Best Flight Schools in Montana

Montana boasts some of the top-flight schools in the country, offering top-notch training for aspiring private and commercial pilots. Whether you are just starting your pilot training journey or looking to enhance your skills, Montana has plenty of options to choose from. This page outlines the different flight training programs offered by each school, information about the teachers, their years of experience, the type of aircraft at each school, and cost.

Choosing the right flight school can make all the difference in your aviation career, and this guide provides all the key factors that should be considered when making that decision. So, read on to find out more about the top-flight schools in Montana and which one is the right fit for you.

Best Flight Schools in Montana

Summit Aviation

🗺️490 Wings Way, Belgrade, MT 59714
☎️(406) 388-8359

Summit Aviation

Summit Aviation is a distinguished flight school located in Bozeman, Montana, renowned for its exceptional flight training programs. With both Part 141 and Part 61 certifications, they cater to a wide range of aspiring pilots, ensuring a comprehensive and professional learning experience.

What sets Summit Aviation apart is its unwavering commitment to student success. The flight school prides itself on being student-focused and dedicated to transforming individuals into confident pilots. Their flight training team is comprised of experienced professionals who have received prestigious awards in flight training excellence, including AOPA Outstanding Instructor and the esteemed title of Master Flight Instructor.

At Summit Aviation, the possibilities for aviation training are limitless. They offer an extensive array of courses, starting from discovery flights and private pilot certificates, all the way up to advanced ratings such as instrument rating, commercial rating, and even ATP. The flight school also provides specialized training in areas like mountain flying, G1000 Glass Panel familiarization, turbine transition, and multi-engine ratings, attracting pilots from around the globe.

For those aspiring to become flight instructors, Summit Aviation offers the necessary instruction and opportunities to develop and enhance their unique abilities. The flight school recognizes the importance of time and offers accelerated courses, ensuring efficient progress without compromising the quality of training. Located in the picturesque Rocky Mountains, students enjoy breathtaking views and an average of 300 sunny flying days a year, creating an ideal learning environment.

Summit Aviation’s collaboration with the Gallatin College-MSU Aviation Degree Program further exemplifies their commitment to excellence. As the exclusive flight training partner for this program, Summit Aviation offers students the opportunity to earn a commercial pilot certificate and jump-start their aviation careers. Whether students choose the 2-year Associate of Applied Science Degree in Aviation or the 4-year Bachelor’s Degree in Aviation + Business, they can expect a comprehensive and responsive learning environment.

One of Summit Aviation’s noteworthy strengths lies in its modern and expansive fleet of flight training aircraft. With a focus on Diamond Aircraft, the flight school ensures both safety and fuel efficiency, with an impeccable track record. The fleet includes the highly sought-after DA42 Twin Stars, which are the world’s first and only piston-twin aircraft with advanced airframes, state-of-the-art avionics, and jet-fuel-powered engines. Additionally, Summit Aviation offers Cessna Aircraft for those who prefer them and for those seeking high-performance endorsements.

Summit Aviation has also partnered with Lightspeed, a renowned brand in pilot products, to offer high-quality aviation gear and equipment to their students and pilots. This affiliation showcases Summit Aviation’s dedication to providing a comprehensive and top-notch training experience.

Summit Aviation is an exceptional flight school that excels in providing comprehensive flight training programs. Their commitment to student success, experienced flight instructors, diverse course offerings, accelerated programs, and an impressive fleet of aircraft are all testaments to the quality of education they offer. Aspiring pilots looking for a reputable flight school to fulfill their aviation dreams will find Summit Aviation to be a remarkable choice.

Programs Offered:

  • Private Pilot Certificate
  • Instrument Rating
  • Commercial Rating
  • ATP

Northstar Jet

🗺️4337 Corporate Way, Missoula, MT 59808
☎️(406) 721-8886

Northstar Jet

Northstar Jet, located in Missoula, operates a dedicated flight school that offers a range of training opportunities for aspiring pilots. The flight school boasts a fleet of small aircraft that provide students with hands-on experience and the chance to take control of the aircraft.

The fleet includes the N737KZ Cessna 172, a 1977 N Model with 180 horsepower, ADS-B In/Out, and a GTN 650 Navigation system, making it an excellent choice for both VFR and IFR training. Another option is the N4345Q Cessna 172, a 1971 L Model equipped with 180 horsepower and ADS-B Out, ideal for VFR training. Additionally, Northstar Jet offers the N95203 Cherokee, a 1969 Model with 150 horsepower, a fixed pitch prop, 4-place intercom, and IFR capability. This aircraft is equipped with a Garmin 430 WAAS and an autopilot, providing a comprehensive training experience.

