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.
Here's a trick that I saw used at a school in Ft Pierce , Florida back in the late 90's.
You pay for a 3 week PPL package. You are led to believe that if you need any extra training it will be charged at the basic rate - fair enough. Only when you reach 45 hours is the actual pricing explained. Your package price was based on the normal hourly rates and you had been given a discount for completing your course on time, result: package price. However as you hadn't completed your training on time you now foreit the discount and so your account was reworked with the flying you had already done rebilled at the normal rates.
That school which I will not name, after a re-routing through various other Florida airports no longer exists. The owners however are still involved in flight training on the east coast of Florida.
Hi Wanting to get into flying, obviously Here in New Zealand you have a choice of getting your PPL/CPL etc via private schools, or, going to a "polytechnic" (which has government backing) where one can get a diploma/degree. The 2nd is 3yrs full time study, when you have finished you have got your PPL, CPL, IR, C Cat Flight instructor, Direct Instructor Supervision, C CAT Night rating, approved synthetic flight triner instructor rating, ATA, MEIR, ATPL flight nav general and various Aviation papers. On top of this you also have "summer school" to up your hours by doing an internship at a local commercial airline so you end up with 700hrs in total. What I'm wanting to know is which would be better? Or a better question, what sort of questions should I ask both to make sure I'm getting the best deal. Thanks
Australian Wings Academy on the Gold Coast in Australia is famous for surprising it's students with extra costs. Out of nowhere you get a bill with a five-figure sum on it with no explanation whatsoever.
Dont take it form me tho, do a search of the school and see what others have to say.
Bryanc - suggest you request information via PM regarding the schools that you are considering (in the D&G forum), you'll probably find people are more willing to share their experiences this way.
The promises aren't all they seem, particularly depending on the number of aircraft/instructors/bookings available - which can affect how quickly you can progress, weather and aircraft availability tend to have quite an impact, as do how often courses are run.
I don't think I know anyone that has completed all of their training (as you outlined): PPL, CPL, IR, C Cat Flight instructor, Direct Instructor Supervision, C CAT Night rating, approved synthetic flight trainer instructor rating, ATA, MEIR, ATPL flight nav general and various Aviation papers within three years - that said, most of my colleagues had to work whilst they studied, which has a tendency to slow things down a bit.
If you don't have a degree or diploma from prior study, you may as well go down this path, shouldn't end up costing much more than basic admin fees and can lead into non-aviation study if you want (you'll want a back up if you get into this industry!).
Plus as painful as student loans are, it can help you keep the training consolidated nicely, easier than flying 1-2 times a month when you can afford to, if you can afford to, just pay it of as soon as you can.
If you go visiting the schools, after doing a trial flight or having a look around, see if you can have a chat with some of the students that are currently training there - out of earshot of the instructors/managers, everywhere has its good points and bad points, you might hear a lot of negative stuff about certain places, but there are also plenty of reasons why the students are still there!
I'd ask some serious questions about the 'summer school' options as well if I were you!?
I'm about to start my flight training through my High School. I got really lucky and my scholarship includes flight training. I wonder if they pay up front. If they do and the Aero club go bust my training will probably be over because the school don't want to pay twice for me.
Lets see what happens to AUSTRALIAN WINGS ACADEMY when all the air asia cadets finish their CPL, wonder if Phil will suck up to other airlines and try get more cadet ship, most probably NOT after everyone knowing what happened with AIR ASIA
I am African based in East AfricaDoes anyone know PACIFIC AVIATION ACADEMY of Vancouver, British Columbia of Canada, with this web wwww.getpilotwings.comI want to do flying with them, however, I have half of the fees app. 20,000$. is it possible to do part time job once I am halfway to raise fees to finish the remaining portin
There are schools that will let you pay after every flight. the place that I did my training (westwind in phoenix az) just charged my card after i flew. Most of the other students did this too. It really was a non-issue there.
Are the leading flight training schools to be trusted, eg. CTC or OAA?
You can trust them to some extend as far as not shutting is concerned, however, their integrated courses are hugely expensive and you are paying thousands for a name. They are all well and good when there's jobs going. Both have been known to get many pilots into airlines such as ba and easy but at the moment, they can't give you much more then any other flight school where you could be paying tens of thousands less.
