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Advanced Cockpit Flight Training - Opinions?

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Advanced Cockpit Flight Training - Opinions?

Old 28th Jul 2009, 02:20
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Advanced Cockpit Flight Training - Opinions?

Hi all,

I'm looking to (re)begin my training at Jandakot and I'm intending to go for a TIF in the near future. I've been with another school prior but I'm really interested in learning in the Super Decathlon at Advanced Cockpit Flight Training (ACFT). Nevertheless I thought I'd ask the PPRuNe crew if anyone had done their training with ACFT and what they thought about the company? Or even if anyone had heard about them on the grape vine? Like I said I am going to organise a TIF with them soon, I just wanted to see if I could get some "inside info".

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Old 28th Jul 2009, 02:30
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What I hear is the CFI just got the boot which is a real shame as he was much respected and liked by his peers.

From all accounts it seems to be the place to go at Jandakot right now. TAC seem to be a shadow of their former self which was a real alternative to RACWA, JFC is always an option although the shedevil will have you rolling your eyes in no time always good for a 210 checkride though. Minovation seems to stay below the radar and churns out a good product and if you can deal with a loudmouth AA is alright to.

Personally I'd throw my money over to minovation for my training and do my tail wheel at acft.
The Green Goblin is offline  
Old 28th Jul 2009, 03:22
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Thanks for the info GG.

As a side point, which do people consider more beneficial; learning to fly with a tricycle carriage or tailwheel? Or does that come down to personal preference and the students future aspirations? I would think tailwheel would be better as I believe it would give the student a better idea of how planes handle, etc. I realise that most students aspirations lead to tricycle carriage in the commercial world but to me flying tailwheel is taking learning back to the art that flying once was. Or am I just talking old-school romantic gibberish?!?

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Old 28th Jul 2009, 10:56
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You really couldnt go wrong with ACFT. As GG said ACFT or Minovation would be the cream of the crop at the moment.
But if i was you i would do my PPL with Minovation and then go over to ACFT to do the tail wheel endo.
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Old 28th Jul 2009, 12:41
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What exactly does the title "Advanced Cockpit Flight Training" mean. Do their aircraft have advanced cockpits? And what sort of aeroplanes do they fly that have "advanced" cockpits? Perhaps they should rename it Advanced Flight Deck Flight Training, maybe. Bit of a wank?
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Old 28th Jul 2009, 22:21
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Why don't you go ask them how many of their graduates fly 'heavy metal'...
j3pipercub is online now  
Old 28th Jul 2009, 23:38
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In regards to the name they can be called Fluffy Bunny Slippers for all I care. As long as they are good at what they do; teach people to fly. As for job prospects isn't that more up to the student? If you get off your @rse you stand a good chance of a job, if not you disappear. A flying school is a school, not a Centrelink.

To the other valid comments cheers. I've done a TIF with Min before and they are a cool bunch plus I save a fair bit of cash using their Boomerangs or Tomahawks compared to ACFT's Decathlon. I think I'll still do the TIF with ACFT aswell, to be fair and see what it's like.
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Old 30th Jul 2009, 00:03
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What rubbish. It doesn't matter where you get your licence, it's what you do to learn your trade after you get it.

I don't know anything about the schools in Jandakot but in my experience the larger schools that claim to be 'Airline training specialists' treat you as just another number. The smaller are ones much more friendly and treat you well.

And yes a tail wheel aircraft will teach how to fly stick and rudder.

Go for the decathlon. RACWA sound like a bunch of tossas, and there are way too many of those in this industry

Last edited by mince; 30th Jul 2009 at 09:25.
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Old 30th Jul 2009, 02:43
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Perhaps if you are considering an airline career RACWA would be a much better choice
The only reason to go to RACWA would be if you want to become an instructor at RACWA, thats about it.

I don't know anyone there that had any experience other than RACWA so unless you fit the club mold it is pointless.

Go somewhere that the instructors have actually had some real world experience and have not heard it on PPRuNe or at the club bar when someone is exaggerating about their war stories 'up north'.

