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Western Michigan

Old 10th Feb 2002, 13:53
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Talking Western Michigan

Has anyone any experience of the JAA integrated course at Western Michigan University?

Cheers.

bow5 <img src="wink.gif" border="0">
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Old 11th Feb 2002, 02:45
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I was looking at them, but it's about $70,500 without accom! Which is about $13,000 extra! And the weather in Michigan isn't as good as Spain.

They look good. But not the best perhaps.

EIDW
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Old 11th Feb 2002, 04:21
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Well WMU does have nothing but the latest kit, a fleet of well powered Cessna 172s, Seneca 4s and 5s (air conditioning a real bonus!) and a couple of Extra 300Ls (don't know if you get to fly them though). The school is less than 5 years old and KBTL has 2 excellent runways. Radar coverage is excellent throughout the state, navaids and instrument approaches are available even at the smallest village airfields, just pitch up and play. Landing fees are non-existent except at the busiest commercial airfields. The weather is fine in summer, a bit like Europe with more extremes, but never too hot to fly. Winter is a bit different, you may not fly for three months, but at least you get to see what a contaminated runway is like. Additionally the cost of living is very low in the states, but Batlle Creek itself is a bit of a dull ghost town. Though you do get all the free internet you want, so plenty of PPRuNe!
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Old 11th Feb 2002, 14:57
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Why should you go to WMU? They didn't allow self sponsored students almost from the word go. As soon as they had the BA contract in 98 they rescinded and refused to accept non-airline sponsored people. (Now tell me that was a great long term strategic move!!!).

I would suspect that since they haven't any long term experience with self-sponored people their service towards the needs of self-sponsored would be dubious, and in anycase they are 8 hrs away - what contacts, support etc can you get in WMU for flying jobs in Europe? You also have to bear in mind that towards the end of the course, you would want to start actively looking for work, and that can be tough in anycase, so why make it harder with the time difference, not to mention going for interviews etc.

Give it miss.

[ 11 February 2002: Message edited by: no sponsor ]</p>
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Old 11th Feb 2002, 15:51
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no sponsor,

I'm simply weighing up all my options, that's all. I've seen a couple of people say the price for the integrated course at WMU is a bit steep. If it's more than 35,000 (i.e with it being in the States) which it appears to be then in my book it's too much. I may as well train in the UK if I was going to be paying that much. If the price of having air conditioned aircraft pushes the course price up that much then I won't bother. Washing sweaty clothes is a far more preferable (and cheap <img src="tongue.gif" border="0"> ) alternative!

I intend to instruct for at least a year after doing the ATPL so finding an airline job immediately after graduation is not that big a concern. That obviosuly depends on whether there is a sudden upturn in recruiting! <img src="wink.gif" border="0">

All I want is the best course at the best price. In my opinion that doesn't include paying 50,000 to train as a pilot. Plenty of people do it for far less.

Cheers for the advice though.
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Old 12th Feb 2002, 01:04
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Hmm, I feel unusually defensive of my alma mater for some reason! WMUs first course was self sponsored, after that they went purely for airline sponsored cadets because they're worth more money (which you can't blame them for) and becuase their long term objective is to introduce the ab-initio concept to the USA, which they have limited success on so far. I'm not implying people should pay 35000 for air conditioning, but every time you shoot an ILS or touch and go in the UK the sign flashes up, and there's much to be said for the ability to do as many approaches as you like, whenever you like, at no extra cost. The question shouldn't really be 'how much' but 'what do I get for my money'. It's not a great idea to skimp on the start of your career if you can avoid it.

PS WMU is only 5hrs behind the UK, so you can easily get hold of people in Blighty during office hours, plus my phone bill was about 4 cents per minute to the UK anytime.

PPS I should also add that of the initial self-sponsored guys that completed the course, most found good airline jobs soon after completion.

[ 11 February 2002: Message edited by: Hand Solo ]</p>
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Old 12th Feb 2002, 04:17
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Hand Solo,

I guess from what you've posted that you've been to WMU. I don't suppose you have an e-mail address for them have you? I've tried both the address on their website and the address on the adverts in UK pilot mags and have got no response.

As for the training, I like the look of WMU. It looks very good and i'd love to study in a university atmosphere. Thing is, going to train in the US is supposed to be cheaper. The quality should not be any different (especially at a uni) but the lack of landing fees, fuel costs etc. should bring the course price down. Until WMU get in touch with me (not responding to e-mails doesn't make me want to hand over money to them) I can't quite understand how they can justify charging UK prices in the US.

If you have been there could you drop me an e-mail.

