FSA or ARI-BEN?

flysouth

New Member
I will be finishing up my private shortly and I want to pursue a career in aviation. I am 21 and I have a BA degree. Around 6 mo. ago, I toured the FL schools and I am making a decision between two schools- FSA and Ari-Ben. Ari-Ben offers 200hrs. multi time and all the tickets including MEI, CFI, CFII for $25,000. At ari-ben I will have the chance to instruct immediatly after I finish. FSA impressed me because it has excellent facilities, well maintained aircraft, and a structured training program. The cost of FSA is much higher and it appears that a student just coming into the program will not have a chance to instruct for possibly two years. Please help me with my decision. Will I be a better trained pilot if I go to FSA or Ari-Ben? Can I ever expect to instruct at FSA or would I have to hit the pavement and move again with my wife to find a CFI job? I need help, i need opinions based on experience.
 

speedman

New Member
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At ari-ben I will have the chance to instruct immediatly after I finish

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Is there some sort of agreement with Ari-Ben and its "graduating" students at an instructor job?
 

flysouth

New Member
I don't believe there is an iron-clad agreement, but grads who spent money there and seem capable to instruct, are given a "chance" to instruct.
 

shooter13

New Member
While I haven't been a student there, I plan to when I can quit my current job.

Based on Luftpost's posts here, when you complete training and finish all of your CFI's they will give you two students. Further employment depends on how you do with those first students.

My impression of Ari is that you will get out of it what you put into it. Are you self-motivated and an independant learner? That seemed to me what would be ideal at Ari. By independant, I mean this. You can take a subject and through self-study and questions to your instructor can you assimilate and prioritize the information. I do very well with that and actually do very poorly with conventional instruction.

I felt that FSA will definately do a good job of teaching you. They will walk you thorough it all. If you have trouble they will help you. At Ari, I felt like it will be up to you to get through all of the material and training.

I like that.

Multi time in training
Multi time while instructing
Ability to go at my own pace
$18500 vs 32 something ( I am a VA student)

They all convinced me that Ari is the right choice for me.

Did you look at ATP? If they had a 141 program and didn't cost 15K more I would look closer at them.
 

Luftpost

New Member
FlySouth

You are correct.

Students who go through the program and have the insurance requirements met (200 multi hrs TT), are given a chance to instruct. We get a lot of MEI's who apply (daily) from other "Big" local schools, but do not qualify because they lack the multi time. Therefore we pretty much need to hire from within. From the time you complete the Pro Course program to the time you get your first student is usually just a matter of days. Not weeks, months or years.

As far as studying goes....I don't care what school you attend (unless your on a scholarship playing football), you won't make it unless you study. Flying is no different. I tell my students that I am not going to hold their hand. I meet with my students regularly (daily), usually one on one, other times in group. They must be prepared, or I don't bother taking the time to do ground, they know that, and respect that.

Shooter:

Please understand that students are not expected to teach themselves, just prepare themselves for ground, to make the ground time most usefull and educational. All of our instructors are very anxious for you to succeed and will guide you through the program.

Hope this clarifies a few points.........
 

Queboat

Well-Known Member
In my first month as a flight instructor at Ari-Ben I've logged 55 hours. I was also giving two students the very first day I was on the line. So you see it pays off to go to the Aviator. I saved tons of money and I didnt have to wait a year to begin teaching. You have to ask yourself, "Do I want to idle my career for a year and work some odd job while my student loan is due? Or do i want to get the wheels rolling immediatly?"
 

shooter13

New Member
Luftpost. I understand what you are saying. It was just the impression I had and it was a positive one in my mind. I was very impressed with Ari when I toured and have said so ever since.
 

flysouth

New Member
I do not want to wait to instruct. However, if I went to FSA I could look for a non-FSA instructor job immediately after graduation. Would attending FSA give me the training, resources, and opportunity to become a more skilled and safe pilot, or could I achieve these same goals at the Aviator? According to luftpost, students are expected to prepare themselves for ground. Are there clear and defined expectations of exactly what the student is expected to know at the Aviator for their ground school? Is there a clear and defined structure?

Some additional things that I would like to know about the Aviator are: 1. How well is the Aviator managed? and 2. How well are the aircraft maintained, do you ever feel unsafe in the aircraft, are the limits pushed?
 

Luftpost

New Member
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However, if I went to FSA I could look for a non-FSA instructor job immediately after graduation.

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Same with Ari Ben if you so wished.

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Would attending FSA give me the training, resources, and opportunity to become a more skilled and safe pilot, or could I achieve these same goals at the Aviator?

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As I have mentioned before, it is what you put into it. Simple as that!

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Are there clear and defined expectations of exactly what the student is expected to know at the Aviator for their ground school? Is there a clear and defined structure?


