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Pilot Flight Academy in Norway - sceptical.

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Pilot Flight Academy in Norway - sceptical.

Old 21st Jan 2022, 21:00
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Pilot Flight Academy in Norway - sceptical.

Hi! I just passed the assessment test for this flight school (Pilot Flight Academy, located in Norway), considering starting in August 2022. This is an integrated ATPL-flight school.
However, I have read a lot of negative things about pilot flight academy and I know that some of them are true! Such as; "They only care about money, its a business not a school, if you fail more than x attempts in Ground school they terminate you no matter what, etc.. Which is making me VERY sceptical about starting there. I have also thought about going the modular-route, as its a "safer route" and a lot cheaper.
As you probably know, getting a job as a pilot these day is very difficult. So I want to keep my study-loan as low as possible.
I am 20 years old, also from Norway.

Is there anyone on this forum who knows more about this flight school? I would really appreciate an answer from you!
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Old 21st Jan 2022, 23:04
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I haven't even heard of this school so can't give any specific advice.

However, I do have a few more general thoughts.
- Almost every flight school around the world is a private business. The purpose of every business is to make money. Some schools focus too much on this to the detriment of students. Some still manage to provide excellent training.
The secret is to do your due diligence. Internet research can be very useful, but you also need to visit in person. Look around the school and speak to instructors and to current students to get a feel of how things are going. I'd also try to get into contact with any of their recent graduates who'd found work.

- Many integrated courses have a cut-off for ATPL results. It may sound 'unfair', but someone with a dozen resits and an average just above 75% will struggle to get past even the initial computer conducted sift when airlines are hiring.
If someone has really significant struggles at ATPL exam level, there's a reasonable chance they do not have the basic intelligence, grit, will or acumen to become a pilot. If cut, they are less likely to waste significant sums on practical training in the aircraft. A less scrupulous, money-minded ATO might just allow someone to carry on investing tens of thousands with a high chance of failing at the practical stage/ a slim possibility of getting a job at the end.

- A quick look at their site shows a headline price of 96,000 Euros (converted from NOK). If you are worried about cost/ loans, there are a fair number of well-known and high-quality modular schools across Europe which will allow you to go from zero to 'fATPL' for half that sum. You seem to already know modular adds a lot more flexibility and can be done in the same time as an integrated course. I'd highly recommend looking into them.
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Old 21st Jan 2022, 23:53
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The problem in Norway is that you are funneled into these bad flight schools, because they have financing through the state, but PFA is defiantly the worst one.
At your age I would focus on something else and when the marked catches up, maybe go for a career in aviation if it seems viable.
For them it's just all about the money, they take in everybody as long as u can secure financing. People that fail still lines their pockets in cash.
You pay your course in four stages, that would make sense if you were flying and taking theory at the same time.
But now if you for some reason drop out at the last stage of theory, you have paid like 3/4 of the course without any flying, so it's basically just free money for them.
You will have to do mulitiple test every week, with minimal time to actually learn the curriculum. At the end of each course you basically take an exam that you need to pass, often harder than the actual exam at the examiners office, especially with the limited time.
They say it will take like 18 months, but in reality it maybe will take you 2-3 years, probally not bad because of the current market, but it gets expensive. After that you will probably have a hard time finding a job, even before covid you could see PFA students having a bad time and many just looks unemployabole. Right before covid they ramped up production, so now it's much worse.
Perhaps join the PFA meme Instagram account, that the school leadership really hates, it gives you sarcastic information of the shortcomings of the school. But in public, I guess people are more reluctant to speak, because a best case scenario you can become some type of instructor.
Two accidents last year, one runway excursion and one deadly da42 accident in stall maneuvers. If you are going for this career, any other flight school would put you ahead on your job applications.
Long time ago the school was split into pilot and another one, they just could not get along of how the school should be run. The other one trying to be serious, but PFA selling you a uniform and a dream.
Half of the school was sold to some kind of investment firm right before covid.
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Old 22nd Jan 2022, 11:43
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Thank you ALL for answering! I really do appreciate your time. I do have the PPL and Medical class 1.

Yes, I am not quite sure if I will start at PFA. I am sure its a great school if you just do and comply with their agreements, but all those scary-stories about the school dosent really make the situation better. I personally know students at PFA, they also told me I should think twice before applying. A LOT of delays are going on at the moment, as mentioned in of the replies.

I dont understand why it costs 500 000 kr for ONLY the THEORY (1.year). I mean its ridiculous. Its the flight training that costs, not the theory (ground school).. But I guess its a way to earn money, because PFA knows that some students will drop out after the 1 year.. free money basically.

Last edited by ArcticFlyer69; 22nd Jan 2022 at 14:58. Reason: Wanted to add more text.
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Old 22nd Jan 2022, 11:45
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Okay, thank you for answering! I will consider and remember everything. PFA=Money Money Money.

