Dark Secret of Flight Training School

Roger Roger

Paid to sleep, fly for fun
Get to the bottom of it.
Ah yes, an online message board is definitely the way to do that.

Somebody couldn’t hack it, and couldn’t handle it when told so. Not sure why that’s surprising, considering the pressure it’s been said that some of the foreign students are under and the consequences if they don’t perform. Assuming it was a foreign student as seems to be implied.
 

SpinAware

New Member
Ah yes, an online message board is definitely the way to do that.

Somebody couldn’t hack it, and couldn’t handle it when told so. Not sure why that’s surprising, considering the pressure it’s been said that some of the foreign students are under and the consequences if they don’t perform. Assuming it was a foreign student as seems to be implied.
Seemed like you knew the story!
 

SpinAware

New Member
I wouldn't piss on the guys that run USAA if they were on fire. Having said that, ....
I'm not sure how flunking a student who isn't cut out to be a pilot (and I saw a bunch get pushed through that shouldn't) makes this the school's fault.
Looks like you knew the story too!
 

Cloud Surfer

All Roads lead to Trantor
Once upon a time I taught foreigners at U.S.A.A.; the pressures which the Chinese students dealt with to perform well were rather immense, to put it succintly: to the lengths that their hardships would be likewise most immense, had they failed. It would be a huge shame for family members to learn that their son or daughter had flunked flight school. That being said, the school went out of its way to ensure that the students received the help that they needed in order to pass. It was not at all easy though teaching students who had a limited grasp of the English language.
 

srn121

Well-Known Member
Once upon a time I taught foreigners at U.S.A.A.; the pressures which the Chinese students dealt with to perform well were rather immense, to put it succintly: to the lengths that their hardships would be likewise most immense, had they failed. It would be a huge shame for family members to learn that their son or daughter had flunked flight school. That being said, the school went out of its way to ensure that the students received the help that they needed in order to pass. It was not at all easy though teaching students who had a limited grasp of the English language.
What were the lengths of the contracts they signed with whoever was footing the bill for their training? I had heard it was something absurd, like a 99 year long contract.
 

MFT1Air

Well-Known Member
Once upon a time I taught foreigners at U.S.A.A.; the pressures which the Chinese students dealt with to perform well were rather immense, to put it succintly: to the lengths that their hardships would be likewise most immense, had they failed. It would be a huge shame for family members to learn that their son or daughter had flunked flight school. That being said, the school went out of its way to ensure that the students received the help that they needed in order to pass. It was not at all easy though teaching students who had a limited grasp of the English language.
Having said what you've said, understand the weakness of human nature cultures other than the U.S. feel when the pressure to succeed is great. Failure is not an option does apply to certain cultures moreso than ours.
 
The problem that I'm seeing here at my school, is that people like myself, who are in their forties are getting back into flight training to try to make their dream a possibility. We have two guys here that I know that are gossiped about quite frequently by staff and flight instructors. We'll just skim the milk off the top and go with the worst case scenario.

Individual I. Is forty-six, married with three kids and has a house and a car. Like myself he moved away from home in order to attend the school. He was here well before me and it took him a little over a year to complete his PPL flying FT. He's still currently having a lot of problems with his IR. He took out a second mortgage on his house before moving here because technically, we're not allowed to work while in the program.

The school in the very beginning had a crap ton of maintenance issues with the Diamond's, weather-related problems, scheduling issues and DPE related problems. And it apparently got too hot here last summer. Like 90 degrees... and the Light Sports couldn't fly. So, he and a lot of others were sitting around for most of last summer not flying. Or flying intermittently. The Light Sport's here are used for PPL and CSEL, if you and your instructor weight like 150 lbs. or less. He was flying Light Sports for his PPL.

Due to all the flying setbacks, he blew through his money very quickly. It isn't exactly cheap to live here. So, he got a pretty good mechanic job making pretty decent money to you know live. Eat, pay rent get gas pay bills back home. The school found out that he was working and told him to immediately quit the job, or else. He listened (IMO stupidly) and now can barely take care of himself financially. Rumor is that his wife is leaving him as a result of quiting his good job back home, subjecting the family to chaos, moving here for flight school and plunging them deep into debt. His kids hate him and he hasn't been home since Christmas and he lives here in a studio apartment. The pressures of training and his life here and also his many pressures and responsibilities. Of being a husband, father, provider, financial and otherwise back home smothered him badly and he couldn't adapt and keep his head above water in either aspect. Yeah, he got F'd! Badly.

Same thing also happened to me, but not as extreme. I arrived here last fall. Sat around for about 3 1/2 months before I was able to really start my training due to a constant perfect storm of broken planes and weather. I flew intermittently first the first few months while here. Then I barely ever flew for December, January and the month of February. Due to winter weather. I came up here with about $20k in savings that was quickly blown through by burning the candle at both ends. Having to pay rent, food gas up here. A mortgage and all my other financial responsibilities back home for a promised 8-month program, from start to finish. I'm now in my 9th month, finally about to finish the rating that I started when moving here hopefully next month or June at the latest. Due to a lot of uncontrollable setbacks on my part.

By November of last year, my cash getting low. I knew that I needed to get a job, or I'd be out of cash by early 2019. I got a job. The school learned that I had a job and also tried to pressure me to quit said job. I told them not just now but basically f- no. I have good credit, I'm not destroying that for you or for flight school. I pulled a Destiny's Child and asked them:

Can you pay my bills?
Can you pay my telephone bills?
Do you pay my automo' bills?
If you did then maybe we could chill

They relented, but refused to postpone my loan payments last month. Possibly in retaliation for me keeping my job. Which were supposed to start in eight months, when theoretically I was supposed to be finished with their program.

The school's complaint is that older guys are taking too long to complete the program. Compared to the younger 18-25 set that still live locally here with their parents. Who are also footing their bill. Or the 18-25 yrs olds from out of state, whose parents are also footing their bill financially and paying for their car, food and cost of living. When I was living in "Pilot House" we had two twenty yr. olds one was from Dallas the other from Washington, St. The one from Dallas called his "granpie" (his words not mine). Whenever he needed money and also to pay for his examiner fees. $650.00 a pop. The kid from WA. also called his parents all the time for the same thing.

With me and probably also with Individual I, the school was completely unsympathetic to the fact that we are adults and have no parents or "granpie" to call monthly to wire us money. At least in my case the school said that it was my fault for poor financial planning. Totally trying to absolve themselves of their rampant maintenance problems on their fleet. Local weather was also a huge problem, but was completely out of their control.

Individual I looks completely haggard every time I see him at school. He told me last month that his credit is destroyed and he's seriously contemplating filing bankruptcy. He told me that the school also gave him a deadline to start quickly advancing towards his Stage I Check and thence his checkride or he's out. He says that he lost everything to come here and he has to complete the program, because its all he has left now. I fear for him, as do others if he gets kicked out that like the title of this thread. Suicide might be a very real possibility for him.

My whole point in writing this possibly tl;dr. Is not to judge. Everyone's situation is different. Also that suicide is very real (unfortunate) option for some people, to help escape their predicament.
 
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JordanD

Honorary Member
Ah yes, an online message board is definitely the way to do that.

Somebody couldn’t hack it, and couldn’t handle it when told so. Not sure why that’s surprising, considering the pressure it’s been said that some of the foreign students are under and the consequences if they don’t perform. Assuming it was a foreign student as seems to be implied.
And/or (surprise surprise) mental health in aviation is a total taboo for no good reason that gets (and will continually) get ignored because of archaic practices.
 
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