This isn't to say they're a bad school- I've heard the standards are pretty high and their facilities and aircraft are pretty good, but make sure you consider modular and look at other schools. I can't speak from experience but from reading these forums, I've heard Stapleford are pretty good and they are significantly cheaper than OAA.
I entirely agree with those who've advised obtaining a written contract if you are paying any money upfront. In aviation as elsewhere, memories concerning verbal agreements have an unfortunate habit of failing when disputes arise.
Read the contract very carefully (including the small print) before you sign. This may seem obvious but many consumers sign contracts without reading them at all, or read just a few paragraphs and then sign before reaching the end. I suspect most, if not all, of us have done that on occasions. Ask in advance for a copy of the proposed contract and read it carefully in your own time before signing.
Make sure you know and understand what you are signing. Ask someone else to check it for you - someone familiar with contracts and/or flying training. (Your own enthusiasm to begin training may cause you to miss, or even ignore, potential problem areas.) If you are concerned about a term/condition, do not accept a verbal assurance from the school about what it means/when it would apply - however charmingly offered. Get it in writing.
Refunds: When and How? In what circumstances will you be entitled to a refund? Some contracts are very one-sided in favour of the school in this respect. Bear in mind that the opportunity to complete your training at another time may be of little or no practical value. eg If you have set time aside to do a course and won't be able to return in the near future and/or without incurring considerable expense. Will your outstanding balance be refunded in full or will the school make 'deductions' in some form? In what time-scale will the money will be refunded? ie Immediately or within x days?
Extras/hidden charges: A common source of discontent. Establish precisely what will be charged and how it will be charged. eg
Is there a fuel surcharge? (Quite common in US schools at the moment, and perhaps elsewhere.) If so, how much is it? Is it calculated on actual fuel used or a flat rate per hour?
Does the school charge separately for pre or post flight briefings as 'Ground Instruction'? Distinguishing between actual instruction and general conversation (aviation related or otherwise) can be a tricky area. If there is a charge, devise a method to ensure the school is not charging you for casual friendly chit-chat with your FI.
Is there a separate charge for insurance? If so, how much is it? It might be a relatively small amount per hour but it may become a significant amount over the duration of a training course.
If you land away when dual, will you be charged for FI time on the ground? If so, is FI 'waiting time' charged at full or reduced rate?
There may sometimes be no practical alternative to accepting terms and conditions you don't like/which seem unfair - but you will at least reduce the risk of unpleasant surprises.
Last edited by Flying Lawyer; 20th Mar 2011 at 22:07.
"The low price program" as you call it is usually a base price in which you can complete your course with the minimum time eg. 150 hour course completed at 150 hours. BUT as most pilots know the training can take longer than this and usually on the contract. This is specified in fine print. It is a sneaky way to get customers in
- before you sign a contract you should ask and demand the clear answer if a school/FTO is able to conduct this kind of training you want to do and you will pay for. I met the situation when FTO announced on their website a lot of flying trainings however they were allowed to conduct only theoretical trainings (as far as I know the situation didn't change yet). So, they charged a pilot more money, because the flight training was done in another FTO. They simply were a kind of broker which means the trainig had to be more expensive than others.
I run a small flying school in Auckland, New Zealand.
We simply don't take money up front. Each lesson is paid for at the completion of that lesson.
This means: If we don't keep the students happy, they don't come back next time.
To complete a basic CPL with us costs about NZ$60,000. Compare this to some of the Integrated schools who take a big deposit up front, to save you money, and yet they charge much more???
Sadly, the industry in NZ is dominated by 'factory' type flying schools who are all tapped into our governments 'student loan' scheme. This means that even though they charge significantly more than we do, we still can't compete because we can't offer the loan.
I could go on for days about the stories I've heard from students turning to after being through the bigger schools systems. Here is just one: A student came to us with 53 hours flight experience, a $50,000 student loan debt so far, only 3 hours solo! and not even a PPL yet. The thing is, this guy flew fine, not excellent, but perfectly adequate. His only problem was that his confidence had been destroyed by never being allowed to fly the plane solo. We got him back on track.