To ensure the success of their students, Northstar Jet employs a team of experienced flight instructors. With a roster of four flight instructors, the flight school can guide students from introductory flights to obtaining a commercial certificate. The instructors bring a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the table. For example, Danielle, a commercial pilot and certified flight instructor with instrument and multi-engine ratings, has a background in aerospace engineering. Larry, with over 30 years of experience, holds instructor ratings for single-engine, multi-engine, and instrument flying. Sam, a local from the Bitterroot Valley, has a bachelor’s degree in flight operations and a passion for flying in the mountains of Western Montana. Ryan, a military veteran, holds a bachelor’s degree in aviation maintenance and has experience in various airspace environments.

Northstar Jet welcomes aspiring pilots of all ages and backgrounds to join their flight school in Missoula. To get started, interested individuals can contact the flight department via email or phone. The flight school’s friendly receptionist will assist in connecting prospective students with one of the flight instructors.

In addition to flight training, Northstar Jet offers testing services through their partnership with Neptune Aviation. The test center, located in Hangar 8 at 4045 Corporate Way in Missoula, provides online testing for professional licenses and certifications. For FAA Airman Knowledge Tests, applicants are guided through the Integrated Airman Certification and Rating Application (IACRA) system to schedule their exams. The web-based IACRA application streamlines the process, ensuring regulatory and policy requirements are met and eliminating the need for paper forms.

Northstar Jet also collaborates with the University of Montana Autonomous Aerial Systems Program to offer a comprehensive preparation course for individuals seeking an FAA UAG certification for drone operations. This partnership highlights the flight school’s commitment to innovative training programs.

As a PSI ATLAS® certified test center, Northstar Jet delivers computer-based testing programs for various certifications and licenses. By creating an account, individuals can register for and schedule their exams conveniently.

Northstar Jet’s flight school in Missoula provides aspiring pilots with a range of training opportunities and experienced instructors. With a diverse fleet of small aircraft, individuals can learn to fly in both VFR and IFR conditions. The flight school’s commitment to excellence and partnerships with industry-leading organizations make it an excellent choice for those looking to pursue a career in aviation or simply experience the thrill of flying.

Programs Offered:

  • Intro flight course
  • Private pilot course
  • Commercial certificate

Red Eagle Aviation

🗺️1880 U.S. 93 S, Kalispell, MT 59901
☎️(406) 755-2376

Red Eagle Aviation

Red Eagle Aviation, located in Kalispell in Northwestern Montana, offers comprehensive flight training for both airplanes and helicopters. With a focus on safety and professionalism, they provide a range of services to help individuals achieve their aviation dreams.

For those interested in airplane flight training, Red Eagle Aviation offers ground school instruction to master the aeronautical knowledge required of a Private pilot. The certified flight instructors provide comprehensive training alongside the flight lessons. Ground school instruction is available at a rate of $45 per hour.

Flight training is conducted by their team of experienced Certified Flight Instructors who are dedicated to preparing students to become competent and safe pilots. Whether individuals have personal or professional aspirations, Red Eagle Aviation ensures a complete and professional approach to flight training. The instruction rates for flight training are $65 per hour for the instructor, while aircraft rental rates are $194 per hour for the N7568V Cessna 172M and the N734SW Cessna 172N.

Red Eagle Aviation also offers helicopter training, providing individuals with the opportunity to experience the thrill of handling these maneuverable aircraft. The instructors guide students through the challenges of helicopter flying, aiming to develop their skills to the highest level. Helicopter instruction is available at a rate of $65 per hour, and the N2161J Schweizer 269C is available for training at $405 per hour.

To enhance pilot proficiency and knowledge, Red Eagle Aviation provides access to an FAA-approved flight simulator. The simulator allows pilots to build hours, practice procedures, master weather conditions, and maintain proficiency. The simulator is available for rental at a rate of $65 per hour.

For those seeking additional ratings, Red Eagle Aviation offers training for instruments, multi-engine aircraft, tailwheel operations, Certified Flight Instructor (CFI), and Certified Flight Instructor-Instrument (CFII). The instructors provide instruction at a rate of $65 per hour, and the N128K Beech B95A is available for training at $433 per hour.

