Finding good flight instruction overall may not be that difficult, but individually its daunting task that is often not researched well before starting training. Its often assume the local school and those instructors have all the requirements to teach. By indications of their licenses they do, but same as some of your kids teachers (or even your previous school teachers) were not always the best person to teach a subject for you despite that seems the majority around you learned just fine from them. Same applies. Rule one listen to your gut feeling. IF you are not comfortable around that person there may be a good reason. It could be just a quirky personality, but if your not comfortable you will not learn well. You will be spending time with this person is fairly close quarters of the aircraft during training. Ask around, not just a that pilot person you know, but even the person at the pilot supply shop, or FBO, even the local maintenance shop. These folks often will see a variety of students and pilots from both the local flight school as well as any independent instructors that not as well advertised. Not only a maintenance shop might tell you about an instructor, but will know something of the flight school/instructors aircraft used. Ask them if they would send their kids/spouse to that school or instructor even. Interview them. You are hiring them to train you. Find out how long they have been in aviation and an instructor. Do not let age fool you, a 20 something age instructor may have more experience than that seemingly middle age instructor. Many folks begin their aviation careers later in life so a 45 yr old instructor might only have a few years of experience total, where a 20 something who was raised in aviation might have a broader understanding of flying than the average instructor, and both may have the same goals in careers. If at all possible ask students of a flight school especially if a large flight school about their experience, how long it took, and even total cost if their willing to tell. former and current students of a instructor or school is a big indicator of your result. if the students complain about scheduling time, or being bounced from one instructor to another this can be a red flag. Many larger schools are oriented towards training large amounts towards careers in airlines, if your goal is personal and also quickly you may need to look elsewhere. Ask about time frame average, and requirements of your license. Often some will say it requires 40 hours of training and yes that is the FAA minimum, but push to get an answer as to how long their students really take. some independent instructors may take longer than others which could be either the style of training or the aircraft being used or if most of their students are older ( usually over 40) . An older person will take longer than the 20 year old on average. We just tend to lose that learning ability as we age. Some larger schools may also seem to take longer. Scheduling once a week or less no matter where training will delay and add cost to your training. ask about cost toward pre and post flight. Most places will charge you ground time, this might even include the time you are preflighting the plane, fueling it etc and the instructor may not even left their desk yet. (best to remember most school instructors are not making that hourly rate your paying and often not even half of that rate) Ask them about their first lessons focus. Is it airspeed control, basic functions of the controls, or instruments, etc. you may find a theme among instructors/ schools and take heart this is good sign. If they are focused on the syllabus as to what you will do each lesson, this may not be the best option. You want to master certain skills prior to moving on, and certainly don't want to linger too long on a subject, but also see if they ever talk about how that lesson fits into the big picture of flying. (heading control by turning to heading based on an instrument then looking outside for something to fly towards to stay on track without getting stuck looking only inside). Women often like seeing application to the bigger picture along with breaking it down in bite size pieces. Men generally are very linear in their thinking, so a common syllabus usually works for them. Determine how flexible their syllabus is. some may not have a standard syllabus written out (usually independents) but will still lay out a similar progression plan, and often willing to tailor to your needs. Ask about scheduling. an independent instructor may not have a fancy schedule calendar, might be pretty informal method of calling/texting etc for an opening, most will still schedule ahead so have some sort of calendar they use, maybe even a google calendar or their phone even. A larger school will have a more interactive calendar possibly once you can even schedule yourself some, or at least see prior to booking your training slots. IF they cant book you in more than one hour at a time and or once a week, you may need to keep looking, Often a student after first couple hours will find that they are just starting to grasp the lesson right about when an hour is up. If a school book as two hour slot that does not mean you will fly two hours it means you have that instructor and plane for two hours, it could be 30 min pre flight chat, then 45 minutes of flight and 45 minutes of more post flight (including a restroom break) Many are just grasping the lesson about the hour mark in our experience. its not wrong, but is it right for you. Also a Biggie in our books. Don't be afraid to just leave an instructor/ school if not the right fit. A good instructor may catch on that you both are not the right fit, and even if doesn't right away, should be willing to make sure you do find a good fit and may also give you a good recommendation of a few that are a better fit. A larger flight school can help change up flight instructors within their school also. As an independent instructor I prefer not to lose business, but I also prefer to have a happy and good pilots produced than the income. If you do find your instructor is unhappy about you even getting a second opinion, don't play nice, leave. A good instructor wants you to progress. Flip side of that is not to be constantly flying with just every flight instructor you meet and whatever plane they have.... you need a good solid consistent foundation also... so even if must have more than one instructor try to make sure using same planes or similar and they have similar styles or methods of how they teach. Contracts... some flight schools may ask for training contracts. we personally do not recommend signing one until are certain of all the information in it. Many schools even request money upfront. Do not do this till you are certain this is the right place for you. We often say fly with an instructor or school 2-5 hours first before considering longer term. Much like dating you don't move in on the first date, don't sign a contract with the first school/instructor you meet. Also to instructors, we shouldn't be afraid to "fire" a student. Now this isn't done lightly, this is our livelihood. But we should not put up a with a student who doesn't respect our time (ie showing up late most of the time), those who spend more time on their phone than learning during ground school (students apply that to instructors also), students who disrespect your progression decisions, (ie solo or not, wx minimums you set) and students whom you discover breaking rules, like flying other aircraft not signed off in, or flying with another non licensed pilot etc. Its more than business in some ways a flight instructor/ student often is a relationship. this person could become your next employer (and that applies either one) your reference, and referral of future business. But one should never date the other while training with each other. Students if your instructor begins to initiate interest in dating and its mutual, change up instructors, if not mutual, you may still need to find a new instructor. And instructor The same applies. Never allow the other to harass you in any matter that is detrimental. Sometimes we have to place ourselves in a what if situation to gain perspective, (ie if this was happening to my child, mother, sibling etc what would I tell them to do... then do that). Go enjoy your lessons and flying...yes sometimes its not all fun, sometimes boring, frustrating, even occasionally scary moments, but overall you should be having some fun. those moments when just flying to the training area and seems nothing to learn, take a deep breath look around and enjoy the view and remember this is the reason why you do this!