Pan Am Academy


Active member
Mar 21, 2002
Total Time
Okay, I'm a newbie here. A SWA college classmate of mine directed me to this site and I've been reading your posts for a couple of weeks now.

Here's the deal. I'm currently a full time CFI with probably another 4 months to go before I get the ATP. I have 75 multi and 1200 total.

My question for you all is should I continue to ATP through instructing and "hope" my ATP qualifications will get me on with a Regional? Or should I take the $15k plunge with Pan American for their ACE program which "guarantees" placement after a couple of months of training?

Their website, and the recruiter I spoke with said they guaranteed placement within 6 months after completion or "your money back."

Any thoughts/opinions/experiences on this?

Thank you to everyone who posts on this board. It has been very enlightening to me so far.

Happy flying!


Well-known member
Nov 28, 2001
Total Time
Neither. Keep on working, building experience and sending out resumes like everybody else until you get the job. Eventually you will get a job.

An ATP Certificate doesnt really mean much and is not necessary unless you are qualified for a turbojet captain's job. As long as you meet the minimums the ATP can be obtained during a sim check or type ride as long as the instuctor is also a DPE. Flight time is more important than the ATP.

This business changes every day. There is no telling what the time requirements at the regionals will be or if Pan Am Academy will be around in 6 months. There are so many guys out there looking for work that 5,000 hrs may not get you a job hauling rubber dog**CENSORED****CENSORED****CENSORED****CENSORED** unless you know someone.

Read previous threads on Pay For Training. I am againist it. Dont take the easy road


Dec 4, 2001
Total Time

I don't feel its as much a matter of taking the easy road. In the bad days of the 1990's it was a sad fact that those who wanted a job had one choice---pay for it (myself I just waited it out). Back then there was justification (ie 3000 TT and tons of multi but too bad if you don't pay you don't get a job---ASA, ACA, Chataqua, and the list goes on...). I was lucky, I finally had a CFI job at ATCA which paid well. After the three years of FBO instructing at 500 bucks a month the last thing I was going to do was pay for training. But not everyone was lucky enough to have a big school to work at while waiting. The choice was theirs---plunge another $11,000 loan now and get a job, or die on the vine and say goodbye to being a pilot forever.
But in todays market it's different. Sure it is tough now but it will bounce back. Today its a matter of letting some fat ass executive know that he can f*uck you before you even belong to him. And then from there everything from QOL to contracts will be a beeyatch. Don't pay a dime for a type unless you are going to SWA or someone else who is worth it.
From what I hear, PanAm is a fine school, much better than the (un-named) other school that they took over. But unless you really are in a corner, or a new pilot starting out at near zero, I would recommend that you instruct. Even do it for PanAM. You will have some real useful experiences and really have confidence in your flying.