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Mike Cohen distributes FAA publications to all students. Additionally, there are many sources of information available in various formats. It is up to you and your instructor to find what works best for you. As far as standards, we go by the PTS. To answer your question in a nut shell, yes.

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1. How well is the Aviator managed?

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I am not an insider into the working of the company, I can tell you however that Mike Cohen is a business man with various interests. I have hand delivered checks to various shops on the field for him, and they always tell me that his payments are very prompt or unexpectidely early. My paychecks are always on time and don't bounce.

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2. How well are the aircraft maintained, do you ever feel unsafe in the aircraft, are the limits pushed?

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No, I never feel unsafe, are there maintenance issues, sure, our aircraft fly 24/7. We have our own MX facility next door where they do go for inspections and repairs.
 

Luftpost

New Member
Shooter

I understand what you meant, I just wanted to clarify that the training is personalized for each student. Some students do require more help than others.

I was not criticizing your post, just clarifying. Thats the problem with the internet, so much gets lost after you click "submit".
 

GregCollins2

Well-Known Member
As a former "Ari-Bener" I'd also like to comment. It does not matter what school you attend, you will have to do a lot of studying on your own. I was given all of the ground I needed at Ari-Ben. I was even assisted by instructors that where not assigned to me on a regular basis.
As to the business end of things, I have been a successful self employed business man for years and I was very impressed with Mike Cohen's operation. I left Ari-Ben, and Florida, with some money still in my account, it was promptly refunded to me when I requested it. I never felt any concern about the financial solidity of the school.
I flew 320 hours in the Dutchesses and I was far more concerned about weather and the availability of free coffee at the next FBO than whether or not the airplane was going to get me there safely. I've been at 6 different schools in the last year and I can tell you that Ari-Ben's maintenance is as good as, or better than most. The fleet was in the air for thousands of hours while I was there without incident.
Finally, I am not an employee of Ari-Ben nor am I financially connected in any way. I'm just a satisfied customer.
 

chunk75

Well-Known Member
Anyone who has their head out of the sand will admit that the two schools are of a different bolt of thread and are incomparable. Ari-ben is great if you want to go an inexpensive route, but you simply cannot compare the level of service or depth of training.

How about Ari-Ben's spin training? Spatial orientation? Ground schools?

I like ari-ben because they seem to be honest with their students, unlike Pan Am, but it's a different league than FSI, and they'll even tell you that.
 

aloft

New Member
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How about Ari-Ben's spin training? Spatial orientation? Ground schools?

[/ QUOTE ]Be sure to let us know how well these things serve you when you get a job as Greg's gear and flaps b!tch. Seniority is everything.
 

EatSleepFly

Well-Known Member
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Be sure to let us know how well these things serve you when you get a job as Greg's gear and flaps b!tch. Seniority is everything.

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aloft, you really ought not to even bother speaking- hardly anything worthwhile ever comes out anyways...

If you don't think spin training, spatial D training, and ground schools like CRM are worth anything, then you really are clueless.

Why don't you stick to giving advice about things you actually know something about?
 

aloft

New Member
Ooh, my feelings are crushed! ESF, I take you've never actually read any of YOUR posts....

And I never said that spin training, spatial disorientation and grounds schools aren't worth anything. Still doesn't change my assertion that in this business, seniority is EVERYTHING. Last I checked, no airline lets FSA or DCA peeps bid out of turn because it took them an extra year to get hired due to all their extra classes, the wait to be an instructor, etc, etc. Even though he began training well before Greg Collins did, Greg's already done with his and working as an instructor.

But whatever works for ya. Just don't assume that what's best for you is best for everyone. Doesn't quite work that way.
 

GregCollins2

Well-Known Member
That's what I need, a gear and flaps bitch, oh yeah!!!


It's been my experience that very little has to do with where you went to school and what you flying skills are like. It's all about being in the right place at the right time and knowing the right people. We have a girl here in Bristol that got a job flying a Citation V at 700 hours. She got all of her training right here in Bristol, Tennessee, not FSA or ATP or Aviators. She doesn't even fly very well! She got the job because her mom is friends with a secretary that works for the company that has the flight department in need of part-time right seat "gear and flaps bitch" (no insult intended to her). When a company needs a pilot they usually don't look in the resume pile. The company HR person will ask the pilots who they know that can meet the current mins and can make class right now.
You need to get the hours under your belt as quickly as possible in order to become competitive in the market. In my case I wanted to get done quickly, and Aviators did the job for me. I left with a great education in multi-engine flying and CRM. I flew 200 hours in 2 1/2 weeks during my time building.
If you have the time, and the money, go to FSA. You won't get anywhere near the multi-time, but you will have a great name on your resume. When it come to putting a warm body in the right seat most employers are more interested in meeting the insurance hours than anything else.
 
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