DLHFLYER From United States of America, joined Apr 2009, 184 posts, RR: 0 Posted (4 years 8 months 1 week 12 hours ago) and read 2715 times:
I was curious for everyone to pipe in, as to what they think is the BEST aviation school? Obviously, the two big ones that come to mind are Embry Riddle and North Dakota, but their are more.
I don't want to hear that aviation is not the career to go into, especially with the current airlines states. This is not the point of the topic.
And especially those who have experiences with ALL and ANY aviation schools, I am curious to hear.
I am considering going into aviation (yes, right now, its that broad) as a career, which some may call a mistake, but its hard not follow a dream. Of course, this doesn't mean I am going into aviation, just curious to hear what others have to say about the better aviation schools in the country. Right now, its just an option, not a committment.
I realize that there was a topic posted in 2004 or 2005, asking a similar question. However, a lot has changed at these flight schools/universities, and with that, I am curious to hear ideas from the present.
Thanks All!! Every opinion helps, and is appreciated.
Duluth is a nice city, we even get 3 months without snow per year
DLHFLYER From United States of America, joined Apr 2009, 184 posts, RR: 0 Reply 3, posted (4 years 8 months 1 week 12 hours ago) and read 2662 times:
Quoting Chapavaeaa (Reply 2): What part of aviation do you want to go into? Flight side, Maintenance, Management? Schools that are good in one area may not be the best in another.
Well, my number one choice is a pilot, and number 2 would be air traffic control (only because of job instability with being a pilot). But as I said in my first post, the broad "aviation" spectrum; anything for that matter: pilot, ATC, airport management, heck management (ie corporate) would be fun, although I suppose a good business school (U of MN, Michigan in the midwest or Wharton, Harvard East Coast) would be better suited for that, but that doesn't of course guar. a job in aviation. To clear this up, I want to become a pilot, but because of my conservative thinking, want to get a job with security and good benefits. So its kind of a morph, any good aviation career (which I love) with a stable working environment. Sorry for the confusion! And as asked above, a good university/flight school to provide this to me.
Duluth is a nice city, we even get 3 months without snow per year
Mir From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 20542 posts, RR: 56 Reply 6, posted (4 years 8 months 1 week 11 hours ago) and read 2590 times:
The quality of instruction at ERAU or UND is good, but it's not anything better than what you could get at another school, or even a decent FBO. So if you do want to be a pilot (which, if you have the passion for it, is worth pursuing), don't bind yourself to going to a university with an aviation program.
The upside of a school with an aviation program is that you get to be around a collection of students that shares your passion. That's worth something. Since you're looking at other options besides flying (a smart move), here are two schools I'd investigate:
Purdue - a well-respected school, known more for technical stuff like engineering and agriculture than liberal arts, but it still has all the programs. Its flight program is quite good.
U of Illinois - another well-respected school. Their flight program is not as well known - they don't offer a degree in aviation, but you can get all your ratings while getting another degree from the university, one that is actually useful outside of aviation. If you're into human factors (stuff like ergonomics, CRM, etc.), they have an excellent program for that.
There are more than that, of course, so keep your eyes open. But the reason I mention those two is that they offer a very good education in things outside of aviation, which you won't find at Embry-Riddle, and they'll do it better than UND will. On the other hand, since I assume you're a resident of Minnesota, UND will be quite inexpensive for you, so that's something to consider.
7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
MNeo From Bulgaria, joined Mar 2004, 776 posts, RR: 1 Reply 7, posted (4 years 8 months 1 week 10 hours ago) and read 2546 times:
I can shine in here as i recently had this dilemma. In 2006 i went to FIT in Florida (MLB). I have really nothing bad to say about the school, program wise. Everything was great, classes were small, flying was good. BUT, and this is a big BUT, there is little life outside of campus. It drove me insane, so I moved to WMU which also has a great program (SR-20 airplanes), and it is a well rounded 10,000 person school with a social life. Never got to fly there as i had to move to a state school due to financial reasons, but from what i saw, it had potential. My best friend is currently second year in ERAU in DAB, and while the education is great, the lack of life is killing.
I guess my point is that specialized small schools may offer some advantages, such as very small classes, and at FIT i flew within 3 weeks, the lack of stuff to do is a killer. If I could do it again, I would go to Purdue and work my ass off for a scholarship.
