Info about Mesa pilot training

Timbuff10

Well-Known Member
Hey all, I have been looking into Mesa in Farmington NM and I'm wondering
if anyone has heard any good or bad news about their program? Anyone who
went there or has some solid info on it would be great to hear from.

The first thing that sticks out in my mind about this place as that they require
you to have a degree in aviation science or somthing like that. This sucks because
those of us who already have a degree would have to get another degree per the
req's of thier program. The good thing about this is that I "think" or am "under the
impression" that this will make it easier for someone at this school to get a Federal
Loan which can be awesome. Most of these schools cost about $50-$60 to go
through their program and Mesa is no different. The thing is, at most schools
you have to take out a loan that basically costs as much as the loan. If you can take
out a federal loan for Mesa then it shouldn't cost nearly as much.

Some things I don't like about Mesa:
-You have to do all training there so no ratings transfer and if you have a PPL you
must do it again there
(
-I have heard some bad things about their safety record from people working
for other airlines (take that for what it's worth) I called the school and they did say that
they had a plane go down last year or something?
-program cost is ~$50,000

Good things
-Don't have to be a CFI
-you get hired by Mesa airlines as a FO with only like 300 hours
) although currently
this is not true because of the sept 11 thing
( but they think this will be back on
track shortly :eek:I
-Mesa AL has alot of RJs in their fleet and will be getting more as the props are phased out

Any more info especially from students former/current would be awesome

Thanks, Tim
 
G

Guest

Guest
A guy I work with flew for Mesa and his words to me were "stay away from Mesa!" He meant the regional - not the school, so this may or may not be of any help.

He's the second pilot that I've come in contact with (which is HUGE considering that I've only recently started into aviation) who has - verbatim said "stay away from Mesa."

The reasons given were: Low pay rate - unreal schedule - poor management - pilots treated poorly, etc., etc.

Good luck with your search.
 

Timbuff10

Well-Known Member
Thats about the same thing i heard from the two people i know and trust in the aviation industry. Both said the airline does not have a good reputation in terms of worker satisfaction but, I dont think I would mind it if I can fly CRJs for 2 years to build time. As long as i can scrape by and im getting the time to get me to a major it might not be that bad.

Im wondering how this affects the flight school though?

Tim
 

cloudbreak

New Member
Hey Tim, I know a girl who graduated from the ab initio program about 3 mos. ago. She had nothing but good things to say about the program and I stayed with her last summer and the other pilots told me straight out that it was a program that it was made out to be. However, I also have heard a thing or two from other sources about Mesa the company that didn't sound that reassuring. Maintenance, etc. I still plan on going through the PACE program in a couple of years. What did you mean that you need an aviation degree? Was this for the ab initio and was it an associate or a four year?? Thanks, Cory.
 

Timbuff10

Well-Known Member
The way they explained it to me was that when you graduate there you get a 2 year degree in aviation science.

This school doesn't seem very popular on this board but I can't find anything bad about the school really. The airline is a different story but like I said before, if im in a CRJ for a few years then you wont hear complaining from me.
 

cloudbreak

New Member
Yeah, you are talking about the ab initio program. I agree, I wish there was some more insight about this program. They really don't advertise their program, so it is mostly by word of mouth. My friend that just graduated said that Mesa will start phasing out the turboprops and go to an all jet fleet. We will see! Cory.
 

Timbuff10

Well-Known Member
yeah at the moment they are awaiting like 40 CRJs for the airline. I think its about half jets and half props at the moment. The school was expecting a CRJ sim but since 9-11 they are now pushing that back a year or so?

One more thing, you have to go through an interview or selection process to get in too and that does cost $50 or something like that.
 

ZachmanJZ12

New Member
Hey guys,
I'm in the same exact boat as y'll. This program sound great. I contacted Ralph yesterday at the San Juan Community college. He gave me all the figures, etc. But still I'm having a hard time figuring out some more info on this school. I agree with Tim, if i'm in a RJ, I'm going to be all good. Ralph said you finish in 5 semster which comes out to be roughly around 18 months. We will see. I thought I would throw my 2 cents in. Take care y'll.
Jeremy
 
G

Guest

Guest
Originally posted by Timbuff10:
This school doesn't seem very popular on this board but I can't find anything bad about the school really. The airline is a different story
<font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Agreed. My post was in reference to the airline - not the school (which I know nothing about).

