute Courses Offer?
Regardless of whether you choose to fly airplanes or drones, their programs are going to offer the same benefits. Having said that, the material will be different and there is a difference in the TRUST program for recreational flyers. Let’s talk about what is offered for those interested in commercial flying and those interested in recreational flying.
Commercial flying allows for business opportunities but it also requires an official license. There are fewer regulations placed as far as being able to operate them a lot higher up than commercial flying but with that comes more studying. Here is what is included with the commercial courses.
Pilot Institute Online Platform
Their online platform has a large library of classes to choose from. Something that will be mandatory for commercial flyers is the Part 107 test. Then you can add any continuing education class offered on their online platform to your lineup.
All the videos and content you get online from your computer can be accessed on your mobile devices. This makes for easy learning as well as a convenient on-the-go option. You can even speed up or slow down the video on your mobile device.
The best part is their lessons can be available offline if you download them. This helps out those who may not have access to the internet at all times like in the car, on the train, or on a plane!
The TRUST program dedicated to recreational flyers is less extensive than the courses mentioned above but remains high in quality. They partnered with the FAA to provide the right information to students to pass the exam.
They give their users free online access to the study materials. The exam is what allows a student to obtain their certificate given they pass. All you have to do is set up a username and password.
How Does Pilot Institute Teach Their Classes?
With the ability to work on your course through your desktop or phone as well as offline, studying has never been easier. Pilot Institute has a few different aids within their course to help a variety of learning styles really understand the course material.
Let’s break down the different methods they use to teach their classes.
These courses are purely online offering the core subjects you need to understand in order to fly a drone or airplane. The material through their online course can be at first interpreted alone and later applied in their other study aids.
Each class will have tons of video lessons to follow along for those who are more visual learners. They keep things short (around three minutes) so the concepts are not overwhelming and easy to digest. These videos also break down the harder topics that may not be picked up as easily when reading through the material.
One of their best features is their very own flashcard app that lets students practice important terminology and concepts in a fun way. There are currently 110 of the most important vocab words and concepts for iPhone and Android users.
Cheat Sheets and Lesson Notes
While taking in the video lessons and online content it’s important to pause at the end and review the material. They help you do that by creating cheat sheets and lesson notes so that you can refer back to the chapter at any time rather than try to re-do the entire lesson. This is a great way to retain information.
One of their statements is focusing on connectedness across their business. They connect students together by sending them to the Facebook group where there are different study groups, discussions, and other great benefits to take advantage of. This is one of the better ways to understand concepts from a different point of view.
Real Exam Questions
While there is a lot that goes into teaching a course, nothing replaces the exam like the exam itself. That’s why they offer tons of practice exam questions that have been on previous exams. This helps replicate the exact scenario and set the expectation for students.
Studying can be boring for some and they understand that extra motivation may be needed. That’s why they offer a 14-day one-hour study challenge to keep things interesting. Staying on track is half the battle and with a challenge like this, it becomes a lot easier. It also helps students stay organized.
Additional Resources Offered
It’s clear that Pilot Institute takes pride in being there every step of the way for its students. That’s why they offer a pretty extensive support section as well as a few other benefits that are worth considering with this particular company.
Get Support in All Different Ways
Their support and customer care team is one of their strong suits. With multiple avenues for reaching their team, all your questions and concerns will be answered quickly. This is a great feature considering it is a self-paced course with no live sessions.
It doesn’t matter whether you are looking for support in regards to confusion on particular lessons or you are trying to get technical support, these options will provide you with both. Some are geared more towards lesson questions such as lesson commenting.
Sometimes students prefer the classic options by reaching out through email and phone to get a customer representative. Email of course will be slower but the contact for this is firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also reach them at (855) 933-1440 during business hours.
Mon-Friday 8am-5pm MST
Chat and Facebook Messenger’
One of their speedier options is to reach them by their chat box directly on their website. And another chat option is Facebook Messenger on their Facebook Study Group that they direct all their students to. Keep in mind that their business hours will still apply but don’t be surprised if you hear back on off-hours as well.
Commenting on Lessons
A different way of contacting them is by commenting directly below the lesson you are working on. This allows the support staff to better understand what you are asking as well as get right to the root of the issue. This option is clearly more for lesson-related help rather than technical support. Unless of course, that particular lesson part is malfunctioning.
