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Old 18th Dec 2008, 21:16   #1 (permalink)
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Join Date: Apr 2007
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Riverside Flight Center - pros and cons

Well.....guys try to avoid this school at the best cost possible

1) For stating it as a Guaranteed course then making you to exceed your hours what has been prescribed in the name of their so called stage checks whose standards changes with individual even though candidate doesn't hold any capability (Due to their parents being on good position in aviation e.g Captains, GM etc.) to get the publicity and eventually business; but the guys who doesn't have any of this gets ended in wasting the time for getting just a PPL in 120 to 130 hours on average and at least 6-7 months ? .....(They provide 70 hours in guaranteed program for private and their counselor promise your Commercial license can be obtained in 6-7 months well ........ ??)

2)Myself and like so many guys like me gone through the same trauma and torture and considered the opinion of guys on this forum as a part of decision for selection of school which we understood wasn't good idea. Now this school ended up in such a bad reputation that I heard from some of my guys who are still there in end of their training that; for January 2009 batch they don't have more than 3 students (Well earlier the number was 15; and they realized the fact and changed the mind.....lucky guys and good decision !!!)

3) The toll of school's pressure was such that 8 guys left the school at one go in month of September 2008, cursing for wasting the time and money....these all were international students; as of these students always gets trapped once they arrive in foreign country if they don't take timely decision to change the school might be due to considering the cost of relocation and time but still these guys understood the fact, as of there were few amongst them who were not been even given a solo after 5 months of training.

4) Instrument program is run by Carl who is the best guy as concern to Instrument training ; but whenever Chief pilot Wayne interferes into the matters it gets worst and well.....its not going to happen that Wayne cant interfere in any matter even though its going good, hence this program is as well under the shadow of this mismanagement at the cost of students life.

5) Yuri the owner was good until the school picked the the reputation in asian continent due above mentioned favors done to special guys.....which ended now once the reality came into light. He is facing bitter results of his own management relying overly on his employees or top management which made him to take wrong decisions on many occasions and neglecting students opinion considering it a false statement whenever they tried to bring in light any mismanagement

6)Multi program which used to be 2-3 weeks program now gets stretched to 2 1/2 to 3 months and facts can not be denied.....As of we finished our multi training in that duration which wasn't expected and this practice is still going on once that program changed the hands from Earlier guy Warn to Mike (this school runs on Indian guys on average 98 %....and everybody have same opinion about it even the guys from Egypt or from gulf countries and well you hardly find anybody else at any given time other than these country people)

7) Over crowded school.....well its not going to be anymore, In multi each and every student has seen the colors of favoritism at its pick.....Mike who runs the program is undeclared King of that program does whatever comes comes in his mind.....and he does know that Yuri is helpless due to unavailability of any replacement for him.
Guys who really liked to work hard get neglected at the cost of Mikes personal likes and dislikes and of course politics, lefts students watching somebody else getting ahead of them even though they deserve it.

There so many issues and experiences to share but its unending story; There might be somebody would like to comment in favor of Riverside flight center after reading this; but All this efforts of writing doesn't came in one day.....but a multiple thoughts which made me or us to spread the word in this community, no personal rivalry and no interest for going into argument but its painful from what we has gone through, and if anybody can get benefit from it will make this cause worthful.
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Old 18th Dec 2008, 23:09   #2 (permalink)
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Personally had a good experience flying with Yuri et al at Riverside and the wife loved it! As the poster above correctly identified, some students require more training than others in order to achieve the required basic standard. Unfortunately there is no prior screening/selection process in civilian flying training, therefore further experience may be required.

Running a busy flying programme is an extremely difficult task. You can't please all the people all the time.

It seems to me that the poster left Riverside a very bitter person, having massively over-flown the hours necessary to achieve the most basic of aviation qualifications. Unfortunately not all candidates are up to the complexities of commercial avaition; whether it be lack of ability or other soft skills, ie CRM.

In a non-comercial environment these candidates would be removed from training, however in a commercial environment the student would just continue to throw money at the problem.

In this extremely difficult time in commercial aviation/flight training and I wish Riverside all the best in the future, I'm sure our paths will cross again in this small world.

To the above poster, if you weren't totally satisfied with the product on offer you should have man'ed up said something earlier or cut your loses and gone to another training establishment. Merry Christmas!
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Old 18th Dec 2008, 23:36   #3 (permalink)
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Communications an Issue?


Your English is okay, but not that great. Couple that with "98% Indian" instructors AND trying to train in SoCal Approach?

120 hours on the PPL seems a bit a high for a Part 61 student, let alone 141. How often did you actually fly?
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Old 18th Dec 2008, 23:46   #4 (permalink)
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what of load of rubbish you speak!

