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learning2fly
Topic Author
Posts: 14
Joined: Sun Nov 24, 2019 7:44 am

Flight School Recommendations for Student Pilot

Sat May 23, 2020 7:41 pm

Hello Everyone,

Hope everyone is safe and healthy with this current health crisis growing around. I am reaching out on this forum today because there are men and women here with great knowledge and advice for someone like me who is a 21 year old young student pilot in New York. I am currently enrolled in a part 141 flight training program through a flight academy at Farmingdale Airport. So far I have been flying since January and was preparing to solo in beginning of March but then the coronavirus situation happened and everything was halted. Now that the aviation industry might look different I needed advice on continuing with my current flight school or enroll in one that has more direct career pathways and airline partnerships. My school has preferred partnerships with Republic Airways but no direct cadet program.

My question to everyone is: should I transfer to a more reputable flight school such as ATP or US aviation Academy etc or stick to where I am close to home and probably will cost less than the more popular flight schools? My ultimate goal is to make it to United Airlines and I am enrolled in a flight program to train up to CFI/CFII and MEI, with the plans of going to a regional with ties to United Airlines.

Please offer any tips and advices you all may have !!

Stay safe everyone !!
 
TonyClifton
Posts: 73
Joined: Thu May 14, 2020 3:19 pm

Re: Flight School Recommendations for Student Pilot

Sat May 23, 2020 7:48 pm

Go to a school that you enjoy, it doesn’t matter if it’s mom and pop at the local FBO or massive renown program. I’ve seen every possible background hired at a legacy carrier, it just depends on the individual and what you do to set yourself apart. Save money now, helps because the career has its ups and downs.

Pathways and partnerships are purely for regionals to stay staffed, they aren’t for the pilot to advance their career. Diversify yourself to get hired. Volunteer, union work, all that when the time comes. Plenty of Endeavor pilots at United, Skywest at JetBlue, PSA at Delta...
 
barney captain
Posts: 2325
Joined: Tue Nov 06, 2001 5:47 pm

Re: Flight School Recommendations for Student Pilot

Sat May 23, 2020 9:27 pm

Keep that "ultimate goal of flying for United" a very flexible one. The best choice for you will (should) constantly be reevaluated as personal and economic conditions change. What makes sense now may not next week. Ask anyone of the hundreds that went to DL in the last few months.
Southeast Of Disorder
 
sunking737
Posts: 1549
Joined: Tue Feb 22, 2005 10:33 pm

Re: Flight School Recommendations for Student Pilot

Sun May 24, 2020 1:49 am

I just meet a young man going to North Dakota Grand Forks, a couple months left of school and his school closed due to virus. He was almost completed his degree. Now he has to wait and see...Good Luck
"Don't believe it unless its parked on the ramp, or printed in the schedule...SUBJECT TO CHANGE"

I'm a SUNDUCK......Worked for RC & SY @ MSP
 
modesto2
Posts: 2722
Joined: Sun Jul 16, 2000 3:44 am

Re: Flight School Recommendations for Student Pilot

Sun May 24, 2020 2:33 am

Before I share my experience, please know that I no longer work in aviation, so I'm not connected with the latest trends and options concerning flight training. With that said, I completed all my training in 2005-2006 at ATP, and I was very satisfied with my experience. From zero hours, it only took me about six months to get all the way to my CFIs. ATP delivered the promised ratings and licenses in the expected time frame with no extra costs; many other pilots did not have such seamless flight training experiences. At the end, I was able to leverage ATP's relationship with ExpressJet and effortlessly secured an interview (and eventually got hired).

I can't speak about ATP's reputation now, but if nothing has changed since my experience, I would endorse this option. Good luck!
 
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Starlionblue
Posts: 19820
Joined: Fri Feb 27, 2004 9:54 pm

Re: Flight School Recommendations for Student Pilot

Sun May 24, 2020 8:57 am

- Find a school you like. Do you feel like going there all the time?
- Find a school you trust with regards to quality. Do they seem professional in most respects, such as maintenance, student bookings, payments? Even just the state of the facility.
- Find a school that doesn't ask for a massive upfront payment. A couple of thousand USD should be the upper limit IMHO. If a school asks for tens of thousands upfront they are trying to lock you in for some reason. A good school knows you will come back since they provide a product worth coming back to.
- Unless this is a part-time endeavour, find a school with decent weather. Florida and Arizona are big for flight instruction because it is VMC almost every day of the year.

As mentioned above, your long term career is not dependent on whether you went to a "name school" or a "mom n' pop" school. Employers care about your personality, your ability to learn, and your ability to work hard. They don't care if you went to Embry-Riddle or not.

