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Best Flight Schools Across U.S.A.  
User currently offlineT7ILS13LatJFK From United States of America, joined Jul 2006, 84 posts, RR: 5
Posted (7 years 10 months 3 weeks 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 2851 times:

Hello

I am almost ready to enroll in a particular flight school, but would like some insight before I commit to it. I guess my main question is, would it be wiser and better for me to attend an academy type school (ie. The Regional Airline Academy, in Florida) OR to attend a "local" flight school such as American Flyers (at my local airport)? When I mean is it better, I mean will the regional airlines actually care WHERE I got my training/licenses/ratings or will they see me as fair game with all other applicants?... Obviously Delta Connection Academy can advertise that the airlines do care WHERE you have trained, but does this really hold true (all over the U.S.)?

Also, is anybody familiar with American Flyers or are there any good flight schools that stick out to anyone? Any help is appreciated.


-MIKE@JFK


"You Know Dam Right!! & - Winds are 060 at 8, 4 Left, cleared to go."
18 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlinePilotpip From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 3150 posts, RR: 11
Reply 1, posted (7 years 10 months 3 weeks 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 2847 times:

Regionals don't care where you do your training. The only thing that matters is the ratings you have, and the other qualifications you posess. Lots of those "academy" schools will tell you that you need classes such as RJ fam and sim sesions because they will put you ahead. Your certificate doesn't say where it came from.

Often you can find great training at a local FBO that doesn't have the overhead of advertising, massive amounts of planes, and high turnover which will save you money. Check out the nearby airport. Chances are there is a smaller school around the corner from the big guys. Personally, I like knowing my instructor's name, and I like teaching in a more personal atmosphere. I also can't see the point in going $100k into debt for a job that will likely only pay $20k the first two or three years.



DMI
User currently offlineKELPkid From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 6408 posts, RR: 3
Reply 2, posted (7 years 10 months 3 weeks 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 2830 times:

The big things that count for airline hiring (at least what I've heard...)

1) Have a 4-year college degree in something (it really doesn't matter what...). A community college degree will suffice.
2) Relatively concentrated periods of training. Flight instruction under part 141 is generally looked upon more highly than part 61 instruction, however part 61 training is not in and of itself a disqualifying matter.

If you don't have a degree yet, you might actually have at least one advantage at a full-time flight program affiliated with a college: it will be easier for you to get financial aid for your flight training. I tried to when I was unemployed in 2003 through a community college where I live (I already had a Bachelor of Science degree), but it took forever to go through, so I ended up paying out of pocket (credit card-hey, at least it earned me the air miles for my wife and I to go on our honeymoon  Wink ). By the time the financial aid came through, I was employed again and earning good money...  Sad Still paying off the credit card bill, though. I think I will use an AOPA flight training loan for my next license (Commercial).

Good luck!



Celebrating the birth of KELPkidJR on August 5, 2009 :-)
User currently offlineSaab2000 From Switzerland, joined Jun 2001, 1610 posts, RR: 11
Reply 3, posted (7 years 10 months 3 weeks 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 2767 times:

American Flyers is not much good.

If you don't go to UND or Embry-Riddle (and I am sure there are other good ones) go to FlightSafety Academy. They do it right.

The airlines don't really care where you do your training. But you WILL learn more and better info at a 'real' school than at the local FBO in most cases. Not all cases.

But I strongly recommend that if you want to fly professionally you go to a professional school. And in my experience this means a place like FlightSafety Academy.



smrtrthnu
User currently offlineFutureUApilot From United States of America, joined May 2004, 1365 posts, RR: 4
Reply 4, posted (7 years 10 months 3 weeks 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 2741 times:

Quoting Saab2000 (Reply 3):
But I strongly recommend that if you want to fly professionally you go to a professional school. And in my experience this means a place like FlightSafety Academy.

