I know that Sawyer at PHX used to rebate any taxi time over .2, so if it was real busy you didn't get to ripped off. Saywer ended up moving to Scottsdale after 9/11. I don't know of any other schools located at Class B airports.
I've flown out of Class B airports and found them no different from other busy airports. However, I work at an airport (Class D) where I've waited aslong as thirty minutes to depart, so my perspective is a bit skewed.
Fletcher at Houston Hobby. I've flown out of there quite a bit and rarely get delayed more than 5 minutes or so. Everyone seems to get along pretty well. Never beenn charged a landing fee there - in my plane or any other.
flying out of SLC isn't bad at all. Runway 17/35 is used for most of the GA traffic, and even though it is shared by a couple of flight schools and all the private jets and cargo guys, I've never had to wait the 15-20 minutes I've waited at busy Class D airports. 121 folks have 16/34 R and L to use and there are on the other side. Then again, SLC isn't as busy as LAX, PHX, BOS, etc. I'm sure.
Flying out of the class D at Orlando Executive is the hardest airport to get in and out of that i've ever been to. This includes MCO. You can wait up to 30 minutes for IFR or VFR release. Not to mention being vectored 25 miles out for the ILS in beautiful VFR weather. You may be #9 out there behind anything from a 737 (miami heat) to global expresses to c152s. That calls for some pretty crafty work for everyone from the controllers to the pilots. It's a pretty intense area.
I got my pvt with Sawyer at Sky Harbor back in 1998. That was a great learning experience. In fact, that was the reason I chose to fly there. I figured the earlier I got used to class B, the better I'd be on the radios and I loved being #10 for take-off in between a 757 and DC-10 in a C-152, knowing that anything over .2 was free!
I remember coming back from my first solo cross-country to Tucson...I was doing 360's abeam the numbers when they cleared me to land behind the DC-10, but wanted me to keep my speed up because a MD-11 was on a 4 mile final. I think I floated 3000' down the runway trying to land beyond the DC-10's touchdown point, yet trying to get off the runway ASAP!
I instructed for a year out of Orlando Exec and it is an excellent airport to learn to fly from. There are so many different floors/ceilings of class B in the area, you really have to know where you are at all times. If you haven't done so already, schedule a tour of the tower and talk to those guys. You can really learn a lot from the controllers, plus they'll tell you what they like and what they hate. After a while, they'll recognize your voice and give you preferential treatment. I used to take my pvt students over there when the weather was bad instead of cancelling all together. Every one of them really seemed to relax a little and not be so nervous after they met the tower controllers.
"Flying out of the class D at Orlando Executive is the hardest airport to get in and out of that i've ever been to. This includes MCO. You can wait up to 30 minutes for IFR or VFR release. Not to mention being vectored 25 miles out for the ILS in beautiful VFR weather. You may be #9 out there behind anything from a 737 (miami heat) to global expresses to c152s. That calls for some pretty crafty work for everyone from the controllers to the pilots. It's a pretty intense area."
Sounds like a normal day of flying and what I trained in. This is about the norm just about any weekday at ADS and the surrounding airports at DFW.
To answer the original question, it is a very good enviornment to learn in. I am glad I trained where I did and I think it had alot to do with what kinda pilot I became. I have some friends that trained out of uncontrolled feilds and it seems that this is really all they feel comfortable in. Nothing wrong with that if your just a recreation pilot.
I remember my first few flights when I actually started talking on the radios, and sometimes I was more affraid of that than flying the aircraft. It can be hard at first for student pilots and almost overwhelming at times. But, again, I think that is the best training ground.
I just do recreation flying for now and I don't mind flying into the congested airspaces. If I had trained somewhere else I might not have that same confidence.
Thanks for clearing up the RDU comments. The last time I was there, there was talk of making it class B, but I suppose that the demise of Midway, or at least the downsizing of Midway has put the number of passenger enplanements safely back in the class C range.
I used to fly in and out of PHL regularly, and the ATC folks were always ready to help out, and were very friendly. The 17/35 runway was great, and the new 26/08 runway over next to the new Atlantic FBO is even better. I'm gonna miss it. I already miss flying into Teterboro...hey I'm an instructor...that was a highpoint of my week....
