17th Sep 2008, 23:02
Hi! Can anyone with experience of being in the academy give me some details of the place (I'm referring to SFA in Brussels)?
*instructor to student ratio
*size of classes
*equipment used for training
*genuine interest in students by instructors
*general pass rate in theory and practical exams
and anything else worth adding.
PS: for those who feel more comfortable PMing, please PM me.
I'm a student at SFA, I started training about three months ago now so I'm still doing the groundschool. The class size is 16 although I'm in a class of only 12 so the interaction with the instructors is very good because you can ask questions immediatly, during a break, e-mail or some even give their mobile phonenumber and you can call them at home if you have a question. No problem.
The instructors are all pilots (Brussels Airlines, Thomas Cook, Jetairfly, Martinair,...), several with engineering background, and very passionate about their job and make the lessons intresting with practical every-day-pilot-life examples. For all courses there are regular progress checks during the theory phase. What also is very nice is that because SFA has several full-flight sims some instructors book a few hours on them to give you some hands-on experience with the systems. Passrate for the BCAA exams / flighttraining is over 95% I think.
I can't give details yet about the practical part of the training at SATC in Mesa yet since I'm not there yet (Piper Archer->Da-40->Da-42) . Still doing the basic flight course now (simulator) and soon starting on the FNTP-II sim (Da-42).
What I also like alot about the school is that you can do observation flights with several airlines like Thomas Cook, Jetairfly, VLM and Luxair. (Soon Brussels Airlines too I've heard). I've allready done a flight with Thomas Cook (BRU-HER-BRU) and you are part of the crew. You get to do some tasks if you're up for it (if the captain allows it). Safety ofcourse is the most important thing! These flights are also very useful to get to know the company (and for them to get to know you :p) You are graded by the captain at the end of the flight.
Hope that answers some of your questions!
19th Sep 2008, 10:31
Sounds excellent Tom! I presume it must be one of the best schools in Europe (mainland) =)
Let me know how the course progresses later on, I'd be interested!
It surely is the best school in Belgium, but I think always everyone thinks that of their own FTO :p. Now with the recent CAE merger it even is more attractive I think. But you can't beat a school with (usually) a job at the end of the ride (Sponsorship programs or KLS in the Netherlands).
how is the assessment like?
It is harder than normal FTO?
Complete overview of the selectiontests: Sabena Flight Academy (http://www.sfa.be/pilot-training/en/bppilotentry.htm)
Passrate is about 50%
Gotten a look at their website. With 50% as the passing rate for the selection, does it mean to say the standard demand from one is extremely high before enrolling into the programme?
Tom, in your opinion, was it hard?
I don't think it was that hard. If you make it past phase 1 you should be allright.