Cheers. <img src="smile.gif" border="0">
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Old 12th Feb 2002, 04:49
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Well its been some time since I've been there, but if their email doesn't work then click on the website section marked IPTC and the email one of the IPTC instructors- they're generally an approachable bunch and should forward your email to the right place. On the subject of prices, I wasn't self-sponsored and so can't really judge the merits of schools in price terms. I can tell you that the quality of training there will be as good as in the UK with UK, or UK-trained instructors. It is a slight misnomer to describe the school as having a 'university' atmosphere. The flight school is part of the university and you will mix (sort of) with the American aviation students. The university itself, however, is 20 miles away in Kalamazoo and you won't be living on campus. The majority of your time would be spent in BTL with your UK course-mates. You would have full access to the uni facilities, though most people rarely used anything other than the first class sports facilities. That said, it's a great experience to live abroad, the locals are unbelievably friendly and welcoming (if a bit backwards), you do get to enjoy a bit of college culture and your social life is very much of your own making. Still can't fathom why they charge UK prices though.
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Old 12th Feb 2002, 18:52
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Question

What I want to know is why are 5 of the instructors suspended pending investigation? Anyone know?
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Old 12th Feb 2002, 20:01
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Who knows, http, but if it's true then I'm sure if you were in their shoes you would not take kindly to someone speculating about it in a public forum. I presume you subscribe to the "innocent until proven guilty" form of justice?
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Old 12th Feb 2002, 21:14
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<a href="http://www.wmich.edu/aviation/" target="_blank">http://www.wmich.edu/aviation/</a>
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Old 13th Feb 2002, 17:02
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howdy guys. .i feel its prudent to spend so much of money "not" on western mich...... i would have rather gone to embry-riddle or uni. of north dakota for my licenses and degree together. the tution is around us $ 25,000/year incl. accomodation and meal in und....

its about us $32,000 in embry-riddle.......and i am sure u r aware of the reputation both these schools have........ if i were to use all that money on flying+degree, i would rather go to one of these two schools....western mich.......ummm......nope!

capt. richie-rich
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Old 13th Feb 2002, 17:36
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Why not have a look at UWO.

<a href="http://www.ssc.uwo.ca/deansoffice/acs/aviation/" target="_blank">UWO</a>

It is only in the lee of one Lake <img src="smile.gif" border="0">
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Old 13th Feb 2002, 17:42
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Cheers guys but the schools you've mentioned don't offer JAA training. (please correct me if i'm wrong)

Just to note, WMU haven't e-mailed me back yet.

Edited in the interests of being fair!! <img src="cool.gif" border="0">

[ 14 February 2002: Message edited by: bow5 ]</p>
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Old 13th Feb 2002, 17:48
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The reason I heard that WMU charge apparent UK prices is that when the university set up the flight school they spent many millions of dollars on it (buildings, aircraft, simulators, staff, certification, etc). They want to recoup that money over a reasonable time, and cover costs and make a little profit. Hence the apparent high prices for a US training organisation.

This reason, by the way, was given to me by a WMU rep on their stand at a Flyer Exhibition last year when I asked him the same question.
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Old 14th Feb 2002, 14:44
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Smile

Introducing the Ab-initio to the US is not new. Flight Safety did a CAA CAP509 at their school in Florida up until 1999. They charged 28,000 for the entire course. Unfortunately, with the JAA they pulled the plug on offering that course. (I was about to go on it)

My point regarding a school not allowing non-sponsored people onto a course is that you automatically place yourself in a high-risk category when you lose a airline contract, or the airlines pull-out (as they have now done). Therefore, you instantly set yourself up to fail as a business. You will notice that no school in Europe will do that, for that exact reason. Therefore, potentially WMU have a considerable exposure. What is clear, is that there are always self-sponsored guys through the good times and bad - ask Cabair or OATS.

I would say 5 hr time difference is a considerable one. I've worked in many countries around the world, and yes you can cope with getting up early/staying up late, but what do you do when they ask you to come in for a chat? Jump on a plane at the drop of a hat? This, I imagine Hand Solo, is not something you contended with as a airline cadet?

The reason to go to the US is the cheaper flight training costs. If WMU are charging the same as OATS, more than BAe or Cabair, but have the same, if not worse weather than Northern Europe, what is their unique value? Why should you spend all that dosh to have the same service as something closer to home?

I could understand going to flight-safety, as it was 10K cheaper at the time, but I honestly can't see what WMU gives you, that the others don't. (Unless you like flying across the pond).
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Old 14th Feb 2002, 16:47
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To be fair to them, the equipment etc. looks excellent (but then most US based FTO's have very well equipped aircraft). The course also looks, content wise at least, far more comprehensive than anything that is available anywhere in the UK.

They have e-mailed me back!! <img src="wink.gif" border="0"> They have no marketing dept as they are a uni. Fair one.

I'm still waiting for a price quote though......

We'll wait and see what they have to offer. <img src="smile.gif" border="0">
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Old 14th Feb 2002, 17:04
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hey guys. .good to see wmu opening their mouth.....these guys can go quite for some "uncanny" reason and i have had the same problem before.....

anyway.....ya.....und, embry-riddle, uwm dont offer j.a.a courses.....however, i dont think its gonna be hard for u to convert into a j.a.a once u grab your f.a.a licenses.....

i am not in doubt about the qualification of wmu....theres this yearly flying competition between universities and wmu is one of the very best for the last couple of years.......

ummmm.......i still think und or embry-riddle is the place to go if u r investing so much of money.....if i could get hold of a student visa to the u.s, i would have made sure that embry-riddle daytona beach was my place!!

cheers. .captain rich
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Old 14th Feb 2002, 17:31
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bow5,

Check your e-mail - I've sent some WMU stuff I got from them just over a year ago: course outline, living in WMU + cost etc.. May be a bit out of date but worth a look.
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Old 14th Feb 2002, 17:53
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Cheers BillyFish.

I'll check it out.
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