Professional Pilot Training (includes ground studies)A forum for those on the steep path to that coveted professional licence. Whether studying for the written exams, training for the flight tests or building experience here's where you can hang out.
Well, I've done a search on the forums...and I've come up with dozens of threads on it...yet every thread started with "do a search, this has been disucussed already".
Also, I don't see a poll option...so this is the closest to it.
Rank these flight schools from best to worse. If you have trained at one...also add a comment on your thoughts below your ranking.
-European Flight Training
-International Flight Training Academy
-Orlando Flight Training
-Naples Air Center
-Phoenix East Aviation
Personally, I like the new King Air FO program that IFTA is introducing in 2004...and their "pay for JAAs, get FAAs for free". Also they seem to have a decent fleet with new Piper Warrior IIIs and 3 Senecas.
I like the large fleet of EFT too, they have Duchess and Senecas and Arrows.
Price wise they seem to be right around $40k or so.
I've trained at one of those schools. I could give you an opinion of that school, if you asked me. But I have no idea how you'd expect me to compare it to a further six schools which I have no first-hand experience of. I would guess the same or similar is true for most people on these forums.
I can't comment on any other school than EFT and my experience is now over a year old. However, and I see no evidence of change from their website, when I was there they had only one Arrow and this was a pain from time to time. Serviceability was up and down and obviously the aircraft's utlization was high. Notwithstanding these comments I passed first time and in absolute minimum time. Course took 3 weeks beginning to end. In fact, looking at my log book I may actually be short on the course minimums - oops.
Instructional standards were more than adequate although sometimes brief/debriefs were a tad rushed. Keep an eye on your billing for ground instruction.
Although I have some reservations noted above, overall I'd be happy to recommend EFT.
Also true. They always fixed their aircraft quickly when I was there, but obviously if there's only one of something, it will be down for short periods from time to time, and this can be inconvenient
Obviously the aircraft's utlization was high
That's interesting, because it's not what I found at all. None of the FAA students at Aviator use the Arrow, because they all do their CPL in twins. So the only people to use it regularly are EFT's CPL students. When I was there, there were two CPL students - myself, and one other who was a couple of weeks behind me, and so didn't need to use the Arrow until after I'd finished. No problem at all. I guess it's a question of timing - it depends on how many other CPL students are there at the same time as you.
This is an absolutely pointless thread! As FfF states, nearly all PPRuNe's Wannabes who have attended any US school will have only attended one, and are therefore in no position to rank their school against any others. The only people who can do that are the JAA and FAA examiners who are charged with assessing the output and the training content of all schools - and they aren't going to enlighten you!
All you can ask for here is people's honest opinions of the school they trained at. Only after reading many, many of these opinions can you hope to form an opinion of your own. As we frequently advise, you should speak to (and preferably visit) each of your prospective schools personally. You should ask for their promotional material, and, once you have studied that, you should go back to them and ask questions. Some of those you should ask are:
How is payment expected - is delayed or phased payment allowed, via an escrow account (to protect you against the school going bust and taking your money with them)?
What is the school's pass rate at the level you are looking to train at?
How many extra hours are flown, on average, to achieve that pass, and what do they cost?
What is the balance of single/complex/twin and ground trainer (sim) hours?
What is the instructor/student ratio?
What is the instructor turnover rate?
Which training notes provider do they use (more relevent to ground studies, I know)?
What are the accommodation arrangements? How much do they cost? Are there alternatives? Is car hire advisable?
What social opportunities are there (i.e. should you bring your own home-brew kit and a playstation!)?
There are many other questions which you will think of after a browse through theses forums. I'm sure WWW and Keygrip could add still more.
Be careful about hour-building programs in America!
Many of them - and I know that this applies to Aviator - stick two hours-builders in the aircraft and send them off together. One of them flies the aircraft under foggles. The second acts as safety pilot. According to the FARs, both pilots can log the time - so each pilot pays half the cost, and everyone is happy.
According to the JARs, you can not log time as safety pilot. So when it comes to applying for any JAR license, you will only be able to count the time that you're actually at the controls - half of the total time. So you're actually paying 6 grand for 50 hours, not 100. It's still cheap by UK standards, but not as cheap as it sounds at first.....