As has been said before, you need a 2 or 4 year degree.. I truly helps in the aplication process. I posted a legnthy reply to a situation just like yours in this thread:

http://www1.airliners.net/discussions/aviation_polls/read.main/107539/
Rely 4.

It should apply to your situation. Do you already hold a college degree?

-Sam



The Pilot is the highest form of life on Earth!
User currently offlineMir From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 21681 posts, RR: 55
Reply 5, posted (7 years 10 months 3 weeks 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 2726 times:

I haven't heard the best things about American Flyers.

If you have the money to go to a place like FlightSafety, go for it, but don't go into debt just for that.

Looking at your profile, I see you're already in college. My advice to you would be to find an nearby FBO that has a Part 141 program, and get your ratings there.

-Mir



7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
User currently offlineT7ILS13LatJFK From United States of America, joined Jul 2006, 84 posts, RR: 5
Reply 6, posted (7 years 10 months 3 weeks 4 days ago) and read 2719 times:

Quoting KELPkid (Reply 2):
If you don't have a degree yet, you might actually have at least one advantage at a full-time flight program affiliated with a college: it will be easier for you to get financial aid for your flight training.

Well I currently do NOT have a degree, but I'm in the midst of getting it. I realized that it's easier to get funding through a university, however I'm covered in that area. Thankfully!

Quoting Pilotpip (Reply 1):
Regionals don't care where you do your training. The only thing that matters is the ratings you have, and the other qualifications you posess. Lots of those "academy" schools will tell you that you need classes such as RJ fam and sim sesions because they will put you ahead. Your certificate doesn't say where it came from.

OK, great. But I do get the RJ training when I'm actually hired by the airlines, correct? So if thats the case, then I don't need to go to one of those "academy" schools that have those RJ class D sims and CRJ type ratings, I assume.

Quoting FutureUApilot (Reply 4):
It should apply to your situation. Do you already hold a college degree?

Actually, I don't hold one yet. However, I understand that most (if not all) of the Regionals DO NOT require any kind of college degree. Rather, it's usually preferred. I will work on my degree at some point AFTER I obtain my licenses and ratings. That's my plan at least...

Quoting Mir (Reply 5):
I haven't heard the best things about American Flyers.

If you have the money to go to a place like FlightSafety, go for it, but don't go into debt just for that.

Looking at your profile, I see you're already in college. My advice to you would be to find an nearby FBO that has a Part 141 program, and get your ratings there.

Well, if you don't mind, could you tell me some of the "bad" things you heard or know about American Flyers? haha...
I seriously considered going to one of the "academy" schools (like Flight Safety) in the South, but I didn't like the idea of relocating, although I would do it. I am in college now. I actually go to the College of Aeronautics in Queens (adjacent to LGA).
I mean, if you're saying go to my local (Part 141) FBO and get my licenses there, that would be American Flyers. I liked them when I did my intro flight. They are at HPN, ISP, and MMU and also all over the U.S.A.... American Flyers IS INDEED Part 141 and they seem to be quite organized and down to earth. I mean, they don't have the fancy sims and all, but I can get most, if not all, of what I need there, ratings wise. If you know anybody who goes or went there, maybe you could ask them how it went.

Thanks all, the info was helpful.


-MIKE@JFK



"You Know Dam Right!! & - Winds are 060 at 8, 4 Left, cleared to go."
User currently offlinePilotpip From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 3150 posts, RR: 11
Reply 7, posted (7 years 10 months 3 weeks 4 days ago) and read 2710 times:

Quoting T7ILS13LatJFK (Reply 6):
OK, great. But I do get the RJ training when I'm actually hired by the airlines, correct? So if thats the case, then I don't need to go to one of those "academy" schools that have those RJ class D sims and CRJ type ratings, I assume.

Exactly. In many cases, this training is only a waste of time and can be a bad thing. You may spend more time trying to "unlearn" things the way you were previously taught that are different than the way the regional wants things to work. Also, the money you spend on that can buy a ton of time, or better yet, save it so you have extra cash when you're a broke CFI and broke first year FO.

