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COMAIR Academy

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Well-known member
Jun 13, 2002
Can someone give me some information on COMAIR Flight Academy. I am interested possibly in going there, but would like to know what type of program they have. Also, what are their prices like. If you go in with a private, how much will the program cost. Any info. would be appreciated. :D
I just got their brochure, from 0 to CFI will cost you $45k. You might as well buy your own airplane and go to the local FBO.... The biggest draw is that they have a bridge program that will help you get a job at Comair, or so I hear. go to www.comairacademy.com and sign up for the brochure.
I went through their program after I got my PPL on my own. I though it was a quality program and I feel I got my money's worth. The prices have risen somewhat since I went through, but if the trend of the entry-level job market raising its time requirements continues, it may be worth it to have the opportunity to fly for Comair when you get done with the program.

It cost me around $34k to go from Instrument to MEI (under 1999 contract prices). Pretty much on-schedule and 10-12% over budget...typical to lean. I've seen people spend much more, but if you study/work hard, you should succeed!

We just finished outfitting the classrooms with computerized training aids, and are in the process of modernizing the fleet. There have been quite a few improvements since I've been there. You can save money by finding a roomate and renting on your own instead of using student housing.

It certainly worked for me. I'm 37 years old and am changing careers. They were true to their word. I worked hard and excelled through the program, got the CFI job, got the guaranteed Comair interview, and was hired for a CRJ F/O position in May...just waiting a class date, now. I have a lot of friends who did the same and are waiting class, or are flying the CRJ right now. I have a few other friends who left the Academy to flight instruct elsewhere and are finding it hard to get a job right now, but we never knew what would it would be like post 9/11.

Do your own investigating. CAA will fly you down here to check out the school. Do your research and ask questions. Check all available opportunities. CAA certainly is a viable route to the airlines. Any more questions, feel free to IM me.

Happy Hunting!

I went to the academy may97 to apr98, I was 33 and already had a PPL. I got all the rest of my ratings there, it was a quality program not just an instructor mill. I instructed in another city for 13 months and got hired by US Airways Express,Comair was pay for training at the time. Then hired by Airtran 20 months later. The only negative thing was the way comair treats its instructors, thats why I chose to instruct elsewhere. In hindsight it was the best descision.
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$45k thrue CFI, that sounds too much. I don't know a lot about Comair Academy, but there are less costly ways to get flight training. Mine cost me about 15K thrue MEII at a local FBO which had a 141 school affiliated with community college, because of that 40% of required flying cost was subsidised by state (PA).
I took my first airplane ride 6 years ago and now well into my second year with AirTran. I had some good luck, but it just shows that you don't have to pay a lot of money or go to fancy school to get ahead in this tricky industry.
Good luck!
I agree ... I can get my ratings with my instructer now for under $20K ... I am just curious about COMAIR and some of these other flight schools. I kindive wonder if the training that you get from these schools is any better than from FBO's ... I kindive think all you get are the names from some of these places, not all, however.
FBO v. Academy Training

I think that a lot depends on the school. At places like Comair, you get an introduction to line procedures. I understand that students are indoctrinated in Comair procedures from the first day of training. Even if you never go to work there, you'll be ahead of the crowd because you will have at least heard of callouts and the like.

Academy training, by definition, tends to be standardized. That's a plus in a lot of ways because it is, well, school. Standardized training imposes a certain discipline that beneficial to the learning process and for your flying. We were very standardized at FlightSafety, and it was improved upon by our Chief Pilot, who adapted many of our Alitalia procedures to the regular course.

At ERAU we were supposed to be standardized. We had procedures that were supposed to be executed a standard way and standardized flows. However, so many instructors were taught so many different ways and taught their students so many different ways that it was tough to evaluate students during stage checks.

Just a little something to consider when selecting a program.
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I agree with bobby on the standardization, at comair the checklist and procedures are designed for an airline pilot, they work hard on standardization. I trained at three different FBO's before and nothing came close to the quality of comair. I'm not slamming FBO's, I went to work for one. But every instructor knows we all have different styles and bad habbits. Comair and Flight Safety are two of the best at airline training. I did not mention the college programs based on the original post.

If you really want to find out what the place is like, go there and talk to the students.

You will find out that Hovernut tells a very ... optimistic story because he is part of the small minority who is realizing the dream the admissions people are selling. The vast majority of students are very unhappy about life at Comair. They will tell you that the average student is spending 50..60.. even 70 thousand dollars to get all their ratings. Ask them to tell you about the beat-to-hell Cessnas that you pay those ridiculous prices to fly. Ask them about Comairs C-172 RGs, how many gear problems they have had, how many have gone down in fields this year. Ask them about the ridiculous scheduling; you don't know your schedule for tomorrow until 5 p.m. the night before. Ask them how often they actually have fun when they fly.

Then they will tell you the things that really bother them... The fact that after all the hard work, all the money, only a small percentage will be offered a chance even at a CFI job. Then you have to get through the CFI "Stands" class before you can begin working 10 -12 hours a day for a whopping 50 or 60 dollars. Ask the instructors what percentage of his/her original indoctrination class made it to an instructing job. Then after all that, if you get through your instructing contract, you still only have a marginal chance getting hired to fly for the airline. Notice that Comair’s advertisements no longer have any percentages of the number of students hired by the airline. The airline is being much more selective about the academy graduates it hires. Hell, who knows whether the airline will be hiring at all in 6 months or a year.
As usual, bobby hits it on the head. It's not about how cheap you can get your ratings, it's about the type of training you get. Procedures, procedures, procedures. Someone above mentioned something about "you can buy your own airplane for that kind of money." Ok, now what are you going to do about actually learning to fly it? There is no substitute for good training. I don't necesarily believe you have to pay $45k for training nor am I an advocate for comair, but ou should try to make your training as formal as possible. There are some FBOs out there that can give you that kind of training. But more often than not, it's too informal and only teaches to pass the checkride. I know this b/c I did my private at an FBO and the rest of my ratings at a formal flight school. It taught me discipline and kept me well tested at each phase of my training.

Bottom line, research these flight schools before you give them the next 30 years of your paycheck. Find a place that will give you a structured, formal learning environment.

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