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Aviation academy's and the guarantee's

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Still turning two
Nov 26, 2001
I was leafing through my wife's "Flight Training" magazine and kept coming across the articles that guarantee and succesful graduate a interview with COEX or Eagle and others. (Comair Aviation Academy was another) I'm wondering if these schools are still making this promise to would be students. Are these students told beforehand that the industry is tough right now and with all the pilots on furlough, getting a job or even an interview might be tough....

Am I wrong on this? Just started wondering on the **CENSORED****CENSORED****CENSORED****CENSORED**ter.....
School "placement" rates

No sir, you are not wrong to wonder that. I'd like to know it myself as well. One of the biggest sophistries you'll hear from any kind of career school is its outstanding placement rate.

Non-aviation example: My paralegal school advertised a 98% placement rate. Define "placement." People going to the school may have had visions of landing a $50K job at one of the bigtime lawfirms downtown. However, if you landed a $5.50/hour job coding documents at night, the school considered you as being placed. Believe me, there were more of the latter than the former.

Let's say your potential flight school adverstised a 98% pass rate. Students with big dreams figured they'd get a job, at the very least, with a turbine commuter on graduation, no sweat. However, let's say the school got you a part-time job working the desk at the FBO across the field. The school would say it "placed" you.

Not everyone is placed with Comair or COEX upon graduation or after instructing to build time. You have to jump through several major hoops to get there.

Let's take Mesa. I instructed there for a short time. Of course, the big draw of MAPD was the "guaranteed" interview with Mesa at 300 hours. I'll vouch for the program because it is good and works, but the students who got interviews jumped through the aforementioned hoops to get there. I had one student who was a pain and was not to get "the interview." I've always wondered how MAPD students who did not get the interview fared after leaving Mesa. Anyone know?

Once again, just my .02.
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Prior to 9/11 the chance of getting on with one of those airlines from one of those flight academies with low flight time was good, but still wasn't a guarantee. For the meantime, forget it. I'm not sure what those schools are telling their students now, but I would have to assume its something along the lines of the fact the market for pilots isn't that great right now, and I"m sure its followed up with telling them hiring will pick up in the near future or something like that. I'd be curious to hear from anyone attending one of those schools.

As Bobbysamd mentioned, what if you do get the interview with the airline your school has a partnership with, but you don't get the job? Then you're sitting with low flight time and no job and in some cases, no CFI ratings. Not good.

On the Comair add, be sure to read the fine print and look at the little "*" which indicates their 97% placement of graduates was during the time period up to and including January of 2000, over 2 years ago.

Umm..........yea..............that's it!
AZ: I'll bet with hiring going so badly that they are telling students that they need to go to a big academy in order to be competitive. Almost all schools bend the truth a little bit in order to get students into cockpits. Even those that think they work a some squeaky clean Mom n'Pop FBO can't say they haven't told a potential student a “slightly” modified version of the truth about flight training.

Anyway, I work at on of those big flight academies, and whatever the marketing department is telling the students, it's working. We're still getting bigger, while the other smaller schools around aren't doing so well anymore. Also, instructors are still getting hired to our partner airlines. It seems that this corner of aviation where I'm at was barely affected by 9/11, which is good because I'm tired of being on the street.

So, like others have said, there are no real “guarantees”, however, I think students may have a some kind of advantage when it comes to getting hired if they attend a school with some bridge programs.

Now I'll just sit back and get ready for the flames to start coming my way.

While obviously times are more difficult, the schools seem to be doing well. One I visited yesterday had a number of furloughed USAir pilots on WIA programs getting different ratings.

As to the low time deals, I think that many people are taking a realistic approach plus this is a long term thing. People are still getting placed out of Comair and the Regional Airline Academy as example. Is it more competitive yes, but you will allways be competing with someone for positions
I have been at Comair Academy for about 18 months as a student and CFI. The system DOES work.
Everybody who hangs in there through all of the ratings and gets their 1000 TT and 100 ME as an instructor gets their interview. Almost all of those get hired. Maybe closer to 80% than 97% since 9/11, but that's still a better deal than you'll get elsewhere. Those who don't immediately get on with Comair find jobs at other regionals shortly thereafter. Try even getting in the door with 1000/100 from an FBO. Furthermore, try getting the 100 hrs of precious twin time anywhere outside a 141 school...good luck if you're not able to buy it.
The tough part is completing the program. A lot of people don't have what it takes...and I'm talking motivation far more than intellect. This goes for 141 schools in general! You must immerse yourself in aviation, not just show up and fly. You will attend groundschool three hrs a day, fly twice, and be held to extremely high standards both knowledge wise and in the airplane. Not a whole lot of time left for drinking, partying, going to the beach, etc. These are the people who don't make it.
The school provides what they promise...the ratings, the time, the interview, and a very good shot at the airline job...even post 9/11. They still have what most schools don't...airline owned, and, more importantly, an airline that's hiring.

There is a feeling out there that with all the qualified pilots on furlough, that there is no hiring at all and if there is, it is people with a bunch of experience. NOT TRUE.

While there is no question that it is more competitive today than a year ago or two years ago, relatively low time pilots going through some of these schools are being taken.

I know that students from Comair, Tab, Regional Air, and even the hated Gulfstream have been taken in the last few months by commuters.

Yes, you can still get the interview, the job however, is harder to get because it is competitive.

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