Red Eagle Aviation also offers specialized training in mountain flying. This course includes ground training, mountain flying practice, off-airport landings, and instruction on weather patterns, mountain winds, emergency procedures, and survival gear. Highly experienced mountain/bush pilots lead this course, ensuring students receive comprehensive instruction to safely navigate challenging mountainous environments.

For individuals interested in becoming Certified Flight Instructors, Red Eagle Aviation provides CFI and CFII training. This allows experienced pilots to gain hours while helping others pursue their aviation dreams.

The cost of obtaining a Private Pilot License (PPL) can vary depending on the amount of instruction needed, time spent in aircraft, and desired ratings. Red Eagle Aviation offers the required ground instruction for the Private pilot license at a rate of $45 per hour. Flight training for the Private pilot license is available at $65 per hour for the instructor, and aircraft rental rates for the Cessna 172 are $194 per hour.

Red Eagle Aviation’s flight school offers a comprehensive training program, supported by experienced Certified Flight Instructors and a range of aircraft. With their dedication to safety, professionalism, and diverse training options, Red Eagle Aviation provides individuals with the opportunity to learn to fly and pursue their aviation goals.

Programs Offered:

  • Ground School
  • Flight Training
  • Additional Ratings
  • CFI Training

Angle of Attack AEROnautics Flight School

🗺️132 Shirley Way, Anaconda, MT 59711
☎️(406) 490-3627

Angle of Attack AEROnautics Flight School

Angle of Attack AEROnautics Flight School, located in Montana, offers high-quality flight instruction that emphasizes the integration of theory, practice, and knowledge. As a Montana flight school operating under FAR Part 61, they are committed to providing safe and comprehensive flight training experiences.

The flight school is based at the Bert Mooney Airport (KBTM), situated at the foothills of the Rocky Mountains along the United States Continental Divide. Montana’s vast expanse of sky offers an ideal setting for real-world weather flying scenarios, allowing students to gain valuable experience in various weather conditions.

Angle of Attack AEROnautics stands out as a flight education provider for several reasons. They boast instructors with over 30 years of experience, ensuring students receive instruction from highly skilled professionals. Additionally, the flight school offers advanced high-fidelity flight simulation training, allowing students to practice in a realistic virtual environment.

One of the advantages of training at Angle of Attack AEROnautics is the opportunity for real weather training and experience. Montana’s diverse weather conditions provide students with valuable exposure to different flying situations, preparing them for a range of scenarios they may encounter in their aviation careers.

Furthermore, students at Angle of Attack AEROnautics benefit from the absence of ATC delays, allowing for more efficient and focused training sessions. Another advantage is the lack of sales tax, providing financial benefits to students pursuing their flight education.

Angle of Attack AEROnautics offers various training options to cater to individual needs and goals. These options include the “First Ticket” course for Private Pilot training, the “As Filed” course for Instrument Rating, the “Comm One” course for SEL Commercial training, and the “Full Feather” course for MEL Commercial training. These courses are designed to provide comprehensive instruction and prepare students for their respective certifications.

The flight school also offers specialty courses such as the “Mountain Wind” course, which focuses on mountain flying, and the “Freight Dog” course, which provides exposure to IMC (Instrument Meteorological Conditions) flying.

Rates for flight instruction at Angle of Attack AEROnautics vary, and interested individuals are encouraged to contact the school directly for pricing details. The introductory flight, which offers a 20-minute flying experience, is available for $79.00. Instruction rates are $55.00 per hour, and for those looking to train on AATD (Advanced Aviation Training Device) simulation devices, the rate is $85.00 per hour. Rental rates for the Cessna 172 aircraft are $135.00 per hour.

Angle of Attack AEROnautics Flight School in Montana offers a comprehensive flight training program that prioritizes safety and the integration of theory and practice. With experienced instructors, advanced simulation training, exposure to real weather conditions, and a range of training options, this flight school provides a solid foundation for aspiring pilots.

Programs Offered:

  • “First Ticket” (Private Pilot)
  • “As Filed” (Instrument Rating)
  • “Comm One” (SEL Commercial)
  • “Full Feather” (MEL Commercial)
  • “Mountain Wind” (Mountain Flying)
  • “Freight Dog” (IMC Exposure)

Choice Aviation HRF

🗺️528 Airport Rd, Hamilton, MT 59840
☎️(406) 363-6471

Choice Aviation HRF

Choice Aviation HRF is a reputable and well-equipped flight school that offers a range of training programs. Located in Cody, WY, and Hamilton, MT, their state-of-the-art facilities provide a unique training environment in the beautiful Rocky Mountain Region. The flight school prides itself on offering high-quality flight instruction in both airplanes and helicopters throughout the year.