KT1988, does the Norwegian lånekasse support a student-loan for flight schools outside Norway? Such has Poland, Greece etc?
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Old 22nd Jan 2022, 12:02
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ArcticFlyer69 I believe lånekassen only give money for your upkeep outside of Norway just like they do for medicine and other students who study abroad. That is 126 357 NOK per year currently. So it should be more than enough so you can rent a flat and live well while doing your training (kind of 3x better than in Norway in a low cost nation like Poland or Greece) but you will have to somehow save money to pay for the school or loan from your parents etc. Eitherway what you get from lånekassen except for a small stipend is stuff you have to pay back with interest after you are done with your studies. So the 100 000 Euro is not a gift so I believe its reasonable to check other options all around Europe.
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Old 22nd Jan 2022, 14:40
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Okay! Thanks for great information. I will definitely consider it.
I know Poland, Greece, Slovenia etc have a lot cheaper integrated flight schools. And its really economically smart.
But my main dream and goal is to work for an airline here in Norway. Do you think the airlines here will care about which flight school I went to? I mean, I dont think they appreciate candidates who underwent the training at an unknown school in Greece or Poland for instance..
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Old 23rd Jan 2022, 09:21
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Originally Posted by ArcticFlyer69 View Post
Okay! Thanks for great information. I will definitely consider it.
I know Poland, Greece, Slovenia etc have a lot cheaper integrated flight schools. And its really economically smart.
But my main dream and goal is to work for an airline here in Norway. Do you think the airlines here will care about which flight school I went to? I mean, I dont think they appreciate candidates who underwent the training at an unknown school in Greece or Poland for instance..
Any airline worth flying for will care about the pilot that you are at the end, not the flight school(s) you went to. Of course in countries with relatively small aviation communities it can be one of those "everyone knows everybody" and then god knows what kind of underhanded deals may be going on. But generally speaking, if you are a good pilot, there is no reason you would not get a job if you have an EASA licence.

With this being said, some places out there have built a reputation for themselves as a place that churns out people with a licence, not pilots. So always do your due diligence.
.
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Old 23rd Jan 2022, 12:13
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[QUOTE=ArcticFlyer69;11173692]Okay! Thanks for great information. I will definitely consider it.
I know Poland, Greece, Slovenia etc have a lot cheaper integrated flight schools. And its really economically smart.
But my main dream and goal is to work for an airline here in Norway. Do you think the airlines here will care about which flight school I went to? I mean, I dont think they appreciate candidates who underwent the training at an unknown school in Greece or Poland for instance..[/QUOT

I doubt the airlines care which flight school you attended.
I am also from Norway and when I picked a flight school back in the 70s, I simply went for the cheapest one I could find.
As luck had it, the US $ was inexpensive @ 5 NOK for $1.00,
Found a cheap Part 141 school in the USA, $9,500 with everything included.
Since then I had 19 flying jobs and nobody cared about the flight school, in the end you get the same license.
If you are talented you can become an excellent pilot regardless of where you went to school, and vice versa, if you are an idiot, not
even the best flight school in the world can make a good pilot out of you,
Based on what I am reading in this thread, I would not pick PFA. Find an inexpensive school, get the tickets and go to work.
Lykke til.
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Old 23rd Jan 2022, 13:02
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@n2sK: Also there are some people who expect just that a place that push them at full speed towards the license (friendly examiners included) not caring if they know how to fly (they do not fly alone on solo flights or PIC flights) or know anything and recommend memorizing atpl questions database for ATPL theory without learining or understanding anything practically important. A good school will care about how the student fly, what the student know and make sure someone who get the license know how to fly.
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Old 24th Jan 2022, 09:53
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I have decided to apply for "University of Tromsø - School of aviation", which is a government sponsored flight school in Norway. Hopefully, I will get a place there, even though its difficult!
Thanks for all the replies!
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Old 29th Jan 2022, 23:05
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Originally Posted by KT1988 View Post
@n2sK: Also there are some people who expect just that a place that push them at full speed towards the license (friendly examiners included) not caring if they know how to fly (they do not fly alone on solo flights or PIC flights) or know anything and recommend memorizing atpl questions database for ATPL theory without learining or understanding anything practically important. A good school will care about how the student fly, what the student know and make sure someone who get the license know how to fly.
Very True!
If only everyone would agree on that...
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Old 31st Jan 2022, 10:16
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Originally Posted by flyingpolarbearpilot View Post
@ArticFlyer69. There are two other state funded programs in Sweden you also are eligible to apply to:
OSM Aviation Academy - YH program, has to be YH (Yrkeshögskolan) (CPL)
TFHS - Trafikflyghögskolan (MPL)

You will have to have a medical 1 and pass at "aptitude test" before applying to these, the process is a little longer but it will increase your chances. If I remember correctly, I think there are 12-13 people who compete for per spot UTSA (Tromsø).

I applied to all three, and I got accepted to all three. Feel free to ask me any questions.
Wow that's awesome, all 3?? You've got to be superman! Where did you begin at the end?

I would love to apply for TFHS but I dont speak or read Swedish that well (but I can understand it though). As a Norwegian I think it will be difficult to compete against Swedish aspiring candidates who speak fluently Swedish etc..