I went to riverside and found then to be an excellent outfit, as has everyone i have ever meet who has been there. Dont get confused, there is a difference between a school being bad and needing to sell extra hours. and the student being bad and needing extra hours.

Riverside is an excellent set up, and anyone who is considering going feel free to pm me and ill talk happily about how good they are.

its an excellent school, dont listen to this rubbish.
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Old 20th Dec 2008, 07:57   #5 (permalink)
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"It seems to me that the poster left Riverside a very bitter person, having massively over-flown the hours necessary to achieve the most basic of aviation qualifications. Unfortunately not all candidates are up to the complexities of commercial avaition; whether it be lack of ability or other soft skills, ie CRM.

In a non-comercial environment these candidates would be removed from training, however in a commercial environment the student would just continue to throw money at the problem"".

I think it is harsh to categorically state that caliph might not be a average student. I was exactly in the same situation with a School in florida that closed down after a series of incidents and accidents. And, yes, this school had a majority of indian students who were forced to fly on an average 90 to 120 hours for their PPL, what with intermittent flying and prolonged delays with scheduling stage checks etc etc. And I know for certainty that not all of them are lacking in whatever skills that junglie driver might presume to possess.

The ICING on the cake was after all this humbug they were sent for checkride under part 61 - SO what's that with the stage checks for part 61 !!!!

The sad part was that all the students had signed a contract (First thing they are made to do upon reaching this new land) and later when they understand what nonsense is happening, its too late - coz as per the contract you got to shell out a few thousand dollars if you decide to change school. so you are stuck for bad or worse.

So there you are, these guys stayed not to "throw their money into the problem" but to save their money and try their best to salvage the situation and hope against hope that they might be spared somehow from the fate of their friends.

AND YES there definitely was different standards for local students !!!

so maybe unless you knew one personally who underwent this traumatic experience in an alien land you would never fully understand what the whole s#@# is all about.

I fully sympathise with caliph and wish him the all the best in his future course of action. GOD be with you, buddy
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Old 19th Feb 2009, 21:32   #6 (permalink)
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never been to riverside so i can´t comment on this school but if it is like any of the other 10 or so flight schools i have been to both training and hour building then i am not surprised. Most places are run by cow boys or mess foriegn students around and over charge and the instructors are 2nd rate who themselves are there to time build and not that interested in teaching.
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Old 19th Feb 2009, 22:32   #7 (permalink)
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My self and many others did make it easily within 70h
Excuse my ignorance, but isn't that a little long winded just to go solo, let alone gain the licence?

From talking to the vast majority of chaps I know, I believe the average figure for going solo is somewhere between 10-20 hours max? One chap I know was up there having logged only 8 hours!

Thanks, Jack.
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Old 20th Feb 2009, 15:25   #8 (permalink)
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Alright fella,

Misunderstanding on my part,

Cheers, Jack
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Old 2nd Mar 2009, 09:59   #9 (permalink)

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Join Date: Mar 2009
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Riverside Flight center

Can you call me as I am going to take my CPL training from RFC? but after reading your forum post I am confused very much. Can you help me?

E.mail: aviatorprobir@gmail.com

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Old 4th Jun 2009, 09:23   #10 (permalink)
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Well said Junglie-Driver.....don't I just know about the filtering of non-commercial flying!

How's the missus and little one?

I saw on facebook you were down in Africa. I'll listen out for you on 126.9 -we're c/s SMJ_ _ _

Good flying matey!


PS - Fellas, you get out what you put in - becoming a pilot is very hard work. The Indians were all lovely guys socially, but it is true that many times there were empty seats on the bus or instructors being stood up by students - unaccepatable! They would then moan that they had to pay for no-shows - real world is that the instructors only get paid when they fly, so take responsibilty for yourselves and at least turn up.

This is a great school, which I have recommended, especially in conjunction with Airways Flight Training in Exeter. You just don't get a better quality of training.

Regards all.
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Old 8th Oct 2009, 22:32   #11 (permalink)
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: London
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Looking for PPL FAA school

Hi I want to start my PPL in the states soon. I need some advice on FAA (not JAR) schools. what are the good USA PPL FAA schools where the weather is good enough to do it in 4 weeks in decemeber.