I'm sure they'll teach you to fly and to do it proficiently and safely.....just like the other programs out there.
 

ZachmanJZ12

New Member
Ohhh another thing. Those college graduates, if you wanted to pursue the 2-year degree, you will be ahead because majority of your freshman credits will transfer. Check it out on the web page. So you would probably already be a semster head in the program.
 

ZachmanJZ12

New Member
Hey ready2fly,
when you say stay away from mesa, do you mean, stay away from mesa airlines, america west express, us airways express, etc? They are under a lot of divisions for many regional airlines. Plus another point to take in consideration, is that all regionals pay at low scale. No job is going to be perfect. No matter what environment there is not everyone is going to be pleased. I think it really depends on the pilots attitude. He/she has a positive, motivated attitude he/she will succeed. In ever situation, there is going to be a risk involved. According to this forum every flight school has been ripped to shreds, but there has been many people who have become successfull at everyone! I feel the more you research on an issue or a topic, the more your probablity is going to decrease. But it is all good, that is my perspective on this issue. I'm not going to have a biased opinion until I get in the right seat of a regional aircraft. so what the heck do I know? I spend half my day on this forum anyways, so it is all good. Keep it real y'll. Remember go big or go home!!
Jeremy aka just a poor college student
 
G

Guest

Guest
Your points are valid. There truly is no substitute for experience.

The two (totally unrelated) pilots who I spoke with: One worked for the us airways branch and the other did not identify his former employer. I should have said as much.

Basically, this is how is played out: I was asking about their experiences and the question went something like "how did you like Mesa" or "what do you know about Mesa?" BOTH quickly responded "stay away from Mesa!" and went on to explain why (the reasons I mentioned previously).

You are correct though - if you go in with a positive attitude, most situations can be tolerated. And yes - from everything I've heard, flying for a regional doesn't put a whole lot of money in the bank. Good thing I (for one) am not going into aviation for the money. What it does do is help a pilot gain experience/proficiency and the ever-popular term = HOURS.

I wish you luck.
 

ZachmanJZ12

New Member
thank you for clearing that up. I was a bit confused. I really do thank you for you insight though. Your points are valid about the regional airlines. I'm not all about the money either. I just want to fly!! Going to the regional is going to be stressful, but great experience. It is all good though. I'm still continuing in looking at Mesa's program. Anybody email me and we can compare research. I Love JETCAREERS.com!!!!! Thanks DOUG!!!!!!!! DELTA FOR LIFE
I'm out
 

RM7599

Well-Known Member
Hey, do any of you know anything about the flight program at Florida Institute of Technology. I'm looking at this program and I can't getting anyones opinion on it. I have not heard anything even remotely bad about this program.....if you can believe that!!!! Let me know if you know anthing about it. Thanks!
 

Pirep

New Member
Originally posted by RM7599:
Hey, do any of you know anything about the flight program at Florida Institute of Technology. I'm looking at this program and I can't getting anyones opinion on it. I have not heard anything even remotely bad about this program.....if you can believe that!!!! Let me know if you know anthing about it. Thanks!
<font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">A buddy of mine goes there right now. He doesn't have anything bad to say about it, but he chose not to instruct there. He chose to instruct somewhere else while he is finishing his degree there. I don't know why that is, but that's what he chose to do. He says the instuction there is okay, but not as good as where he got his first two tickets (Private and instrument rating). He got those at a good size FBO and the instructors were ComAir grads. Just like with every other flight school, there are good points and there are bad points. Some instructors are better than others where ever your at. He's still at the school, so I guess that says something. Hope this helps at least a bit, but keep investigating.
 

ZachmanJZ12

New Member
The other day I recieved an email for a student who is currently in the 2 year program at mesa. He gave a heavily load of information. I encourage everyone who is interested to read it.

mystery pilot(that his screen name and email address) states, "First off, I will answer all questions you have about the program, even if
it reflects badly on the program. The # you called to talk to 'Ralph" is
also a good source of info. Actual students will answer just about any
question you ask them. They are told to make the program sound good, and
they do sit in the same room as the secretary for the program, but they will
be surprisingly candid. I suggest you give that # to others on the board.

