Flight Academy Question

Dean

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I am currently looking at a flight school in Fort Lauderdale named Gulfstream Academy. The spokes person that I talked with had a convincing testimony about his academy. Its the only academy that I have found to gaurentee at the end of your training to fly 250 hrs as Co-Pilot in a Twin Turbo-prop plane while getting 121 experience with the extremely good chance of being hired back with them as a Paid Co-pilot in the Turbo prop plane. This to me sounded pretty impressive, But the only thing is that it also comes with a pretty price tag. I guess my question is, has anyone ever taken a "Fast Track" program, and was it all they said it would be? Secondly, what kind of employment oppertunities did you have once graduating from the program? My biggest concer is wondering is the Return worth the Investment? and any info on flight school that you recomend would be helpful. Thanks in advance

Dean
 

flybub

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I would be careful with these kind of programs and here is why. You may be criticized by pilots as "PFT" or Pay for Training. In other words you are paying for that right seat waiting for you after you graduate. Many look down on this because those who can afford it may go for it and get a job and you have those others who work their tail off flight instructing part 61 because they could not afford to fly at an academy or university. So do your homework and do as much research on as many schools as you can and make your decision. Don't rely on one testimony.
Is the return really worth it? In my case it is not. I graduated from FlightSafety Academy 4 months after 9/11 and that was when things really slowed down. So there wasn't much work instructing wise so now I'm working construction full time and instructing once or twice a week. So again do your homework and follow your instincts. However if you decide to fly the rest of your life if you have not already get your degree. At least then you have something to fall back on when the industry slows down. Coming from someone who has been there, I don't have my degree. I left college after 2 years and went to FlightSafety and to this day I still kick myself in the butt for not finishing school. Hope this helps and good luck with your decision!!
 

Timebuilder

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Dean-
Knowlege is power.
First, arm yourself with information about Gulfstream Academy, TAB Express, and PFT (P-F-T) by using the search function.

Flybub-

I think you are in error when you characterize the PFT argument as a case of haves versus have nots. Almost ALL of the pilots I know, myself included, come from families that could have easily gone the PFT route, and chose to avoid it. In my case, I had the wisened council of of older aviators that told me what would be missed in both experience and respect among my fellow pilots. I'm also sure that there are dozens of wealthy corner-cutters who choose PFT every year.

However, you are right to advise that Dean should get that degree. Instruction should pick up as the economy improves.

Good luck.
 

Dean

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Confused?

First off, Thanks for the reply.
Secondly, let me say if i was not confused before i posted this, I am now (lol).

I did the search feature and have found a mix bag of opinions, mostly against this issue. I do not understand why there is so much animosity toward P-F-T type schools. I thought at first that this seemed like the perfect plan. Now, I think Dang if I do Dang if I dont. Why are these schools look down upon from other pilots going the instructing route? By-no-means am I a wealthy person. I am going to have to get a loan to try and do this just like anyother person can. And it also seems that in essence all pilots are "PFT". the last time I check it cost money to take flying lesson. The problem I have is that it is going to cost me more at my FBO than it would at the academy because of inconsistancies in my flying lessons. my CFI is either here or Im not or just the opposite.

I know that yes your probably a better all around pilot for having taking the instructing route, but the feeling i get through the search is that people are encapable of learning how to fly effectivly and safely if they get their ratings through an Academy. I would hope that after several hundred hours in any aircraft the person flying it would have every concept imaginable to that plane figured out. I personally dont think this would be just paying for a check-ride.

I am very serious about wanting to fly for a career, but at the same time I dont want the guy next to me, who ever it be, to hate me or look down at me just because i chose a different route. And thanks again for the feed-back. Lots to Ponder.
 

Timebuilder

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>>I did the search feature and have found a mix bag of opinions, mostly against this issue. I do not understand why there is so much animosity toward P-F-T type schools.

If you don't understand, then I suggest you go back and study the PFT posts further. If I have to pick out one overriding fault of PFT, it is this: it takes what would normally be a paid pilot job, normally available to a pilot who has worked hard in aviation in order to be qualified for that job, and "sells" that job to someone instead, turning a company's expense (the pilot's salary) into a profit center. This damages the profession, and demeans us all.
 
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Flymach2

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Hi...

I personally knew someone who left an FBO where we were both instructing when he decided to enroll in the Gulfstream FO program. At the time the cost was around 18k.

That person is back at the same FBO instructing after he completed that program. No job offer from Gulfstream...no others on the horizon.

Food for thought.
 

bobbysamd

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P-F-T

Please, please, search the board for posts on Gulfstream Academy and P-F-T. Read them through again.