Thanks for your help.
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Old 10th Oct 2009, 00:40   #12 (permalink)
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Hey you should try Riverside Flight Center in Tulsa, OK. The owner does a good job in getting people done fast who request it. Staff is friendly and planes are plentiful. Take care
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Old 10th Oct 2009, 02:41   #13 (permalink)
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Riverside Flight Center-Very Good School

I have enjoyed my time flying at RFC. The first two people I met were Yuri and Helen. I started out with my private license, I struggled a bit with the knowledge part, but it was Yuri that helped me get through it. I got it done in 65hrs and was happy to have my private license. After taking a month off I start my instrument flying. It went well for the most part. I did struggle with my oral part of my check ride and failed the flying part; I blame no one but myself. My commercial rating was quick, Yuri made sure the students got their planes for time building. Once again when came time for check ride, Wayan C. quiz me for the oral a ripped me because I haven’t prepare myself for the check ride. Ya, I was pissed at him, but it made me realize that I needed to wake up and start acting like a commercial pilot a taking ownership for my lack of studying. It took me just over a year to finish with ALL OF MY RATEINGS….from private to CFII, and guess what, I was also WORKING FULLTIME. So I figure, if I can get it done working fulltime (that’s 40hrs week) and trying to fly as much as possible, there is no reason why a person not working could get it done faster. Now I’m a Flight Instructor and couldn’t be happier. I was thankful Yuri hired me on; despite I struggled through my ratings. Thanks again Yuri. It was fun working there, flying all day in order to get the students done as fast as possible. It was mandatory we fly 6 days a week to get them done, Sundays were optional. I was proud to get a student done with his private in a month or 2 at the most….BUT, that student had to have the drive and desire to get done. I have seen student come in and be out in 6-8 months and guess what….their flying back home now. Those students came in everyday ready to fly and were always studying. You’re not going to make it very far if you don’t study. It only gets harder and more challenging the further you go in your flying career. The people that couldn’t hack it blame the school. Well guess what, you have no one to balm but yourself. RFC works hard to get students done as fast as the student is willing to work, they push to get the students done and out because that’s what they signed up for. They never gave up me when I struggled, they helped me through it.

The student load has dropped, but that’s because of the economy. The school has a very good reputation, if captains of Air India are still sending their kids to RFC….well the school must be doing something right, and that’s giving good customer service and helping out the student getting them done as fast as possible.
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Old 3rd Dec 2009, 01:34   #14 (permalink)
Join Date: Nov 2004
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I'm sure the original poster was just a little bit gash. Yuri runs a great programme and has a great business mind in which expansion was planned and implemented from an early stage since inception of RFC. Though the school (which I follow from a distance these days) has taken an apparent massive expansion in volume since my days there I simply refuse to believe that Yuri hasn't been able to accomodate the growing numbers.

In terms of favourtism. Again, this really comes down to opinion of self does it. In terms of "Penny Pinching" on the schools behalf, Also I believe that this is utter codswallop. Yuri and the rest of the team in my opinion have always been fair and honest with higher needs students and has never to my knowledge not told a failing student the truth and put the ball in to their court. No business owner in his right mind is ever going to refuse taking money for a product, but RFC will not allow a failing student to continue without giving there opinion on their likely outcome. RFC's model is geared to turning out Competant Commercial pilots. Much like a casino, there are individuals who are offered the chance of self exclusion. Sadly much like the gamblers that go to casinos, some people just do not know when to quit.


The issue of the Guarunteed course. The contract written between the school and the student is quite clear that regular performance tests must not only be taken, but they must also be passed, essentially, if I remember this is done (loosely) on a three strikes and you're out system and RFC will train beyond the gaurunteed amount so long as you are performing and within your chances. This is not an underhand ploy, this is quite normal in many training establishments (not just in aviation). This is a very fair clause and no office of fair trading would ever make a ruling against any school employing this structure to their T's and C's. This safe guards both the student and the school. If you are interested in further reading on this issue I point you towards FAR part 141.5(d) the schools is helping itself in maintaining it's high pass rate and is offeringan incentive to the student to truly knuckle down and work, and not just bugger off to Danny Bob's Hideout on every available night off!

If I allow myself to be truly cynical, I have to question why you find it neccesary to mention the high volume of Asian students? Does that bother you?

Warmest Regards

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Old 18th May 2010, 17:21   #15 (permalink)

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Well maybe "bryan1978" , might have had a good experience . However , the same doesn't hold true for the rest of the students at RFC . Delays are rampant here . There is no way a student can finish here in less than 10 months . The private itself takes around 7 months .

The instructors here unnecesarilly waste your time and money . The orals over here show no sign of abating .

They say it is a gaurenteed course , but invariably you end up paying over and above the quoted price .

Carly , who is the housing manger , makes up for her salary by imposing these non-descript fines in lieu of "cleaning","electricity bill" etc . The apartments they provide are just ramshackle apartments . Something or the other keeps falling apart . The dishwasher at my apartment never worked while I was there . They charge each student 600 bucks , but it is an absolute waste . Trust me that apartment is not worth that amount . For the same amount of money you can get a really good fully furnished apartment in some prime locale here .