With that said, a bit about myself (just a bit). I had my Private when I
came into the program, as well as a bachelors degree from a 4 year school. I
am happy I choose the program, and would do it again. I believe it is the
best opportunity available to a low time pilot.

Questions/ mis-information I saw on the board:

1. "The associate's degree requirement will make it easier for someone at
this school to get a Federal Loan"

That, and Mesa wants educated pilots, are the only reasons the degree
requirement exists. I didn't need it, but you gotta' take the good with the
bad.

2. "You have to do all training there so no ratings transfer and if you have
a PPL you must do it again there"

Yes, and no. You do have to 're-do' the flights needed to qualify for a
private, as if you were 0 time. However, you do NOT have to re-do the FAA
checkride. Furthermore, you will save approximately $3000 b/c you will
already know how to fly, and should expect to complete the private semester
near the minimum of 45 hours (the part 141 minimum?). You will also be able
to solo more often, as the max X-wind allowed by your instructor will be
much higher than your 0 time classmates.

3. "I have heard some bad things about their safety record from people
working for other airlines (take that for what it's worth) I called the
school and they did say that they had a plane go down last year or
something?"

I can't speak to Mesa Air Group's record (Mesa Airlines flies ERJ's & CRJ's
for AmericaWest Express and US Air Express, as well as Dash 8's for
AmericaWest Express. CC Air flies some 1900's for US Air Express, and Air
Midwest flies 1900's for US Air Express and the 1900's painted as Mesa
Airlines -confused yet?-. Mesa Airlines will also fly the Midwest Express
feeder routes, as well as Frontier's feeder routes. This is all subject to
Orenstien -Mesa's CEO- not getting Freedom Air up and running, which would
be a new certificate that would operate all of the CRJ's and pay pilots
less. Too much info?), but I can say that we don't hear much from the line
pilots about Mesa being unsafe b/c it's Mesa. The biggest deal was the ERJ's
Roll's Royce engines had an issue where they shut down a couple times in
flight, which led to a re-design by Rolls. Since then, no more engine
problems for the ERJ. There was also a rather infamous incident where a
flight crew stalled out an ERJ (with passengers) 75 ft. above the runway,
and hit pretty hard, damaging the tail section. The next crew choose not to
pre-flight the plane (though they said they did; the damage was obvious to
those on the ramp, though), and didn't notice the problem at all until the
cabin failed to pressurize. 4 careers ended on that one.
MAPD's safety record was pristine until 4 months ago. They have had issues
with the gear failing to extend on one of their Barons about once every 8
months recently, but it results in a rather uneventful gear-up landing on
the dirt runway here in Farmington. The Baron is never flown solo here, so
both times the instructor landed the plane, and bent up the props. It's more
of an annoyance that the program loses the plane for 6 months while it's
fixed. I don't know anyone who was the least bit concerned about the safety
of flight aspects. As for the Bonanzas, until 6 months ago no one had EVER
been injured during MAPD training. Then 2 students on a x-country (the only
flight in the whole program where one student flies with another) crashed a
plane in Crownpoint, NM. One student severly broke his leg. Read the NTSB
report (I think the plane was '1099A') for info. Whatever the case, that was
likely a pilot error issue rather than a mechanical one. I don't consider
safety to be an issue with MAPD.