If you want a more detailed explanation of my time in FIT and WMU feel free to PM me.
PS: For all the people that say that u can get a decent flight training at an FBO much cheaper. While that is true, an aviation school has way more ways for a student to get involved in the world much earler. A few freinds got internships when they went to NBAA with our school, a teacher used to work for WN so I know 2 people that went to intern there. So while the flying aspect maybe the same at an FBO, the networking opportunitys certainly are not.
Racers22 From United States of America, joined Jul 2001, 175 posts, RR: 0 Reply 8, posted (4 years 8 months 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 2426 times:
They all serve the same purpose. If you want to become a pilot, your license is not going to have the name of the school you went to printed on it. Even though you don't want to hear it, I would definitely recommend not majoring in aviation and getting your certificates on the side. I majored in aviation and then ended up losing my medical, which I cannot get back. Now I am back in grad school, because about the only other thing I could do with a degree in aviation was be a ground instructor. If you are really set on majoring in aviation, go somewhere that you feel comfortable, not the place that is the "BEST".
Acey559 From United States of America, joined Jan 2007, 1453 posts, RR: 2 Reply 9, posted (4 years 8 months 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 2408 times:
I go to a smaller school and am majoring in aviation. I've finished up all my ratings in three years and have about 500 total time, which would be difficult to do at a big school without being a CFI (I'm not). I've said it on here before when this subject comes up, and I'll say it again, I looked at the bigger aviation schools and as was said above, having a life is much more important to me than the name of the school I went to. I really enjoy having a close group of pilot friends that I can talk shop with, but I also really enjoy going out on weekends and not talking about aviation at all. I'd go to a more rounded school with more than just aviation students. I love Champaign and the University of Illinois, being from Illinois myself. I love going down there to visit friends and aside from the flying aspect of it, the U of I is a very well respected school in many aspects. They have a very impressive engineering and business school, among other things. I go to a very small school and miss going to football games on Saturdays, but the nightlife here in Dubuque is a lot of fun, which is important in my opinion. You have to choose a school based on a variety of factors, and the University of Dubuque fit that role very well for me. It has a small student population with a decent fleet of airplanes (about 20 or so), but we've also got a fairly broad student population so it's nice to be able to talk to non-aviation majors from time to time as well. I suggest looking at a wide range of schools and not be dead set on school reputation. I know a few people that went to UND based purely on 'wanting the best', but didn't like it because of the lack of nightlife or cold weather or whatever else. Choose a school that will fit you well and be open other ideas rather than eliminating schools because you don't think you'd like them. Good luck and PM me if you have any other questions or concerns.
Saab2000 From Switzerland, joined Jun 2001, 1608 posts, RR: 11 Reply 10, posted (4 years 8 months 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 2385 times:
I did not go to any of the big schools in the US initially. I converted my JAA certificates to FAA certificates at FlightSafety Academy in Vero Beach. Excellent, focused flight training. It is not a degree program but is thorough and detail oriented. I was treated with respect and like a customer when I spent my money there. Expensive, but worth it IMHO.
Finally, I must say that I disagree somewhat with those who think that getting an education at Embry-Riddle or UND is not any better than the local FBO.
I am an airline pilot and while many pilots who came through an FBO or smaller school are excellent pilots, the ones who came through Riddle and UND are, in my experience, more knowledgeable and even better. That is not a bash or rip on those who came in a different way, but my FBO experience was that they are not very thorough and will leave you lacking in some areas. That was my experience.
Going to a professional school like FlightSafety showed me that there is a universe of difference between such a place and an FBO, where folks hang around the coffee machine, telling lies, starting rumors, etc. Just like airlines! But the level of detail in the instruction was startling.
I won't get into what the best school might be, but the established programs like UND, E-R and FlightSafety are very, very good and in my opinion, worth the cost.
N83SF From United States of America, joined Dec 2008, 72 posts, RR: 0 Reply 13, posted (4 years 8 months 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 2305 times:
University of Oklahoma and Auburn are two that I just visited that have not been mentioned yet. The professional pilot degree takes a lot of work and money. Along with college tuition, you will pay flight fees on top of that. When you finish college, you aren't garunteed a job. Most people instruct until their hours are high enough to get hired by a regional. It's not nearly as rewarding as it used to be, but if you have a passion and are willing to work though hard times, then it's worth it.