Did alot of flying out of HOU- great training enviroment and nothing like having SWA 37's all over the sky while on a short final in a V-35 Banana (N91466) what a bird with the big IO-550 300 HP- miss those days- - - - - SGR and GLS were great places within a short distance from HOU not to mention the military activity that could be seen daily @ EFD.... - GLS has one of the most "scenic" ILS approaches I think I have ever flown and all that VMC the prevailed there.!!- - Anyone know if Delbert Burgess is still a DE in the Houston area???- - What a "true" flying ace- -
Too much IMC and icing up here
just wonder if good "ole" Maybelle Fletcher is still "allowed" to give check rides.-lol!- to those who know her know what I mean
Delbert was not flying due to illness last I heard, but that was second hand information. Maybelle was still running the business a month or two ago when I was there last, but I hadn't seen her flying in quite a while before either. She seemed to be doing pretty well though.
You hear that Spaceland/Gulf closed? The developers got it last Monday.
Flyboy. Agreed in full. ORL is packed. Same with SFB, ISM, DAB, etc. The controllers are great aren't they? Nothing like pushing 10 airplanes on 3 different approaches to the same runway, all with approach speeds varying by 60 knots. Have you heard they're considering slots and no practice IFR? If not, pleeeease try to influence your school to fly more early am and night blocks for IFR. Needless to say, but that would not be good for business. I'm sure the 135 guys would be happy though.
To the other responder, forgot your name. Sure wish we could go up to the tower still. Used to be a great experience for students. 9/11 events put an end to that. However, the controllers are nice enough to come out to the local flight schools to answer questions.
BTW, why would the Miami Heat be flying into ORL? Maybe you mean the Magic?
correct, the magic fly a 737 in but when the miami heat come in, you get to watch them land a 727 out there. Watching him land is not nearly as much fun as watching him get up. They use every bit of that 6003 ft. runway. Didn't know that they were going to start cutting down on IFR practice and creating "slots". I understand that they are really busy, but wouldn't they rather new IFR pilots have actually had experience in controlled airspace on IFR flight plans? I mean, some instructors take their guys up to OCF to shoot the arc, vor, and ils while VFR and not talking to anyone. Then when they get thier ticket and fly into MCO airspace on IFR flight plan, they can hardly handle a clearance. Cutting back would be unfortunate.
Unfortunate indeed and, yes, they are trying to work it out. But, they can only handle so much traffic. The problem is 9-12 am and 2-5 pm...obviously peak hrs for training. Get the word out that people ought to be flying IFR lessons early morning and in the evening. If we don't change it, we get screwed basically.
People are shooting approaches without talking to anybody? That is a terrible practice and will end up getting people hurt or violated. I believe Jax Center serves OCF. Flying practice approaches on a VFR flight plan with a squawk code is one thing but incommunicado is quite another, especially to an airport that, by all rights, ought to be Class D. Dangerous!! Is that the proper way to enter the pattern at a nontowered airport? What school do you go to anyway? Do your planes have red tails?
Cleveland Hopkins has a flight school called 5K on the field. I used to keep a C172 there. There are always creative ways to get the Cessnas out ahead of all the Continental traffic, such as intersection departures off 28, or 24R, 6L. Whenever we gave a student a Class B solo, we would call the tower on the phone first to let them know that the student was coming. On occassion, they would ask us to have him wait 15 minutes or so before we sent him, just so they could finish a bank of flights. They get snippy sometimes, but for the most part the controllers work with you.
Indeed, the tails are red and you must have had some personal experience with some of some of these guys. No, it obviously is not the traffic pattern. I'm sure that they do make traffic call outs, but more often than not, they do not talk to JAX. I think that more than the red tails, the local FBO IFR students/instructors are causing the most problems there. Also, you are correct about that airport. It should be a class D airport. There is no way that I would be shooting approaches there without talking to someone. When I'm on a VFR cross country that takes me through OCF VOR, I always choose an altitude that more than clears me of the traffic there. People tend to enter the pattern at any altitude/angle they wish. I've passed overhead at 5000+ before only to just miss a mid-air with someone spiralling down to join the flow. Fly safe and keep your eyes open! This includes every airport in central Florida.