Dark Secret of Flight Training School

GypsyPilot

Well-Known Member
As long as he realizes that the ability to serve is, itself, privilege.



etc. I grew up in an AF town, and all of the people I knew who really wanted to fly fighters were poor kids... none of them were tapped. A couple rich kids I knew breezed in with congressional recommendations, strings pulled, etc.

I have no idea whether my perspective is valid, in this case, but my dad was AF, and he agreed with my observations—being an AF fighter pilot is reserved for the lordlings, not the peons.

Even if my perspective is wrong—which is quite possible as it’s very limited—now I see my brothers and sisters being cast out and rejected because Our Dear Leader wants something to rouse his base.

So yeah... it’s good to have rich parents. Makes it easy to be a “good kid.”

Dunno if that applies to your student, but I think one should be careful assigning value that way.

-Fox
Just because you grew up poor doesn’t mean you’re screwed - in the US anyway. It definitely makes things harder than a silver spoon, but the opportunities are there for the taking.
 

Autothrust Blue

"Duuuuuude."
Just because you grew up poor doesn’t mean you’re screwed - in the US anyway. It definitely makes things harder than a silver spoon, but the opportunities are there for the taking.
I mean, copilot pay at the regionals is surprisingly close to the median income nowadays.
 

killbilly

Vocals, Lyrics, Triangle, Washboard, Kittens
As long as he realizes that the ability to serve is, itself, privilege.



etc. I grew up in an AF town, and all of the people I knew who really wanted to fly fighters were poor kids... none of them were tapped. A couple rich kids I knew breezed in with congressional recommendations, strings pulled, etc.

I have no idea whether my perspective is valid, in this case, but my dad was AF, and he agreed with my observations—being an AF fighter pilot is reserved for the lordlings, not the peons.

Even if my perspective is wrong—which is quite possible as it’s very limited—now I see my brothers and sisters being cast out and rejected because Our Dear Leader wants something to rouse his base.

So yeah... it’s good to have rich parents. Makes it easy to be a “good kid.”

Dunno if that applies to your student, but I think one should be careful assigning value that way.

-Fox
Your points are valid in my eyes. The point of mentioning my student is that he is a Legacy Kid with every advantage in the book who is also aware of and grateful for those privileges - that was the right context. I apologize if the timing/context of the post seemed to try and diminish yours - that was not my intent - my intent was to respond to Autothrust's remarks about Legacy Kids.
 

killbilly

Vocals, Lyrics, Triangle, Washboard, Kittens
Just because you grew up poor doesn’t mean you’re screwed - in the US anyway. It definitely makes things harder than a silver spoon,
You had me up to there....

but the opportunities are there for the taking.
I know what you're going for there and I appreciate it, but the second phrase simply isn't true for a wide swath of Americans; this is the crux of the problem for a lot of working poor people; opportunity is not equal. It should be - and the story we like to tell ourselves in America is that everyone can pull themselves up by their bootstraps and be successful - but the reality is not aligned with the ideal.

I think it would be more accurate to say, "even if you're not born of means and opportunity, you're less likely to have class problems in achieving, but your road is going to be a hell of a lot harder."
 

Autothrust Blue

"Duuuuuude."
Your points are valid in my eyes. The point of mentioning my student is that he is a Legacy Kid with every advantage in the book who is also aware of and grateful for those privileges - that was the right context. I apologize if the timing/context of the post seemed to try and diminish yours - that was not my intent - my intent was to respond to Autothrust's remarks about Legacy Kids.
I feel qualified to comment thereon!
 

GypsyPilot

Well-Known Member
You had me up to there....



I know what you're going for there and I appreciate it, but the second phrase simply isn't true for a wide swath of Americans; this is the crux of the problem for a lot of working poor people; opportunity is not equal. It should be - and the story we like to tell ourselves in America is that everyone can pull themselves up by their bootstraps and be successful - but the reality is not aligned with the ideal.

I think it would be more accurate to say, "even if you're not born of means and opportunity, you're less likely to have class problems in achieving, but your road is going to be a hell of a lot harder."
Maybe I’m biased since I grew up poor and was able to find ways to get through college, get a good job, pay for flight school, and eventually get hired at a major. I genuinely do think it’s possible for almost anyone that’s reasonably intelligent and motivated to do these things. Having witnessed several others do this as well, I know I’m not special in that regard either. Pretty average compared to some other rags to riches people I know.

Having traveled quite a bit of this planet, I also think the US is probably the best place in the word for such opportunities. I’m not saying the US is the best place on earth, but when it comes to providing ways for almost anyone to become successful (that is highly motivated), it’s a pretty unique place.
 

killbilly

Vocals, Lyrics, Triangle, Washboard, Kittens
Maybe I’m biased since I grew up poor and was able to find ways to get through college, get a good job, pay for flight school, and eventually get hired at a major. I genuinely do think it’s possible for almost anyone that’s reasonably intelligent and motivated to do these things. Having witnessed several others do this as well, I know I’m not special in that regard either. Pretty average compared to some other rags to riches people I know.
Sure - we're all biased. That's the point - the experience you've had, the experience I've had, and the experiences that @Acrofox have had are all different, with varying degrees of success, challenges, and failures. You probably already figured this out for yourself early on, but it has taken me decades to really internalize that other people's experience's have been vastly different than mine, and things that I've never considered challenges or difficulties were, in fact, significant realities for other people.

