It’s easy for Sarasota, Florida to be eclipsed by the neighboring city of Tampa, but the aviation community is among the busiest in the state.  With the airport serving over one million passengers per year, it’s a great place for student pilots to earn their wings.  Nearby, the smaller town of Venice is a gorgeous location with stunning Gulf Coast sunsets and offers beachcombing student pilots access to the “Shark’s Tooth Capital of the World”.

Leading Edge Aviation Services (Sarasota-Bradenton International (SRQ)
8250 15th Street East
Sarasota, FL  34242
941-351-6600

Instruction Available:  Recreational, Private, Instrument, Commercial, Certified Flight Instructor, Certified Flight Instructor-Instrument

With two Florida locations (Sarasota and Tampa), Leading Edge Aviation has Part 61 training programs that are flexible in regards to scheduling, but with the organized curriculum usually associated with Part 141 training: the perfect combination for the academically-minded student who wishes to control the pace of the education.  For example, their Private Pilot course is divided into five distinct phases of training, so the student knows exactly what to expect as they arrive for a lesson.  Online scheduling is provided for students wishing to reserve one of the school’s single-engine aircraft.

Universal Flight Training (Sarasota-Bradenton International (SRQ)
1234 Clyde Jones Road
Sarasota, FL  34243
941-388-8966

Instruction Available:  Private, Instrument, Commercial, Certified Flight Instructor, Certified Flight Instructor-Instrument, Multi-Engine, Multi-Engine Instrument

Do you like to be challenged?  Do you learn best when applying your skills in real-world situations?  UFT offers student pilots a myriad of flight experienced in a condensed area: they will have to learn to navigate through congested airspace, comply with special no-flight zones called MOAs (Military Operations Area), and safety protocols for flying over open ocean.  The school offers only top-of-the-line resources by providing students with the high-respected Jeppesen training curriculum and air-conditioned aircraft.

Florida Flight Training Center (Venice Municipal (VNC)
160 Airport Avenue East
Venice, FL  34285
941-484-3771

Instruction Available: Private, Instrument, Commercial, Certified Flight Instructor, Certifed Flight Instructor-Instrument, Airline Transport Pilot, Multi-Engine, Multi-Engine Instructor

Future aviation professionals who want to expedite their training- from student pilot to airline captain- can do so at FFTC.  The enrollment process is strictly regimented; prospective students are required to provide a letter of financial ability from their bank in order to be considered for admission.  The fleet consists of tried-and-true single-engine Cessnas, but students also have access to a rare rental: the high-performance Mooney.  A turbo-charged, twin-engine Seneca is used for multi-engine and multi-engine instructor ratings.  FFTC can accomodate large training groups of thirty or more students, which foreign airlines might find of interest for refresher courses.

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