FBO or Big Flight Academy?

Skinnah

Well-Known Member
Hello all:
I was curious if you could offer your insight as to which is a better way to go; FBO or a Big Flight School?

-What are the advantages of going to a big academy rather than staying at a good FBO?

-How do the airlines look at your flight training history?

-Do you have a better chance if you go to a big school?

I would appreciate any insights on the advantages/disadvantages of each type of training school.
Thanks for your help.
 

blee256

Well-Known Member
6 in one hand, on half dozen in the other.

this argument has gone on forever. Try a search and see what comes up. These normally turn into a huge flame war. So i'll start it off, huge academies suck. HAHA just kidding.

I look at all big schools as well asthe local fbo's and then make your decision.

and to answer your quesion of how do airlines look at your flight training. the answer is they dont. just as long as you ahve the tickets and the hours. From what I hear, they dont even ask where you did your training.

-Brian
 

C650CPT

Well-Known Member
junior
There are many things to consider.
1. How quick do you want to knock out the rateings? If time is criticall, I recommend a part 141 school. If you have to keep working while you fly, the local FBO should suffice.

2.Money. If you have the money to do it, then do it! Again a part 141 school would be recommended.

3.I wouldn't go to a "big" school and bank on their name as the key to getting you a job. A more realistic discriminator is do you have a 4 yr. degree. When you come out of the school you will have minimum qualifications so you still need to get experience. I would spend my money someplace that will employee me as a CFI once you are qualified.

4.Family? Single=go away and enjoy a big school enviroment. Married=go away and enjoy a big school enviroment. When I decided to get my CFI, CFII and MEI I went away for a 4 week course and left my wife and 2yr. old at home. I confess that I was only at the school 1 week and they closed down and I went home and finished up at the local FBO, the training was actually better than I expected.

You have to know for yourself what you want and then decide what is the best way to get it. Good luck.
 

CapnJim

Well-Known Member
For me, the two break down like so: You can go the slow, expensive, no debt route (FBO) or you can go the quick, cheaper, extreme-financial-crushing-debt route (Academy)

If you are young (<24) and need flexibility in your training schedule, go with the FBO. If you are older and want to get done quick so you can start building time, go to the Academy.
 

ready2fly

Well-Known Member
[ QUOTE ]
the two break down like so: You can go the slow, expensive, no debt route (FBO) or you can go the quick, cheaper, extreme-financial-crushing-debt route (Academy)

[/ QUOTE ]
That makes no sense whatsoever.

Please explain how the Academy route can be both "Cheap" and "extreme-financial-crushing-debt" at the same time.



Then, please explain how can you say that an FBO is expensive when, at a LOT of the FBO's, a pilot can obtain ALL his/her ratings from PPL - CFI-MEI for under $30K... well under $30K.

I will give you the speed factor. You'll get through at the academies much faster than a FBO.
 

CapnJim

Well-Known Member
Fine, I will explain it to you:

Getting your ratings piecemeal at an FBO will by and large total more than going to a Academy. However, you wont have to deal with being in $30K+ of debt at the end of it since you will probably pay as you go. Make sense now?
If you can quote prices for your neighborhood FBOs, fine, but I put the pencil to it before I attended ATP and found that I would be saving several thousand dollars doing it all at once.
 
G

Guest

Guest
How about this:

Academy: EXPENSIVE
FBO: not quite as EXPENSIVE
 

EatSleepFly

Well-Known Member
[ QUOTE ]
Getting your ratings piecemeal at an FBO will by and large total more than going to a Academy.

[/ QUOTE ]

I whole-heartedly agree. FBO's with good planes and cheap prices that do training all the way through multi and CFI/CFII/MEI are rare.
 

EatSleepFly

Well-Known Member
hahaha..well, if it turns out pictures have to be drawn- better you than me. I have trouble drawing stick figures!
 

