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Pan Am Flight Academy CFIing

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Livin' the European Dream
Jan 26, 2002
Anybody ever instructed or been a student there, I'm asking for a friend that might be going to Ft Pierce.

Thanks in advance
I'm a student at Pan Am in Ft. Pierce right now. Decent school, but if you're looking to instruct there, don't even bother unless you go through their CFI/II/MEI, and ACE program. They aren't hiring anybody that doesn't do these programs, and the total cost of them is as follows:
CFI: $2970
CFII/MEI: $4800
ACE Program: $7000
Any other specifics, PM me and I'll be glad to give you the pros and cons of this school from a current student's point of view.
Take care, and fly safe.
I have been to one of those pilot factory's, and didn't like it so I quickly turned around and headed home and did the rest of my training part 61 at a local FBO..I spent about 1/3 the money for my commercial and cfi, and started working for them...I built so much time in 7 months that I got my first regional job..which has led to a better regional..excuse me.."national" is how it has been described to me...

My point is..Based on how my flight career has gone the best move for me was going to this fairly busy pt.61 school...To top it all off there was no "chief pilot, no dress code, we made our own schedules..(If you didn't want to work for a week you simply crossed your name off the schedule book) and I made roughly $600.00 a week flying around 30 hours a week and doing very little ground work.(granted that was in the summer when the most flying could get done.)Yes I made roughly 18 an hour for both flight and ground time. Heck I made more flight instructing than I do at the regional level.

No school can "guarantee you a interview" and definitely not a job..especially nowadays..I would think that paying for some RJ sim time is pretty much a waste of time..especially if it just to work there as a cfi...I loved cfi'ing ..it was a lot of fun, but it wouldn't have been fun for me if i would have had to work at places like Pan Am or Regional Flight Academy (I have a couple friends who work there and do the whole uniform/chief pilot gig.)

Bottom Line: I wouldn't do it...I've had more interviews coming outta upstate NY then all my friends combined that came out of Riddle...
Hey CRJ,
Congrats on your path to the "nationals." All things considered, it sounds like you made a wise decision and it's worked out well for you. I would actually like to expand a little bit on your response, as I have reached a similar crossroads in my training and plan on going elsewhere after my CFI. You mentioned that you went to upstate NY. Are there some parts of the country that are better than others as far as CFI job availability? Florida is a pretty miserable scenario at present...you can't throw a rock without hitting a CFI down here. Any ideas as far as transitioning to a part 61 environment? I'm looking forward to it, but the prospects seem pretty dim at present for a full-time CFI gig making enough to pay the bills (plus a HUGE loan payment!!!). Thanks again for your expertise...hopefully someday soon I'll be there in your position. Take it easy.
Pan Am

I wouldn't do it, either. The two instructor courses are expensive enough, though the combined CFI-I/MEI isn't that bad, but maybe you'll get some great training from them. Making people drop another $7K for the ACE program just so their chances for hire improve sounds like a hustle to me. Moreover, that ACE program would be of far more use just before that long-awaited "commuter interview" than many months before.

Just my opinion as well. I've read elsewhere that having to take the ACE program as a "requirement" for hire at Pan Am may not be 100% authentic.
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They do hire people trained outside and one of my friend is working in fort pierce. decent school in terms of job security but no multi for a long time. Have to do ground instruction or simulator instruction first before starting flying.

Not too good written bout the school in most of the boards but they are pretty busy with studetns. go to http://www.jetcareers.com and you'll find a whole forum for them and all the bad news.

Check that its three greens.....
I just started my CFI class at PanAm in Phoenix. It is true that they are currently only hiring graduates of the ACE and route programs. It is not their policy, it is how they are choosing the cream of the crop with the current slowdown. PanAm hired many outside CFIs last summer and fall and they are now very top heavy because very few are leaving to the airlines. ACE graduates are guaranteed to earn their PanAm wings (ie become PanAm instructors), but they are not guaranteed to get students. There are currently 4 CFIs with wings and no students. Summer is slow in Phoenix - not many people want to move to Phoenix in the summer months - things will pick up, like usual, with the big crops of new students in the fall.

The ACE program is excellent, I've been through it. I cannot imagine going through an airline ground school without knowing what I learned in ACE. They guarantee a job within 6 months once you have 700/100, or they will refund the $7k ACE tuition. PanAm has $7k invested in every ACE graduate, they work their A$$es off to find them jobs.

You will not have trouble getting a plane or instructor at PanAm. There is almost always an extra plane or two on the ramp and instructors looking for some extra hours. The planes are in excellent condition. We think of the 1999 planes with 2500 hours as the "old" planes. The fleet has grown, with brand-new Pipers, by over 50% in the past year.

I have been at PanAm for a year and I am very happy with my education and experience. The training is excellent, the route and ACE programs are awesome. Where else can you earn quality PIC ME time in a brand new Seminole for $86/hr?

Current CFIs should not look for a job at PanAm. But, if you have your CPL or less, going through the PanAm program will be an excellent experience.

please excuse my ignorance about the ace program and pan am flt school in general, but what exactly does that course entail?!? you said that : "The ACE program is excellent, I've been through it. I cannot imagine going through an airline ground school without knowing what I learned in ACE. "

I went through a 121 program no problem as an fo, then upgraded and got my ATP/1900type out of it .....NO ACE program either. Not trying to belittle you, just think that myself and countless others make it through just fine without that program.

I am also glad that you are proud of your school.....if the training was excellent, then thats even better! Build the time while you can and get the experience, the time of being hired with 700/100 is gone for a long time.

No Way

No, do not go to Pan AM. Its not worth the cost or the heat. $7,000 for what? I think its a corporate rip off. There will be no hiring of any regional pilots in the near future with the "ACE" program. Learn to fly for real with real people. Everyone should find a small part 61 Flight school with good knowledgable people, not a pilot "factory" for training. Part 61 small airports are the heart of aviation, and if you like aviation and general aviation, support your local airport.

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