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any advice on Arizona?

Earl Williams

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I was just curious if there was anyone here on the board that did their training in Arizona? I would assume there would be considering it's a hot-bed for aviation ("hot" being the key word :eek: )

Due to the high-cost of living, and training, out here in the Sacramento, CA area, I'm looking for a more-affordable place to go. I'm thinking of finding a good FBO (preferably 141, since I did my PPL that route) and just hitting it full time...hopefully "accelerating" my training myself.

Anyhow...any advice would be helpful. I've seen Sunbird Flight Services on the forum once or twice, and they seem to have a good rep. (based out of Chandler).

Is cost-of-living reasonable? (in a place like Chandler, for example?). I'll be looking to rent as cheap of an apartment as possible...yet safety is a big plus (been there, done that on the whole mugging thing...didn't like it!).

I guess that's all the questions for now...thanks in advance for any responses!

-Earl
 

banned username 2

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I trainer in Prescott, Arizona at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University....

Do you already have a 4 year college degree? If not look into Embry-Riddle....

As far as living in Arizona, I loved Prescott... it was about 20°F cooler than Phoenix year-round.... Plus you got 4 seasons and mountain flying experience...
 

Earl Williams

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thanks

I've heard great things about Prescott as well. And being cooler than Phoenix would be a BIG plus! Would you recommend any FBO's there? Or good Instructor's in the area?

I've already got my degree, and will be announcing my job/career resignation in four months :D to finish the rest of my training.

...waiting for the adventure to begin!!!!
 

banned username 2

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Sorry, I haven't flown out of Prescott in 12 years... but there are some FBO's there (different ones than when I was there)... I would check them out... Prescott is a great place to fly... And a nice place to live, also!
 

skyslug

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I also did my training at PRC (North Aire). There was a place called "Tail Wheels and More" on the field also who did a good job. Although it's been over 7 years since I"ve flown/lived there it's worth checking out. I enjoyed living in Prescott. Lots of good terrain to explore, great weather, low humidity and 90 minutes (if I remember right) from Phoenix.
 

bobbysamd

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Prescott, AZ

I instructed at Riddle-Prescott for two and a half years beginning in the late '80s. I second all of the above. I believe that Custom Pilot Service is still on the field.

I agree with all of the above about the weather, but do get a place with air conditioning. There are 100-degree days during the summer. I didn't have air in my place and wished I had! Octobers are splendid.

Also, a few good restaurants. I never made it to the Hassayampa Inn, but wished I had. It's an old-style 1920s type of hotel. I want to say that I ate at Murphy's, but I'm not sure if that is the place; it was close to downtown; in any event, it offered fine dining. The city has two movie houses, which both show first-run films. The city has a good library. Phoenix is indeed something like 90 minutes away. The city is very safe; of course, you don't want to leave your doors unlocked.

Hope this helps a little.
 

banned username 2

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Bobby....

Murphy's is the place, they have excellent Prime Rib... I have also eaten at the Gurley Street Grill (but it wasn't there when I was there (late 80's))...

My personal favorite was a little greasy chinese place called China Jade... Best Mongolian Beef I have ever had! It used to be on the west end of town near where Fry's was, but now it is in one of the shopping centers, I think near Wal-Mart...

Darn, now I am hungry!

Phoenix is indeed about 90 minutes.... not a bad drive at all... and Prescott has grown so much in the past 12 years that there is now little need to go to Phoenix for anything....

If there were jobs beyond CFIing in Prescott, I would have liked to stay... I think (at least back then) it was a decent place to raise a family.
 
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bobbysamd

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Prescott restaurants

Thanks, Falcon Capt. I thought it was Murphy's! I lived about two blocks from there and used to take walks by there all the time . . . but, it's been eleven years . . . . .

I remember the China Jade as well. There was a decent Mexican place downtown near The Palace. We ate Italian a couple of times at the Yavapai Indian casino.

Anyway, Earl, hope all this helps.
 

AZaviator

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Earl Williams.....

The previous posts are correct. If you're going to look around Phoenix, I'd look into Sunbird Flight Service in Chandler. They have a relatively large fleet and reasonably priced. As of a few months ago, they also do provide housing to certain students in which you can rent out a room in a house with other 2-3 other students. Chandler in general is a very reasonably priced area and is a nice newer area. Very safe.

In Phoenix I'd also checkout Sawyer Aviation at the Scottsdale Airport. They recently moved there from Sky Harbor Airport. I usually heard good things about them before they moved.

As Falcon Capt and Bobbysamd said, Prescott might be a good place to check out as well. I don't know anything about the flight schools up there, but I do know that training in Phoenix in the middle of summer can be downright brutal at times. I'm speaking from experience! In the middle of summer out here, there's been several times I've heard ATIS say "Temperature 49"..........as in
49 degrees Celsius!

One other place you might want to look into is Sheble's up in Kingman.

Feel free to send me a PM if you need anymore info.

Good luck on your search!
 

Wiggums

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I did all my training at Sunbird Flight Services in Chandler, and they definatly are decent. Cost of living and safety are both pretty good down in Chandler. I lived about a mile away from the airport and it was very quiet. The only drawback was the smell of cow poop. If your willing to share a room in a house you can live near the airport inexpensively. Apartments are a little more, but I'll bet they are less then in California.

Phoenix is a great place to do your flight training. There are many different types of schools out here, you should be able to find one you like. Here's a list of all I can think of right now -

Chandler -
:) Sunbird Flight Services
Chandler Air Service

Scottsdale -
Southwest Flight Center
Saywer

Falcon Field (Mesa)
Arizona Avaiton
Executive Avation

Steller Air Park - (Chandler)
:( Accelerated
:) Angel Air

Deer Valley - (Phoenix)
Pan Am
Westwind

Glendale -
Glendale Avaition

Williams-Gateway
:) All ATPs

There's twelve and I'm sure I left a few out.
 
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Bluto

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Skyslug,
I'm afraid Tailwheels and more, is no more. I flew out of there once or twice a few years ago. Last time I was in town, however, they were gone and a helicopter fight school had taken their place. Kind of bummed me out. Anyone know what happened to Tailwheels??
 

Earl Williams

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sounds great!

thanks again! I guess I should factor in the heat issue...I remember how miserable summer's were living back in Dallas (not quite as hot, but factoring in more humidity made it quite unpleasant). I'm sure climbing into a steamy 172 at 110 degrees probably has some sort of effect on "time of useful consciousness"!

I think I may check out Prescott, as well as Chandler (amongst everywhere else!). Question for Wiggums on your experience with Sunbird...were you able to fly there quite often? For instance, if you wanted to fly 5-6 times a week, would their plane/instructor availability accommodate that? Did the owners seem pretty professional, honest, and straight-forward (I know...that's kind of an oxy-moron anymore with flight schools!).

Again, thanks for the insight...very much appreciated!
 

Wiggums

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Yes, at Sunbird you can fly that much. Even when flight training was booming it was possible to fly as much as twice each day if you scheduled your flights a few days in advance. You should be able to work with your instructor and get the schedule you want.

The school is run by two airline captains, and it's a pretty straight forward small business. The facility and aircraft aren't as impressive as the big academies, but that's reflected in Sunbird's lower rental rates.
 

Unchilled

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I suggest Cochise College down in douglas. It ain't pretty but it's cheap as hell :D
 
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