That fact, and age, are making me complain a whole lot less than I used to. :)

Having traveled quite a bit of this planet, I also think the US is probably the best place in the word for such opportunities. I’m not saying the US is the best place on earth, but when it comes to providing ways for almost anyone to become successful (that is highly motivated), it’s a pretty unique place.
I suspect you're right about this - I haven't traveled enough, but other factors besides travel make me concur.
 

mwflyer

Well-Known Member
As much as you'd like to think guys like me haven't been flying professionally because we lacked what it took, fact of the matter is I traded my passion for my family, just like a lot of the career changers. I knew what is was like not to have money as kid, I knew what it like not to have a father around. I wanted better for my family and working for peanuts while being away all the time was not something I would put them through. You can rationalize all you want about how you supposedly wanted it more but the bottom line is I made the hard decision not to be selfish and go chasing my dream to the detriment of my family. Now that the kids are older, after 21 years of marriage and establishing a profitable business, I'm not going to apologize to anyone if I want to make a go of it and I'm certainly not going to have people degrade me by calling me a hobby pilot which is how this all got started....oh and as far as me not having "the mettle, the drive and the determination" all I'll say is if you knew me, you'd feel pretty foolish about those comments.
There’s no heroes in this on either side. Just because a guy choose to be a pilot during the “bad” years, doesn’t him more tenacious, or driven. He made a choice based on the known factors, and lived with that choice. His career is in a better place today (hopefully) based on that decision.

Likewise, a guy that choose not to fly, be it for pay, QOL, family, or all of the above, isn’t a weak guy, who wasn’t willing to pay dues, and now wants to cut the line. He likewise, made a decision, and his career will now be in catch-up mode. Maybe he makes it to a major, maybe he doesn’t. But he too made a decision that worked for him at the time and will have to live with it. Neither guy was wrong, neither is responsible for the improvements in the industry today.

If their is a hero or a group of people responsible for the improvement in wages, it’s the millennials. They were the first generation en masse to say hell no to flying a jet for poverty wages. Once young people stopped entering the profession, the airlines finally realized they had to raise pay, as the pool was going to run dry.
 

MaRiO FDZ

Han Solo is NOT dead!!
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.
Back in 2009 I had a similar experience Wright Flyers in San Antonio. Back then started training Chinese students, some weren’t cutting it, and the school didn’t contemplate who’d be paying for re-training. So they started ignoring us locals. Until the school moved to New Braunfels TX before bleeding more money, moved to Hondo TX and then finally collapsed.

From what I hear, they were bought by US Aviation - which links all of this up.

I was screwed by WF because I arrived with a Foreign based FAA Private ticket, I got through Instruments and was starting on Commercial (juat before the school moved to BAZ) when the Chief Pilot said “you’re grounded because you’re flying without a license” - despite me showing him my FAA ticket. He said “I don’t care you're not flying until you give us proof of License Validity”. So I had to re-request my License to FAA and it took 3 months, all the while I was bleeding money as well.

Eventually when I could resume training, I did as much time building as I could and the school went under just before my commercial Xride.

Most of my training records were lost, I actually re-did the school’s website to pay for my own housing and was about to launch it before the owner dissapeared. Ended up owing me a decent amount of money.

I gess deep down some things never change.
 

srn121

Well-Known Member
It’s nice to know that flight training institutions rank right up there with beauty schools and culinary academies in reliability.
Stuff they don't tell young people. I think us millenials or whatever generation that was before them were some of the most gullible people ever raised as we were trusting as hell. Go to college, get a degree, oh and here's a book store charging 250 dollar books for just one class and you won't be able to resellf them. Maybe I was particularly gullible, but i had a lot of classmates get roped into some ridiculous student loan debt. I feel horrible that their were pilots prepaying their ratings only to find some jackass sneaking off with the money which has happened at least a few times.
 

Richman

Well-Known Member
Stuff they don't tell young people. I think us millenials or whatever generation that was before them were some of the most gullible people ever raised as we were trusting as hell. Go to college, get a degree, oh and here's a book store charging 250 dollar books for just one class and you won't be able to resellf them. Maybe I was particularly gullible, but i had a lot of classmates get roped into some ridiculous student loan debt. I feel horrible that their were pilots prepaying their ratings only to find some jackass sneaking off with the money which has happened at least a few times.
It's just a lack of critical thinking skills. You don't just believe what you're told or what's in front of you. School is the worst place to learn this skill (basically, it's the last thing they want you to learn) and it's something that has to be carefully cultured by the parents, and let's be honest, they're probably not that skilled at it either.

You're told you HAVE to go to college. You can major in underwater fire prevention. Your student loans are going to be $200k, with 10% interest and underwater fire prevention specialists only make $35k per year. Someone NEEDS to be able to pencil that out and know it doesn't make any sense at all.

Kids HAVE to learn to play defense. Everyone and their brother is out there to take advantage of people in a myriad number of ways, and that includes people who are supposedly there looking out for their welfare. Kids are WOEFULLY unprepared for this for any number of reasons.
 

killbilly

Vocals, Lyrics, Triangle, Washboard, Kittens
Kids HAVE to learn to play defense. Everyone and their brother is out there to take advantage of people in a myriad number of ways, and that includes people who are supposedly there looking out for their welfare. Kids are WOEFULLY unprepared for this for any number of reasons.
Quoted for truth. I am using this.
 

SpinAware

New Member
Continue from my 1st post... ...

SHAME ON YOU, US AVIATION ACADEMY!

The flight school mistreated the Mainlander Chinese students!

Watch YouTube clip (click here)
I have randomly spoken to many foreign students (Indian, Cambodian, Taiwanese & Mainlander Chinese) from that school. Racism exist! That's horrible! :mad: These foreign students need to be treated with respect, after all, they are paying and they are the customers!
#USAA #USAviationAcademy
 
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