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North America Still the busiest region for commercial aviation.

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Old 3rd Jan 2005, 10:53   #1 (permalink)
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Join Date: Nov 2004
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Flight Schools In Bay Area, Ca


Can anyone recommend flight schools in the San Francisco/Bay area?

Thank you.
Lightheart is offline  
Old 6th Jan 2005, 15:57   #2 (permalink)
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If the year were 1987 I would recommend Performance Aircraft of Hayward, only becuase I worked there then

The Bay area is a big place. Where you live will have an impact on where you might want to do training. If you live in San Jose, for instance, you wouldn't really want to go to a flight school in Oakland. The drive to and from would make you crazy, especially in rush hour traffic.

It has been too long since I worked in the area to recommend a school. What I can do is talk about the different airports and the advantages or disadvantages of training at them. Even that may be a little dated as the traffic has changed a bit.

I quite like Reid-Hillview airport as a base for training. The early aviation pioneer, John J. Montgomery, did some of his glider tests at a hill just south of the airport. It is a G.A. only field. The advantages are that it is relatively easy to get to a practice area in a short amount of time and you have the instrument approaches of nearby SJC for practice. Hayward is good for the same reasons, although it is a little farther to get to the practice area and it is closer into the Class B airaspace. Oakland is okay, but it is a co-use airport with lots of airline traffic. It would probably be difficult to do practice approaches there nowadays. Livermore would be good as it is the closest to the practice area and has it's own instrument approaches. I would stay away from Palo Alto and San Carlos for a training base.

typhoonpilot is offline  
Old 7th Jan 2005, 20:59   #3 (permalink)
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Location: palo alto via london and jhb
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Training is pretty diverse area. Are you thinking primary ( towards a pilot certificate ) or something a bit more advanced. the more info you give the easier to recommend somewhere.

I fly out of Palo Alto and it is pretty busy but the controllers are some of the best and very used to students so are more friendly.
The area is in the heart of silicon valley and so the planes are new and well maintained.( but cost a little more)
my club is West Valley Flying Club www.wvfc.org
http://www.airnav.com/airport/KPAO will give you more info about the airport

hope this helps
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Old 11th Jan 2005, 12:48   #4 (permalink)
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Location: Chicago, IL
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As the previous posts have suggested, this really depends on where you live. Unless where you live depends on where you train. Every airport except SFO (and maybe San Jose now) has at least one flight school. Usually more than one. Sierra Academy at OAK used to be a fairly large organisation, good place to blow a lot of cash and prance around in epaulettes on the way to your c172. ( I should know I worked there a long time ago).

American Flyers have a school at Hayward (just down the street). Again a place to blow a lot of cash.

Personally I think the best schools are the ones on the west bay (palo alto etc..). I had a friend who instructed for an outfit over there and he loved it. He said they were extremely good school with nice airplanes. If you are looking to just get a private license though you could save an awful lot of money by not going to the bay area. go to Concorde or somewhere outside the bay where airplanes are much much cheaper to rent. The further away you get from the big cities in CA the more money you will save.
weasil is offline  
Old 12th Jan 2005, 19:52   #5 (permalink)
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There are also places in Livermore and Concord.

Sierra Academy has vacated their OAK facility and moved to LVK, with a branch in SCK.
Xfr8dog is offline  
Old 15th Jan 2005, 02:54   #6 (permalink)
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Flying Vikings in Hayward or Squadron 2 in San Jose may be worth looking into. Vikings works with many foreign students.
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Old 15th Jan 2005, 08:16   #7 (permalink)
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Recommend Livermore - PM if you want details.
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