There are 12 study-spots at UTSA, my plan is to apply in autumn (September 2022). Reason I want to apply then and not now, is because there are fewer who apply in the autumn (most people in Norway have begun at studies in the autumn). With other words; Chances will be higher to get in.
I know some people who are studying at UTSA, they didn't really prepare that much for the admission test, they're were just thinking "yolo" basically.

Do you have any tips on how to succeed on the admission test?

(I have the Class 1 medical and the PPL).

Best regards.
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Old 13th Feb 2022, 06:13
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Sorry for the late reply. You will compete in the same pool as Swedes and on the same terms since Scandinavians can apply to each other’s educations. I met Danes and Swedes that applied at UTSA as well.

Put it in another way, why wouldn't you maximize your chances to get into a fully funded pilot program? In Scandinavia per 2022, there are 54 spots government funded pilot training per year (UTSA 24 spots = 12 fall + 12 spring, 15 OSM YH, 15 TFHS). Why only aim for the 12 spots at UTSA? If you don't make it at UTSA, there is still a chance you can make it at OSM or TFHS. Another bonus is that you learn what they are testing you for. They all have the same application process more or less:
1. Written aptitude tests
2. Computer aptitude tests
3. Interview with school, psychologist and/or group tests.

OSM even has a guide on for aptitude tests - osmaviationacademy.com/download-2020-pilot-aptitude-test-guide. Search the internet and you will find material that can help you.

I don' t know about your friends that YOLO ‘ed it, but I met people who had applied several times. Why come unprepared when you can potentially save up to 1 000 000 kr on pilot training? You already have PPL and Medical 1 which is a great advantage to demonstrate you motivation!

Last edited by flyingpolarbearpilot; 13th Feb 2022 at 11:17. Reason: Grammar
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Old 14th Feb 2022, 12:47
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Originally Posted by flyingpolarbearpilot View Post
Sorry for the late reply. You will compete in the same pool as Swedes and on the same terms since Scandinavians can apply to each other’s educations. I met Danes and Swedes that applied at UTSA as well.

Put it in another way, why wouldn't you maximize your chances to get into a fully funded pilot program? In Scandinavia per 2022, there are 54 spots government funded pilot training per year (UTSA 24 spots = 12 fall + 12 spring, 15 OSM YH, 15 TFHS). Why only aim for the 12 spots at UTSA? If you don't make it at UTSA, there is still a chance you can make it at OSM or TFHS. Another bonus is that you learn what they are testing you for. They all have the same application process more or less:
1. Written aptitude tests
2. Computer aptitude tests
3. Interview with school, psychologist and/or group tests.

OSM even has a guide on for aptitude tests - osmaviationacademy.com/download-2020-pilot-aptitude-test-guide. Search the internet and you will find material that can help you.

I don' t know about your friends that YOLO ‘ed it, but I met people who had applied several times. Why come unprepared when you can potentially save up to 1 000 000 kr on pilot training? You already have PPL and Medical 1 which is a great advantage to demonstrate you motivation!

Thank you so much flyingpolarbearpilot, appreciate all of your answers!! I will definitely apply for UTSA, OSM and TFHS. Will prepare as much as I can!
Students at UTSA and my class 1 medical doctor told me to relax with the admission test. With other words; Dont take it TOO serious, since that can affect my performance in a negative way.
I am just going to be myself and really show them I belong in one of their classrooms! I will never give up.

Wish you a nice day and happy landings!

Last edited by ArcticFlyer69; 14th Feb 2022 at 13:05. Reason: Grammar/Structure.
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Old 16th Feb 2022, 03:36
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Good luck! And if you have any questions let me know, I'm happy to help.

Blue skies
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Old 27th Feb 2022, 13:39
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I tried to reply to your message, but I'm getting error messages that I'm not allowed to reply.

"The following errors occurred with your submission:
  1. You have reached your stored private message quota and cannot send any further messages until space has been created.
"
--------------------------------------------------

Until you have a posting history you don't have access to private messaging and adding urls.
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Old 14th Mar 2022, 12:07
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Originally Posted by flyingpolarbearpilot View Post
I tried to reply to your message, but I'm getting error messages that I'm not allowed to reply.

"The following errors occurred with your submission:
  1. You have reached your stored private message quota and cannot send any further messages until space has been created.
"
--------------------------------------------------

Until you have a posting history you don't have access to private messaging and adding urls.
Oh okay! Thats weird. However, I will contact you here if I want to ask you questions! Otherwise, is it possible to get your email?
Regards.
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Old 23rd Mar 2022, 19:21
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Check you inbox. I managed to send a private message .
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Old 30th Mar 2022, 08:25
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Why not going modular!! There are affordable schools in Sweden, Norway and Poland i'm sure.
Alpha aviation academy in Sweden offer CPL/ME/IR+AUPRT for 25,000 euros in DA42. (very similar setup as diamond flight academy in Kalmar)
Smart aviation in poland charges about 20,000 euros for CPL/ME/IR. There are not many jobs at the moment so going cheaper would be more beneficial
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