Quoting T7ILS13LatJFK (Reply 6):
Actually, I don't hold one yet. However, I understand that most (if not all) of the Regionals DO NOT require any kind of college degree. Rather, it's usually preferred. I will work on my degree at some point AFTER I obtain my licenses and ratings. That's my plan at least...

Do yourself a favor, get your degree ASAP. At some regionals, it's only listed as preferred. However, if you go into a group interview with 20 other applicants who have four year degrees, and you don't, assuming all other things (time, experience, etc) equal, you're going to miss out. I just walked out of a flight instructing job because of some issues I had with the school. Within a week I had four job offers and if I really wanted to, I could probably apply to a couple different regionals. A friend of mine is stuck there, and miserable, he doesn't have a degree and a couple of the places where I was offered jobs told him to come back after he got a degree. Start school, work on your ratings. As you finish up your degreee you will be in a perfect position to start instructing part-time which means you'll be very competative for a regional job by the time you graduate. You'll also have upward mobility as your experience opens up opportunities that require a degree.

About AF, they recently got in a ton of trouble in Chicago. They were issuing certificates to customers from in-house DPEs, the FAA did an audit and found that many of these students did not meet the requirements for the ratings. As a result, the Chicago FSDO is now doing all CFI checkrides. First time pass rates are about 1% right now.

My other advice, go tour a couple other local schools. Even most small "mom and pop" schools have part 141 curriculums. Part 141 vs 61 doesn't mean crap if the school has a poor program or poor instructors. In fact, find out how long most instructors have been there. In many cases instructors go to these schools to build hours as fast as possible and move on. I'm not saying this is a bad thing, but it will cost you money in the long run as you go through different instructors and readjust to their teaching style or get delayed while they find you a replacement. Even on the low side, you're looking at tens of thousands of dollars to get your ratings.



DMI
User currently offlineT7ils13latjfk From United States of America, joined Jul 2006, 84 posts, RR: 5
Reply 8, posted (7 years 10 months 3 weeks 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 2706 times:

Quoting Pilotpip (Reply 7):
About AF, they recently got in a ton of trouble in Chicago. They were issuing certificates to customers from in-house DPEs, the FAA did an audit and found that many of these students did not meet the requirements for the ratings. As a result, the Chicago FSDO is now doing all CFI checkrides. First time pass rates are about 1% right now.

My other advice, go tour a couple other local schools. Even most small "mom and pop" schools have part 141 curriculums. Part 141 vs 61 doesn't mean crap if the school has a poor program or poor instructors. In fact, find out how long most instructors have been there. In many cases instructors go to these schools to build hours as fast as possible and move on. I'm not saying this is a bad thing, but it will cost you money in the long run as you go through different instructors and readjust to their teaching style or get delayed while they find you a replacement. Even on the low side, you're looking at tens of thousands of dollars to get your ratings.

Wow, that's awful news and I certainly hope that American Flyers isn't like that around here in the NYC area. I will check out their program and see how long their instructors have been around.
Thanks a lot

-MIKE@JFK



"You Know Dam Right!! & - Winds are 060 at 8, 4 Left, cleared to go."
User currently offlineHaveBlue From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 2116 posts, RR: 1
Reply 9, posted (7 years 10 months 3 weeks 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 2702 times:

I have a good friend that went to American Flyers in Ft. Lauderdale and he is a very good pilot. We've flown many hours together and I have nothing but respect for his flying and teaching style.


Here Here for Severe Clear!
User currently offlineFutureUApilot From United States of America, joined May 2004, 1365 posts, RR: 4
Reply 10, posted (7 years 10 months 3 weeks 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 2682 times:

Quoting T7ILS13LatJFK (Reply 6):
Actually, I don't hold one yet. However, I understand that most (if not all) of the Regionals DO NOT require any kind of college degree. Rather, it's usually preferred.

