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.
Interesting that they have managed to get one of the better reputations of the Florida schools, yet looking at their new website staff page shows someone who's reputation with schools current and past shows somebody that to anybody doing their due diligence might put people off!
Nh2301 'The Manager' you speak of was arrested and sentenced a good few years ago. Why should that have any bearing on the present? When I was there, I had very little dealings with Ari Ben or their management, seeing I was a EFT customer.
I have no knowledge of the incorrect billing you refer to, but then I did keep a eye on what was happening.
I suggest that those suggesting improper conduct should put up, or shut up.
Wouldn't stop me going to EFT, I've met some former students and seen the quality EFT produce. No school is perfect so we could be here for hours. I think that a school can only be as good as its students. If you have the drive and the passion you will be a success regardless of who does the bloody accounts.
Hi I did my PPL with EFT last summer and I'd highly recommend them. The standard of instruction is brilliant Ronni was mine. Friendly atmosphere and all round good fun. Although the schools are owned by the same person we never had much contact with the FAA side of the school. We have seperate briefing rooms, instructors and classrooms. Any more info don't hesitate to ask.
I'm a student pilot from middle europe and I'd like to share my experience that I had with EFT („European Flight Training“) in Fort Pierce, Florida, in the beginning of the year 2012, because after all i've seen there, I decided to share my experience with other people. I'm the holder of a PPL-A licence and, like many other pilots that would like to make their hobby a profession, I only saw the way of modular training as realistic for me. I completed my ATPL-theory with the CAA in London and soon afterwards, started to look for a proficient school to teach me the practical part. I found myself in a situation where I had to find a suitable FTO in few time, and soon my eyes fell on EFT, where things seemed to work out really un-complicated. Quickly I enroled myself into the 3 weeks Single Engine CPL-course. Now, quite some time afterwards and with enough distance in between, it's still hard for me to hide all the disappointement and anger that this school caused to me. I would like to point out one thing before I go ahead with my report: EFT offers contact to former students on their homepage to make it possible for you to get a better picture of them. The downside is: they choose theirself wich student would be allowed to share it's experience and somebody that has to say negative things would not appear on this list. If I had known before what I know now, I would have never choosen that school...
One of the inherent problems with EFT is the organisation of your training. As any interested person may already know, the SE-CPL course consists of 25h of dual training, wich is a legal minima and it's probably quite often the case that pilots need 2 or 3 hours more. However, EFT does not go by your hours, but by your flights. The 25h, wich are a reasonable air-time minima to get you in shape for your checkride, are sub-divided into 18 flights. These do not take into account any ground or taxi-time, wich, especially for a pilot unfamiliar with Fort Pierce, the planes and the local procedures, could easily make out 0.5 or 0.6h each flight! For that reason, a flight that should not take longer than 1.0h or 1.2h on the paper, regulary lasts for 1.5h or 1.8h. Given the charges for each lesson, this easily sums up into 2500 to 3000$ in addition at the end of your course – just like this! Besides, the charge rates will go up for each minute that you have to spend above the claimed minima (even if you spend no time on the ground and do all the lessons perfectly, they will find reasons why you should repeat lessons – believe me). In my eyes, everything is shaped to rip people off. I personally completed the course in almost the minimum time with just 1 flight to be repeated and I found those extra 3000$ on my bill.
Of course, nothing in life is ever only black or white. One of the good things with EFT is that they have a reasonable fleet (about 7 Cessna 172 and 7 PA-28 and about the same amount of Duchesses), wich they keep in a good technical condition. The only thing about their planes that bothered me is that there was only one Piper Arrow as complex single for the advanced CPL-course, wich had it's best days definitely behind it. One careless landing or worn out oil-line could have easily spoiled my stay there. Besides, the accommodation is quite acceptable
(every place gets boring after several weeks or months if cou can't get out, of course) and there are indeed a few nice instructors with EFT
(tough not all – try to get Martin, if you are already there). The school buildings are far from unfashionable and there is even a big library and a pool available to all students.
However, after I completed the course and withstood all the many difficulties and little problems, my class and me were waiting for our checkride. To make a long story short, the examiner failed the entire class on their checkrides, with reasons so ridiculous and unfair that we probably all will have problems to explain our fails to future employes.