C650CPT

Well-Known Member
I think the BIG difference whether you go through the local FBO or to a name brand acadademy comes down Part 61 vs Part 141, and your ability to accomplish your rateings in the minimum time. Part 141 overall will get you to the finished line sooner (based on total flight time), this directly means less spent, period. The ideal would be to find a local part 141 school and dive into it. The reason I say local is that you are probably renting or better yet live at home, so you won't have to duplicate your living costs. FACT: Put 3 pilots in a room ask a question and you will get 5 opions. So basically you have to check out all your options and make an informed decision on what is best for you and your career goals. Good Luck
 

Mr_Creepy

Well-Known Member
I did not go through a 141 school. By the time 3 years had passed I had spent approx. $25k (1987-1990) I had all ratings up to MEI. I also had over 600 hrs.

"Communist" Air in nearby SFB wanted $25k up front in 1987. They guaranteed me 250 hrs and all my ratings. I have since learned from many graduates that no one did it in $25k or 250 hrs, but most ended up spending considerably more (as much as $40k.)

I think Hal Shivers of Sporty's said it best. Lets rate pilots from 1-10. The 141 school puts out a "cookie cutter" pilot based on their staff and cirriculum (sp?), say somewhere around a "5" or a "6". On the other hand, private clubs and FBOs put out anywhere from 1-10.

If you can find that great instructor in a club, who has extensive experience and hours, you will be more likely to be a "10".

On the other hand - flight schools are more likely to be staffed with "time builders", CFIs who are just building the logbook for the so-called "dreamjob" in aviation.

This is not to say there aren't some great instructors in flight schools who take there job seriously! No! Even at ATA (where I did some contract work) I was impressed with some of the instructors and their professional work ethic and demeanor.

But go across the field to the CAP Flying Group and you see an instructor staff that has an average flight time of just over 6000 hrs. Now where are you going to learn to be a better pilot???
 

ready2fly

Well-Known Member
[ QUOTE ]
Getting your ratings piecemeal at an FBO will by and large total more than going to a Academy. However, you wont have to deal with being in $30K+ of debt at the end of it since you will probably pay as you go.

[/ QUOTE ]
Not trying to pick a fight here CapnJim, so don't take it that way.... but, you have it completel wrong **in my case** in the the case of several others on this board.

While you are right, we won't be facing $30K in debt when we are done, it'll be more like $25K. I'm doing the Sallie Mae route and I'm currently paying on same.

[ QUOTE ]
If you can quote prices for your neighborhood FBOs, fine, but I put the pencil to it before I attended ATP and found that I would be saving several thousand dollars doing it all at once.

[/ QUOTE ]
And after researching (then) Comair Academy $35K+, (now defunct) Aviation Careers Academy -$30K+(at LAL), PanAm and FSI both between $40K-$50K..... I put the "pencil to it" and found that I'd be saving $5,000.00 on the low end on up to TENS of thousands on the high end by NOT going the Part 141 route.

WHile I agree with the poster that said that finding an FBO that has both the planes and the instructors to take an individual from zero to CFI-ME is rare - it does exist.

So the poster who wrote:

ACADEMY: Expensive
FBO: Not so expensive

Is the reality.... **IN MY CASE*** (and several others)

So, please be careful about blanket statements.
 

CapnJim

Well-Known Member
If you don't want an argument, don't start one.

[ QUOTE ]
So, please be careful about blanket statements.

[/ QUOTE ]

If you'll notice, my first post was prefaced with:

[ QUOTE ]
For me...

[/ QUOTE ]

To use your undeservedly antagonistic style, could you Please explain how this is a blanket statement? Moreover, you mention 'several others' who agree with you. so far in this thread theres one who agrees with you, and two who agree with me. I'm guessing you've tried to elicit several PMs to back up your position? A sort of FBO vs. Academy whispering campaign?

My responses would not be so severe if you were not so disrespectful in your first post. If you disagree with me, fine, I will respect your opinion. But only if I get the same respect in return.
 

ready2fly

Well-Known Member
First - I'm sorry if your delicate sensitivities were hurt by my posts - which, BTW - were not meant to be "antagonistic". But when you make a statement that basically discredits the choices made by others - espescially when you try to justify your argument with baseless self-imposed "fact", you're going to get not-so-tender responses, my friend.

Your first statement that an academy is BOTH "cheap" and "Extreme-crushing-financial-debt" .... made no sense. YOu cannot have both. Either it's cheap or it's not.