LinkedIn and YouTube
Their Facebook study group is not the only resource you have when signing up. They also take advantage of LinkedIn and Youtube to provide additional resources as well as alternatives to be contacted.
The LinkedIn page may contain more thread discussions as well as shared articles on the industry operating similar to its Facebook page. The Youtube channel has further descriptions and course content to follow along.
With the FAA regulations constantly adapting it’s important to stay up to date even if you have your license to fly. That’s why lifetime access to Pilot Institute is particularly useful as many courses will only give you a limited amount of time to access their database of knowledge.
This includes the TRUST course that is offered in partnership with the FAA.
While their main course is dedicated to getting you licensed for flying drones commercially, they offer a large section devoted to continuing education classes. Whether you want to learn about photo editing classes or how to master trick moves, they’ve got specific courses just for that.
They are taught in a similar manner that their main Part 107 is taught by offering all the same benefits that you would get. The amount of instruction and material will change but the way that the class is taught will remain the same.
Pilot Institute is confident in the materials they teach. That’s why they offer a 30-day money-back guarantee with no questions asked. You will get an absolute full refund if you are not happy with your course at any point within the first 30 days.
Their success rate is so high with students passing on the first time that issuing a guarantee is no problem for them at all.
Drone Part 107 Course Example
Now that we have gone over everything you are offered when you go through the Pilot Institute program, let’s actually apply it to their drone commercial class for the full picture.
Here is what you will get from this particular course:
- FAA Certification – Once you ace the exam you will be an accredited FAA Drone Commercial Operator!
- Additional Guarantee – They guarantee that you will pass the Part 107 exam or they will refund your entire program fee. No risk at all.
- 15 total hours of video to understand concepts broken into short easy videos.
- With 20 quizzes and the ability to take the practice exam as much as you want, you will have access to more than 300 questions to help you study.
Of course, in addition to these specific features, you will have access to the mobile versions, offline downloads, as well as the flashcard app, and other additional resources. These include all of their social media platforms to assist with study groups and customer support.
Pilot Institute Pricing
There are a lot of courses to choose from with the Pilot Institute. As noted, the TRUST program for recreational flyers costs absolutely nothing as it is a safe educational program partnered with the FAA. There are other courses that cost money but with two notable guarantees. Money-back guarantee if the student isn’t satisfied in the first 30 days and a full refund if they don’t pass the Part 107 Exam after taking that specific course.
Here are some examples of the products you can find online:
- Part 107 Drone Course – $249
- Drone Business – $199
- Drone Maneuvers Mastery – $99
- Part 107 Night Training – Free
You may notice that the last course is free. There are a number of courses that Pilot Institute is offering for free as a way of continuing education as well as becoming familiar with their course style before purchasing.
Pros and Cons of Pilot Institute
While all things considered this program seems great there are always some drawbacks. What may be positive to one person may be a flaw to another but in this section, we look at some of the general pros and cons for Pilot Institute.
- Offers a completely free course for recreational flyers to get certified.
- Money-back satisfaction guarantee within 30 days
- Full refund if you don’t pass the PArt 107 Exam after taking their specific course
- Multiple ways of learning through video lessons, flashcard app, cheat sheets, and lesson recaps
- Available both online and offline through the desktop or mobile options
- Free courses
- Great customer support through a variety of mediums
- No multi-level pricing options
- No tutoring options
When coming across any Pilot Institute review it is clear that the user-feedback resorts nothing but positive experiences. This is likely due to the fact that their core values incorporated into their teachings practically guarantee success on the first try. In fact, 99% of their students pass immediately. That says quite a bit since they have had thousands and thousands of students from all over the world enroll in their classes.
Anyone who enrolls with them will have lifetime access to the course they signed up for. This is incredibly important considering the FAA regulations are constantly updating for drone and airplane flying. They also offer great continuing education classes that focus on the specifics like photo and video editing as well as master maneuvers. While the material certainly is not the exact same, the way that the course is taught remains similar. And with access both on desktop and mobile is available along with offline downloads you can learn from anywhere at any time.
With Pilot Institute, you don’t have to go at it alone either. One of their most-loved features comes from the community that is created from all the support groups across different social media platforms. Their Facebook groups, LinkedIn page, and YouTube channel are all fantastic benefits among the many they offer.
As stated at the beginning of this review, we actually went inside the Pilot Institute part 107 drone license course. After accessing their online learning platform and seeing what they offer, we can say that this is our top pick for drone pilot training.