Illinois Aviation Academy
32W751 TOWER ROAD, WEST CHICAGO, IL 60185    630-513-2224
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Welcome to Illinois Aviation Academy (IAA)'s Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’S) section. We have come up with a list of the most commonly asked questions from our potential students and provided quick answers to these, however, please shoot us an e-mail or give us a call for clarifications and further details regarding any aviation related questions.

Does IAA have employment opportunities for it's graduates?

Yes, we do offer employment assistance for applicable candidates from our school.  Upon attainment of and graduation from our CFI Academy, we further offer qualifying students a place within our organization as Flight Instructors.

Over the years, IAA has established good business relationships with several commercial operators, based upon mutual respect and trust for our product. Our students benefit from this association in the job market because our name speaks for itself in the Aviation industry and we are always happy to provide our graduates with recommendations and educational references to aid them in their job search.

Why go for an Internet degree as opposed to a College campus degree?

A degree from any institution will be valuable. Bottom Line- You need a bachelor’s degree! IAA recommends considering a degree that incorporates your flight training with other aviation related studies like Aviation Law or Business Administration. Utah Valley University offers the online professional pilot and administration BS degree, which offers courses in aviation related disciplines like Air Traffic Control, Aviation insurance, Marketing and HR management. These would be a good fall back option in the event of a flight furlough and keep you within the aviation field. Most corporations nowadays want consistency across the board and need to know that you are as comfortable behind a desk as you are in the cock-pit. So go for it!

How are your classes structured?

Illinois Aviation Academy’s foundation was based upon training recreational pilots; clients wanted top-of-the-line resources and personalized instruction. This requirement could only be met with small class sizes : 7-12 students per ground school class with one flight instructor per 7 students .

On the flying front, we are strictly one-on-one: each flight student gets their own instructor during their scheduled flying slots. The only time students ever share an instructor during a flight portion is with intro-flights where passengers are welcome to tag along, or in the CFI Academy. IAA also has modern teaching aids available in each classroom to complement our teaching style as well as a student-accessible computer-learning center. At IAA, we ensure maximum student development with a personalized touch.

Does IAA offer student housing options?

Yes, affordable housing is available in the area at rates starting at $500 per month. IAA does not have dormitories or housing structures at our facility, however, we can arrange your housing situation for you in one of the various beautiful locations surrounding us like West Chicago and Saint Charles, all within school proximity and at an affordable rate. Long-term contracts are not necessary and we maybe able to help you find employment while you are a student.

Does IAA offer Financial Aid options and programs?

Does IAA offer Financial Aid options and programs? Yes we do. For college degree seeking students, scholarships and financial aid are available at our college partner locations or via Utah Valley University. Vocational students may obtain grant funding through their local workforce development office or through DuPage County. Recreational pilots may investigate loan opportunities through pilot finance. Remember, using a co-signer always helps reduce interest rates! IAA has advisors ready to help you.

Pilot Finance has financed aviation studies for many years with a solid reputation for fast results. For more information go to

Does IAA accept Military Education benefits like the GI bill?

No. IAA currently does not have the ability to help students access their GI or Montgomery benefits at the moment. To do so, we would need to have a Part 141 rating which we do not have yet...but we are working on that!

Is IAA a Part 141 or Part 61 flight school?

IAA is a part 61 flight school. We enroll a diversified student body with programs ranging from highly recreational flying to commercial pilot training, and it’s not uncommon to have students switch their programs mid-training. We encourage this flexibility amongst our students and realize that under the strict standards required of a Part 141 school, these changes would cost them significantly more in time and administrative costs, for less actual total flight time and experience. Being a Part 141 school would not accommodate our student’s needs.

What is the difference between Part 141 and Part 61 schools?

Firstly, both part 141 and part 61 are FAA approved flight schools, designated as 'part' by the Federal Aviation Regulations under which they operate and which is also where they differ; in the structure of flight training provided.

A 141 flight school is one that chooses to operate under a structured syllabi approved by the FAA for its training and maintenance programs. This school is also regularly audited by the FAA to ensure they remain adherent with the safety minimum requirements.

Part 61 schools on the other hand have the flexibility of syllabus and flight training structure, however this also must fall within the FAA safety minimum requirements.

In addition, there is a time training difference between part 141 and 61 schools: part 141's have fewer flight hour requirements at the private and Commercial levels, than the part 61 schools.

Does IAA meet the higher standards of a Part 141 Flight school?

Absolutely!We not only meet the higher standards of 141 flight schools, we exceed them. That's right, IAA is the only State Board Certified Vocational flight school in the state of Illinois!. As a vocational school, we meet the stringent requirements that the State Board of Education places upon their institutions, so you can rest easy knowing that when you train with us, you really are learning from the best. IAA has structured its training and maintenance programs to meet and exceed the requirements of most Part 141 schools in all categories:

  • Programs: IAA is the only vocational flight school in the Chicago area that offers ISBE certified programs, taught by full time, professionally qualified flight instructors that have been trained to teach off a comprehensive flight and ground syllabi, ensuring the highest quality of aviation education for our students.
  • Aircraft: Our aircraft maintenance meets the same standards required of any 141 school, including 100 hour maintenance inspections. We pride ourselves on being the only Aviation academy in Chicago with its own maintenance facility that’s open 7 days a week. Our aircraft are so dependable that many FAA inspectors count on them to maintain their currency.
  • Flight Instructors: IAA has great instructor retention rate with some of our instructors marking 7+ years and over 100 cumulative years of flight instruction with us. Our instructors are qualified to train in almost any single or multi-engine aircraft, offering our students a stability and consistency of instruction that no other flight operation in the area can match.

Can I rent your aircraft after training at IAA?

You can rent any aircraft that you are qualified to fly. IAA has a diverse fleet available for training/rental, including the 2005 Cirrus SR22, 2005 Diamond DA-40 to the 2007 Cessna 172SP (all have glass cock-pits). For an entire look at our aircraft, please check out the fleet and simulator page of the website.

Shouldn't I be going to a big State school?

Training from a private institution versus a state school looks the same on a resume to a potential employer. Airlines want to see flight time and ratings. Our instruction is on par with the big name schools, at less of a cost to you. The only thing we don’t offer is the fraternity parties and Saturday morning football games.

There are plenty of aviation schools in the South, why train in the north?

IAA is proud to provide the aviation community trained, professional and recreational pilots that have “real world experiences.” Students will fly in all types of weather in the challenging Chicago ATC system. IAA has a 21,000 square foot hangar, IFR equipped aircraft, simulators, an all weather airport with four runways and a control tower open 24 hours a day. This means that graduates will have flown in all types of weather conditions and times. Our training creates confidence and proficiency unmatched in the south.

How and when do I start?

Call us at 1-630-513-2224 and ask to set up a tour and, if you’re interested, an introductory flight. One of our staff will sit down with you and discuss all your possible options. You could be flying as soon as tomorrow!


We want to hear from YOU!

Have an idea for an event you would like to participate in at IAA? We want to hear your ideas!

Piper Aztec N4515P is available for instruction for $235/hour!


Call 630-513-2224 to schedule a flight today!



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