I went to a school with a very "casual" attitude. Instructors in shorts and a polo shirts, lots of jokes and laughter, a ratty old couch where I spent hundreds of hours studying, and grabbing the occasional nap. That couch was sadly thrown out when they moved to a new building. Basically a fun place to hang out. But the planes were solidly maintained, safety was taken very seriously, instructor standards were high, and they would never let a student go to their checkride unless they thought he or she was solid. So even though it was a laid back environment, there wasn't any compromise on the important stuff. This was at Sunstate Aviation in Kissimmee.

Don't drib and drab your flight training. If you fly once a week you will spend many hours simply getting back up to speed. If you can, do your PPL in one go in a few weeks. Then come back and do your IR in a few weeks. And so on. Focused, intensive training over a short period is immensely more effective in terms of skills and money compared to flying every now and again.
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
TonyClifton
Posts: 73
Joined: Thu May 14, 2020 3:19 pm

Re: Flight School Recommendations for Student Pilot

Sun May 24, 2020 2:52 pm

Starlionblue wrote:
- Find a school you like. Do you feel like going there all the time?
- Find a school you trust with regards to quality. Do they seem professional in most respects, such as maintenance, student bookings, payments? Even just the state of the facility.
- Find a school that doesn't ask for a massive upfront payment. A couple of thousand USD should be the upper limit IMHO. If a school asks for tens of thousands upfront they are trying to lock you in for some reason. A good school knows you will come back since they provide a product worth coming back to.
- Unless this is a part-time endeavour, find a school with decent weather. Florida and Arizona are big for flight instruction because it is VMC almost every day of the year.

As mentioned above, your long term career is not dependent on whether you went to a "name school" or a "mom n' pop" school. Employers care about your personality, your ability to learn, and your ability to work hard. They don't care if you went to Embry-Riddle or not.

I went to a school with a very "casual" attitude. Instructors in shorts and a polo shirts, lots of jokes and laughter, a ratty old couch where I spent hundreds of hours studying, and grabbing the occasional nap. That couch was sadly thrown out when they moved to a new building. Basically a fun place to hang out. But the planes were solidly maintained, safety was taken very seriously, instructor standards were high, and they would never let a student go to their checkride unless they thought he or she was solid. So even though it was a laid back environment, there wasn't any compromise on the important stuff. This was at Sunstate Aviation in Kissimmee.

Don't drib and drab your flight training. If you fly once a week you will spend many hours simply getting back up to speed. If you can, do your PPL in one go in a few weeks. Then come back and do your IR in a few weeks. And so on. Focused, intensive training over a short period is immensely more effective in terms of skills and money compared to flying every now and again.

Great advice, seconded.

Don’t get caught up in the show. A 1970s Piper is just as good at turns around a point as a new Cirrus or Diamond, and you’ll pay half a much. I did my training in both worlds, and taught at 141 and Mom and Pop. Hands down more fun at the local school, and much cheaper.

Not sure if you have one, but get a degree, in something you find interesting and practical. Doesn’t have to be planes, but I highly recommended the degree sooner rather than later. Know plenty who made it to the regionals, then tried to slog it out on overnights and days off. It’s not impossible, but certainly less fun than getting ahead of it. My personal prediction post-COVID is that hiring will be much more competitive for a few years, similar to 2014 at majors/legacies. Retirements coming do even it out, but we’ve taken a step back. Thankfully this isn’t 2009 with a recession AND age 65...

Regionals will be moving and hiring sooner than big boys. It moves fast. In 2012 I had friends with their CFI praying for any airline interview. By 2014/15 I knew folks with half a dozen regional job offers in hand. Focus on getting the time now, you can punch through the ratings while the industry lags, and hopefully be holding a fresh CFI as things get moving again. Most importantly, find a school to teach at that will fly your socks off.
 
Woodreau
Posts: 1881
Joined: Mon Sep 24, 2001 6:44 am

Re: Flight School Recommendations for Student Pilot

Sun May 24, 2020 3:11 pm

I assume you have cleared up your first class medical issues you posted about late last year?

If so, then flight schools shouldn’t matter...

Although the FOs I fly with now, six years ago had zero flight time and started flight training In 2012-2013 when there was an aviation downturn then and are now narrowbody FOs have done Either an accelerated flight training program or did an aviation college. It is much different from the late 2000s when the industry had stagnated. So you should be good starting training and by the time you are ready to get your first entry level aviationjob hopefully things will start picking up again.
Bonus animus sit, ab experientia. Quod salvatum fuerit de malis usu venit judicium.

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