Since that time, for a mystic reason, nobody from that school passed the checkride on the first attempt with him – ever! According to a staff from European Flight Training, this already went on since 2 years without the school ever trying to interfere with this. Many people from my class complained about this practise and tried to get EFT to request another examiner, but they only earned ignorance and scorn from the managers. Somebody formulated a (in my eyes) very cautious writing to request a change of examiner to the Head of Training, Trevor Brackston, with the grounds of time - weekends only, wich soon ate into our money-reserves, of course), Trevor even didn't answer him, but quit looking at us. When we then inquired Matthew Adams about this, he got furious and threw people out of his office! Yes, thats right – this is the way you get treat at EFT once you get into problems and request help! People were always friendly before, but as soon as you signal to them you start to get out of money, they will not care about you in any way (to sort something out here, I am perfectly aware that the examiner is assigned by CAA to you and not by the school, however, there was an incidence a few weeks before wich caused a student to change the examiner under similar circumstances with the help of the school, so obviously, there is a way– you just need to want it, though). Somebody else who dragged up the Flight Examiners Handbook and found a graph indicating that no student may fly with the same examiner after a failed checkride again gotrejected by Trevor, too, who tried to solve the situation by just twisting the words of the handbook against him.
Is it normal for a whole class to fail in a row? We got the impression they rather wanted to play along with the examiner. In the meantime, a few others were totally out of money and left Florida again without their licences.
The net result with EFT for me was:
Expected duration and costs of the course (estimated by EFT): 3 weeks and 7305$ + CAA fee (about 1000$)
Total duration and costs: 7 weeks, about 16000$ spent (incl. 19 flights in my course, 4 more weeks of accommodation & food, CAA fee, shifted flights back)
And it could have easily ended without my licence here.
I'm aware that my report about this school may seem one-sided and subjective and maybe you understand why I don't want to reveal to manydetails of my person. However, after all the disappointement and thebad experience I had, I feel this is the most honest report I can give you about this place. I have visited a few bad FTO's in my career so far and I didn't expect everything to happen perfectly this time
(instead, I tried to arrive with reserves in my planning and pushed my progress every day), but after all, I found this school exceptionally money-orientated and unfair.
The whole training-system is shaped to aquire your money and the responsibles at the school show you surprisingly honest how less they care about you once you have a problem – you will pay a lot and people forget this very quickly. To give you another episode, several people of my class encountered problems because they used the wrong performance-graphs for their preflight-preparations.
After almost 2 months, nobody in the school ever noticed this, although theoretically, the staff in dispatch should have their eyes on this. It was a stupid mistake, but you also could see it as an indication how much EFT cares about their students. Many people I met complained about being left alone, in many aspects. I passed my checkride some time later with another examiner (and without having any substantial amount of training in between). I can not recommend this school to my fellow students or to anyone else. As long as you are just looking for a place that somehow gets the job done, regardless of time or money, EFT may eventually be a school like many others. For the rest, I think its safe if I take voice for the others and say that few people had a good time in the end. If you are dependent on an FTO that supplies you with a purposeful and inexpensive training, there is only one thing I can advise you: AVOID, AVOID, AVOID!
I have received many messages asking me about my experiences at EFT and thought it was about time that I wrote a piece on the school rather than answer each person directly. I will be as fair as I can in my explanation.
I think before I start it is important to separate the Aviator and EFT schools to a certain degree. Although I was an EFT student, I did my FAA training through Aviator so to speak. My issues are primarily with Aviator and not EFT but they are linked in such a way that one effects the other from time to time. My plan from the start was to do my MEP rating, FAA ME IR, around 50 hours hour building and the JAA ME CPL.
I arrived from the far east in October 2011 and hoped to be finished in 3-4 moths at best. I had previously completed my JAA PPL in 2010 in around 5-6 weeks and was impressed with the school (EFT that is). There were just the right amount of students to instuctors and the training was done professionally and smoothly.
I was introduced to a really decent instructor to do my MEP rating and started a few days after arriving. Unfortunately, the MEP rating took a lot longer than I had initially thought and took me around 3-4 weeks to complete. This was not helped by the maintenance issues with the aircraft.
Aviator operates a large amount of Duchess aircraft for the ME teaching and these aircraft are in and out of the maintenance hangers more times than I've had hot dinners. There is always something constantly breaking or being damaged on these aircraft. They are roughly around 30 years old and this is to be expected of course, however, they are being flown for 10 hours plus per day. The issue and the fact that irritated me so badly was that there are simply too many students, not enough instructors and not enough serviceable aircraft at the school. I remember even hearing the senior pilot mentioning how they should not be flying that amount of hours per day at their age.