4. "You get hired by Mesa airlines as a FO with only like 300 hours )
although currently this is not true because of the sept 11 thing ( but they
think this will be back on track shortly)"

You are not guaranteed a hire, just the interview. Recently, 3-4 students
forgot this and went to the interview (rumor is they were told they were not
yet ready and should delay going) with the mindset that the job was theirs.
It's yours to lose, but the reason we get hired with 320 hours or so is b/c
we are really good pilots who are very knowledgable. Most Mesa captains
desire to fly with us b/c we are so good, even though we don't have tons of
time (there are some captains who resent that we are flying the line when
others off the street had to spend years as CFI's accumulating time to be in
the same position). After getting my private (one of my former instructors
in Part 61 is now a Mesa Captain and the other was an instructor at Embry
Riddle, so I had some good instruction), I can tell you that you will be 10
times better after you complete the private pilot semester here. It's all in
the checklist usage and the professionalism enforced here. 20% of each class
doesn't make it through the program, I'd estimate. But where else can you
get hired with 300 or so hours? As for it being different after Sept. 11, I
can tell you that this is misinformative. Every time 20 graduates and/or
instructors (who sign a year contract and get the same guaranteed interview)
are ready for the interview, you go within 2 weeks. What has changes is
groundschool dates. Prior to Sept. 11, people went to groundschool usually
about a week afer interviewing (no kidding). Now, with line pilots still
furloughed, we are not recieving groundschool dates. All line pilots on
furlough (about 500 or so) must be given an opportunity to fly with Mesa
again b/f they give groundshool dates to new hires. Since Mesa isn't hiring
anyone off the street, that means it's the MAPD graduates. Nobody knows when
they will start calling our graduates for groundschool, but with 1 ERJ
arriving every month, and options for tons of ERJ's and CRJ's, it shouldn't
be more than a 7 month delay. 7 months is a long time, but if you were to go
out and go instruct for 7 months, would you build enough hours to get hired?
Nope. Here's another example. Embry Riddle signed an agreement with
Northwest where you get directly hired by them in January of 2002. This
required you are in the top 20% of your class and a couple other things, as
well as teaching as a CFI at ERU for 18 months after finishing your 4 year
or as an Air Crew Instructor for 30 months or so. And this is only if you
were selected sophmore year. So, say you are selected, and you go the CFI
track. That's 5.5 years after starting, Northwest hires you to the line. You
have 1700 hours or so, with 95% of it in piston aircraft, mostly 152 and the
like. If you come here, 5.5 years later, even with Sept. 11 and an 8 month
delay, you have about 2300 hours, 1000 of which are Part 121 Turbine PIC.
With these #'s you should be competitive for that Northwest FO job within a
year (if Sept. 11 effects go away, as they will for all of you who have yet
to start either program, then you WILL be competitive at 5.5 years). If
Northwest furloughs you though, you're screwed as the Riddle guy. The Mesa
guy's much better off. I looked at alot of programs b/f coming to
Farmington. This one's the best out there, especially if you already have
some college down.

5. "What did you mean that you need an aviation degree? Was this for the ab
initio and was it an associate or a four year??"

It's ab-initio, and it's a 2 year. The PACE guys don't need anything more
than a Highschool grad. status. For those of you thinking about PACE (all
the benefits of being a grad here w/o having to do the degree or spend as
much $, provided you are a commercial multi-engine pilot with instrument
endorsement and 1st class medical), the PACE program is a great opportunity,
but there's more to it. Most (but certainly, not all) PACE guys struggle
here b/c of 2 reasons: they are not used to the more intense atmosphere, and
they are, quite frankly, not as skilled pilots. Instructors are not thrilled
to be assigned PACE guys, only b/c the ab initio guys already know all the
checklists and procedures, and they are usually quite skiiled in instrument
areas. Before you come here as a PACE student, you should be able to shoot a
fixed card partial panel NDB approach to minimums while losing you engine at
procedure turn inbound. You will never have to do this in the program, as we
only do NDB work during the instrument semester, but your classmates will be
able to do it, and your instructor will be plesantly surprised that you are
up to snuff. You never get a second chance to make a first impression. You
first stage (you have two progress evaluations in the multi semster, whether
PACE or ab-initio), you should expect to lose one engine and the alternator
on the other one while arching on the approach. You must load shed and
manually extend the gear. If you don't know what this means yet, that's ok,
but you should print it out, b/c you will be expected to do it. Ask your
instructor to explain it.

6. "Ohhh another thing. Those college graduates, if you wanted to pursue the
2-year degree, you will be ahead because majority of your freshman credits
will transfer. Check it out on the web page. So you would probably already
be a semster head in the program."

