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Flight schools

highflying

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Jul 2, 2002
Posts
61
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what are some of the flight school you have gone to. Also does anyone have new info on Airline training academy? I see they have had their problems but what is the deal with them now. It doesnt seem like they have had problems lately? Anyone have any info on them or any other school they would recommend?
 

bobbysamd

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Best thing you can do is run a search on the board of a particular school. You're sure to get back tons of feedback.

I will tell you about FlightSafety Academy in Vero Beach, Florida, http://www.flightsafetyacademy.com . I was an instructor there ten years ago. FSI is a large commercial flight school, well-known in the industry. FlightSafety International operates the school. FSI is a major flight training organization. The Academy offers a Commercial pilot course with multi-engine and instrument ratings that can be completed in six months. Quality of training is excellent, and there are employment opportunities as an instructor after graduation (the instructor course(s) is extra and is not included in the CMEI course). The school operates Piper Cadets (Warriors), Arrows and Seminoles. Good aircraft and good maintenance. Good facilities. Mostly a professional atmosphere.

FSI is recognized in the business. As with all flight schools, you have to consider its advertising with a grain of salt, but the place isn't blowing smoke about its claims of sending grads on to the regionals. The school trains self-funded students from all over the world. It is also known for its foreign airline contract training.

Cost at FSI is not cheap, by any means.

One other place to look at is Mesa Airlines Pilot Development in Farmington, New Mexico, www.flightcareers.com . I worked there, too, in 1993. This school is operated by Mesa Airlines. It offers a Commercial- Multi-Instrument course. You also attend San Juan College and earn an Associates in Aviation. Students graduate with 300 hours with 10 hours of turbine in Beech 1900 airliners. Graduates who walk the line get interviews with Mesa Airlines and can be hired to fly for them. This program works, but, beware, no interview or job promises are made at enrollment. You have to earn both. You are scrutinized very closely during your training, and any miscue will scrub your chance for "the interview." MAPD isn't cheap, either, but does get people hired at a regional at very low time.

Hope that gets you started. Good luck with your school search.
 
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cessna_driver2

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Mar 22, 2002
Posts
402
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?
Spartan in tulsa, Ok is a decent school. The training was good and the class schedule made it easy to work and go to class. It was cheaper than flight saftey, embry, and com-air. They offer Bachalore degrees and last I talked to them; they are working on ATP training as well.
 

onetaco

Active member
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Mar 1, 2002
Posts
31
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1100
buyer beware

Picking a flight school is like buying a used car. If you don't do lot's of research, and ask a lot of hard questions there is a very good change you will get burned. Here's a few very common things you will encounter:

1. "We guarantee you a job after..." Sorry there are NO!!! guarantees ANYWHERE!! PERIOD!! END OF DEBATE!!

2. "We guarantee you an interview with (fill in the blank) airline after..." This is almost meaningless. You may get an interview. And it may be legitimate, but there is also a good chance it's just been staged to make you feel good.

3. "We can get you all your certificates and ratings for (insert low number)" This is usually figured by multiplying a competitive rate by the FAA minimum required hours for said certificate/rating. Everyone believes they are the wonderchild who can do it within the mins, almost no one ever does. Hence price goes up.

I could go on & on, but you get the picture. My advise is to do two things:

1. Talk to current AND former students of whatever school you are looking at. Ask specific probing questions.

2. When you talk to the school itself watch out for a very common practice. You ask question, THEY ANSWER A DIFFERENT QUESTION. Got that? This means one thing and one thing only, they are HIDING SOMETHING.

true example: friend of mine pays a visit to one of those wonder academies in Arizona. He asks "How much do first year First Officers make at the regionals?" Answer, "did you know 747 captains at the majors make (insert big number)?"

When someone answers a different question than you asked, loud bells and whistles should go off in your head. It's a clue that you should dig deeper.
 

Marcus

Member
Joined
May 17, 2002
Posts
18
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5000+
Every school has pro's and con's. You just have to do a lot of research and make an educated decision based on what you want to do, how fast, how much you can afford, etc. Most importantly, take everything that school recruiters and customer service reps tell you with a grain of salt. They get paid to enroll students and will blow tons of smoke up your butt! Listen to what they have to say, tour several places, and then talk to current students and see what they think of the place. You will get some good info from them about what really goes on there. I am about to complete training at Airline Training Academy and for the most part am happy with what I've gotten there. They have 2 programs, Airstage I is private, instrument and commercial-multi. Airstage II is 100 hours of multi time in an Aztec working as a two pilot crew, 30 hours of ATC-920 simulator (Beech 1900), 15 hours of glass cockpit/FMS transition simulator, 20 hours of CL-65 (Canadair Regional Jet) sim, and several classes including CRM, basic indoc, general airliner systems, CL-65 systems and an interview prep and mock interview. The deal is that when you complete training you are guaranteed an interview with one of their designated airlines. Before 9/11 they placed around 98% of their graduates with ASA and American Eagle but since then things have obviously slowed way down for every flight school. Things are finally starting to pick back up. Last month 15 students were hired by ACA, and several were picked up by Skywest. I am 100% confident that I will be hired but it may be late fall until I get my chance because there is a pool of graduates in line in front of me who get first dibs on interviews. Of course by the time you would complete the course things will probably be back to normal and there should be no wait. Pretty decent school! The planes are a little beat up and scheduling tends to be a little inefficient at times but no worse than COMAIR Aviation Academy up the road. I did my private and instrument ticket at COMAIR and then came to ATA to bypass the instructor route. You can also come to the school with all your ratings and just enroll in the Airstage II curriculum and get 8 hours of free Aztec time in the prep course. Pricing is competitive and the have a price guarantee program which if you have to fly more hours than you were contracted to pass your check rides it is free. I actually know several guys who have gotten almost 50 hours of flight time for free!!! COMAIR on the other hand quoted me a price for all my training and I had to pay an extra $4000 at the end, OUCH! Good luck with your search!!!
 