You are correct that the regionals don't require a degree, but they will look much more seriously at a candidate who holds a degree rather than one who doesn't. If you have a higher education it will demonstrate determination and the ability to continue to learn...

-Sam



The Pilot is the highest form of life on Earth!
User currently offlineRedcordes From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 245 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (7 years 10 months 3 weeks 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 2679 times:

My first flight instructor had a BS from Daniel Webster College in Nashua, NH. I believe they are one of the best in the nation. His career progressed very quickly from a regional (Piedmont--US Air Express) to Fedex on an DC-10 first as a Flight Engineer (as I believe Fedex requires) and now as an F.O. (about 8 years) And, I've heard Fedex is possibly the best airline to work for with ops. all over the world. Also, their pay-rate is possibly the highest and the guaranteed number of hours is higher e.g. Fedex 74/month, Delta 65/month. The pay-scale for entry-level and in the first few years is also significantly higher. Additionally, the freight business isn't as susceptible to a 9/11 type event and the global nature of the business would make it somewhat less dependent on the U.S. economy.

[Edited 2006-12-04 14:00:15]


"The only source of knowledge is experience." A. Einstein "Science w/o religion is lame. Religion w/o science is blind."
User currently offlineMir From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 21681 posts, RR: 55
Reply 12, posted (7 years 10 months 3 weeks 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 2640 times:

Quoting Pilotpip (Reply 7):
About AF, they recently got in a ton of trouble in Chicago. They were issuing certificates to customers from in-house DPEs, the FAA did an audit and found that many of these students did not meet the requirements for the ratings. As a result, the Chicago FSDO is now doing all CFI checkrides. First time pass rates are about 1% right now.

That's what I heard as well, and I heard rumors about similar failure rates for checkrides at the HPN location.

Take a look at American Flyers, but I'd bet money that they're not the only Part 141 school in the NY area.

-Mir



7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
User currently offlineT7ils13latjfk From United States of America, joined Jul 2006, 84 posts, RR: 5
Reply 13, posted (7 years 10 months 3 weeks 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 2603 times:

Quoting Mir (Reply 12):
That's what I heard as well, and I heard rumors about similar failure rates for checkrides at the HPN location.

Take a look at American Flyers, but I'd bet money that they're not the only Part 141 school in the NY area.

Oh wow that's awful. I did my intro flight with them at HPN and they seemed alright, however that's JUST an intro. Their MMU location seems pretty solid to me. In fact, that's their "main" location in the North they have told me.

Oh I'm sure they aren't the only Part 141 in the NYC area either. I know a few others that are at CDW that are 141, but never got around to checking them out.

Thanks again

-MIKE@JFK



"You Know Dam Right!! & - Winds are 060 at 8, 4 Left, cleared to go."
User currently offlinePilotpip From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 3150 posts, RR: 11
Reply 14, posted (7 years 10 months 3 weeks 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 2558 times:

Quoting T7ils13latjfk (Reply 13):
Oh I'm sure they aren't the only Part 141 in the NYC area either. I know a few others that are at CDW that are 141, but never got around to checking them out.

Do so. Pay for quality, not a name. If AF is what you determine to be the best in the area, go there. Just don't let any school wow you with fancy airplanes or simulator programs. A properly maintianed, 20 year old 172 flies just as well as a new one and will cost less to rent.

Try and talk to customers as well. Hang out in the lobby for a while and talk to instructors and students that are waiting for their next appointment. See what the atmosphere and interaction is like after 20, or 30 minutes.



DMI
User currently offlineAirWillie6475 From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 2448 posts, RR: 1
Reply 15, posted (7 years 10 months 3 weeks 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 2555 times:

The best flight school in the country is the one where you get all the ratings with the least amount of money. After talking with many regional and mainline pilots it's unanimous, nobody cares where you got your ratings. Do not listen to regional airline academies, they're a business first remember that, they will sell you and tell you what you want to hear.