Yuri , the owner of the school has frequent mood swings and is prone to throwing people out as per his whims and fancies . There is this rule here that you cannot go out of the apartment after 10 o clock . This holds true even if you have NOTHING in your fridge . You could be starving to death but you are not allowed to step out .

As regards the flying , Yuri makes sure you fly whenever he wants you to fly and not when , you can fly .

All in all , avoid this school at all costs . No point spending 11 months here . This place doesn't beckon anyone .
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Old 20th Nov 2011, 02:06   #16 (permalink)

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Having just finished my my PPl, Instrument rating, CPL and multi add on in under 7 months i really wonder what the above poster has been upto at RFC. its true Yuri runs a tight ship but from what I experienced if you work hard enough yuri goes well out of his way and contract to make sure you not only get your licenses done fast but also meet your conversion requirements at little to no cost.

Its true riverside holds high standards with their orals and flight test but this is one of the reasons why in my country where over 300 people apply for a single yearly airline intake of 10 to 15 slots there is usually a minimum of 2 RFC students who make it. I think thats pretty good odds considering students here go all over the world. Infact I got all the information I needed about the school from two airline pilots who attended RFC and they both topped their intake batches and are now well respected pilots in the company.

As for Yuri making you fly only when he wants you to makes me ask the question as to why you dont want to fly in the first place. I've done 6 to 7 hours on certain days and i've been constantly reminded by Yuri that if i'm tired I should take a break. Riverside flight center is a flight school, you go there to become a pilot not to fool around.

As for this back before 10 p.m nonsense i've heard of absolutely no such thing. In fact I remember Yuri taking us bowling after this supposed deadline. Every weekend myself and the boys are usually out around Tulsa till early next morning and its common knowledge to Yuri that we do so. Now that i;m back home i'm really missing the good times there.

I've been fined a few times for not keeping the apartment clean but its always been removed the next inspection if myself and my room mates get it cleaned up. And when i say not clean I mean beer bottles and leftover food all over the apartment after a good weekend bash.
When leaving riverside i was surprised to find that I didnt have any fines remaining at all.
The apartments are in great condition if you continue to keep it like that. True the price per month is a little steep but what can you expect. Yuri is running a flight school not a charity. I really have no idea how he runs at a profit with all the free flying hours he gives students to meet their airline requirements. And anyway the apartment charges are included in the guaranteed course and its still is cheaper than most flight school that dont even provide you with living accommodation.

Having spoken to a few students from other leading schools I really have no clue as to why riverside could even get a bad review. One student I spoke to from Phoenix east told me that he had spent nearly 6 months and around 40,000 USD (Just on the flying not on accommodation, food etc) and he had still not completed his private license. I believe I spent that amount on my complete flying course including accommodation and transport to and from the airfield.

All in all i believe there are people who are good pilots and their are people who just want the easy way out of getting their license. If you work hard you finish fast and at no extra cost at RFC. I've been with students who've overshot their PPL hours (Some Yuri didnt even charge if it was not much) but have worked hard from their on and gotten their IR, CPL and ME well within the alloted hours. I myself did not overshoot any hours of any license. I believe it took me 53 hours to do my PPL and I really dont understand how some people here have taken close to 90.

I would recommend riverside to anyone and i'll give them the same advice. IF your passion is aviation and you want be the best at it go to riverside flight center.
At the end of the day don't blame a system that works for your short comings

All the best to any prospective pilots.
Blue skies

Last edited by amrickv; 31st Dec 2015 at 12:58.
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Old 23rd Nov 2011, 19:18   #17 (permalink)
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: UK
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I can echo what the last poster said..... RFC is a top school.

I got my PPL done in under 4 weeks thanks to the hard work by Yuri and his team.

They did not cut corners and I did an 18 hour ground school for the theory which layed a good grounding for my ATPL studies.

The price is very competitive and the instruction top notch....
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Old 23rd Nov 2011, 19:36   #18 (permalink)
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This thread is over a year old and is resurrected for what purpose?
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Old 24th Nov 2011, 01:25   #19 (permalink)
Join Date: Sep 2011
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Originally Posted by amrickv
I've been fined a few times for not keeping the apartment clean but its always been removed the next inspection if myself and my room mates get it cleaned up. And when i say not clean I mean beer bottles and leftover food all over the apartment after a good weekend bash.
tut tut... underage drinking in the state of Oklahoma.
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Old 24th Nov 2011, 17:19   #20 (permalink)

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To the above poster

Not everyone in my apartment is under aged.
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