When it came to doing my FAA ME IR this constantly compounded the issues even further and my flights were cancelled on more occasions than I can remember due to the aircraft maintenance issues. This got worse and worse to the point where one day not a single Duchess aircraft was flying because they had all been squawked for repairs. On that particular day I discussed this issue with my instructor and he suggested that I, as a paying customer, should go straight to the owner of the school and complain. I hesitated at first but then after a while we decided to both go and politely mention the issue to the owner and see how the situation could be resolved. After a short conversation explaining the situation his reaction was to close the school for the day so that maintenance could continue repairs on the aircraft. Not the reaction we had been expecting and it then meant further delays to training.
The next day, however, I learned that my instructor had been sacked and the reason for this being our complaint to the owner of the school. This left a very sour taste in my mouth and I further raised this issue with EFT to see if the situation could be resolved and to perhaps see if my instructor could be reinstated in some way. Unfortunately, he was not reinstated and I was given a new instructor.
To cut a long story short, I managed to get get all my training completed in 6 months. I suppose it could have been completed faster, however, the lack of aircraft and maintenance issues extended my stay. To be fair, I had my own problems with admin issues with the FAA and the Christmas period.
I think my small rant is not so much directed at EFT but rather at Aviator and unfortunately, I have to say this damages the reputation of the school as they use Aviators services. Aviator is simply very badly managed and too overburdened with students and old aircraft. There were many days when I waited for a stage check and this was primarily down to the aircraft breaking constantly.
I cannot say a bad word about the training at EFT. When it came to doing my CPL I managed to get it completed in just over 3 weeks. Matthew was an excellent instructor and really helped me through the course. He was very good at keeping me motivated. The same goes for Ian as well. Both of them top blokes. So to answer all your questions about EFT I can only say you will not be dissapointed with the level of training but you may be disappointed with the aircraft situation. It was farcical at times to say the least.
Hope this explains things relatively clearly. EFT is a great school but their next door neighbour drags them down.
The post above is fair about operations down at Aviator College. I would like to add more about EFT. As it was mentioned above. EFT is a joint venture. It is a FTO that uses the aircrafts and facilities of Aviation College, which is a very smart business move. However, their prices are way higher than their FAA counterpart. For instance for an hour in the BE-76 and C-172 Dual with Aviator is 280 and 180, whist with EFT that will be 450 and 250, thank you very much . If you ask them why, they will tell you it's because it's JAA training. Fair play, but advertising package price is way lower than this rate, so the big bucks come in when you start to overfly the syllabus, in which very does to a certain extend.
Moreover, a warning to the APP (Airline Pilot Programme) prospective students. Think long and hard before you sign up. The package price is very attractive, $50k I believe, but beware that there are set dates for everything, such as PPL theory and ATPL (which is done by another company, Gulf Coast). If these dates/deadline are busted, your fault or god's act, you will have to pay for a large fine $4000-5000. It will come out of your installments that you have paid already, whether you like it or not. As for the PPL ground, you are not going to get any help from them, it's all self study, a lot of my friends didn't make the exams schedules and got kicked off the APP and that costs them thousands of $
In conclusion, EFT is fair school when you are doing well, the flight training is average. But when you are not doing well, you need to have a deep wallet!
Their price are in line with some of the FTO in Europe such as Iceland. If I can turn back time I will do my entire training in Europe. (Hour building in the US is a good experience though)
MaroonedinFL you seem to have confused complaining about EFT with complaining about CAA examiners and flight test bookings. You can contact the CAA at Personal Licences and Training
. Somebody formulated a (in my eyes) very cautious writing to request a change of examiner to the Head of Training, Trevor Brackston, with the grounds of time - weekends only, wich soon ate into our money-reserves, of course),
You can't blame EFT for the examiner issue - your rights are extremtly clearly laid out to you and you should have taken that up with the CAA directly. The CAA are responsible for testing not schools. EFT doesn't request or can't request another examiner - there is a policy set down for flight test bookings and the school will act as the middle man by sending off your 170 and payment form but the examiner and their timetable is the responsibility of the CAA. Did you call and request a change of examiner? The CAA have a written policy of 10 working days to complete a skills test in Florida with an examiner - sounds like you were well within that. So quite honestly there is no complaint to be had here.
Somebody else who dragged up the Flight Examiners Handbook and found a graph indicating that no student may fly with the same examiner after a failed checkride
They told you it wasn't true because it isn't! It doesn't say that in the examiners handbook! It is normal and UK CAA (not school's) policy that the first retake is taken with the same examiner unless you have taken out your Regulation 6 right to appeal with the CAA. The regulation 6 is between you and the CAA and the school is not normally party to the process, unless a witness to events. In this scenario you get the fairest chance of a fair hearing. The trouble with Reg 6s is that they take time in the UK - I'm sure it'd be longer for the USA.