[Edit to note that, now I read his post again properly, I see that ArcherII already knew all this!]
Last edited by FlyingForFun; 19th Dec 2003 at 17:14.
Can only comment on a paticular flight school i attended, like others have said not for the notice board, being polite about such things as poor training and student to instructor ratio which was outside the standards / guidelines laid out by the JAA / CAA is not my strong point.
So feel free to message me and i will do my level best to give you details of costs involved out there food, accomadation etc
stick two hours-builders in the aircraft and send them off together
But at the end of the day this doesn't matter if you're planning to get US ratings and then convert.
Doing it this way, you can effectively hour build for as little as £20-£30 per hour.
There seems to be schools now specializing in the 'conversion' route, and the one school i attended for my FAA ratings, specialized in training for the FAA ratings, to JAR tolerances and procedures, with a view to conversion (they employ JAA/FAA dual qualified instructors).
Seems to make sense. The place I went to in the US offers a course to take an ICAO PPL holder (JAA/CAA/IAA etc) with 150hrs all the way through to JAA fATPL for £13,800 including conversion costs ( including issue of FAA CPL/IR not including ATPL ground exams ). If you don't have 150 hrs they pair you up with another student to build hours the FAA way until you have the 150 hrs. Ok, under JAR these hours might not count, but it doesn't matter, as you will have more than enough hours (JAA hours) for JAA CPL/IR issue. You also exit the course with 40hrs multi time.
I'm a not interested in safety pilot hours unless I"m the one under the hood logging "true PIC" and instrument time. No offense to those out there who built time as safety pilots, I agree that you get SOME experience, but watching what the other guy does...but really, nothing worth paying a full flight hour for. In the end you are paying half the price of the airplane to just sit there and watch the other guy do his thing. I wouldnt' do it.
Now that I think of it, Ari-Ben and allATPs (they advertise 200 and 190 hours multi engine respectively for 26k and 34k respectively, and all FAA ratings).
Now especially Ari-bens is cheap...but they are probably safety pilot hours half of it...so it's really 100 hours PIC multi engine and 100 hours sitting right seat watching a guy fly under the hood.
I can get, at my current school where I got my PPL, 100 hours of PIC multi in SENECA for $16,500. I belive that's probably one of hte cheapest deals around...for a Seneca at least which is more complex than a Duchess or Seminole.
I'm considering just doing it all here...and forgetting these fancy flight schools...and perhaps converting them all to JAA at once later on.
Or just getting my FAA multi/instrument builing hours and then doing the JAA/FAA CPL and instructor ratings...
I agree that you get SOME experience, but watching what the other guy does...but really, nothing worth paying a full flight hour for. In the end you are paying half the price of the airplane to just sit there and watch the other guy do his thing
Try it over Los Angeles then, and see how long you survive while watching the other guy do his thing
$16,000 for a Seneca II is about right, though remember you should negotiate a good block rate. Should be able to knock at least $2000 off that rate if you offer them $14,000 on the table.
Saw on eBay yesterday, some dude with a twin (can't remember what though, seemed ok) offering a block of 100hrs with instructor. Bid was at about $8000.
I have been to OFT plus one other which was not on your list. I came back from OFT just before Christmas, and would highly recommend it (see the "Hour building in Florida" thread) - despite what one or two other people said.
You should state on the board here exactly what it is you intend to do - sounds like full 0 to ATPL course. Not many US schools do the JAA IR, so you will probably have to get FAA and convert, or at least be very careful. I would also check how many JAA IR students any school had had, and ask for references to make you do not become an experiment (most US schools have only just got re-accredited for advanced JAA courses). Also remember that you will be instructed by FAA (not JAA) instructors. I encountered some lack of JAA course awareness when doing my CPL.
There also seems to be a certain amount of snobbery by the airlines about where you do your IR - if it aint Oxford/Cabair/one or two others in the UK, you may find your CV lower in the pile. So said the airlines at the Flyer shows in 2003.
For choice, I would go to OFT for 0 to CPL, and pay the extra to complete the IR in the UK.
Lastly, the Florida Duchess rate was $169/hr (less $10/hr in a hour-build package) at OFT and EFT/Ari-Ben in December, but I suspect rates have gone up in the new year.