Another option is to get a major is aviation management, or like you previously stated air traffic control. ATC is one of your best bets because the FAA is currently hiring and training, and in this economic climate that is hard to find
Overall, you need a college that is not only aviation based. That is why a large state school with numerous degree options is best because you then have a fall back if aviation does not work for you. People will tell you to not become involved in aviation, but if you have the passion and realize the risks involved, it is entirely worth it.
Contrails15 From United States of America, joined Oct 2008, 1181 posts, RR: 0 Reply 14, posted (4 years 8 months 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 2298 times:
Dowling College in Oakdale, Long Island is a great school and SUNY Farmingdale in Farmingdale, Long Island. I know a lot of people that have gone to both theses schools and all have high level jobs in the aviation industry from pilots all the way to ATC. I didn't go to either the one so I'm just going on what people that have gone to the schools have told me. Dowling I do know is very expensive but you get your moneys worth out of it.
N6238P From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 472 posts, RR: 0 Reply 15, posted (4 years 8 months 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 2262 times:
My take on this whole subject is results. What is your ultimate goal and which school is going to let you get there. Obviously first things first, location. which school is best for your range? Are you looking for a school that's close to home or in the same time zone? In that case you have to eliminate the choices that don't fit. Next comes what type of flying do you want to do or what type of job do you want to have in aviation. These reasons can go on and on but the point I'm trying to make is there is not one school that fits any type of student. Riddle isn't for everyone but for the people that made it through the program satisfied, it was the best school. Same can be said for WMU or UND, or in my case SIUC or any other university aviation program.
Think about what you want to do and think about which school is going to fit that bill the best. All of the school mentioned are good aviation schools and there are thousands of success stories from the aforementioned. The best aviation school is the one that fits your personality the best.
Oh but just to throw it out there. Southern Illinois University Carbondale has one of the best aviation management programs in the nation along with its top tier flight program. Go Salukis!
To actively root against anybody is just low, and I hope karma comes back at you with a vengeance
ThegreatRDU From United States of America, joined Mar 2006, 2297 posts, RR: 4 Reply 16, posted (4 years 8 months 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 2240 times:
Well I'm going to be an ATC and I graduate from high school in June I got into ERAU, MTSU, and Hampton which all offer Air Traffic Management degrees. I'm most likely going to MTSU or Hampton because ERAU is just too pricy.
I've been in PRC 5 years which is more hideous in terms of social life than DAB and I'm still alive. Do I like living here? No, but I didn't come here to party and get shitfaced every other night, I came here to learn. And even then we can still throw occasional parties.
If you're gonna pick a school primarily because of "social life", then you might as well just stay in highschool and work the rest of your life in Micky D's.
Quoting Saab2000 (Reply 10): I won't get into what the best school might be, but the established programs like UND, E-R and FlightSafety are very, very good and in my opinion, worth the cost.
I've had the privilege, and misfortune in some cases, to fly with part 61 FBO people. They may have had hundreds if not thousands of more hours than me, yet they didn't know a third of what I was taught. They were good at stick and rudder, but not much else.
It was during my internship with CO that I realized all the money I paid was well worth it. Senior pilots didn't have to dumb down to talk to me, and I could talk on their same level. I was so comfortable in that environment it felt as if I had worked in the industry for years, yet I was only a lowly intern. Me and my sim partner (from ERAU-PRC) were the only ones out of all the other interns (from Purdue, Kent State, and ERAU-DAB) that did not crash in the 737 sim sessions. Our instructors were really impressed by our performance and we were the benchmark for the other interns. We completed the 737 course with flying colors and the other kids were way behind us in terms of proficiency.
Basically my point is, if you want to make a living flying for an airline and have better networking and more open doors, go to a school with a well established part 141 program. ERAU, UND, somewhere up in that league. Yes they're expensive, but they're well worth it.
413x3 From United States of America, joined Jul 2008, 1983 posts, RR: 0 Reply 18, posted (4 years 8 months 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 2218 times:
get a regular degree outside of aviation as a backup plan, and just go to flight school at a local FBO. Aviation schools are too overpriced and the last thing you will want when looking for low paying pilot jobs once you leave school is tons of debt