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Various training questions

xshuttlefa

D'oh
Joined
Sep 4, 2005
Posts
72
Total Time
1800
I have a bit over 300 hours and my SEL commercial and instrument. I was looking for advice on what to do next in training. I am 28 and married and have always wanted to fly for a living. I am not new to aviation, I did work for a year as a flight attendant so I know a few of the downfalls of flying for a living.

I've looked at many options (and posts on this board). I've decided that the PFT route is at the bottom of my list. But I am not thrilled at the thought of flight instructing either. I live in Pittsburgh PA, so banner towing,etc. is not a big thing up here. I'm willing to move, but my wife isn't, not right now anyway (and she makes the $$ right now).

My question is this: Do I go and get my MEL (3 or 4 day course or community college program) or my CFI-I the same way? There are pros and cons to both, but with one exception. I really don't know if I want to flight instruct. I plan on doing a few flights with an instructor to see what instructing is like.

I'm looking for options and opinions, please. Please don't lecture me on PFT or PFJ, I've read enough other posts to know the feelings of a majority of the board on that subject ( and I undestand why too.)

Finally, of all the schools offering "MEL in seconds!" training, anyone have any opinions on

Action MER in Groton,CT
Skyventure in Jonesboro,AR

I've heard good things about American Flyers, All ATP and Flightsafety. The community college offers MEL, but the flight school is the same I've always flown at, with the same usually DFM Duchess.

Thanks in advance!
 
3

350DRIVER

Get the Multi- add on, CFI/CFII (you can do it either 61 or 141)

You have not only the CCBC program at Beaver but you also have Haski at UCP, a flight school at AGC, one at Butler, another at Grove City, etc, etc, the list goes on and on. No reason why you should have to travel to CT or AR to get this training. You usually get what you pay for...

If you don't truly want to instruct then don't do it just to "build time", it will not only cheat your students but it will also make you somewhat miserable if your heart and intentions are not truly there.

You need to decide what you want to do, just stay away from the PFT programs. A board search on the subject will provide hours upon hours of reading and information on the subject.
 

minitour

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 17, 2004
Posts
3,249
I'd recommend doing the CFI thing. Even if it's only a "part time" thing.

Here's a few reasons.
1. You'll build a few hours training for the CFI/II checkrides.
2. You'll learn more in the first few hours as a CFI than you've learned to date...trust me...I'm right there with ya.
3. The experience will help you down the road.

I'd say for long term...look at cargo, charter, corporate, etc.

I'd stay away from the CMEL at this point unless you have a probability of getting a job flying twins. The ME add-on to the CSEL is pretty easy...especially in the Duchess. I got mine done in 3.9 hours including a 1 hour checkride in a duchess. I don't know that I'd recommend the 4 hour route...am I legal? Yeah...do I feel like I could proficiently take people up in a twin? Sure...so long as they're both turning. That's not a good feeling to have.

On the other hand...if you can get a job doing MEI stuff, get the CMEL/MEI.

Where do you fly out of in PIT and do they rent the Duchess out solo? Drop me a PM...I'm in the area...sorta.

-mini
 

minitour

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 17, 2004
Posts
3,249
350DRIVER said:
...another at Grove City...
Was unaware of that when I spoke to the airport "manager". What's the name of the place?

-mini
 

minitour

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 17, 2004
Posts
3,249
350DRIVER said:
http://silentwingssoaring.com/training.html

I had spoken too soon, seems as if they no longer offer fixed wing training.

Silent Wings is the current school on the field.
Okay...we're on the same page...wasn't sure if I missed something.

I've been thinking about that. But 30 lessons to solo and 20 more to get the Commercial Glider add-on seems steep ($)...then the CFI-G is even more $.

But it could be fun...

-mini
 
3

350DRIVER

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Last edited:

xshuttlefa

D'oh
Joined
Sep 4, 2005
Posts
72
Total Time
1800
350DRIVER said:
Get the Multi- add on, CFI/CFII (you can do it either 61 or 141)

You have not only the CCBC program at Beaver but you also have Haski at UCP, a flight school at AGC, one at Butler, another at Grove City, etc, etc, the list goes on and on. No reason why you should have to travel to CT or AR to get this training. You usually get what you pay for...

If you don't truly want to instruct then don't do it just to "build time", it will not only cheat your students but it will also make you somewhat miserable if your heart and intentions are not truly there.

You need to decide what you want to do, just stay away from the PFT programs. A board search on the subject will provide hours upon hours of reading and information on the subject.

I've done all my training at AGC at Pittsburgh Flight Training Center, with a majority done through CCAC. I did a semester or two at CCBC, did a lot of my commercial up there, but then 9-11 hit, I lost my job as an aircraft cleaner at USairways (which was paying rather decently) so I took a break for a while, too long actually. I just recently got back into it, finished my commercial in April at AGC.

The flight attendant job opened my eyes to what it's like to fly for a living. And since I had just married two months before taking the job, I didn't see too much of my new wife. It had me wondering whether I wanted to be a pilot.

But I truly enjoy flying, I love being in command of a complex machine. I did a course called ATOP (Airline Training Orientation Program). As it's name implies, the idea is to give you a look into airline-style 121 training and it was done at Continentals Training Center in IAH.

It was a weekend course (go to b737.com for details) that gave you a very basic indoc to the 737, a chance to use a CPT, plus 1.5 hours of sim time in a 737 sim, which my group lucked out on. We were "trained" on using the -300 model of the 737, but got to fly the 737-800 sim. (If anyone else here is wondering whether they want to fly for an airline, I recommend this course.)

Long story short, when I was "flying" the sim, I had the time of my life. Everything came naturally to me, and I made two of the best landings I've ever made in anything I've flown. I know the industry is a mess right now, I know it's not fun and games all the time, travel sucks, 0500 van times suck, broken airplanes suck, odd crewmembers suck. But it's the only thing I've ever wanted to do.

I was looking at the hurry-up courses in other states because I like flying somewhere different. But I suppose there's enough time for that later. I haven't ruled them out, but they are further down the list.

Oh, I did search the board on PFT or PFJ until 200 last night.
 
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