Choice Aviation HRF provides training under both FAR Part 61 and 141 curricula, catering to individual preferences and needs. Students have the option to pursue a professional pilot path through their accredited degree program in partnership with Northwest College. The flight training is conducted by friendly and knowledgeable FAA Certified Flight Instructors who are dedicated to ensuring students’ success.

To help aspiring pilots determine if flying is the right path for them, Choice Aviation HRF offers a “Discovery Flight” experience. For a fee of $75 for airplanes or $150 for helicopters, students can enjoy a half-hour flight where they will be familiarized with the aircraft, participate in pre-flight checks, and even take the controls once airborne. This immersive experience allows individuals to get a firsthand taste of the excitement and wonder of aviation.

Choice Aviation HRF understands that prospective students may have many questions and a strong desire to begin their flight training journey. They encourage interested individuals to reach out by phone at 307.587.9262 or via email to get started promptly. The flight school is committed to assisting students in fulfilling their dreams and providing them with the necessary tools and guidance for a successful aviation career.

The flight school’s commitment to excellence and safety is evident through its impeccable safety record and dedication to maintaining professionally maintained aircraft. Choice Aviation HRF’s facilities and training resources are among the most modern in the region, ensuring students have access to state-of-the-art training equipment and an optimal learning environment.

Choice Aviation HRF is a reputable flight school that offers comprehensive flight training programs in Cody, WY, and Hamilton, MT. With their diverse fleet of airplanes and helicopters, FAA Certified Flight Instructors, and FAA approved training curricula, aspiring pilots can receive high-quality instruction and gain practical experience. Whether pursuing a professional degree or starting the journey to become a pilot, Choice Aviation HRF is dedicated to providing students with the knowledge, skills, and support necessary to succeed in the exciting world of aviation.

Programs Offered:

  • Fixed-Wing Program
  • Rotor-Wing Program
  • Degree Program

Ridgeline Aviation

🗺️210 Aviation Ln, Belgrade, MT 59714
☎️(406) 813-7624

Ridgeline Aviation

Ridgeline Aviation is a flight school located in Bozeman and Billings, Montana, that offers a comprehensive range of aviation training programs. They are proud of the aviation education they provide and are dedicated to helping students achieve their pilot’s license and advance their aviation careers.

One notable aspect of Ridgeline Aviation’s flight school is their partnership with Purdue University Global. Through this collaboration, students who enroll in Ridgeline Aviation’s flight training program in Bozeman and Billings have the opportunity to pursue an online bachelor’s degree in Professional Flight from Purdue Global. This degree program is a result of the collaboration between Purdue Global and Purdue University’s School of Aviation and Transportation Technology, renowned for its aviation program. By completing their professional pilot certificates and ratings at Ridgeline Aviation, students can potentially receive 45 transfer credits towards the degree, saving both time and money. This unique partnership allows students to work on their degree while completing flight training or working as full-time flight instructors, offering flexibility and affordability.

Ridgeline Aviation offers various flight training programs to suit different career goals and interests. They provide training for private pilot certificates, instrument ratings, commercial ratings, CFI, CFII, MEI ratings, multi-engine ratings, and tailwheel training. Additionally, they offer specialty training courses for individuals interested in specific aviation add-ons or courses such as Mountain Flying Courses, High-Performance Endorsements, Spin Training, and Model Specific Transition Training. The flight school emphasizes safety and strives to provide personalized instruction that caters to the unique needs and interests of their students.

For veterans, Ridgeline Aviation acknowledges that there may be benefits available to cover many expenses related to flight training. They encourage interested individuals to contact their office for more information.

Ridgeline Aviation’s commitment to providing a quality aviation education is evident throughout their offerings. Whether students are looking to pursue a career in aviation or simply obtain their private pilot’s license, Ridgeline Aviation aims to deliver excellent training and support. Their team of experienced pilots constantly seeks ways to improve their craft, ensuring that students receive top-notch instruction.

In conclusion, Ridgeline Aviation in Bozeman and Billings, Montana, is a flight school that offers comprehensive flight training programs and unique opportunities for students. Through their partnership with Purdue University Global, students can simultaneously work towards an online bachelor’s degree in Professional Flight while completing their flight training. With a wide range of training programs, specialized courses, and a commitment to safety and excellence, Ridgeline Aviation is dedicated to helping individuals earn their wings and pursue successful careers in aviation.

