Which school would you choose?

bdeitsch

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Hello everyone,

This is my first post on this forum and I am trying to find out what your opinions are on a tough decision that I have to make in the near future.

I am a flight student at a local university. I have my private pilots license and I am currently working on my instrument rating and plan to have my commercial and multi-engine rating by the end of the spring semester.

I have the option of getting my CFI and CFII at the university and possibly teaching for a year or so, but at 35 years old, I'm trying to crunch time a little bit.

I've looked at more flyers and ads from advanced training schools than I care to count. I need to get past those colorful ads and get some other peoples opinions if I may.

I am currently looking quite hard at three schools in Florida. Orlando Flight Training in Kissimmee, FL; Phoenix East Aviation in Daytona Beach, FL; and FlightSafety Academy in Vero Beach, FL.

I like Orlando Flight Training and Phoenix East because their ads tell me that they can put me in a B727 for 500 hours. But I like FlightSafety for their reputation and that they give me an Airline interview before I start training. If I pass the interview, then I start training and if I pass the training, I have a job waiting for me when I'm done.

Now I know a lot of schools out there tend to bend, twist, and stretch the truth to make themselves look good. Hell, I would to if I were competing for students and each one was going to spend anywhere from $50,000 to $100,000.

What I want to know is what is the real world? I'm sure at least some of you out there have had some dealings with each of these schools. What was your experience and what is you opinion. Maybe you would suggest a completely different school. Let me hear it.

Thank you for your time.

Bill Deitsch
 

mayday1

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I think it is FlightSafety's direct track program you're considering? If this is correct, I think it is ~$25k for their program + another $5-8k for an instrument/commercial/multi "evaluation" if you haven't done your training with them. If you ask me, this is a total waste of money.. there are no guarantees, and for a fraction of that cost you could just get your CFI, build 600hrs, and get hired within a year or so.

As for the 500hrs of B727 time... I bet they're asking for $30-40k for that.... again, same comment as above.
 

flydrummer

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Everyone always talks about the flight acadamies but what do you all think about earning your ratings at a local FBO? And maybe start teaching for them to build time. Or is that a little too slow for someone who is 35 looking to speed things up?
 

cforst513

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hey new guy, don't sign your name.

are you able to do your training and ONLY your training (i.e. will you be working)? if you won't be working and can concentrate on your ratings only, check out local FBO's. you can move quite quickly if you do this route. i got my private in 6 weeks, with 19 days of not flying.

depending on where you are, 2 schools i have experience with are:
www.epicaviation.com in new smyrna beach, fl (8 mi south of daytona)
www.flymfs.com mazzei flying service in fresno, ca. i like the outfit out there. check these places out. send me a private message if you want more info.
 

bdeitsch

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mayday1
The program that I am looking at with FlightSafety is their Advanced Airline Training program. Not sure what the cost is, but the jist of the deal is you take their evaluation program to make sure you are up to their standards, then you interview with the airline, and if the interview is successful, you then train with FlightSafety and you have a job with the airline you interviewed with when you complete training. The program with Phoenix East and Orlando Flight Training will net me 500 hours as Second Officer (Flight Engineer) and 500 hours as First Officer. Yes, the program is in the $30,000 range, but the flying pays $30 per hour as well. Also, who is hiring pilots at 600 hours without advanced training. I have heard of this at these advanced schools because of their training, but have not heard of it outside of this. Everything I see requires a minimum of 1000 hours with 100 multi time and competitive levels being higher than this. If you know of airlines hiring flight instructors at 600 hours, then this gives me great hope. Please share with me what you know.


flydrummer
I think the idea of instructing is a good idea. I have nothing against it and that option is open to me at the university. My only goal is to crunch time if possible. I have always been told that airline hiring drops off significantly after the age of 40. The sooner I can get there the better my chances are.

Thank you for your time.

Bill Deitsch
 

av8orboy

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http://www.naiasc.com/

Great school I started there in Jan 2001 and finished in Aug 2001 with everything. Comm-Instr-Multi-CFI-CFII. They also had the best price of all the school I looked at.
 

gkrangers

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My advice would be, if you can afford it, just drop what you are doing and fly fly fly.

Get your insturment, comm, multi, cfi, cfii, and mei...and instruct...it'll benefit your tremendously in the learning and time building department. A local flight school would be just fine. FlightSafety is of course, reputable...but I'd stay away from all of the "get 500 hours in a 727" and etc crap...its worthless...

Remember these words..."Pilot In Command"...
 

mayday1

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bdeitsch said:
mayday1
The program that I am looking at with FlightSafety is their Advanced Airline Training program. Not sure what the cost is, but the jist of the deal is you take their evaluation program to make sure you are up to their standards, then you interview with the airline, and if the interview is successful, you then train with FlightSafety and you have a job with the airline you interviewed with when you complete training.
the program at FS costs around $5k-8 just for the "evaluation." Then another $25k for the training if you pass the interview, and a "conditional offer."... not worth it if you ask me... you're taking some big chances.. one, that you "pass" their eval to the tune of $5k, and not need further training from FS. Secondly, even if you get the interview and conditional offer, I still don't think there is a guarantee of employment at ASA.. then you could be out $25k+... maybe someone on this board is more familiar with this program than I, but I'd move forward cautiously.