On a lighter note if you are going for a PPL and want a friendly club atmosphere RACWA is pretty hard to beat
The Green Goblin is offline  
Old 30th Jul 2009, 02:52
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Or am I just talking old-school romantic gibberish
Yes.....but that's OK.

Has anyone mentioned...."don't pay any money up front"??
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Old 31st Jul 2009, 04:10
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Hi Guys
Hopefully I can help shed some light on ACFT. I am a currently an ECU student, ECU has many ties with ACFT so we are often presented with the various sales spiels from ACFT at start of semesters etc.

ACFT are a very new school compared to the rest on the "strip". ACFT started out in 2008 as a branch of their parent company Fighter Combat International (the guys that "attempt" to do mock dog fights in their Nanchangs and charge $535 for the one hour privilege).

I had a look around ACFT at the start of this year. From what I gathered they were not a bad school, the staff were friendly. However they are a very small (new) company with only a small fleet of aircraft. ACFT only have 6 aircraft. ACFT’s PPL syllabus includes 35 hours of briefings, charged at $70 per hour, which would equate to $2450 required in briefing charges alone. A little pricey in my opinion.

ACFT's aircraft look well maintained however I can't see why so many people like the Super Decathlon. There are a lot of complex features that I would imagine would slow down your training, Tail Wheel, CSU, Stick, Insane performance etc. Personally I don't think the Super Decathlon is the best aircraft for Ab-Inito training. The Super Decathlons aren’t fitted with Attitude Indicators so I can't see how they can teach basic IF. The tail wheel will result in extra pre solo circuits to get the hang of the tail wheel landings.

I have done my PPL training with RACWA. There are far too many students at RACWA. However the fleet of 152s are geared up for Ab-Inito training and are simple to get the hang of.
There are 30+ instructors at RACWA so make sure you can be picky about who you want, however, must of the instructors are very young, I would have thought the average age would be about 25.
The administration is one sided, favoring the club. The non "flying" staff are often unhelpful.

RACWA have unfortunately recently implemented a charge for briefings however there are less briefing hours in their PPL syllabus. ACFT have 15 hours of briefings for the Navigation component of the PPL, RACWA have 3. A down side to RACWA is the constantly rising Instructor rates, now at $90 per hour, however the aircraft hire rates are a bit cheaper compared to ACFT. You also have the West Australian Aviation College (WAAC) “children” hanging around the place, go down and take a look around, you will see what I mean.

All training at RACWA is charged by VDO timer, so you start paying as soon as the engine starts. ACFT charge by TACHO on their aircraft, so you are not paying for the taxi time.

None of the flying schools treat you as if you are going to spend $16,000+ on your PPL. Think of the service you would get in other places if you were willing to spend $16,000, unfortunately, in my opinion on Jandakot strip, this not the case. All the flying schools act as if they are doing you a favor by "letting" you go flying.

I would definitely recommend having a trial flight with ACFT, RACWA etc. I had a trial flight with The Aeroplane Company prior to starting my PPL training and decided to stay well clear, it was $170 well spent.

Good luck with all your training, it is great fun. I hope you find the school that is best for you.
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Old 1st Aug 2009, 01:33
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Fair call on most of what you said however looking at things down the road...spending time in a decathalon to learn the correct operations for such systems as CSU's WILL save you a truck load of money in the long run because I reckon a CSU endorsement in a Mooney or 210 will be alot more expensive.

This I think is a bonus for an aspiring jet driver like yourself who will have to complete all of these things anyway......and on the note about no AH, wait to you see what little goodies will be going into that acft.

And no...I dont work there
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Old 1st Aug 2009, 02:18
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spending time in a decathalon to learn the correct operations for such systems as CSU's WILL save you a truck load of money in the long run because I reckon a CSU endorsement in a Mooney or 210 will be alot more expensive.

What rubbish, 30+ hours in a 152 for your GFPT and around that for your PPL in a 172/DA20/Eagle etc will be a fair whack cheaper than a Decathalon thats for sure!

