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Crystal Aero Group

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Crystal Aero Group

Old 15th Feb 2007, 20:57
  #1 (permalink)  
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Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Canada
Age: 45
Posts: 41
Crystal Aero Group

Hi Guys,
I would like to get my FAA PPL in the US and found what seems like a nice and moderately priced school: Crystal Aero Group. Anyone knows this school or has experiences with it?
Thanks!

LR
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Old 2nd Apr 2007, 08:52
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Join Date: May 2005
Location: The Netherlands
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Yes I really would like to know also if anybody here knows a little more about CAG, can't find any remarks at the board about them??
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Old 2nd Apr 2007, 09:43
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Join Date: Oct 2003
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I did my faa ir and cpl at CAG. Very freindly staff and would highly recommend them.The rookery across the road has basic accomadation at very reasonable prices. Crystal river is a quite location with few distractions for the dedicated pilot. They operate a few 172s and 150s I think at very reasonable rates. Try to get a quite period at the school, that way you will get finished in as little as 3 weeks as they can be short on instructors at times.


FR
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Old 2nd Apr 2007, 09:54
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Join Date: May 2005
Location: The Netherlands
Age: 52
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I heard there average for an faa ppl is 40-42 hours??
Housing is not gonne be for me and my girlfriend ( no private apartments) but maybe the Best Western 5 miles ahead

they have there own examinaters!
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Old 2nd Apr 2007, 14:59
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Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Florida
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I did my FAA PPL at CAG, and went back for my CPL.
Fantastic, friendly FBO, excellent experienced instructors, and good prices.
The Rookery is basic, but very cheap.
I believe they have a few 172's and 150's, along with a Bonanza and C310.
In my opinion, the small town environment is much better than the academies that so many people tend to go to.
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Old 2nd Apr 2007, 15:07
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Join Date: May 2005
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Yes I believe so.
Only thing I heared is the mantainence is not that good? And an uncontrolled airfield, so r/c has to be done at an other field!
Do they make true what they say? 42 hours by part141 course??
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Old 2nd Apr 2007, 23:20
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Join Date: Nov 2006
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When I was there the planes I was flying were in good shape. I think they'd had a problem with the bonanza and it was being repaired. I did my Private in 35 hours part 141. The only r/c requirement is 3 takeoff and landings, which are easily done on one of the cross country flights you have to do anyway. Gainesville is nice and convenient.
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Old 2nd Apr 2007, 23:51
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Join Date: May 2005
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Sounds good! Must say they're the most helpfull of all schools I mailed.
So 40 hours really is possible and not a sellingstunt!
Maybe with so little r/c practice is a little harder to get used to it.
NH2390, CAG is located at Crystal River Airport I suppose, not in Gainesville?;-)
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Old 3rd Apr 2007, 15:50
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Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Florida
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Yes, CAG is in Crystal River. Gainsville is the convenient controlled field for doing the required T/O and Landings.
I had no 'selling stunt's' with CAG. Training and cost were exactly as I was told. That doesn't mean it was easy. Expect to work hard and try to be as well prepared for your lessons as you can be. There are no promises, but CAG will give you every opportunity.
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Old 3rd Apr 2007, 22:03
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Join Date: May 2005
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Yes I see, Gainesville is about 60 Miles from CAG.
How is the Crystal River area? Other things as swimming with the Manatees to do? ( not for me, I know;-) No beach I suppose!
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Old 3rd Apr 2007, 22:16
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Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Florida
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They do have a beach, but it's not much. There are Manatees, Scuba diving, although not a good idea to combine deep/long dives with the flying, golf courses, and stock car racing over in Inverness. But it's a really quiet area... not much to be honest.
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Old 3rd Apr 2007, 22:21
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Join Date: May 2005
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I believe it's a quite place, has also pro's and con's;-)
Still not sure were to go and nobody seems to know about fftc, wich sounds interesting for me as well...
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Old 7th Apr 2007, 18:04
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Join Date: Jan 2007
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CAG it is!

I've been out for a few weeks so excuse my late reply. I contacted 5 schools in Florida and CAG was the only one that replied the same day with a clear and friendly message of the manager himself. So that's a first good sign if you ask me!

I've been gathering some information and they seem to have friendly and experienced staff, good airplanes and a nice atmosphere. So I made up my mind and will enroll in their FAA PPL course next week.

