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Hello everyone, I am from Argentina and I am planning to attend Aviator College on August under their F1 visa program. They "offer" the possibility of becomming a flight instructor after you finished training and I wanted to know if anyone had any experience doing this. Please if anyone can give me some information I would really appreciate it.
Welcome to the forum,I would suggest that you use the search function as this subject has been answered many many times.
What you are referring to is a feature of the F1 visa - OPT - Optional Practical Training. You have to complete the academic course and then may be eligible if offered, the ability to undertake the OPT for a maximum of 1 year. As it says - it is 'optional' - no guarantee and if offered, you wont accrue many hours in that year (if that is your aim). You also have to pay your own expenses during that year so make sure you have a bucket load of money available. At the end of the year OPT, you have to leave the US.
Well, isn't the pay enough to pay the student accomodation while working as FI?
Erm no... You get 'paid' only when flying. If you are sat on the bench doing nothing then you don't get anything. You also get paid peanuts - you are there for Optional Practical Training - not employment. You will also require to get yourself insurance etc. You don't want to be in an accident that might be of your making. Plus you would want health insurance etc.
Do you know how many hours do instructors on F-1 program fly per month?
That is entirely dependent on the business and your competition. How long is a piece of string?
For example - if the School offer all the students OPT - then you are not going to get much of a look in. Remember - it is no skin off the School's nose if you hardly fly at all. They only pay peanuts for the time actually spent.
Whatever the School might tell you - I doubt they will put it in writing guaranteeing you a certain number of hours.
I have been researchong a lot and everithing looks good. But there are some people who posted really bad reviews of this school. Being in touch with them they seem polite and professional, and the program looks good, speacilly the OPT. of course i wouldnt be instructing for the money, I would be doing it for my passion of flying, teaching and time building. On the phone they said I would get to fly from 80 to 100hs a month, around 1000 in one year, but i havent found someone that has actually done this program...
That's what THEY say... They claim it takes 9 months from 0 to completion of training with CFI, CFII and MEI. After that, there should be 15 months left to fly 80-100 hours a month. It would be really nice, but who knows if it is really the truth...
Last edited by RedBullGaveMeWings; 26th Dec 2012 at 21:08.
You're going to do, what? 250-300 hours training with them and then start instructing. Only a proportion of that will be dual. Similarly for all their other students doing similarly. For you to gain 1000 hrs you will need around 6 to 10 students of your own, all of whom are undertaking a similar amount of training like you will have done. At the same time, all those other past students are trying to get their own time to build.
That means that the school will need to recruit 6-10 *new* students for each & every '1000 hour in a year' OPT guy. Not likely to happen.
I've been around that sort of place, fortunately as a customer quietly doing the very few hours I needed with the Chief Flying Instructor to convert my foreign ATPL into an FAA ATP, and not as a 'normal' student. I was very aware of the instructor chat I overheard about the in-fighting, bitching and moaning as each OPT competed with all the other instructors to get flight time before they had to leave.
These are really just a variant of a pyramid selling con. To get the hours you seek the school has to recruit more and more students to satisfy the hours demand of the previous crop.
Tinstaafl Not all the students make it all the way to CPL ME. Not all of students go for CFI/CFII/MEI
On the other hand, Aviator have a lot of JAA students. Which dont speak spanish. TS is from Argentina, so he would have good chances of getting a FAA CFI job.
I think bottom line of that discussion is how good you are. If you are smart guy, with good skills and knowledge, that worked hard, have passion for aviation/instructing - you will be able to land a job. Out of my experience, only about 10-20% of guys meet that criteria in flight schools.
Cefey, that's still not good for the OPT time builder. The fewer who continue through to instrument, multi & instructor ratings, the less dual that will be done as a proportion of the total training time budget. Instrument, multi & instructor ratings are damn near all dual training, unlike PPL level training.
It skews the ratio of dual:solo towards solo for that student. The end result is that even more students are needed per OPT time builder compared to a bunch of straight through CPL/ME/Instrument/Instructor students due to the reduced overall dual time and also the unfavourable* dual:solo ratio.
I have just recieved a sample enrollment agreement. Nothing specific about the OPT. But a very extensive inclusion list for the Pro pilot program. Certificates and ratings: IRMEL, CMEL, CSEL, CFI, MEI, CFII 93 MEL Dual 7 MEL Solo 100 MEL time building 15 SEL Dual 6 SEL Solo All pre and post flight briefings. Ground for Instrument, CFI, CRJ I think these time are figured out of minimums. Any comment?
Quick reply from one that actually went to Aviator
Do not listen to most people on here, many have not actually studied at Aviator. There are many pros and many cons as with any flight school anywhere in the world. The fleet is old and many planes go down for maintenance every day, but it is ok because they have many airplanes and the maintenance guys are doing a good job to bring them back up. On the other hand the price is cheap, you would not get the same price if you went to a school that had brand new DA42... You need to be serious on your studies, the school and their instructors will not hold your hand and spoon feed you through you flight training, nor should they. You need to be responsible and study and make sure you fly a lot. Don't be one of these guy that chases the girls on the beach and you will be fine. If you have problems with your instructor talk to him or her about it and if that does not work then ask for another instructor. It works great.
A little about me then, i was at aviator as of 2009 and i left in 2011. I did the college program, i chose not to stay and do my OPT because we expected a baby so i wanted to go back home instead. I went with 0 hours and i left with 750 hours, i got all my rating on minimum hours and i had my CPL in 6 months. I got my CFI, II and MEI at 280 hours and started teaching in june of 2011 and i left with 750 hours in december, that is just under 80 hours a month of instructing @ 20USD an hour that 1600USD in salary every month and my rent for a 2 bedroom apartment was 625 that we used and my girlfriends brother was renting one room for a 250 a month. I have 11 sign offs for check rides and all except one was first time passes that is another 1000 USD in bonus i received from the school. I also worked with the school doing shuttle service and some of the IT related systems earning me even more money. So this talk about you being poor there is all BS. I left prior to finishing my degree, if i have finished the last semester and then adding another year of OPT i would have had given me another 16 months of instructing and @ 8 hours a month i would earn another 1280 hours, which would total me over 2000 hours. Well above the 1500 hour minima for ATP... Actually all i needed to get an ATP was 47 hours a month and you do that easily.
Last edited by Johnny Bekkestad; 29th Dec 2012 at 20:22.