One pilot used an interesting analogy, does it matter where you learned how to drive? NO, in the end you will receive a plastic card called a license. Same with training, whether you pay 100k or 20K for all your training, the end product is the same, a paper issued by the faa that says you're a pilot.

Also, according to a reg pilot, regionals do not care about the person as long as they have the time required. Meaning ANYBODY can be there so don't sweat it too much, just get your experience. Majors are different story however, they know that you have the experience so the challenge is for them to find good personalities that is why it's harder to get in.

So, the most important thing for you is to SAVE as much money as you can, spend your money wisely because first and second year at regionals are brutal that's also unanimous from what my friends have told me.


User currently offlineSaintsman From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2002, 2065 posts, RR: 2
Reply 16, posted (7 years 10 months 3 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 2534 times:

With regard to cost, it may be that you can save a considerable amount of money by using a school at a quiet airfield. Whilst it may be quite exciting lining up in your C172 behind a 747, you will spend a long time on the ground doing it. With flight costs charged by the reading on the Hobbs and not by the time you spend in the air, a school based at a small regional airfield could be more cost effective. And the more you save, the more you can afford extra flying.

As an aside, when asked what the most important instrument was, I do remember telling one of my instructors it was the Hobbs!


User currently offline2H4 From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 8955 posts, RR: 60
Reply 17, posted (7 years 10 months 3 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 2530 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
DATABASE EDITOR




Quoting AirWillie6475 (Reply 15):
The best flight school in the country is the one where you get all the ratings with the least amount of money.

This suggests the quality of instruction is constant and identical from one training facility to another, across the country. I assure you, this is not the case.

The best flight school for a particular individual is one that offers the optimum balance of economics, aptitude, and features for that individual. There are more factors....important factors....at play than money.

Jim-Bob's Airplane Shack may be a professional, quality flight training facility, but it probably won't have the depth and breadth of knowledge...and methods of teaching...that more advanced flight schools offer.





.....or maybe Jim-Bob's Airplane Shack will have all of those things.

Again...it all comes down to the particular needs of an individual, and the particular strengths of a flight school. While the financial aspect is important, there's much more to it than money.




Quoting AirWillie6475 (Reply 15):
Same with training, whether you pay 100k or 20K for all your training, the end product is the same, a paper issued by the faa that says you're a pilot.

In the end, the product is most certainly not the same, AirWillie. If it were, there would be no need for airlines to conduct interviews, exams, and sim checks. They would simply ask to see a pilot's certificate, apply your logic that everyone's training (and thus, resulting skills) has been identical, pass out hats and epaulets, and watch as unprofessional, immature, and sub-par pilots bend metal.

He who views his pilot training as a means to a piece of paper is limiting himself, and is not demonstrating the drive for knowledge and professionalism desired by quality employers.

The product, AirWillie, is not the piece of paper. The product is the individual that emerges from the training.


2H4





Intentionally Left Blank
User currently offlineAirWillie6475 From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 2448 posts, RR: 1
Reply 18, posted (7 years 10 months 3 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 2525 times:

Quoting 2H4 (Reply 17):

If you don't know what an airplane is and do not have general knowledge of how things work, do not have idea about aircraft systems, engines, flight maneuvers, communications, flight planning from the beginning, then by all means you should look for a place that is more involved. If you already know these things, just go to a cheap place and get your ratings and move on to gaining the employable hours.

Quoting 2H4 (Reply 17):
The product is the individual that emerges from the training.

That all depends on the person, not the school. Now if you need to pay 100K for them to teach you discipline in the cockpit then that is your problem.

Quoting 2H4 (Reply 17):
In the end, the product is most certainly not the same, AirWillie. If it were, there would be no need for airlines to conduct interviews, exams, and sim checks. T.

That's why they don't hire after you get your commercial rating, they require you to have 1000 so you will already have gained experience. Point is that airlines don't hire after you complete your ratings, no, there is a long period of gaining experience.


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