28flyer From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Posted (12 years 3 weeks 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 758 times:
I was wondering if anyone could tell me the current fleet that Western Michigan University has because i don't think the website is up to date in the fleet section, but maybe it's still accurate. Thanks
WhiskeyNovembr From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 2, posted (12 years 3 weeks 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 736 times:
I posted a reply about WMU a few weeks ago, so I'll just cut and paste it here:
Most of us attend WMU not for the similarities to other large expensive flight schools, but for the differences.
1) Price. Far less than the aforementioned large expensive flight schools, who shall remain nameless. WMUs tuition is dirt cheap compared to them.
2) Primary flight training - WMU uses Cessna 172R's, built in 1998 and 1999. We have about 40.
3) Commercial flight training - WMU has 1998-1999 Mooney M-20R Ovations. Other flight schools fly Piper Arrows or Cessna 172RGs or 182RGs. Basically Skyhawks with retractable gear. The Mooney demands much more from the pilot...it's a much more slippery airplane, so the pilot must think ahead of the airplane and plan descents (a friend of mine reported a 260kt groundspeed in a descent with a tailwind). Most people use the speedbrakes often. The skills developed from flying an aircraft like this come in handy when transitioning to turboprops or jets. In addition, WMU installed EFIS displays in place of standard HSI's. In other words, we can enter a flight plan into the GPS and overlay it onto the screen in either HSI or ARC mode. Just like in a 757, etc. WMU also has two Extra 300L aerobatic aircraft...the two-place version of what Patty Wagstaff flies. The Extra is used for unusual attitude training as well as aerobatic training. Most students elect to focus on unusual attitude training, which includes spins, inverted spins, recovery techniques, etc. All students fly it, and needless to say, all seem to love it.
4) Multi-engine training - Again, WMU comes out ahead of most other flight schools. While most schools use Piper Seminoles or Beechcraft Dutchesses (small 4-place twins), WMU uses Piper Senecas. While still a light twin, the Seneca seats six and is larger and heavier than the previously mentioned twins. This helps students adapt to larger aircraft that they will encounter after graduation. It's also nice to have air conditioning and weather radar.
5) Curriculum - Better or worse, depending on how you look at it. WMU includes many management and communication courses, rather than solely aviation courses. I look at this as an advantage, since proper and articulate communication and interpersonal skills are fundamental building blocks to becoming a successful airline pilot. Look at it this way...any airline ground school is going to supplement your knowledge about systems, etc....but what good is technical knowledge if you aren't easy to get along with and to communicate with?
6) WMU recently installed a Boeing 737-400 full motion simulator. Jet orientation courses are beginning, which introduce students to high-altitude flying and complex turbine systems management. It's possible that airlines will accept a certain amount of 737 sim time in lieu of multi-engine time.
7) I'm not familiar with the people and campus life at other flight schools, but WMU is great. People are friendly, intramural sports are plentiful, and there's more to the overall culture than just aviation. If you want to experience an institutional setting, go to one of the large, expensive flight schools. If you'd like to enjoy more of a traditional college environment, come to WMU.
Despite my raving about WMU, be sure to check out some other flight schools, too. They also have a lot to offer, and let's face it...you might find that you fit in better there. The things I listed above are the main reasons I chose WMU, and if I had to make the decision all over again, I'd do the same. Please note that I don't mean to discriminate against other flight schools...I just think WMU has their priorities in better order. Hope all of this ranting helps a bit....good luck in whatever route you choose!