Academy of Aviation review?


New Member
I came across this thread while considering AoA. I actually went to visit their KFRG campus last weekend. Aside from price, are there other reason anyone would want to discourage someone from enrolling with them? I thought the guaranteed instructor position was a good incentive to help build up those hours, but it sounds like some of you feel that it's a rip off. I know this is an old thread, but if anyone has any further feedback to offer, I'd really appreciate it.


Well-Known Member
I got to the last reply on here and then scrolled back up and realized this thread is about 5 years old lol.

I just wanna say 2 very important things for any newcomers to the profession wanting to get their ratings. This also applies to the crowd that just wants to get their private pilot certificate and rent or maybe buy an airplane.

1. DO YOUR RESEARCH/HOMEWORK. Gather as much info about a flight school as you can. Find out about their reputation from current/former students, and even former instructors that used to work there if you can. Once you decide to set sail on an aviation career, do yourself and your CFI a favor; study, study real hard. Your pumping thousands of dollars into this. Get motivated and crack open the books, it's not hard. I'd recommend you read the airplane flying handbook cover to cover before you begin any flying. Heck, take your written exam. It will prove to not only your CFI, but even yourself, that you're committed to this. I've had countless students at my previous job who wanted to go zero to hero but never studied. Many of them dreamed of becoming an airline pilot but didn't want to put forth the effort in achieving it. It's easy to daydream. If your showing any signs of disinterest/lack of motivation/your heart is not in it, etc., pull out before you waste your money.

I've had some students that were hyped up about learning to fly, only to realize by the 2nd lesson that flying is just not for them. Even after I tried to lay out for them how training would be conducted, and explained that ground school would be included to help them learn, they were still overwhelmed with the amount of info. Flying is NOT for everyone. Take 3 or 4 trial lessons to see if you wanna go forth with it.

2. A flight school is only as good as its instructors. Let me say that again, the instructor will play a huge part in your success, especially in private pilot training. It's the human element that is the most important part here! If any instructor shows the slightest evidence of disinterest in teaching, or if they say flat out that they 'hate teaching,' drop them, period. You deserve better. If they're unprofessional, show up unprepared, openly swears in front of you and doesn't show a care in the world, demeans you, or tries to scare you intentionally in the aircraft, etc., you get the idea, request a different CFI. Don't be afraid of hurting their feelings. Look at it this way, they will severely hurt your bank account, or even worse, put your life in danger. There are good CFI's out there. If you feel like you have to wade through 5 or 6 bad ones to find a good one, do it. It's well worth it. Trust me. I don't wanna paint a horrible picture though. There are plenty of good instructors out there! The problem are the bad ones. They make all of us look bad!

A flight school may have the best equipment and facilities, but if the CFI's aren't showing up with their game face on ready to teach you and help you learn, then the place is as good as nothing. Or, you could have a situation where the school has shoddy facilities, crappy equipment, and terrible CFI's. I've seen both types. You might even run into a school where you have your doubts, but it turned out to be a very pleasant, enjoyable learning experience. Use your best judgement, trust your gut, don't hesitate to shop around for a little bit before you commit.