View Full Version : FI Rating

21st May 2013, 14:18
Hi all,

I'm currently looking at gaining a Flight Instructor Rating, I have narrowed my options down to 4 FTOs, these are:

Stapleford Flight Centre
West London Aero Club
Booker Aviation
Oxford Aviation Academy

I am aware that they each one has their perks and draw backs, no where is the perfect FTO.

I am making a good effort to go and visit all of them and get as much first hand information as possible, but if anyone has any real experience with these FTOs, or even better the FI course at any of them, please share it.

21st May 2013, 20:40
WLAC, great club, fantastic FIC Instructor, lovely atmosphere and fleet nicely maintained. Hire most new FI's at least on part time basis post course completion.

Good luck.

22nd May 2013, 08:15
Ontrack Aviation at Wellesbourne. Fantastic quality and great atmosphere. Courses taught by guys who really enjoy doing it.

I have done all my courses right through to Examiner with them and can't fault them.

22nd May 2013, 19:44
I'd be looking at where to get a job after.

There are obviously no guarantees, but some schools take on the instructors they have trained, you should perhaps look at what their recruitment needs are as instructors are getting airline jobs all the time.

The second thing to look at is where their graduates usually go, look at the clubs nearby and find out if they are likely to have any vacancies, otherwise you'll have a rating and then end up looking all over the country, and schools aren't always happy to take on guys from miles away who did their rating at a school they know nothing about.

22nd May 2013, 20:14
As RTN11 said.
I would try and secure a job before if you can. Some schools have their own opinions about various FI courses. Andrewsfield is very good and I went to SFC who had amazing staff (Tony Glover). They have digs too for a very good price.
SFC did offer me work, but I had already secured a job with another school at the time with better rates. It can't hurt to ask their position on the matter.

22nd May 2013, 21:41
Yes, I agree with you on the issue of employment after the rating. I obviously am doing the rating to gain employment after all and it is something I am asking all of the FTOs. Thanks for the advice.

22nd May 2013, 22:51
It's a difficult situation, as the market will always be tough. It would be easy for an FTO to sell you a line that there may be a job when you qualify, only to find out there isn't when you finally do.

Take a serious look at their operation, and judge for yourself, talk to the other instructors and students. Some places I've visited looking for work, even being interviewed for advertised vacancies, the feeling I got from the other instructors was very much "there's not enough work to go around, don't you dare come here and steal what little there is."

23rd May 2013, 11:02
RTN11, I'm well aware that FTOs can often say what you want to hear in the hope of making a better sales pitch, so I do take anything said with a pinch of salt.

I'm trying to look into every aspect of these FTOs as far as I can.

I would be interested to hear of anyone's experience with the particular training organisations that I listed above though? Just so I can gain a better understanding of what they are actually like and not what I am told by the people trying to sell me the course.

high wing harry
25th May 2013, 18:16
I have experience of Booker Aviation (Wycombe Air Centre as was) and I can tell you that their FIC department is great. You have a dedicated floor of a building with loads of material and bits to play with. You get to do the course on the two mainstays of flight schools - the C152 and the PA28 so you'll be employable most places.

There wasn't a vacancy when I finished but they assisted me (as they do with all their FI students) in getting my first FI position which is worth its
weight in gold.

The airfield itself is busy which is great experience (trying to talk around the circuit, pay attention to the solo students, listen to ATC etc all at the same time!) and they have a large number of PPL students going through constantly which is great to give the place a real buzz of life.

The other instructors are so helpful when required for a bit of advice and the two main FI instructors (Simon and Caroline) are the best.

Your main issue, I suspect, will be that you can get loads of advice but most people have only been to one FI school for their initial course (unless there have been issues) and so it's difficult to compare.

I would contact the schools you are interested in, go have a look around the place and see where you want to be spending 6-8 weeks of your life (or more) and whether you like the instructors on a personal level. WIth all that groundschool to do you had better like them at least!!

Good luck with your decision