That's what I thought too. You will likely get some gen. eds to transfer,
but you will be required to take 5 semesters of aviation classes. The only
question is how many non-aviation classes you will be taking at the same
time. I thought Physics here was a joke, but everyone else says it's hard.
So, call MAPD and ask them what classes you could get out of the way b/f you
get here (the Ralph #).

7. "The two (totally unrelated) pilots who I spoke with: One worked for the
us airways branch and the other did not identify his former employer. I
should have said as much.

Basically, this is how is played out: I was asking about their experiences
and the question went something like "how did you like Mesa" or "what do you
know about Mesa?" BOTH quickly responded "stay away from Mesa!" and went on
to explain why (the reasons I mentioned previously)."

Flying for a regional airline often sucks. Long hours, poor pay (you'll get
$18,000 or so your first year as an FO). But, if someone asked you to
critique what you are doing now, it'd be alot easier than complementing it,
it's human nature. It's also human nature to try to make your job sound
better than someone else who works for a different company doing the same
thing, which MIGHT (or might not) help to explain the 'stay away' responses.
There's also 'the grass is always greener' thing. When we fly with Mesa (we
can plug into the cockpit and talk to the pilots while they fly the flights
if we're on them), most of the Captain's I've talked to say that Air Midwest
(the Beech 1900 guys) are not as good of an employer as Mesa Airlines (the
RJ guys). But, about 1/2 the graduates of this program want the jet, and
about 1/2 the 1900. We go through a 1900 systems class that IS 1900 ground
school, plus we fly for 10 hours in a 1900 (one right off the line, so it's
the same EXACT equipment), so it's easy to fly for us, b/c we already know
EVERYTHING about it. The jets, we just get FMS training in. The 1900 allows
you to log more hours per year, so you can get your ATP (1500 total hours)
and upgrade to Captain quicker. It also has no auto-pilot, so you get good
stick and rudder skills rather than button pushing skills. The more hours
you have of Turbine PIC, and the better a pilot you are, the more the majors
want you. However, the jet pays more, it's more advanced than most of the
planes the majors fly, and . . . it's a jet man, it's cool! The only
airline that I know of that really likes Turbofan time vs. Turboprop time
(they're both turbines) is Jet Blue.

So, that's the deal. In the end, the most telling factor is 95% of our
graduates make it through ground school, while only 72% or so of guys off
the street (those with 1200 hours more than us) make it through. This is
the best opportunity out there, and, after flying with other graduates of
other programs (Flight Safety, Embry Riddle, ATP, Pan Am) I can tell you
that this program is superior to most of them, and equal to the best of
them.

Some of you seem to be concerned with Mesa as a company. You need to get
hired ASAP. Unless you really feel theat flying for Mesa is a life
threatening career move, you can't afford to be picky about who you fly for.
Every day you don't fly for an airline is a day lower in seniority.
Seniority determies what equipment you fly, when you fly it, how long you
fly it, where you live, and how much you get paid. It also determines who
gets furloughed (the average airline pilot is furloughed twice in his
career). Can you really afford to base your career on what a couple people
think?

Ask a Marine during boot camp if he's glad he joined. Most will say 'I want
to quit'. Ask them after they finish, and they'll likely change their tune.
To get something you really want, you gotta' sacrafice. I'm willing to fly
for a manager who works me at odd hours and doesn't compensate me that well
at first, b/c I'm the ultimate authority as to the operation of a $30
million jet with 86 passengers, 2 flight attendants, and my FO cruising
along at almost the speed of sound. I'm the envy of every kid at every
airport, and most adults (how many people do you know who say, "You're a
pilot? That must really suck!") My corner office has a view ten times better
than the highst building, and it's never the same. If you can't make
concessions, or don't think that this is worth it, than you might not be cut
out to be an airline pilot."
 

**DONOTDELETE**

New Member
Zachman,

Good post lots of good information, I am currently looking at MAPD for training. I have a question about the 20% of the students don't make it through the program. Is this like this at most flight schools or is the MAPD much more difficult then the others?
 

cloudbreak

New Member
Zachman, Thanks to you and the mystery pilot from the program for the insight and research. It is really appreciated! Keep it up!
 
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