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I Am Looking For A Flying Shool - Help  
User currently offlineNicolaki From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Posted (15 years 6 months 1 week 13 hours ago) and read 2933 times:

Hello everyone,

Lately I have been looking for a flying school in Canada to start my flying lessons with. I took an informative flight with a school called Aerotaxi ), and I was very pleased with it as they were very profesionnal.

Now I am really looking forward to a loan from a bank. But I would like to get more info beofr on the rating.

Let's say I get my Commercial lisence, will I be able to work with that license or would I need an ATP license?
I ask that because the commercial license on one hand is much cheaper.

If I consider a loan I think 35,000$ CAN (Approx: 22,800$ US) would be sufficient.

Now I would like some advises on the price VS. hours and license they offer at this school

They offer 2 ab-initio programs which I will describe here.
The first one is called: Ab-initio to commercial pilot license, multi-engine and instrument flight rating.
is divided as it follows:
- 14 Dual hours on single-engine aircrafts
- 100 Solo hours on single-engine aircrafts
- 30 Dual hours on multi-engine aircrafts
- 4 Solo hours on multi-engine aircrafts
- 15 Simulator flight hours

They total 237 ground school hours and 214 flight hours. I don't get it how they arrived to this total but I will ask them more deeply next time.
This program comes to a total of 33 584,48 $ CAN (approx: 22,000$ US) full infos on the porgram can be found at http://www.aerotaxi.ca/Html/abinifra.html

The second program is called Ab-initio to commercial pilot license and class IV flight instructor rating and it is divided as follows:
- 95 Dual hours on single-engine aircrafts
- 135 Solo hours on single-engine aircrafts
For a total of 138 ground school hours and 232 flight hours
And this one cost 31 081,62$ CAN (Approx: 20,300$ US)
Full infos on this program is at http://www.aerotaxi.ca/Html/abiniinsta.html

I think if my loan is granted the first one is a better choice, but I wanted to ask you guys first what you though of it.

The programs are fully detailed in the webpages I put down here. If you care to check it will give you an idea of what is included.

Please help me decide
Thank you to all of you
Have a great evening



10 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineDC-9CAPT From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (15 years 6 months 1 week 11 hours ago) and read 2899 times:


I'll answer this as best I can--but on American terms. There is a "good market" in the USA right now.


"Let's say I get my Commercial lisence, will I be able to work with that license or would I need an ATP license? I ask that because the commercial license on one hand is much cheaper."

In the USA, 250hrs Total Time (TT) plus a second class medical are the requirements for the commercial certificate. As a result, it will be much cheaper.
There are jobs you can get, such as towing banners, with the low time. Most choose to instruct as the next step in order to build time.

It's also possible to get a job with a Part 135 freight outfit. However, they can't hire you as an IFR Pilot in Command unless you meet the minimum requirement of 1200 hours. Some companies may be willing to hire you on as a VFR pilot.


Be very careful about the schools you choose. Here are a couple sites that may help you in your decision.



I would suggest that you go to each site and ask for advice there. There are some schools with very shady reputations. With the amount of money you are willing to put down, you need to give yourself time to research ALL the best possible options. The USA could and should be part of your options too. It's your money, shop around. Should you choose to go to the US, stay away from Comair, ATA (not the airline), and Gulstream.

User currently offlineWatewate From Canada, joined Nov 2000, 2284 posts, RR: 1
Reply 2, posted (15 years 6 months 1 week 10 hours ago) and read 2887 times:

Why avoid Comair, ATA and Gulfstream? Curious as to your reasoning.

User currently offlineJETPILOT From United States of America, joined May 1999, 3130 posts, RR: 27
Reply 3, posted (15 years 6 months 1 week 10 hours ago) and read 2889 times:

Gulfstream Training Academy is a scam. Anyone interested in a proffesional training environment had best look elswhere.

GTA steals hundreds of thousands of dollars if not millions from people unfamiliar with the aviaiton training business.

They have destroyed more careers than they have started.

They will take your money, fail you out of their program and keep every penny. They are notorious for this scam.

GTA is a criminal enterprise. Only it's legal because they are beting that after you spent all your money on flight training you won't have anything left to sue them.

Avoid them like the plauge.

User currently offlineDC-9CAPT From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (15 years 6 months 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 2874 times:

I cannot speak from first hand experience on Comair, ATA, or Gulfstream since I am military trained. I am going on hearsay from people I work with and associate with from my airline and from General Aviation.

With that being said. Here are the negatives on Comair that I have heard:

--Very high class marketing strategy. Portrays flying as glamorous and makes the path look easy. (It isn't. It's challenging and expensive. There are significant costs).

--Runs up the fact that it is owned by Delta and implies that it is a primary pipeline for Delta pilots. (The most significant pilot source for Delta is still the military. Rumors have it that Delta is trying to sell off Comair. Delta/Comair guarantee not a "job" but an interview. A significant difference).

--Over a year ago, I was told that aircraft availability left a great deal to be desired and that there was significant down time for both instructors and students. (You may want to check this).

--The majority of your time will be logged as a flight instructor--if (and it means IF) Comair chooses to keep you on. Word on this one, is that the instructors are treated like dirt, which in turn creates a bad climate for the students, and no one is happy. Worker exploitation went out a long time ago, but Comair is playing the game in a "hot", low-end market.

