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

lancair1

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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??
 

generaltso

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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.
 

ipilot

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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
http://www.jetcareers.com/ubbthread...er=4233&page=0&view=collapsed&sb=5&o=0&fpart=
good luck


________________________
Check that its three greens.....
 

bobbysamd

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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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3

350DRIVER

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...

cheers-
350
 

DorkProp

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$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.
 

buckman

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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
 

Wiggums

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Lancair1:

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,
Wiggums
 
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lancair1

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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!!
 

Bluto

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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.
 

Wiggums

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lancair1 said:
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.
Most instructors are from the outside, or were hired before the ACE program was really going. As I understand it hiring from the outside is closed now. Hence the ACE program, if you compete that you're now an insider.

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?
I'd say that's a fair rate, but I don't think having the sim time in your logbook is going to give you that much of an advantage getting an airline. The advantage is that if you don't get a job then they have to give you your money back, so you can bet that Pan Am's people will use their considerable influence to get you an interview. Moreover, the ACE program is basically what sets Pan Am apart from the other academies, so quite a lot of emphasis is being placed on it right now.

Are you still considering trying to work at Pan Am? After your post here and at jetcareers.com I thought that door was closed.
 
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lancair1

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The ACE program is an absolute requirement to get hired. If you look at the link above, you'll see that the Director of Training at Pan Am made that very clear.

If you can get a 727 type rating for $8,000, it seems that they must be profiting a great deal from the ACE program. Even if they do offer to refund the money if you don't get another job at 1200, it still seems as though you are just giving them some extra cash flow.

As far as my employement options go, I've not locked myself into any one place as of yet. I was rather convinced that Pan Am would be a good place to pick up the commercial single and cfi/cfii/mei with the hope of working there, but then this extra $7k issue came up, let alone the whole Director of Training issue http://www.jetcareers.com/ubbthread...er=5090&page=0&view=collapsed&sb=5&o=0&fpart= Another reason the door is still open is that I was informed of a rumor that a few things may change in their management.

Has anyone here gone through the $7,000 ACE program? What did you think?
 
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bobbysamd

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Pan Am

I read Lancair's comment on the other board about his conversation with the school official. I'm surprised that such a person would be so abrupt to a potential CUSTOMER. Maybe there's some insight there. Usually, flight school officials are all sweetness and light to potential customers.

Perhaps, upon reflection, this sim program isn't true P-F-T, as compared to you-know-where in South Florida, which is true P-F-T. Just the same, having to enroll in this program and pay $7K on top of already being an $8K CFI customer seems to be a terribly expensive way to receive employment consideration.

Once again, the only advantage I see to the program is you'll know a little about high-performance aircraft sims and CRM when you get to your regional interview.

Good luck with your decision.
 

buckman

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Things are always changing at Pan Am. I think any large flight school is full of changes and politics. At Pan Am they hired many instructors several months ago from outside the school. Consequently, we now have enough instructors which is probably why our management is prolonging our training; they are hoping to get rid of some of these instructors as well as make some extra money with the ACE program. After asking several of my friends who fly for the airlines what they thought of the ACE program most of them laughed and told me I was getting "ripped off." Some said it was a great idea, but should be done right before going to a regional. . .

As for Pan Am's guarantee about job placement this is how it works. After you start instructing for them and have attained 700 total time and 100 multi time the clock starts ticking. Pan Am then has six months to place you in a job. Keep in mind this means ANY job Pan Am can find for you, not the job you were actually hoping for.

Since July I have seen Pan Am place "zero" people per what their program says. I understand Sept. 11 is a big factor, however, I would feel much better about spending my life savings if Pan Am could show some concrete results.
 

bobbysamd

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Flight School Politics

Man, you hit it on the head with regard to politics in flight schools. I worked in two big programs, ERAU, FSI down the street from you, and a smaller program, MAPD in Farmington.

Students who want to work at their school after graduation have to tread lightly and put up with a lot of nonsense. Sometimes, this involves putting up with various injustices, such as bogus stage checks. Say the wrong thing to the wrong person at the wrong time, and you can kiss your employment chance goodbye.

I remember that at FlightSafety there was a great deal of tension between instructors inside hires and those who were outside hires. I was an outside hire, but what the Chief Pilot called a "senior instructor" at the time. At that time I had perhaps 3000 total and, for sure, 700 multi. The school was hiring senior instructors for its contract programs. The inside hires had less experience, but felt they should have been considered for the contract programs instead of outside hires. Truth is, the best of the inside hires were put in the contract programs. My second group leader in the Alitalia program was an inside hire at FlightSafety and who had run previous contract programs.

