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-   -   Florida Flight Schools with Accommodation (https://www.pprune.org/north-america/537852-florida-flight-schools-accommodation.html)

Springbok_Rider 12th Apr 2014 19:15

Florida Flight Schools with Accommodation

Almost chose a flight school in California, but renting a car to get to the flight school not to mention the additional cost of flying to the East coast, and I'm now looking for a school on the west coast that has accommodation - or at least a shuttle service to keep costs down.

Since Florida is so popular, does anyone have any recommendations? I have been looking for weeks, but thought I would ask on here.


flyboyike 12th Apr 2014 20:23

Florida is on the East Coast.

Springbok_Rider 12th Apr 2014 21:21

Sorry, I meant West Coast. It seems most of the pretty states for flying include California, Oregon, Washington etc. However, really I just need to get it done as cheaply as possible so somewhere on the East Coast. Florida is probably the go due to the better weather, although in August when I plan on doing it, perhaps there will be thunderstorms and such.

Tinstaafl 12th Apr 2014 23:55

Trax Air** in Orlando have accommodation. That I know, but pretty much any school that takes in foreign students will have something arranged for accommodation.

**I should declare an interest though: I'm not involved with the flying school however manage the FAR Part 135 air charter side of things there.

Springbok_Rider 13th Apr 2014 09:17

Thanks for that, I'll get in touch with them.

gusting_45 13th Apr 2014 09:49

I have no recommendations regarding flight training organisations. However, I instructed, ferried and hustled around about and in and out of Florida for 5 years. August will be, for significant periods, horrible, weather wise. Early mornings will be fine, late morning will be building cb activity, afternoons will be a lot of severe t/s activity with the occasional water spout and tornado lurking around, late evenings it will calm down again. If you're really unlucky you might even get a hurricane.

Hurricane season ends in October and so does the heat and humidity. If you're lucky you might get some really good IMC training weather during the winter months. Low bases and billiard flat clouds at a few thousand feet with sunshine and blue skies above, excellent.

If it was me I would wait a few months.

My time there was in the late eighties and early nineties and I'm sure most things don't change. The schools are there to make money not to improve the quality of your life. Many are shady. If you are paying up front, beware, keep close tabs on the ground school attended, briefing time with instructors and your flight times. Make sure that the school know that you are watching them. I saw a lot of people get taken advantage of.

If at all possible get a recommendation from someone you trust.

After all of this negativity, for which I apologise, I hope you have a great experience and your ambitions, whatever they may be, are fulfilled.

Good luck.

Tinstaafl 13th Apr 2014 14:48

Don't pay up front is *very* good advice. Many of us on PPRuNe advocate thusly.

Summer is ok for training in Florida in the morning. Not good in the afternoon. Winter is a good time, apart from the fronts that move down from the north every week or so. Right now the weather is wonderful.

Springbok_Rider 13th Apr 2014 20:29

Thanks for that. I have a friend who also has some real estate in Florida and he recommends October onwards rather than August as you say. Bit of a catch 22 as I love storms, but I imagine won't be quite so keen to want to fly amongst them even if I get into the air.

I'll have to check reviews and such and will make sure to keep tabs, thanks. I also won't pay upfront as I have heard a few horror stories. Aerodynamic in San Jose was actually my first choice and seem recommended here, but I need to find my own accommodation and may need to rent a car as a result. Some other people on here have recommended EFT as it means I get my EASA as well as FAA license.

Flying wise, a friend and I want to fly from London to Cape Town and back next year so are both acquiring our ppl's. That might lead to cpl's and perhaps work later on but time will tell. I wanted to do the trip on two wheels but the only person mad enough to also give it a go wanted to do so from the air - there's always later.

japandwell 14th Apr 2014 04:44

Thunder Storms
Florida flying weather is not all that good in the Summer. Thunder storms all around and bad for x country. Can't compare it though.

japandwell 14th Apr 2014 04:46

Those CB come rolling in mighty early, don't they! I can remeber being able to set my watch by the heights and distance those clouds were from the shore of Miami Beach.

Can't get my quote function to work.

