Arizona or Florida, which is better to learn?

Raskolnikov

Well-Known Member
I now live in the Pacific Northwest and the weather is not that good for year-round flying. So I'm thinking about moving to either FL or AZ. I was even considering Vegas but I hear it's tough to find a job, any job, in Vegas.

I won't be flying right away. I plan to start towards the end of next summer. I'm going to move, get a job, and save save save. I have zero hours right now. Oh, and I really don't want to start off going to an academy. I'd like to first get my PPL at an FBO.

So, let the opinions fly. Where would I be better off as far as being able to find a job (I'm not talking about instructing here, any job will do), cost of living, taxes, etc... And which state has more FBO options?
 

cointyro

New Member
AZ baby!!! Not so many thunderstorms. But, I'm biased; grew up in Tucson and loved it. Phoenix area though is the place to train IMHO.
 

EatSleepFly

Well-Known Member
Yeah, FL kinda sucks. Its hot, steamy, lots of T-storms, and waaaaaay too many old people driving around that shouldn't be.


Buuuut, on the other hand: It has kickass beaches, beautiful women (if you know where to look), and a lot going on. Not to mention, the weather is absolutely gorgeous for 6 or so months out of the year (winter).

I've never been to Arizona, so I can't say which is better. Personally, I think I'd like AZ better...FL is too flat- I like hills and mountains.
 

CRW

Well-Known Member
EatSleepFly, we have the ladies in AZ too

Just gotta look down by the rivers during the summer and spring break, though the same probably applies in Florida.
 

CRB

New Member
Arizona or Florida??
I completed most of my flight training at formerly known as "comair" in Florida. I have also flown in Arizona and Vegas.
I found that as far as cost of living is concerned, They are pretty much the same, and they are both definately alot cheaper than living in California, where I live now. I think that both places have an excellent learning environment. Florida has the excellent chance to fly alot of IFR, while Arizona will pretty much have no IFR all year. Also Florida gives great experience with flying through around under and above any weather possible, ( well maybe not under and over thunderstorms in a cessna). The thing that Florida does not offer is the hazards associated with flying in high terrain and high density altitude situations. Which Arizona makes up for. Also flying in Arizona you will experience some pretty hardcore turbulance generated by the high temps in the summer time, thats can be a real test of nerves for the beginer pilot. Overall, I think that Florida has a better learning environment to start off in, but if you get the chance desert and mountain flying is a great experience.
 

farwellbooth

Well-Known Member
Rasko,
I recommend getting your private in the Pacific Northwest. If your desire is the fly the line, you can't just tell your boss you only want to fly on nice days. While I've been grounded in the winter (Portland) you'd be surprised how much one can fly. Between the coast, mountains, desert it's one of the most beautiful places. I've received a lot of actual during my IR, some ice, great experience here. Smooth seas don't make good sailors... something like that.
 

Buzo

Well-Known Member
You will be able to fly more often than you think in the Northwest. I did all my training in Seattle, and I have even flown through clouds. Some places look at where you did your training (geographic location) when you have your interview.

I sat in on an interview at my company lately, and the chief pilot wasn't real impressed that the guy had 1200 hours of Arizona time. He asked how much that would help him when he was flying in the snow and ice during the winter months.
 

Tired

New Member
[ QUOTE ]
I sat in on an interview at my company lately, and the chief pilot wasn't real impressed that the guy had 1200 hours of Arizona time. He asked how much that would help him when he was flying in the snow and ice during the winter months.

[/ QUOTE ]

Umm...yeah, I've flown through both ice and snow in Arizona. I'd tell your chief pilot that even if I've trained in Seattle I still wouldn't have flown through ice since I've never flown a known ice airplane. As for snow, well, we get that here too. LOL.
 

DE727UPS

Well-Known Member
"I still wouldn't have flown through ice since I've never flown a known ice airplane"

With all due respect...that sounds like something someone who learned to fly in Arizona would say. You all should come up to Seattle this winter and get some real flying experiences. Seriously, though, I think a guy who learns to fly in the northwest weather will have some great experience that the guy who learns in Arizona won't have. At the same time, you'll be able to fly more often and be more efficient with your training if you learn in Arizona.
 

pilot602

If specified, this will replace the title that
[ QUOTE ]
Seriously, though, I think a guy who learns to fly in the northwest weather will have some great experience that the guy who learns in Arizona won't have.

[/ QUOTE ]

And that sounds like someone who has never spent serious flying time in AZ!


Every area has it's own unique intracacies. Someone who has never trained/flown in the desert can't comprehend what a 115 degree day will do to an aircraft or what it's like to fly over areas where there really are no seafe emergency landing spots or deal with mountain flying at night. Here in AZ we have probably some of the busiest airspace in the nation (hell nearly 90% of the state is a MOA) we get into a little mountain flying, and when we do get weather we get it bad. Ever seen a mile-high wall of dust 40 miles wide coming at you at 40kts over a town with, literally, only 3 ILSs (all in the south/southeast part of town)?