And fankly - yes - that is a blanket statement that ALL Academies are cheap and ALL FBO's are expensive - IN YOUR OPINION.

Whether or not you like the term "blanket statement" applied is a non-issue.

[ QUOTE ]
so far in this thread theres one who agrees with you, and two who agree with me. I'm guessing you've tried to elicit several PMs to back up your position? A sort of FBO vs. Academy whispering campaign?

[/ QUOTE ]
Yes... Jim... that's exactly what I did... I'm creeping around "behind the scenes" trying to get other posters to respond to your rediculous theory.


Others who are going/went the FBO route that I am aware of on this site:
sbe
Eagle
Iwareboy
SkyguyEd
jhagan
Scorpio
mtsuav8ter
Pilot602(but he trains in his own plane).

Over the course of my time on this website - I have spoken to these folks either on a thread or on PM about this subject. Whether they even read this thread matters not to me.
 

CapnJim

Well-Known Member
It's like trying to reason with pocket lint.
You really do live up to your nickname-- "ready2flame"
I'm done with this discussion.
 

ready2fly

Well-Known Member
[ QUOTE ]
You really do live up to your nickname-- "ready2flame"

[/ QUOTE ]
I LIKE that!!!


But...Seeing how that nickname has never once been used publicly on the threads, doesn't really qualify as me "living up" to it, now does it?

C'mon now Jim.. you can argue your point better than that, but I see by this:

[ QUOTE ]
I'm done with this discussion.

[/ QUOTE ]
YOu're going to duck for cover, so I'll presume you got my point. Good man.
 

sbe

Well-Known Member
I'm one of the people R2F solicited to come post on this thread on his behalf.
(tongue FIRMLY in cheek)

I'm goin' the FBO route. I'm not a kid, either (out of college 6 years). I guesstimate my total's gonna run around $25k through all the CFI ratings. I'm currently about 2/3-3/4 the way through my instrument rating. I'm staying at the same FBO, they have the equipment and CFIs to train me the whole way. So it's not piecemeal (though *gasp* its Part 61).

My reasons:
1) I am established in my career. I make decent money and need to continue to work full time to support my flying which leads me to
2) I am paying cash. As I go. It's slower. I don't care. I can sleep at night not worrying how I'm gonna pay my loans.
3) The industry is in the tank. I'm proceeding but keeping a guarded eye on the situation. I will NOT totally ruin my quality of life just to fly for a living. Will I make sacrifices? Hell yes. Will I go on food stamps? Absolutely not. Which brings about
4) I am keeping my job and earning my ratings, then instructing, on the side. Again: "too slow" you say. Maybe so.

But. I will not be earning $12k a year trying to pay off a $40-50k loan. Do the math it does not work. I hope by the time I'm instructing to have my freelance (design) work ramped up to the point I can earn a good living off of that while teaching - that frees up more time to teach but provides a substantial increase in income. Another option is continuing my current position in a part time capacity, there are actually others at my company who have done a similar thing (though not to go fly planes, mind you).

So. Most important to me is being smart and sensible in my approach to this. When I earn a good living and do not NEED to make the change but WANT to, it's stupid to take out the loans and rush through it for jobs that aren't currently there. I'm still young enough. I'm leaning very heavily towards pursuing an eventual corporate career many many years down the road, not the airlines necessarily, so seniority and getting on the food chain in a hurry is not a concern of mine.

And if things don't work out? I'll have my full-time job, I'll have my CFI/CFII/MEI and will be having the time of my life teaching on the side like what my CFI does. I really really look forward to teaching.

JHMO, your mileage may (and obviously does) vary.

Sarah
 

Mavmb

Well-Known Member
For the original poster, I will tell you this much. DO NOT go to a big academy. None of them are worth it. Yes, that is a blanket statement, and yes that is also true.

I say this because if you do your research you can find a good school somewhere that will get you your ratings for 30,000 or less, and at a faster pace than a large academy. Check at all the smaller GA airports in big cities if there is not a local school you can use.

And probably the best piece of advice I can give you. There is no such thing as "AIRLINE TRAINING" That's just a marketing ploy. I wish I knew that when I started. All you need is your pilot certificates and ratings.
 
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