Irish21 15th Apr 2014 16:19

Welcome to America!
atpflightschool.com/flight_schools/florida/tampa_pie...There is a long list of ATP schools location in the US see their sites for listing. ATP is a accelerated flight training program and their methods work well. I received my ATP from them years ago, they give you exactly what to study before your corse starts so if you come prepared there pricing is exact. I looked on their site and they do have housing accommodations. The ATP flight school will not give you much down time it's all about getting your license quickly weather permitting. The area around Clearwater airport is very congested with traffic & buildings and not very pretty/convenient without a car but you will most likely have other students starting around the same time that you might be able to share a rental car. Clearwater beach is about a 35 min drive with traffic from the airport maybe more depends on the traffic in the morning/or evening it could take 1 hour plus with the bad traffic. But if your mission is to get your license quickly this is a good school and airport to train out of. Tampa Airport for your inbound Europe flight is about 15 mins away and have shuttle service from the airport to the door of your housing accommodations. You might also be able to look on VRBO.com for a condo rental option. There is also a ATP in Daytona Beach (Embry Riddle Aeronautical University is on that field)

a slower pace option is a flight school on Albert Whitted Airport down town St Petersburg, Florida. There use to be three flights schools on the field not sure how many are there now.

Reasons why downtown it's a great location:

1) located right in the heart of down town St Pete
2) down town is on the water with a large marina very pretty spot (sail boat & kayak rental)
3) lots of shops/restaurants/movie theater/museums/condo/apartments for rent
4) have lots of summer concerts/art festivals down town that are free
5) cool airport to fly out of
6) 20 mins from Tampa International Airport for flights for your trip back to europe/airport shuttles available from Tampa to St Pete/vise versa (check with Tampa Airport for more info on these Shuttles/dont take a taxi as it is too expensive)
7) St Pete has a very good bus service throughout the city and to St Pete beaches
8) could purchase a bike at Walmart ($100) to move around the city very easily/or walk/st pete is flat no hills to climb for bike ride = easy to ride/keep in mind though that it is hot in Florida in the summer = 90 to 95 F degree weather temp/summer time afternoon thunderstorms.
9) lots of Europeans come in the summer to St Pete..years past many flight students came to Albert Whitted with their pvt license from Europe to build their flight time to save money then return to Europe to finish comm/interment
10) good airport to fly out of daily..close flight to Sarasota Airport & Tampa airports
11) 15 min drive to St Pete's beautiful beaches/beach bars (about 30-40 mins bus drive to beaches from downtown) (see the Don Ce Sar hotel for photos' of beaches)
12) Ray's baseball team plays down town...USA Professional Baseball team
13) the University of South Florida (USF) St pete campus is located down town near airport (you might be able to contact them for apartment rental)
14) very easy city to get around with little traffic as it is laid out very well. (vs clearwater, fl which is very congested - north of St Pete a few miles)
15) Friendly & helpful people in St Pete

Negatives about down town:
2) some parts have high crime so you need to be wise where you get a apartment/condo or traveling at night

call/email Albert Whitted Airport office to find out what schools are on the field (just google for their website)
Albert Whitted Airport Administration Office Phone:
(727) 893-7654
Fax: (727) 822-4767
Hours of Operation:
Airfield opened 24/7. Airport Administration Office, Mon - Fri, 8am - 5pm (excluding City Holidays)
Address: 107 8th Avenue S.E. St. Petersburg, Florida 33701
Airport Manager: Richard Lesniak, (727) 893-7657 (see their site for his email address)

FBO on Albert Whitted:
Bay Air Flying Service (not sure if they still have a flight school or not)
107 8th Avenue SE Saint Petersburg, Florida 33701 Today 6:00 am - 9:00 pm Phone (727) 822-4217

To find a place to stay I would highly recommend that you contact a real estate office down town to ask for Condo rental as they are usually the same price as a apartment and condos are usually fully equipped with furniture/stocked kitchen, have short term leases from 1 week or 1 month, have secure buildings for safety and with full time owners in building. One of the Downtown real estate office is Coldwell Banker -280 Beach Dr Ne, St Petersburg, FL 33701 (727) 821-3322. Coldwell banker is a USA nation wide real estate company. Their nationwide website is floridamoves. com just do a search on their site for a downtown agent for rental info. try to negotiate on rental price for summer time in St Pete as it is not peak season and owners want the rental income. you can check at Coldwell Banker St Pete Beach 6505 Gulf Blvd, St Pete Beach see coldwell banker site for contact info via email· (727) 360-6927 for beach rentals, there are lots of efficiency apartments/condos on the beach = one room with kitchen/bed/living room combined that might be around $600 per month (?) in the summer time. Other option for the beach area is Hurley real estate pass-a-grille beach 2506 Pass-a-Grille Way St. Pete Beach, FL 33706 Phone: 727-367-1949 Fax: 727-367-1304 pass-a -grille will be higher in price for a rental,