I earned my private back home in St. Louis so I dealt with haze, and thunderstorms and everything a mid-west summer can throw at you. I too thought AZ was "easy" until I got here.

Is flying in AZ "easier" than other parts of the countiy? Maybe. No we don't deal with ice, or snow, or even rain (that often) but when it does rain it's nasty, nasty lightining and thunderstorms that cover, literally, the entire state and it posp up fast with very little warning. Not to mention CA is only a couple hundred miles away and if we want to deal with weather on am ore regular basis we can head west.

Point is everywhere you fly there are challenges. Some are just not as obvious as others.
 

ready2fly

Well-Known Member
Well said 602. To date, I've done all of my training in Florida. I've gotten some pretty good experiences with IMC and wx and storms popping up.

BUT - I wouldn't have the first clue about mountain flying.

I'd REALLY have to brush up on my density altitude, for as it stands here in FL, DA isn't a factor.

There are most definitely upsides and downsides to ANY state/region/area as they have their own unique wx systems to learn and deal with.

When I'm done down here in the flatlands - or better said - the nations phallic symbol that is Florida- I'd LOVE to go out west and learn how to do some mountain flying and all the things that go along with that.

Just me.

R2F
 

rausda27

Well-Known Member
I think that you should do your training in as much VFR wx as possible, this will reduce your training costs and shorten the duration of the training period becasue you wont have as many wx cancellations. When you are done paying for training and are ready to start earning, ie CFI, move somewhere where the wx is variable and get your IMC, icing, mountainous terrain experience then...
 

ready2fly

Well-Known Member
rausda, don't know if the "you" in your post meant specifically "me" or a generic "you", but...

I am already Instrument Rated and am currently working on my Multi-Engine/Instrument rating and have found the IMC experiences I had during my initial IR training - as well as those I have had since earning the IR - to be MOST invaluable.

I did not find that experience to be either costly, nor time-consuming. In fact, I welcomed IMC as I wanted to SEE the reason why I was obtaining the rating.

I'm not sure I see where holding off on experiencing IMC helps a pilot hone his or her skills. Isn't the idea to stay not only current by the legal definition, but also proficient??

Just a thought.

R2F
 

rausda27

Well-Known Member
R2F, I think you misunderstood the context of my post. My point is that when you are paying for the training it is better to be in a place that will enable you to progress as quickly as you desire and not have to worry about weather cancellations.

I think in the big scheme of things, the 300 hours that you build getting all your ratings will be pretty insignificant when you think about all of the thousands of hours you will build upon after that. Will I look back in 20 years and say, boy that 4.6 hours of actual I got when I was getting my Instrument rating really made the difference on my overall Instrument skills...probably not.

You are still in the training phase so I cant fault you too much for your comment, but trust me, once you have completed your training and start instructing or move on to something bigger and better you will find that the learning process never ends. You will always have the opportunity to fly in IMC when it necessarily wont cost you as much, so dont feel like you need to cram in all this actual now, you will have plenty of opportunities later.
 

ready2fly

Well-Known Member
[ QUOTE ]
You are still in the training phase so I cant fault you too much for your comment, but trust me, once you have completed your training and start instructing or move on to something bigger and better you will find that the learning process never ends.

[/ QUOTE ]
Completely agree!!

Fair enough.
 

rausda27

Well-Known Member
I understand your point, because I was in your shoes not too long ago, and I wanted to fly thorought he clouds as much as possible. Wait until you are single pilot, solid IMC, single engine, and you are shooting an ILS to mins...then you might wish you were not in the clouds...

200th post.!!

It actually just dawned on me as well, as I wrote that post about single pilot IMC, single engine, that all the part 121 guys are thinking..oh yeah..wait til you are flying a Cat II ILS with the number 2 on fire and a TR deployment..or something to that effect, which proves my point..you never stop learning....
 

lilrkt

New Member
I would have to say, in Buzo's defense, that he happens to be in probably one of the most unique weather areas in the world. I would have loved to do my training in Alaska but had to settle for MI. Although I am working to get there within the year.
 

farwellbooth

Well-Known Member
My point was you don't have to go to the sun belt to be a good pilot. There seems to be a myth that you have to go to a big flight school that's in Zona or Fl.

A couple more benefits of Northwest training: My examiner fees are $175. I hear much more elsewhere.

You have all the bs student fees and overhead to support. Sure there are benefits of a big school but no need to pack up to FL. You haven't even started so why not find out if you like flying? And you'll show up in the sun belt looking through a different lens with a different skill set.

Regardless of mountains, thunderstorms, density altitude etc. one thing you NEED to get early on is a decent amount of actual during your IR. Foggles vs. actual are night and day. I think it isn't all that uncommon to power out an IR without much actual in the sun belt. Getting the leans and not knowing which way is up well it's a pretty easy way to die.

We can argue all day but read again what the chief pilot said. Hence the word chief. Who would you rather have fly your mom in hard IFR? Buzo or a 1200 sun belt pilot?

I look forward to flying with people from different flying backgrounds who bring different tools to the cockpit.
 
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