weekendwarrior

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Jun 14, 2002
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Some
I've been researching schools and programs for a couple of years now. I finally decided that I needed to obtain my ratings the cheapest, yet most effective way possible. I'm flying out of a small flight school with descent airplanes. Since I have VA benefits, I am in the 141 programs. The 141 programs offer more structure, without the big flight academy cost. If a school has a 141 license and not just a 61 license, there is a good chance (but not guaranteed) that the school has it's head screwed on somewhat straight. The main reason being is that they have to follow more government standards in regards to training than just a part 61 school. For jobs, I've been told that no school can get you a job. It's all about you building your time, and networking. Get your ratings, build your time, and get the resume's out there and the jobs will come, if you are qualified. I'm going to spend about $12,000 on my Inst, Comm, and Multi ratings. Then I'm building time doing whatever. If I went to one of the academies, I'd be tripling that cost and locked into instructing there for a couple of years.

Granted, I'm not flying for a living yet, so I may be completely wrong here. What I do know is the information provided to me by others in the industry. When it comes to pilots, the ratings and the time matters. Where you get the training is secondary.
 

shadowfax

New member
Joined
Apr 30, 2002
Posts
2
I am not a pilot but have been thinking about it for some time and need some information. I have just been laid off from a hi-tech job and have the opportunity to change careers. I am in my mid forties and this would be something my family has to buy into before I start, so am I crazy for wanting to put them through it? I have seen posts about folks in my age bracket making the jump to aviation, so I know it is at least possible. I have read the posts about flight schools and am starting to look into them. I really don't have a great ambition to fly a 747, so what is availible in other areas of aviation? I just want to fly and if that means a private license I'll do that. Give it to me straight, am I being realistic? Thanks for the input.
 

PAIFA-a-joke

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Jun 4, 2002
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Pan Am International Flight Academy (Phoenix) is a joke, a very poorly run outfit (especially top management). If your into having a school blow smoke up your a**, and taking your money with a smile then have fun, but take it from someone who has been there and done that...

Truly yours
 

AutoTransfer

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Jun 13, 2002
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78
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3800
I went to one of the schools you are researching. I have talked with many students (graduates) of different schools and FlightSafety grads seem to have the best experiences and the smoothest ride through the training curriculum. I realize it is more expensive than most of the programs, but the upfront money becomes relatively inexpensive when you start talking about scheduling ineffeciencies, unexpected expenses, and time out of the job market. I've also talked to a couple of ALLATP's and they were pleased with the expediency of the training.
For the record, I did not attend FlightSafety, but if I were choosing a school today, I would consider them very seriously.
Tailwinds Always!!
 

ShawnC

Skirts Will Rise
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Jan 17, 2002
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Just my observations:
I have only heard bad things about ATA that is based in KORL. So look into them real well.
 

wingnutt

...recognize this?
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Mar 31, 2002
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+30yrs
well, when i did my training, i wanted;
-as much twin as possible,
-to keep an handle on expenses,
-to use my VA,
-and be able to fit around my schedule.

for those reasons i chose Ari-Ben Aviator. when i finished i got;
-to use my VA,
-my ratings for 24K (that was a guaranteed price and when all was said and done with the VA, i paid a tad over 10K out-of-pocket)
-just over 200 hours of multi, and i credit the twin time for a big part of being able to find a 135 job at 500TT

no matter which school you chose, you will hear all the negatives, 99% of which are NOT firsthand knowledge (which to me is worthless). best thing you can do is;
-decide what your goals are,
-check out schools that will fit that bill,
-and go for it!
 

bobbysamd

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Nov 26, 2001
Posts
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Life begins at 40 . . . but not always in aviation

Take it from someone who knows, starting an aviation career after forty is very tough, if not downright impossible. Research some of my posts about my experiences with starting full-time in my mid-to-late thirties.

Right now, with the glut of qualified pilots and very few jobs, finding work for these well-qualified people is extremely tough. It's almost impossible for even young, low-time pilots just out of school. Age discrimination exists in this business, especially at the regional airlines. Although you can go to the majors without Part 121 regional experience, it helps greatly. Those who do may have thousands of hours of jet PIC flying for corporations or fractionals. Those jobs don't grow on trees.

There is plenty to do in aviation without being an airline pilot. You can fly corporate, freight, 135 charters, or be a career instructor. Case in point: My Chief Instructor at Embry-Riddle was a retired naval officer who took up aviation and became an instructor. Aside from Riddle, he's been a chief instructor at Hawthorne College. I believe he worked in a similar capacity at Comair as well.

Just set realistic goals. In so doing, maybe you can avoid the frustration and heartache that so many older pilot aspirants have experienced.

Good luck with your decision.
 
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Sean

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Dec 4, 2001
Posts
69
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???
Vero Beach(FSI)

I just got done the CIME program a few months ago at FSI and I can tell you I have a lot of friends that went to other flight schools and FSI is so far ahead it's not even close.

FSI is the only place you should go if you have the drive and money.

They haveg reat everything.

PM me for more details.
 
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