You can also check on VRBO.com (vacation rental by owner/this is a worldwide website) for condo rental. Summer time to December is NOT peck rental season so it will be cheaper to rent this time of year. Areas to check for a condo on VRBO St Petersburg & St Pete Beach (check the bus schedule for route times from Down Town to St Pete Beach "central ave trolley"). try to negotiate on rental price for summer time as it is not peak season in St Pete and owners want the rental income. If the listing only shows "weekly rate" advise the owner you would like to rent it for a month (two months) what ever your stay time is and ask them for their best monthly summer time rate. There are plenty condo's for rent in the summer time til early December after December rates increase tremendously for "winter rental season".

Check out Stpete.org (on this site under photo gallery you will find photos of the Albert Whitted Airport under the "visitor" tab section of their site) & Stpetebeach.org for more info on St Petersburg, Florida and stpetebeachflorida.org

bus service schedule/info for St Pete = psta.com.....on their site look for other bus routes busses called: "down town loop" (moves around down town St Pete), "central ave trolley" (bus goes from 1st ave south near Albert Whitted Airport to Cory Ave on St Pete Beach (north end)) and "suncoast beach" (from north st pete beach to pass-a-grille beach south of the Don Ce Sar Hotel). If you type Albert Whitted Airport to St Pete beach there is a quick way = 40 min bus drive time/two busses.

If you are planning of flying 3 times a week or less/like beaches then I would highly recommend that you look for a condo/apt on the beach side of St Pete. If you type in the address for Albert Whitted Airport then the beach side address you will be able to get an estimate on their website for travel time via bus. If you are flying 5 times then I would stick to downtown condos and just take the bus on the weekends for a day trip to the beaches. From Down town to St Pete beach by car is about 20 mins to give you an idea using this bus route.

the "Downtown Loop" bus stops at the northwest part of Albert Whitted Airport FBO/restaurant is based, not sure if they have a flight school there or not...if not the flight school(s) are located on the south side of the airport (south of runway 6-24) so you will have to walk around (5-10 min walk) to the northwest side to the FBO to catch the "down town loop free bus" .

If you buy a bike you can take your bike on the bus see their site for info it's free.

Bus rate info "31 day unlimited Go Card" online ticket full fare $65 & "20 rides" = $48. The bus service has a "free zone" = ride the bus at no cost located near the waterfront (Beach Drive/Pier/etc/close/airport area see their map), a 50 cent zone, $2 zone see their fare map. ie to the beaches = $2...close to the waterfront no charge move out from there 50 cent charge. Depending where you find a condo in the downtown area you might be in the bus "free zone" = not have to pay for bus transportation to the airport/condo while you are in St Pete or 50 cent zone costing you $1 total per trip to the airport or beach side $4 round trip (should by fair card)

Most cities throughout Florida have good bus service so this is an option for your if you want to go to flight school in another city. Also there is taxi service throughout St Pete/St Pete Beach. One of the nicest beaches/cute town in St Pete Beach is Pass-a-Grille it's located south of the Don Ce Sar Hotel (big pink famous hotel), it will take you a little longer by bus to get there (use "suncoast beach bus for st pete beach section of travel).

Bike purchase...you could buy a bike $100 at Walmart (which is a large chain store in the usa for every thing you ever need at a cheaper price see their website) you can even order a bike on line and have it delivered say to the flight school where you will have tools to borrow to put it together. There are several Walmart's in St Pete which may have bus service to them. If you choose ATP on clearwater airport I would not recommend buying a bike because it is very dangerous with all of the area traffic.

Other options are flight schools on Daytona Beach Airport (there are several/Embry Riddle Aeronautical university is on the field they have a great book store/library). Apartments close to the airport that you could ride a bike to the FBO/flight schools. Also Flight Safety International on Vero Beach Airport, Vero Beach Florida

Jeppensen Private Pilot manual & Private Pilot Videos are excellent, I highly recommend you purchase them ($300 well worth the money) before your trip to the US as they will give you a great understanding about flying/book knowledge. see Jeppensen.com ( they have a European office see their website at the top under "location") or Amazon.com

Enjoy your time in the US. :)

malc4d 16th Apr 2014 09:58

If you end up in Sanford let me know. l have a room 5 mins bike ride from SFB.

Check 6 20th Apr 2014 00:06

Florida Flyers in St. Augustine (KSGJ) have accommodations.

Aviation | Flight Training | Flight School USA: Florida Flyers

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