I also remember that when I started at FlightSafety the Chief Pilot was instituting a formal unusual attitudes training program. He looked for instructors to volunteer to train for and teach the program. I volunteered. At the time he seemed very interested in using me. I followed-up with him several times to express my continued interest. He finally selected instructor(s) who were hired from within to teach the program. Go figure . . . . flight school politics.

Good points about job placement. It seems that all career schools and not just flight schools use job placement as a sales point. For example, (are you out there, Timebuilder?) broadcasting schools promise job placement. Aspiring radio announcers think their first job will be on the air in New York and sign up. After graduation they are placed, alright, perhaps answering phones at an AM station in East Arm Pit, Nebraska, and they are disappointed and angry. However, they were "placed," as the school promised. Be sure to get a definition about what is meant by job placement before signing up with a school.
 
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hyper

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I'll stay away from the actual question regarding the program, but I will pass on some first hand insight to Pan Am (at least the Ft. Pierce site). I have no personal experience but I do have a previous student that I trained from private through CPL ME-Inst. We became pretty close friends on a personal basis, so I keep up with his progress. After getting on with a 135 outfit, I was unable to complete his instructor ratings. I have no intentioned on denouncing any company undeserving, but scams like this are a festering wound on our industry and too many are getting away with the equivalent of robbery.

Long story-short, he and a friend chose Pan Am. He was less concerned about the extra money and more about getting away from home, focusing , and wrapping up all of his instructor ratings in a class environment. In the three weeks they were there, he was scheduled for multiple flights and eeked out only one. The schedule was a mess, always changing with no notification. Their frustration with the lack of scheduling organization and their personal experience with CFI's that could care less what, or if they learned anything, was nothing more than a very expensive lesson on what Pan Am did NOT have to offer. They were even charging for post flight briefings that weren't conducted (CFI would disappear after the flight). 3 Meetings were scheduled with the admin. to talk about his lack of progress (whilst paying for accommodations mind you) and not one person showed at the time agreed. Out of those three only one showed at all and that was an hour late.

Finally after a meeting with whoever the head honcho is there, he dared them to challenge him, thinking that might get a fired started on his progress. 3 days later, still same old same old.

Bottom line is he cut his losses and left, $7k poorer, but much wiser.

No ulterior motive, just a story followed first hand.
 

bobbysamd

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Flight School BS

Good story. Sometimes, instructors get the short end of the stick as well.

I remember that very early in my tour at FlightSafety I scheduled a student and took my days off. I returned to work, only to find nothing on my schedule at all. I went to an Assistant Chief Pilot, who told me that he unilaterally pulled the student from my student load. He said this student was having trouble deciding what kind of program to pursue. This Assistant Chief felt that someone "more experienced" was needed to handle this student. The student and I were getting along fine. I asked why I wasn't called at home about this. He said he didn't want to bother me on my days off. I told him I would have appreciated a call.

I didn't understand this at all because this same Assistant Chief Pilot had flown with me during my interview and was familiar with my experience and quals, as stated above. I had similar instances of students being pulled from my schedule (and money pulled from my wallet). These instances really turned me off to the place as an instructor, and as an adult. I still would recommend FSI to students for great training.
 
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Wiggums

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lancair1 said:
The ACE program is an absolute requirement to get hired. If you look at the link above, you'll see that the Director of Training at Pan Am made that very clear.


Look, at any big school there will be lots of people that are "directors" that sound important. However, this guy was probably giving you the standard answer to questions posed multiple times each day. He had no excuse to be rude to a potential customer. However, you really need to talk to the person who is making the hiring decisions, probably the chief pilot. Even if the ACE program deal is supposed to be the rule there can always be exceptions. In the end it'll probably come down to who you know and who's butt you've kissed. If the chief pilot was your college roommate, you'd be working there now.

If you can get a 727 type rating for $8,000, it seems that they must be profiting a great deal from the ACE program. Even if they do offer to refund the money if you don't get another job at 1200, it still seems as though you are just giving them some extra cash flow.

Has anyone here gone through the $7,000 ACE program? What did you think?
Yes, being a private company I'm sure Pan Am is making money on the ACE program, as they try to do on everything else. I think the price isn't to out of line considering the cost of the equipment.

Based on the little I know about the whole ACE situation I would say it's not worth it. Why spend $15k when you could spend $5k for the same thing somewhere else?
 
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canosoup

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We eat our own

I remember when PAIFA took over my school in Vero Beach afew years ago..one instructor made an innocuous comment about something on the uniforms during a CFI meeting and they fired him on the spot!
 

sharpeye

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Just realized something, the subject of this ACE program at the academy was brought up in the original post and a few after stating they were getting trained in an RJ sim. I just wanted to make sure you all knew it isn't an RJ sim, it is an RF FTD, there's a big difference. One you just get to flip the switches, the other (if it's level C or D, you can actually fly and almost be the same as flying the plane. $7,000 for FTD time? You have to be kidding.
 
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