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Flight Schools in the Greater Toronto Area.

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Flight Schools in the Greater Toronto Area.

Old 30th Jan 2013, 02:34
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Flight Schools in the Greater Toronto Area.

I have recently moved from Montreal to Toronto, and I was wondering about good flight schools in the area, I have done my research, and I seem to be torn between Spectrum Airways and Toronto Airways Ltd.
I have already acquired 36 flying hours at St. Hubert Airport located just south of the island of Montreal, I have my PTR and logbook on me certified, stamped, and ready to go. I'm just reluctant as to which flight school to join. I'm eventually going for CPL/Multi-IFR. Bear in mind that St. Hubert Airport is a fairly busy airport, ranked as the 6th busiest in airport in Canada by aircraft movements. I'm looking for something to match that.
Spectrum Airways is located at Burlington Air Park which is a small airport, with no ATC. Communications are UNICOM/ATF.
The school itself seems to be top-notch. And the prices are fair.
And on the other hand I have Toronto Airways Ltd. located at
Toronto/Buttonville Municipal Airport, which is a privately owned medium sized airport that is ranked as Canada's 11th busiest airport by aircraft movements. The airport has a control tower, ATIS, and two asphalt runways.
The school boasts a 40+ aircraft fleet, and is one of the biggest flight schools in Canada. But the problem is that they stopped funding this airport and it may close at any second due to a lack of funds!
I know in the end it won't matter, and that flying is flying. I just want to make sure that I'm going to make the right decision like any investor would. And I say investor because this ain't cheap as you may all know.
I would appreciate some feedback from fellow pilots/students.
Good day to you all.
PerpetuousDreamer is offline  
Old 30th Jan 2013, 12:38
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Well if you are considering Burlington...why not look at Brampton? One thing strikes me a little odd though...this stuff isn't about investing. It's about making a decision and then justifying it to yourself because it's not going to make economic sense...good luck.
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Old 30th Jan 2013, 15:01
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In your research you seem to have missed one key element, and that is what is actually important during flight training? If ATC was so important during flight training, Transport Canada would mandate more hours or would just mandate all ab initio training be done from a controlled field. As they don't mandate that, it is clear the emphasis is more on the manoeuvres...remember the adage "Aviate, Navigate, Communicate," it applies equally to training as it does to operational flying (and I include private flying in that definition).

If you train from Buttonville, you will get all the ATC experience you want, but I wonder where they do their upper air work from? How much time would you potentially waste flying out to the training zone? How many steep turns or stalls do you get before you have to come back because the block time is up? If you train from Burlington, I know the training zone is just the other side of the Niagara escarpment - about a 4 minute "commute" in a 172...better bang for your buck from an upper air work perspective, but granted quite a distance to fly in a 172 to YHM or YKF to do your instrument and ATC work from. In saying that, being not so busy with commercial traffic, smaller fields offer a greater number of circuits completed, more time to think, etc.

Remember too, a flight school is not "great" because of its fleet size. I've often come across some great instructors who had their own airplane and taught from that; although they are slightly harder to find with all the glitz and glamour that flight schools offer.

However, as click mentioned, Brampton meets your requested flight training requirements almost better than any school in the GTA, save for the Waterloo schools. I've never flown it of there myself, but I know guys and gals who either have or who have taught from there, and they are all pretty decent people.

Wherever you choose, good luck! Not everyone gets to go to work after 10 years with a skip in their step, a smile on their face, and all giddy inside. But I again agree with click...I never saw my training as an investment (although my wife calls me her "little investment," which proves she never actually listens). If you do, you'll be very disappointed on your ROI. Again, best of luck!
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Old 31st Jan 2013, 21:51
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Thank you for the feedback.
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Old 3rd Feb 2013, 17:00
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A very long time ago, I got checked out at Spectrum and was very impressed with the people.

You want ATC, all you have to do is climb and you're in Toronto Terminal. Approaches are in Hamilton, Waterloo and there may still be an NDB approach at Brantford.

When I did my IFR I flew out of Pearson and yes, you could get practice ILSes way back then, but we did lots of approaches at YHM and YKF, plus YHM will likely be where you do your ride. Hint: Burlington is closer.

Brampton was a nice place when I dropped in to get gas and people say good things about it, but it's farther away from YHM and YKF.

The next question is where you are located and what it's like to drive to either place.
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Old 6th Feb 2013, 21:51
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I for one started flying at your age but 4 years later i have my CPL/ME/IR and working on my instructors rating( changed schools 2 times and had financial hassles), i started out in Les Cedres but finished in Saint Hubert(My instructor was very helpful, great schools on Chemin de l'aeroport) Look for a school where you can get value for your money and also get the proper training.Never deposit all your money at once.Make sure you do your research,have a good rapport with your instructor and interview your instructor to confirm he will have the time to train with you as some instructors have too many students and this sometimes isn't the greatest especially if the instructor keeps forgetting the last lesson( my experience).One thing i know is keep the flame of your dream alive, set a goal and a realistic approach to achieve that goal......the road is long and far but only the strong willed and persistent aviators survive.
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Old 25th Feb 2013, 22:26
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Does anybody have any thoughts/opinions on Islandair in Toronto? I'm looking at staying with my uncle (in the city) next summer and doing my PPL there. Any insights would be great!
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Old 1st Mar 2013, 20:01
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Spectrum Airways in Burlington - close to all other facilities and youll spend far less money sitting taxiing or going to and from practice areas because of its ideal location.

More learning for your money = total costs less.

good a/c good people.
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Old 2nd Mar 2013, 14:26
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Re Islandair
My friend is working on his CPL at Islandair. When I spoke to him last week he was very positive about the outfit. It has the advantage of being very close to downtown Toronto.
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Old 3rd Mar 2013, 19:33
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Flight Schools in the Greater Toronto Area.

I'm doing my ppl out of island air
No real complaints , always a plane available when I want
Awesome instructor
Not the cheapest around though
If you have car then I think it would be cheaper elsewhere
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Old 23rd Aug 2013, 01:58
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Flight School in the GTA

Try Waterloo-Wellington Flight Centre in Kitchener, not too far from Toronto. Good size field with commercial traffic coming in, ATC, practice area is close, lots of airplanes, lots of instructors, quite a few Class 1 instructors.

You will definitely need a car to get there though.

As far as Buttonville goes, it is very busy so can be restrictive.
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