The long and short of a place like Gulfstream is threefold. You do not want to get the reputation among your peers as one who cuts in line ahead of others. That's what happens when you P-F-T, which means pay for your training for a specific job with a specific company as a condition of hire. Do not confuse P-F-T with paying to learn how to fly and in doing so earning your Commercial certificate. Everyone must do that. Your peers work hard and long for years to afford flight training, get that first job, build time and climb the ladder. Cutting in front of them at low time via your (or Mom and Dad's or Auntie's) wallet will engender their resentment. In other words, very bluntly, you don't want to pi$$ off your coworkers.

Another reason not to choose Gulfstream is the impression it gives to H.R. people. They know that Gulfstream's former FOs paid for their jobs. Among other things, that will call your abilities into question. They, and others, will think the only reason you got the job is because you bought it. See my paragraph above for the problems that could cause.

The third reason is you can very well be turned loose from Gulfstream still as a very low-timer. Although you gained some 121/135 "experience" at Gulfstream, you still may not have enough time to meet normal commuter mins. That means you will have to build time to bridge the gap. That very well could mean you will have to spend more money to get your CFI certificate and instruct for a while. Nothing wrong with that at all, of course, but why should you be forced into that position to qualify for the next job after gaining all that wonderful "airline" experience at Gulfstream? You should have started from the beginning instructing and/or in a more typical low-time pilot job.

Finally, you have to take the malarkey dished out by all flight school "career counsellors" with a big grain of salt. These are not counsellors at all but sales people. Even the sales people at the most reputable schools sell a certain amount of pie in the sky. That's their job. Your job is to ferret out the facts.

Hope this helps. Good luck with your decision.
 

Dean

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Thanks alot

I very much appreciate your incites on this issue. You have definetly given me lots of things to consider. I must say with the help of this forum and the one from JetCareers.com has been a major help in understanding this issue. I very well could have made a $55K mistake had I not ask about this issue. I am new to the aviation community and didnt even realize that they were such a thing as PFT. I guess we live and learn (lol). but im still left with the issue of wich direction to go. Im curentlly almost finish with my 2yr degree and at a cross roads of deciding what to do. being a military pilot was and still is the one thing I inspire to be the most. But I fear that the competition is tough for someone from a community college and then transfering to little know university competing with people from all the prestigous colleges in america. This is why im thinking very hard about going commercial. At my age i really cant afford a shot at AFROTC and not getting a spot, if I did that and didnt get a UPT slot, then by the time I get out it would almost to late to start a new career that requires along time to get somewhere. Anyways, I thank you for you help and guidence, and no matter what happens life goes on (lol).
 

ChadCRJ

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Gulfstream

Sometimes I don't get why people put down Gulfstream so much.. I don't go there nor do I know if I'm even gonna consider... But lets face it. Does Gulfstream really quarantee you a job?? No.. the provide you 250 hrs of training but no official job. So thats Y i dont understand y people go on about this PFT crap when your not getting a job automatically... You still have to interview and know your stuff. I duno I'm skeptical on the subject myself.. I just don't like how some people run there mouths on this whole PFT issue.. It seems to me some people are just simply jealous or can't take that route do to certain reasons or issues so they get on here and go off on the subject. Lets face it.. were all pilots on here... some people are just looking for a more direct way to the airlines (if thats what they want to call it) so lets not go about bad mouthing these schools and people that attend them. When you do this ur only embarrising yourself and the rest of us pilots and aviation enthusiats... Lets just all be friends and enjoy what we like to do most... FLY. :)

Contacting Departure,

Good Day
 

ChadCRJ

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I'm sorry to see some people on here just dont get it.... :(
 

Timebuilder

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Me too.

I started to understand The Big Picture at around age 40. It's truly a shame that I didn't wise up sooner. Luckily, I had the sage advice of older aviators who had seen this done that had the t- shirt and were willing to help me avoid a mistake that that I could have easily made.

I had the money to do it, and plenty of selfish attitude to go with it. They talked me out of cutting ahead in line, and reminded me about the meaning of personal honor that I had been taught at the academy. I began to see the longer, more difficult road as a challenge to my ability and endurance, like the value of running a marathon as opposed to taking as cab to the finish line.

But you're right. Some people here just won't get it.
 

C601

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Dean,

I'm in the same boat as yourself, Gulfstream route or instructing,
i do know a 2 people who did go through the Gulfstream Program and both got hired, that was about over a yr now since they got hired when times where good.

i still talk to them and there still flying the 1900s as F/Os, the problem lies with the Capts up till 3months ago none of them where been hired by bigger airlines so the senior F/Os are not been upgraded to capts. which means very few if no new F/Os are been kept, they do there 250hrs in the 1900 and move on, i assuming the ones who look promising to GA are told when an F/O postion comes we will call you etc etc....

