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Pan Am Academy CFI's must PFT ($7K)

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Well-known member
Jan 4, 2002
First off, I appreciate all of the opinions suggesting the value of instructing. I'm sold on it and can't wait for my first student..

In looking around for a place to get my cfi and hopefully a job, I've found that Pan Am flight academy in Fort Pierce Florida requires the following of their job candidates:

Must have:
CFI: (which happens to be $3100 at PA)
CFII: (which happens to be $5000 at PA)

then the kicker:
A.C.E. Program: A whopping $7,140 only available from Pan Am.

The first two look reasonable, but the ACE program appears to be a PFT, since it is not required for the job duty. You give them $7k, they give you 8 hours in an RJ sim and some class time.

What do all of you think??
Sounds like the sim isn't filling up with "real" training. I wouldn't do it if I were you, unless there is no where else you can instruct. It is good to get your CFI at the place you would like to instruct, so you can meet the chief pilot, learn the ropes, etc.

But even the prices you quoted for the CFI/II are quite high. As for the RJ time, if your looking for a career in aviation what is that going to get you? maybe if a regional flies the RJ it may give you a slight advantage. But for $8000 you can get a 737 type rating which is a lot more valuable than 8 hours in the RJ.

So I wouldn't do it. even if you went in with your CFI/II your still gonna be paying quite a bit.
if ur considering the ACE programme then u should ask if someone ever got hired or even got an interview out of that programme. just doing the CFI,CFII might be a good idea if they want to hire u but if they don't then there r tons of other flight schools who will do the ratings cheaper and better. check this out
good luck

Check that its three greens.....
Quasi P-F-T

It does sound like a vague form of P-F-T, doesn't it? You're buying a chance at a job through this sim program.

I don't think the sim program will help you much down the road at all. Regional airlines will be impressed more by your multi-engine PIC. By the time you interview you will have forgotten nearly everything you learned in the sim. It would be of more help if you took it just before an interview.

As others mentioned, they're holding this program over your head because you want a job. I'd look around, unless you really want to work at Pan Am. Anything about getting your MEI out of the deal? $15K for two single-engine ratings and a few hours of sim time sounds like too much money to me. Look around some more.
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I would not consider this 100% (PFT) as the term is so easily thrown around since you are still getting a few "positives" by doing this- I am in no way endorsing this BUT it is nothing like Gulfjoke or along those lines. I would do much intense research however and way every option you have. Having the CFI/CFII will definately be a much needed plus on your resume as well as much more. I don't think the "sim time" is going to be "key" at the present point in your career anyways, seems more like Pan Am politics BUT the money you will spend for your CFI/CFII there does not sound too disgusting since if you are able to instruct there afterwards then I am sure you will be able to build quite abit of time up rather quickly due to the amount of students that attend there on a regular basis- food 4 thought...

$5000 for CFII??????????? :eek:

After my CFI at a part 141 school (required for my BS degree), I did the CFII part 61 in three flights. Total cost for CFII, not including written or examiner: about $250.
As a Pan Am student since last July, I've seen my share of changes in policy and contract. Unfortunately, this latest change concerning finishing the ACE program in order to be hired has hit me pretty hard. Not only does this prolong training, it's just another way to "milk" students of their hard earned money / loan. I have yet to speak to anyone about this change, but I don't anticipate anyone in management to give two sh!#s.
It's like being gang-raped at this place sometimes; just when you think you won't get "nailed" again, something like this happens.
My goal was to instruct at Pan Am, but not for $7K++. I think I may have actually learned my lesson.
What a joke

I thought your alias sounded familiar. After a brief look through the forums I remember why, you flamed me pretty good a few months ago.

First off, I'm confused. I went back and read this thread from January (click) where I believe I remember you being pro-PFT. I reread the whole thread very carefully and I still came away feeling that PFT was all right with you. Now in this thread you seem to be very against PFT? Now that's not bad, but I'm not going to celebrate yet, the wind might change direction and you could become pro-PFT again.

I'm not going to promote the ACE program. I don't now very much about it, and I don't really care either. However, the ACE program is not PFT. It's nothing more then 30 hours in a CRJ simulator along with some groudschool. Unlike Gulfstream it doesn't mean that you'll get hired at Pam Am, it will just make you meet the requirements set. You're welcome to take the ACE program and apply that experience somewhere else if you're not hired as a CFI, similar to Southwest. A 737 type rating will make you eligible for hire at Southwest, but it's not going to buy you a job there. Again, I'm not endorsing or defending Pan Am, however, they are a private business and can make up whatever requirements they want. If you don't like their requirements your welcome to try another school.

Now my question is this. Why are you so bent out of shape over this that you have to post this over multiple sites? When looking for any job your going to find some employers that you don't like. Also, I'd be a little more careful before starting a thread that suggests that all Pan Am instructors are PFTers. I doubt that they are any different from the instructors at other places, just hard working people working trying everyday to gain experience and move on eventually.

Now I understand that you know everything about flying the C152 since you have 100 hours in it (150 expert), but I still think your a few sandwiches short of a picnic.

Best of Luck,
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Prior to a few months ago I carried a very strong belief that it was all training until you get into the right seat of some big plane. I questioned my own assumptions and beliefs about PFT, and the value of flying little ones for a couple years and came to the conclusion that I was totally in the wrong. My tactic to get a decent debate worked well in the end. I learned, and switched my opinion into reverse.

Don't anyone feel left out for not seeing a gradual change in my opinion. I only get on here when I've got something I need to figure out.

To pick apart your many questions,
Multiple sites: I learn here, I offer my experience and advice elsewhere.
PA instructors all being PFT: Not the interpretation I intended. I have nothing against the instructors, and don't quite know enough yet to see if they are getting screwed by paying $7,000 for some sim time + the opportunity to work there.

Back to the subject, does anyone here know if $7,000 is a decent rate for this sim training? Should this actually improve skills and knowledge? Will the regional recruiters be impressed?

Thanks all.

PS. Wiggums, if you know any secrets about flying the 152 that I may have missed, please let me know!!
I won't say much about the ACE program. The idea of PAIFA instructors being required to PFT is completely untrue. The ACE program may be over-priced, but they do offer a complete refund if you don't get a job within a given period. (I believe it's a year after you get 1200 hours.) Not my personal preference, but the ACE program is in absolutely no way required to become an instructor there. They are a flight school who places a high value on the ACE program, therefore, they elect to hire their own ACE graduates over outside applicants. It is a business practice, not PFT.

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