Programs Offered:

  • Private pilot
  • Instrument Rating
  • Commercial Rating
  • CFI, CFII & MEI Ratings 
  • Multi Engine Rating
  • Tailwheel Training

Redline Aviation

🗺️6309 Jellison Rd, Billings, MT 59101
☎️(406) 861-3773

Redline Aviation

Redline Aviation is a flight school that caters to both beginners and advanced students, providing a customized experience to suit individual needs and goals. Whether you are interested in flying for fun or pursuing a professional career, Redline Aviation has the resources and knowledgeable staff to help you achieve your objectives.

To get started, you can contact one of their independent flight instructors to schedule a flying lesson. They offer rental services for their 1977 Cessna 172, which can be used to work towards various ratings, including private, instrument, commercial, or instructor ratings. By engaging with their experienced instructors, you can receive personalized guidance and training to enhance your skills and knowledge in aviation.

Redline Aviation understands that learning to fly can be an exciting endeavor, and they encourage prospective students to visit the airport and directly discuss their interests with their professional and courteous instructors. They also recommend scheduling an Introductory Flight, allowing you to experience flying firsthand and discuss all the details with your instructor. In addition to direct interactions, there are various online sources available for aspiring pilots to gather information about flight training. The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) and the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) offer extensive online resources for individuals looking to get started in aviation.

Redline Aviation emphasizes that while learning to fly is not difficult, it does require study and practice. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) mandates a minimum of 40 hours of training for a Private Pilot license, consisting of both instruction with an instructor and solo practice under the observation of an instructor. Students who engage in more frequent flying sessions tend to retain previous lessons better and require less time for review.

In terms of cost, Redline Aviation estimates that obtaining a private pilot certificate would typically amount to around $10,000. However, it is advisable to budget for approximately 50 hours of training to ensure thorough preparation. For a customized quote based on your specific requirements, Redline Aviation encourages you to contact them directly.

In summary, Redline Aviation offers a tailored learning experience for individuals interested in aviation, regardless of their skill level. With independent flight instructors, rental services, and a focus on personalized instruction, Redline Aviation is committed to helping students achieve their aviation goals in a professional and supportive environment.

Programs Offered:

  • Private pilot
  • Instrument ratings
  • Commercial pilot
  • Flight instructor program

Broadwater Aviation

🗺️1 Airport Dr, Townsend, MT 59644
☎️(509) 953-6165

Broadwater Aviation

Broadwater Aviation offers a flight school that provides comprehensive training for individuals interested in obtaining a pilot’s license. They understand that getting started can be a daunting task, which is why they recommend scheduling an Introductory Flight. During this flight, they will guide you through the process, take you flying, and address any questions or concerns you may have. It’s an excellent opportunity to determine if pursuing aviation is the right path for you.

When it comes to obtaining a Private Pilot’s License, Broadwater Aviation provides a breakdown of the costs involved. The estimated expenses for this license include 20 hours of dual instruction in a C172 at $3,500, 20 hours of solo flight in a C172 at $2,400, books and supplies at $260, a medical exam for $125, a written test for $150, and a checkride with aircraft rental for $720. The total cost for a Private Pilot’s License is estimated at $7,155, although it may vary depending on the individual’s progress and additional training hours required.

For those looking to pursue an Instrument Rating, Broadwater Aviation offers a breakdown of the costs involved. This includes 15 hours of dual instruction in a C172 at $2,625, 25 hours of solo flight with a safety pilot at $3,000, books and supplies at $200, a written test for $150, and a checkride with aircraft rental for $780. The total cost for an Instrument Rating is estimated at $6,755.

Broadwater Aviation also provides information on the costs associated with obtaining a Commercial License and becoming a Certified Flight Instructor (CFI) or an Instrument Certified Flight Instructor (CFII). The costs for these licenses and ratings vary based on the type of instruction and aircraft used. It’s important to note that these estimates are provided as a guideline, and the actual costs may differ based on individual progress and training requirements.

For individuals interested in financing their flight training, Broadwater Aviation offers information on flight training financing through AOPA (Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association).

Broadwater Aviation offers a transparent breakdown of the costs involved in obtaining various licenses and ratings. With their comprehensive training programs and the option for financing, Broadwater Aviation aims to make flight training accessible for individuals passionate about aviation.

Programs Offered:

  • Private pilot’s license
  • Instrument Rating
  • Commercial License
  • CFI & CFII