As far as the 727 time, I would also think that's a waste.. seriously, try the CFI route.. you 'll be surprised at the time you can build in just a year.
 

saviboy

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Everything I see requires a minimum of 1000 hours with 100 multi time and competitive levels being higher than this. If you know of airlines hiring flight instructors at 600 hours, then this gives me great hope. Please share with me what you know.


I believe ASA and expressjet minimums are still around 600 TT and 100 Me.
Colgan has recently hired several pilots with times around 500 tt.
Skyway has their minimyms at 700tt and 50 me.
They called me for an interview when I "only" had 900 TT and 70 Me.
Airnet is not an airline but a godd place to cut your teeth and their posted minimums are 500 tt even though to be competitive you might require more.
U can get a pretty good idea of whos hirning and at what times on aviationinterviews.com.

And again , dont sign your name.
good luck
 

moxiepilot

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Bill- don't worry about how old you are, you just keep getting older - you know? If you start to limit your options by using your age as a reason to fast track you start getting yourself into the ever so hot and debatable Pay for Training thread.
I'm in my 30's and just finishing up my CFI. I expect to train for a few years until qualified for another position. You know what?, there are other positions out there that are not necessarily regional or major carriers. I always wanted to fly corporate, but then I soon realized there is a huge market for Chief and asst. chief pilots (whose pay is good) because those positions usually lead to something else quickly.
All I'm saying is don't limit your options or path. You'll find a lot of older folks on this site who are happy with cargo, 135 ops, flight instruction and other things.
As for your florida schools, check your PM's.
 

Goose Egg

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moxiepilot said:
All I'm saying is don't limit your options or path. You'll find a lot of older folks on this site who are happy with cargo, 135 ops, flight instruction and other things.
Great advice. I just recieved a card from a good friend of mine for my 29th birthday. You guys are going to laugh, but I was feeling a bit old. The card says:

"Age is a question of mind over matter. If you don't mind, it doesn't matter."

How true! And since then, I've realized just how young I am. Sure, I'm a bit old for your average instructor, but I'm enjoying it thoroughly and I wouldn't want to be doing anything else right now, and to be honest, that includes flying for an airline. That's good, because to achieve my goals, I'll have to do a bit more instructing. But I enjoy it, and it pays the bills. What more could I ask for? I don't mind, therefore, it doesn't matter. Do what makes you happy. Life's too short do be doing something else.

-Goose
 

saviboy

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BTW, about the age thing, i am gonna turn 31 and I just got my first pax flying job after having instructed for 1.5 years.
A friend of mine got on with Chautauqua and he was over 35 , so dont worry too much about it.
good luck
 

airludy

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Flight Safety is too expensive. I would recomend Pairs Air in Vero Beach FL. Not a bad place, smaller, less expensive, but they have good instructors and a lot cheaper than Flight Safety
 

Goose Egg

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Wow, did I forget to include the moral of the story? Apparently I did, because my point didn't get across.

Moral of the story: Don't let age be a determining factor. Don't run out and spend the big bucks because you think you are too old for any other route. Determine the course of action that is best for your in all aspects. Those academies are awfully good at churning out pilots, but the number one factor that determines the quality of your training is the skill of your instructor. Don't be afraid to go the FBO route. It is generally a lot cheaper, and you can progress through your training just as quickly (if not more) than the large academies. Not to mention the crowd at a good FBO is a lot of fun to hang out with. And you probably wouldn't have to relocate.

-Goose
 

cezzna

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Get a job instructing!!! You will learn MORE being an instructor than in any other aviation job. I know of lots of places that look for people who instructed. It is favorably looked upon. It is the best experience you can get. It may be hard for you to imagine that instructing could be so beneficial but it is. When you teach others you are really teaching yourself.

500 hrs of bought 72 time won't teach you as much as you think, and it does not make you stand out in the pile of resumes.This kind of time is unfavorably looked upon by many.

You want the SKILLS that the airlines are looking for, and you'll find them instructing. I used to run a frasca and did a lot of interview prep scenarios. Without exception the guys who skipped instructing SUCKED!
 

gator_hater

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I donlt know about the ads you read, and the basis of the other opinions but...I've done the FSI thing and it worked out fine for me. But it has been stated, you've got to crunch the numbers and decide for yourself...
 

pilotmiketx

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bdeitsch said:
Now I know a lot of schools out there tend to bend, twist, and stretch the truth to make themselves look good. Hell, I would to if I were competing for students and each one was going to spend anywhere from $50,000 to $100,000.
You answered your own question. Those places will take a disproportionate amount of money and cause you many headaches for whatever "experience" they offer. There is no substitute for real, bona-fide, earned experience. Especially in aviation.

Finish your degree. Finish your CFI. Teach for your school or another FBO or both. If you're a good instructor you will have no shortage of students. You'll be on your way to a long series of entry level jobs in no time.
 
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