Are flight schools worth the $$$

FlyBoyJones

New Member
Got about 3 semesters left with my 4-year degree (I'm cramming 4 years of school into 6) and I'm starting to narrow down my 'flight school' options. I'm currently a 170hr PPL, but will try to have the IR done before graduating next December.

My question is -- Are the flight schools really worth the extra $$$? I know they claim 'contracts' and 'agreements' with airlines for a certain number of hires from their schools, but is that really worth the extra 300% in costs? I am currently in a club that I can use to get my Instrument for about $3000 (based on 40 hrs w/ instructor) and my Commercial for about $2000 (based on 20 hrs complex w/ instructor). I'm not sure what the expense would be for the CFII and there is no option for a Multi in the club, so I would have to go elsewhere for that. So it's pretty obvious that I can get the ratings for quite a bit cheaper than at the flight schools.

My question is -- do the airlines prefer to see "XXXX Flight Academy" on your resume as opposed to "XXXX FBO"? I understand that the flight schools provide extra 'Crew Resource Mgmt' training, etc., but is it really worth the extra $30,000?

Thanks for the info...
-Chris
 

EatSleepFly

Well-Known Member
Those are pretty good prices. I'd go the FBO route if I were you, cause paying off almost six figures in loans on a flight instructor's salary royally sucks- take it from someone who knows. You can do the multi-ad somewhere for pretty reasonable, and theres no hour requirement for CFI/CFII.
 

FlyBoyJones

New Member
So am I correct in saying that flight schools are basically there for you if you can't put together all the training for yourself??

Are they 'supposed' to be a 'cheaper' alternative to doing it at the FBO, or what!?

-Chris
 

EatSleepFly

Well-Known Member
Well, they provide (usually) more structure and discipline. They can be cheaper, but like I said...the prices you mentioned beat the hell out of most schools. This has been said a million times- find a good instructor and a good airplane, and an FBO is just as good as an academy most of the time.
 

JDMcFly

New Member
If you can get your ratings for that cost, I'd go for it..

I don't think airlines really care that much about academy over FBO- though you may have more oppurtunity for interview, that's about it.
 

FlyBoyJones

New Member
OK.. Well, that's what I was wondering about -- how much do the airlines care about it? I sure don't care -- I'd MUCH rather get it for as cheap as possible (as long as the training was good), but if the airlines really don't care too much about if you are from a 'flight academy' or not, then I sure don't care to pay that much for it! HA!

Thanks for all the info...

-Chris
 

flyboy04

Well-Known Member
One thing i heard is that airlines care less where you do your training at, but they do like to see that youve had a pilot/ avitaion related job, thats where the CFI comes in, and now days most of the schools hiring instructors are big schoools that hire their graduates. Thats the big advantage of big flight schools in my opinion, being able to get you your hours and be a CFI getting paid faster than most FBOs.
 

EatSleepFly

Well-Known Member
[ QUOTE ]
Thats the big advantage of big flight schools in my opinion, being able to get you your hours and be a CFI getting paid faster than most FBOs.


[/ QUOTE ]

I don't necessarily agree with that. I went to FSI, after I finished, I interviewed, and they turned me down. I searched the country and found a job in Ohio at a small FBO. I fly more than most FSI instructors are right now, and I know for a fact that I make more...plus my salary is fixed, so I get paid whether I fly or not (the only part that sucks is that I have to sit around the office when I'm not flying). Not trying to sound high and mighty or anything, but theres good jobs out there instructing at FBO's.

[ QUOTE ]
and now days most of the schools hiring instructors are big schoools that hire their graduates.

[/ QUOTE ]

Sorry, don't agree with that either. If you're willing to move anywhere, you can find an instructing job.

Actually, I'd say you probably would have a good shot at instructing for the FBO that you're training at. And less people to compete with for it.
 

BlueStreak

New Member
I agree with EatSleepFly. There are alot of flight schools out there that hire their graduates, but the competition can be very high. My current CFI (at an FBO) was a FSI grad, interviewed for a CFI job with them and was put on a waiting list. I have heard the waiting list can be longer than 1 year....especially now with not alot of movement up the ladder. I don't see any reason why an FBO wouldn't like to hire its "graduates". That's how most of the CFIs I knew got their jobs, they trained at the local FBO where the people knew who they were by name and were offered positions after the checkride. There are alot of FBOs out there that will hire you, as long as you are willing to relocate you shouldn't have a problem.
 

cointyro

New Member
FlyBoyJones...