Remember even if you do not get hired after the 250hrs in the program you can always choose to the CFI route with them, i think thats possible.


I just wonder at the end of the day if a Reg airline was hiring pilots and they had 2 pilots to choose from

1 with 500TT and 250hrs with a 121airline in a 1900 passed all the check rides etc....

and another guy with 500TT with 250hrs instructing in a C-172

who would they hire...

On the last note my girlfriend works for the FAA, i have gone to some of the functions that she attends, i have talked to 1 FAA examiner about GA on how there Students do. He tells me from the Students he has they have been passing most of the check rides and over all there well prepared.

The way i look at it if i was going to do there program. I'm there to get my FAA licenses and 250TT in a Beech 1900 making somewhere between $8 to $10per hr for that time. And thats it, if i get hired after the program finishes great if i dont look for employment else where..

Its a tuff decision what ever way you look at it especially the way things are with the airlines right now
 

ChadCRJ

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Gulfstream right now has a program with Pinnacle Airlines (NWairlink) they have been hiring a lot of GIA grads. Over 30 in the past 3months to be exact. After hired with Pinnacle you fly the CRJ. This sounds cool and all... but like I said in recent posts... I just dont know about this school. I'm looking at Comair personally but I do want to tour this place just to see the whole program and what its like in person. But really I know as much as you know... You can pick up a lot of info at there website or if you call them and ask some questions.
 

Timebuilder

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I just wonder at the end of the day if a Reg airline was hiring pilots and they had 2 pilots to choose from

1 with 500TT and 250hrs with a 121airline in a 1900 passed all the check rides etc....

and another guy with 500TT with 250hrs instructing in a C-172

who would they hire...
I am certain that the answer would depend on who is conducting the interview. First, why is he looking at two guys with 500TT? It would be a more realistic example to give your first candidate a couple of years of knocking on doors, trying to get hired on the basis of having purchased a job from a company that all the interviewers are familiar with.

Meanwhile, your second candidate is about to meet the 135 PIC minimums, has worked as an MEI, completed his ATP written, and met many pilots along the way who have imparted wisdom. One of them lets him know of a job which will help him to build his career.

Who would be hired?
 

C601

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Timebuilder

Your looking too much into the question. I am not talking about any US Reg airline. Just an xyz type question.

And as far as this in your posting

"trying to get hired on the basis of having purchased a job"

Purchased a job what you talking about , There is not wording of job in GA's program, its a First officer training Course, nothing more nothing less of which you get to fly 250hrs in a 1900 and of you go.

Futher more you still have to pass all there 121 check rides in order to fly to them, just like you and any other airline. If you dont pass you dont fly ..

Look you be surprised how many people have gone this route, every time i pass the GA HQ there seems to be endless students in the classes.

At the end of the day, i will pass at going to GA. The stuff i have from them showed there pilot program was 44,990, now its $53994. But yet there program is the same no change.

I would like to go to FS but do i want to take out a $65,000 loan for a CPL/IR/ME/CFI course.

so many paths to choose from and can only take 1 route. now wheres that magic ball...........if only ;)

And yes i do get it , thats why i've moved on from looking at the PFT, and look somewhere else.
 

Timebuilder

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Good for you, passing on the GA program!

Purchased a job what you talking about , There is not wording of job in GA's program, its a First officer training Course, nothing more nothing less of which you get to fly 250hrs in a 1900 and of you go.
If there are paying passengers in the back, and GA needs to have an FO as a part of their operation, then that right seat is a JOB, and at GA, someone has purchased the right to occupy that seat.

That's why we call it "paying for a job".

Good luck in your quest for excellence.
 

flybub

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First off, I apologize. I did not mean to offend anyone on the PFT thing and I was wrong in what I was talking about. After reading a little bit about PFT I was out of line and I'm sorry. Dean I apologize to you as well because you're looking for a place to get started and get your dream of flying on the roll and I shot you down when you mentioned GA. So to all of those who I offended or upset in anyway it was not my intention and I apologize.
 

Dean

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Thank you for the apology, but i didnt think it was that harsh (lol). That may have been the most honost reply I've seen yet. You see, My situation is very different than that of probably most people. Me and some friends and family were thinking of buying a used twin enginge, maybe turbo-prop, and if we did, we could possibly do some chartering with it on the side. That is the issue that i have for concentrating on gulfstream because of the actual airline type experience. And at the same time, yea it would not be bad to get hired down there, but if not im fortunate enough to still have a life here at home when i get back. If I decided to go that route my goal was not to cut line without paying due's, I just was impressed about the type of flying you get to do with them. So once again, Thank you for your concern. By the way, this has been a real helpful forum. Thanks to all.
 
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