3-5 hours in a M201 for your CSU and retrac and you're on your way. You'd be nuts to pay for this in a 210 unless mums purse was nursing you aloft.

The decathalon is a brilliant machine for a tailwheel as opposed to the Moth/chipmonk/Robin or even TAC's Cap10B (if its even operating yet)

as far as i know RACWA is the only organisation that accepts instructors with no 'real' world experience. Do they accept instuctors from other flying schools who have completed there Instructor Rating with RACWA or does ALL the training need to of been completed there?
All the operators on the field would give you a start if you do the initial SEFIR with them. I do not know of any Junior 3's that have completed training elsewhere from RACWA and been given a start. Perhaps Grade 1's with significant experience, but not a junior 3.
The Green Goblin is offline  
Old 1st Aug 2009, 04:42
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Why would you need a whole hour of ground briefing before each flight anyway? Isn't that what the textbooks are for?
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Old 1st Aug 2009, 10:58
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You also have the West Australian Aviation College (WAAC) “children” hanging around the place, go down and take a look around, you will see what I mean.
WAAC contract their full time students into being onsite throughout the day so it tends to give the impression they are just hanging arround

ACFT was going great til the departure of the CFI. Will be interesting to see how it does in the next few months.

RACWA may benefit from the return of BH and TR to get thier IFR school back on track, but at RACWA to get any change you will have to deal with the committee. One of the short falls in my mind of the club is the politics that are being played out . They've spent a lot of time umm'n and arrr'n about their single engine fleet over the years while they've left their twin fleet to really fall over.

If i were to do my training over...RACWA would be great for a PPL, Minovation or ACFT for the CPL
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Old 3rd Aug 2009, 03:35
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So by the sounds of it Min's seems the place to go. ACFT is on a knife edge with the CFI being replaced and RACWA sounds like a meat factory.

I guess if money's a consideration then the Deke isn't the plane to use. At the time of writing the cost of the Decathlon was $220/hr +GST pus the cost of the instructor at $80/hr + GST. Though I believe you can use their C152 if you prefer(?). On further thought the Decathlon's a tandem seat instead of side by side which doesn't sound like a good thing. Wouldn't you wanna see what the instrctor is doing?
Pretty expensive when you can jump in the Boomerang at Minovation for $213/hr + GST dual. So over 30 hours for the GFPL the difference is a couple of grand. Wich you could probably use to go get you CSU and tailwheel endos and still have some money left over?

Cheers for all the comments so far. I think it's been a constructive thread for guys like me, just starting out.
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Old 3rd Aug 2009, 06:15
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Minovation just got another Boomerang due to big demand. Good to see the solid Aussie built machine doing well amongst the imported plastic.

I've heard the Decathlon is a great machine for tailwheel and aerobatics training and ACFT have carved a nice little niche there, but you can't fulfill all of the PPL syllabus in it so you will need to fly other types as well. (Diamond or C172 I think)

As for the Multi/IFR stuff, Trent was building up a good reputation for getting the job done well; but if he's not there any more then I guess they'll need to start the reputation from scratch.

It's always more about the people than the cool company names and flashy advertising.
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Old 3rd Aug 2009, 07:04
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Yeah i would agree with that Briefing charge crap...

$70/hour for each hour of briefing isnt too bad, but when you are adding up 27.5 hours briefing for your GFPT, 20.5 for your PPL, 11 for your NVFR, 27.5 for your CPL for a grand total of 86.5 hours of briefing (a cost of just over $6000) it becomes clear that this is daylight robbery.
Why is it that people expect a professional to give ground training for free? Does a lawyer only charge for they time they actually go to court?
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Old 3rd Aug 2009, 07:27
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God help me....I don't where to startWhere's Das Uber when I need him!!!
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Old 3rd Aug 2009, 07:29
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I think he was moreso getting at the fact that those are a pretty ridiculous amount of 'required' ground briefing hours. 27.5 during the GFPT alone? Would you really need (in addition to textbook study) an hour of ground briefing prior to learning how to fly straight and level, or perform a couple of stalls, or before every session of circuits?
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