--Back to the pricing. From what I have heard, the school's quotes are based on, more or less, the best case scenario in terms of hours. I digress a little (bear with me), but will use this as an example. In the mid-80s going to college in Wisconsin, I chose to get my PPL. I started in winter and was told I could get my license in 40 hours. Yeah right. That was for someone who didn't deliver Domino's pizzas, didn't play hockey, didn't wear an NROTC uniform every thursday, and didn't have a full course load. I think it took me 80+ hours to get mine. The thing to keep in mind is that the price that was quoted me, didn't reflect the lack of time I could put in, weather, and remediation (yes, there were some things that didn't sink in so fast). Okay, now jump ahead. Comair does the same thing. Quotes the lowest possible price. Potential down-time, slow learning and remediation time is going to add up. Comair isn't exactly up front about that, so factor in at least an extra 20%.

OKAY, the case with ATA is the same as Comair. However, there seems to be greater animosity between the instructors and management--and everyone flat out says it's a scam. Instructors are treated bad at Comair; at ATA they are treated even worse.

With Gulfstream, I can tell you that everything Jetpilot has said, I have heard too. Criminal. Also, their pay for training is a big scam and not necessary with the low end market today. No airline need take you seriously with a big PFT block in your log book. It's all SIC time (which along with this advice and $3.65 will get you a Venti Mocha at Starbucks).

User currently offlineWatewate From Canada, joined Nov 2000, 2284 posts, RR: 1
Reply 5, posted (15 years 6 months 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 2859 times:

Damn... sounds like a lot of flight schools are scams. Are there any good ones out there? I'm starting to think all the schools are scams now.

User currently offlineNicolaki From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (15 years 6 months 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 2861 times:

Thanks DC-9CAPT and JETPILOT for your infos. I had thought about the Comair academy, but now, i doubt I'll even ask for a brochure there. Did any of you heard abour Sierra Academy they are based at Oakland and they seems very attractive to me.


User currently offlineJETPILOT From United States of America, joined May 1999, 3130 posts, RR: 27
Reply 7, posted (15 years 6 months 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 2855 times:

Without first hand experience of Sierra I can only say I have heard not such nice things about them.

Their used to be a board called propilot.com. Thye had all the gossip on flight training. No one had anything good to say about them is what I can remeber.

The only flight school I have heard consistantly good things about is FlightSafety Academy in Vero beach. My experience there concerning flight training was terrific. Very well run. EXPENSIVE. But I did have a problem concerning my final checkride. My instructor was fired, and FS would not honor his sign off for the ride. They wanted me to fly with a new instructor at my cost until he was ready to sign me off. Anyhow that was my only bad experience. You need to be in a proffesional state of mind to be succesful there. It is not a lax operation.

It's amazing how many bad flight schools there are out there.

There is a flight school somewhere in the midwest that is run by a farmer from his farm. He has an airstrip on his property and a few planes. From what I hear it is a well run operation and seems to be the latest in flight training. It is inexpensive and unbeaureaucratic. I've heard in many unrelated conversations that this is where people are going to train.

ATP is a descent program I hear. But they mainly focus on military transitions, nad add ons. Not Ab-initio training.

Look into Westwind. I know nothing about them. But they are another option.

Commair's claim to fame is that they will give you a guaranteed interview. Something you would be elligable for anyway. My friend went through the program and went to the interview and was never hired. A week later he was hired by Chataqua airlines. So go figure. He wasn't unhirable.

You will have to go and visit these places to really get a feel for what they are about. Go by your instincts. If you leave the school with a bad taste in your mouth it will more than likely turn out to be correct. You will need to talk with students to get an accurate picture of what goes on. And I do not mean the students they give you the phone numbers of. Pick one out and just start talking with them. You will learn quickly weather the school is any good.

User currently offlineWatewate From Canada, joined Nov 2000, 2284 posts, RR: 1
Reply 8, posted (15 years 6 months 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 2842 times:

Good insight JETPILOT!
Have you heard anything good/bad about aviation programs at universities? They combine flight instruction with academics..

User currently offlineJETPILOT From United States of America, joined May 1999, 3130 posts, RR: 27
Reply 9, posted (15 years 6 months 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 2843 times:

Justy read on the "Willflyforfood" website that ATA has lost their 141 certificate. It was revoked by the FAA due to the high failure rate of checkrides. So ATA should not even be an option with that info.

I saw lots of good info on flight schools posted there.

As far as College programs go the quality of training seems to be on a higher level than most independant flight programs.

But I am a firm believer that college is not a place to learn to fly. A 6 month course I feel allows you to be more focused. After completion I would attend college.

I was at UND for 2 semesters. It appeared to be a top notch facility. I did no flying there.

You should seriously consider going part 61. The 141 cirriculums might not allow you to focus on week areas. But you can always go to a 141 program and switch to 61 if you need.

The only advantage to a 141 program is it allows you to get your liscences with lower time. 90% of the population takes far longer than the minimum. Since you have already accumulted some flying time a 141 program might not offer you any advantages.

141 training centers also don't like to give you credit for past flying experience.

User currently offlineFlyboy767 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 10, posted (15 years 6 months 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 2833 times:

It is possible to fly with just your commercial license, but you'd be flying for charter airlines or other private companies. All of the major airlines here in Canada (AC, Canadian, WestJet, etc.), require you to have an ATP to fly for them...so while there is the extra cost, the increase in pay might be worth it in the long run.

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