MaroonedinFL - If you genuinely feel like the examiner did you wrong, complain - until then you just come off as a disgruntled student who failed because they weren't good enough.
Last edited by BigGrecian; 10th Aug 2012 at 22:07.
Why is it these days that students 'demand' results. All I hear on here is "I've paid you for the course price, give me my licence. It is not my fault that I am substandard / not willing to put the work in / do my own research on schools, requirements etc."
As Airbus recently pointed out - the standard or airmanship is going down hill. I believe that the applicants are of a lower standard, probably due to who can pay rather than who is capable. The CAA set the standard for flight tests. And they also set the examiner.
0.5 - 0.6 additional for a taxi out, run up, and taxi in? One of two things happening there. Either you drove to another airport to take off, or you were so unfamiliar with the checklist by not chair flying that you had to move very slowly through each item on the checklist. Or perhaps this is over exagerated?
I'm sure that when all is said and done you are glad you didn't pick Cabair or PTC
. For instance for an hour in the BE-76 and C-172 Dual with Aviator is 280 and 180, whist with EFT that will be 450 and 250, thank you very much . If you ask them why, they will tell you it's because it's JAA training. Everyone admitted above that EFT was good, Aviator was the problem - you get what you pay for that's why EFT is more expensive - it's also EASA which is expensive to regulate. If you haven't understood that by the time you took your CPL that's rather worrying!
I just looked at their APP - it's pay as you go....although if you can't complete a PPL in 8 weeks then in my opinion fair enough - I wouldn't have wanted to subsidise other people's training to join the ATPL class because they couldn't done in 8 weeks yet I got done in 4. That's student socialism. This is a capitalist world - you need more training it costs you and if you miss your course space that's fair enough in my eyes - every school I went to had the same policy on that front.
But when you are not doing well, you need to have a deep wallet! That should be a sticky - it's universal to all schools! Great post.
My personal experience of flight training is that I got sick of other students complaining that they paid more for training when they didn't do very well. I was also sick that I knew that to keep things fair I was effectivily subsisding some of their training in the course cost as the school knew that some would drop out, when they were either lazy or just had a crappy PPL and expected the world to righted on their CPL - cheap PPL and cheap hour building doesn't get fixed in 25 hours! However this in indicitiave of society nowadays - no one will take responsibilty for themselves!
BigGrecian: First of all, thank you for your sarcasm. With your relentless effort of defending EFT, I strongly suspect you are Mattew Adams. I can't careless however, as I am merely stating facts.
I really don't have problem with US JAA school to charge more (even significantly more) if the pricing is upfront, but it is not the case as stated in my original post. EFT attracts people in with low package price and "make up" with the earnings with the more expensive overfly hours, which is not even my highlights here. In my opinion, EFT makes money out of the underachieving APP students and charge them a few thousands dollars. I agree on some young lads there are fcuking about and deserve to be fined as they do not put in enough work, however, there are also student who are trying their damnedest to make it work, but EFT's support is non existent. You can't just write someone off without trying because it's easier and more profitable to do so, which is what EFT has been doing for the past few years.
Before any of you come back with comments/speculations such as "This guy is an underachiever APP student himself and disheartened". For the record, I only did a PPL with EFT and I finished within the syllabus hours as I had some hours beforehand, so I didn't get ripped off and I'm happy. But I feel obligated to warn my fellow pilot/wannabe of the risks of training with EFT.
To be fair, EFT is probably one of the best JAA FTO in the US, but again I would n't go to any of them, they are all after you money (unethically, because they can get away with it). I would rather train in Europe.
Hope my 2 cents is worth as much to you.
Last edited by ColonialFlyer; 3rd Aug 2012 at 00:39.
Although I have been reading this thread with interest the only thing I've got to add is that the comments regarding the examiner availability are true - you should have taken that up with the CAA. The CAA written policy is clearly posted on the notice board with contact information for all to view. However I do apologise as it does appear that this information was not passed on to you by your instructor and feel free to contact me regarding the issue.
I'd also add that when a student was disenrolled from the APP they receive their funds back as they complete each element of their training. However, the APP for the last couple of courses is pay as you go, per hour.
I'll let everyone else get to their arguments.
Last edited by Matthew Adams; 3rd Aug 2012 at 14:04.