With your time, I'd say go PACE at MAPD in FMN. Expensive... but the only school that can hook you up with a very high probability of actually obtaining a right seat job in a regional. You might have to wait a year to 18 months or more after finishing the program to get a ground school date, but that sure beats any other path to regionals I've read of lately.

Sure, Mesa is not the greatest place to work, but turbine time is golden. Beats single pistons, unless you really are looking forward to instructing for 5 plus years.

Anyone disagree?
 

MissedApproach

Well-Known Member
The problem with MAPD is that you will probably have to repeat everything. In fact, they prefer that you haven't had any previous training in which you might develop "bad habits." Mesa insists that they mold every aspect of your flying to fit exactly what they want.

This is how it works in the ASU program, I'm not positive about Farmington, but I would assume it's the same.
 

flyboy04

Well-Known Member
Well i hope that you guys are right, yoursure have me alot less worried about what will happen if i dont get hired as a CFI here at DCA. The only basis i had to form that opinion is reading about CFIs having hard time finding work and gettting hours, but im not a CFI yet and havent really surfed the market for jobs, so im not the most credible person to have an opinion
.
 

EatSleepFly

Well-Known Member
[ QUOTE ]
Anyone disagree?

[/ QUOTE ]

Yes. Strongly. Instructing is the way to go. I rather enjoy seeing a student that started with me from the very beginning go on to do his first solo, for example, and knowing that I got him to that point. And not only is instructing fun (most of the time), but you learn so much.

[ QUOTE ]
With your time, I'd say go PACE at MAPD in FMN. Expensive... but the only school that can hook you up with a very high probability of actually obtaining a right seat job in a regional. You might have to wait a year to 18 months or more after finishing the program to get a ground school date, but that sure beats any other path to regionals I've read of lately.

Sure, Mesa is not the greatest place to work, but turbine time is golden. Beats single pistons, unless you really are looking forward to instructing for 5 plus years.


[/ QUOTE ]

So, get your ratings, then sit around for 18 months and do what? Give me a break. If you tried hard enough, you could EASILY get 1000 hrs. in 18 months of instructing...probably more! People who buy into this PFT crap (or whatever PACE is) are missing out. I have little to no respect for anyone who goes that route, sorry. Why shortchange yourself? Its a proven fact that instructing makes you a better pilot, and airlines would rather hire someone who paid their dues and got great experience as an instructor. My opinion, your choice. Good luck.
 

MissedApproach

Well-Known Member
[ QUOTE ]
Its a proven fact that instructing makes you a better pilot, and airlines would rather hire someone who paid their dues as an instructor.

[/ QUOTE ]

That's a cool thing about the four year MAPD program; during your 3rd and 4th years you can instruct the freshman and sophmore students through their ratings.
 

saviboy

New Member
Eatsleepfly, even though i agree with you about the instructor path, i think your statements are very extreme, leaving no room to any other point of view. I think it exists several paths for sevral types of students.
nobody should be judged on the way they choose. don't forget that those guys probably have the same passion you have for flying.
moreover, for your information, you should know that in europe, all the airline sponsored cadets programs train their first officers in about 300 hours.after this training, they fly right seat in 737, a320, etc..
and it has been like this for ever, without any problems.
take it easy
 

EatSleepFly

Well-Known Member
We're not in Europe. Aviation is not quite the same in the U.S. as it is in Europe.

I stand by what I said. Extreme? Maybe, maybe not. My opinion? Yes- I made that clear in my post. Take it for what you think its worth.
 

cointyro

New Member
Eatsleepfly... you could instruct for the 18 months after MAPD PACE if you're interested in that. Pick up the 1,000 hours you state.

Then you'd have 1,300 hours... and have a ground school date lined up.

I don't think there are many other CFIs out there with 1,300 hours that are currently set up for a ground school date, are there? I know Chataqua and a few others are hiring but I thought competitive mins are well above 1,300...

MAPD PACE can be the best of both worlds if you're interested in instructing. If not, or you can't find a CFI spot (I thought it was a bit harder to find CFI employment than eatsleepfly suggests), then you're still set. Right seat Mighty Beech, or very good chance at "the fastest plane in the fleet".

Instructing agree would be an ideal way to start an aviation career. But with the situation as it is now, MAPD PACE looks like a great opportunity. They just dropped the mins of 300 TT with commercial-multi; now you only need 250TT and you don't need your commercial-multi.
 

stuckingfk

Well-Known Member
I just found out my new roommate (good friend of mine for a couple years) has an uncle that is an Executive Officer for Mesa Air Group. I am not sure how it would be to work for Mesa, but I am going to use this new contact to its fullest potential.
 
Top