I am going there mid-July -> mid-August. Before you guys start warning me for the Wx and crowds during the summer ... I know ... but there is no other way. I have been nagging my boss for months now and he was able to give me 1 month off in the summer.

I will keep you posted about my experiences.
Thanks for all the help!

LR
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Old 7th Apr 2007, 18:26
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Join Date: May 2005
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LimaRomeo

I've the same experiance as you do, friendly helpfull advice.
What other info did you find about them? Can;t find very much myself!
Are you gonne stay in their housing?
ABout hours, what did they say to you?
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Old 7th Apr 2007, 19:42
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CAG

Paul,
First of all, I'm doing my Theory Exam and medical in Europe. So that way, I can concentrate on the flying when I'm in the US. CAG told me that - in this case - three weeks would be realistic but they obviously don't want to pinpoint an exact amout of hours. I'm counting on 45h to 50h.

I'll probably stay at their accomodation but would prefer the individual room (30 USD/night).

I've contacted a company (kind of an FBO) here in Belgium that has close ties with CAG. And I posted another message on airwork.nl for some advice on CAG. Everybody says the same: small school in a small town with a friendly and professional staff. Only possible negative thing could be the fact that it's a non-controlled airport. But like somebody said earlier on this site: radio communication is a part of your training so you WILL fly to towered places and get all the details. Gainesville is the closest controlled field. And why not fly to TAMPA for your Class B Training? Must be great fun to pilot your Cessna to the same airport where you landed as a passenger 2 weeks earlier!

Are you going to CAG as well?

LR
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Old 7th Apr 2007, 20:27
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Join Date: May 2005
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They (Tom) says average at CAG is 38-42 hours because of a strict syllbus and examinars are also doing precheckrights. Of course I take the number of hours a bit higher but still would be ok.
You're right about uncontrolled airfield, advantage is you can fly earlier without to have taking care of R/C.
3 weeks is tight I was told, 4 weeks must do it.
I also think of doing medical and written overhere (Frankfurt)
I'd go in november probably housing at the Best Western
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Old 7th Apr 2007, 21:25
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Join Date: May 2005
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TSA can be done rightaway after arrival I heard? Can also be done in Europe in advance.
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Old 7th Apr 2007, 22:34
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Join Date: Dec 2004
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We went to Crystal River a few years ago. Very nice people, Tom took us out on his boat one evening.

It is a small uncontrolled airfield

Advantages:
Very short taxi distance
Not very busy so no holding for long periods for other traffic (expensive as you pay for the time the engine is running)

Disadvantages
Not much traffic...so you won't get much practice at dealing with a busy airport ie proceedures and radio work.

Overall a very nice place to learn to fly.

They also have an aerobatic aircraft so get them to take you up for a spin or two..well worth the experience
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Old 8th Apr 2007, 06:24
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Join Date: May 2005
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At least I am aware of getting only a FAA license, there are N-aircraft for rent in half an hour driving;-)
Indeed TSA can be done in Paris, yes it's more expancive but then you are sure of a clearance in advance!
Anybody familiar with Crystal River area? It's not Naples I suppose!;-)
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Old 8th Apr 2007, 13:07
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Join Date: Jan 2007
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Paul,
I will reply to your private message later today. But please read this first because there seems to be some misunderstanding about TSA ...

!!! You have to get TSA clearance BEFORE you go to the US !!! The whole procedure takes 2 - 4 weeks so ALWAYS DO IT IN EUROPE!! You can NOT START TRAINING as long as TSA isn't ok. So you'll end up waiting and doing nothing in US for 4 weeks !!

As soon as you have enrolled in a flight course and have your flight to the US booked, you MUST start the TSA procedure through the internet. The only thing you can do in EU to fasten things a little bit is collecting your fingerprints (that's possible in Paris). You can also do the fingerprint thing when arriving in US but you have to count 3 days before the prints reach TSA. So 3 days of waiting. Remember: NO TSA CLEARANCE = NO TRAINING!

TSA procedure basicly consists of;
- answering a lot of questions
- pay a fee (130 USD I think)
- sending them some documents
- get your fingerpirints (in Paris or in US)
==> So please do as much as possible in EU to accelerate your training.

Good luck with it!

LR
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