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Lewis Aviation

Discussion in 'Collegiate Aviation' started by GrifGod, Jan 10, 2016.

  1. GrifGod

    GrifGod Well-Known Member

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    I'm considering going to Lewis to do my flight training in college. I visited a few months ago and I liked the campus. It's small, but nice. Fairly close to home for me too, but I would still have to stay on campus. Anybody graduate from there and willing to share some inside tips about the flight program and school as a whole? Thanks!
     
  2. cardsfan05

    cardsfan05 Well-Known Member

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    SIU has a really nice program... Great flight team and nice facilities. Plus SIU has a tower, as Lewis does not.
     
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  3. flyeagle111

    flyeagle111 CFO

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    I worked at Lewis airport and almost all of my coworkers were flight students at Lewis University. I would say 1 out of the 6 or 7 of them would recommend it. The others had various complaints (overpriced, the training takes longer than it should due to aircraft availability, and a couple just wish they would have done their flying part 61 and gotten a non-aviation degree).
     
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  4. Codyp1814

    Codyp1814 New Member

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    As a current student there, I would say it all depends on what your career goals are. If you want to be an airline pilot, yes it will probably pay off in the long run, but it is a very slow training curriculum compared to other part 61 schools. It is part 141 and requires less hours to get your certificates, but you will probably end up needing more hours anyway, barely anyone completes their training with the 141 minimums.

    There are also two stage checks, one halfway between your training, and one at the end, both including a oral and flight exam with an assistant chief pilot, and they hold the standards much higher than any other DPE would. Then there is still the actual check ride even after the stage checks. So a total of 3 orals, 3 flight exams, and 1 written test per certificate, not to mention the ground school class which must be passed above 70%, which in my opinion does not help students retain any information useful to what students would expect during their flight lessons.

    The C172s are nice and less than 15 years old. especially the C172 G1000 for instrument training, but commercial training is not the best in 40 year old C182RGs. It has way too much power for training and is so unpredictable, especially in for power-off 180s. There is one Piper Arrow which is more ideal, but when it's down for maintenance, your training is dead stopped. Each dual instruction flight lesson in a G1000 172 is going to cost you around $250 for a one hour flight, and around $270 for an hour 182 flight.

    Because it is a 141 school, and in the Chicago area, flight lessons are often cancelled due to what they consider "high winds". Many people use the excuse "well this will make you a better pilot in judgement because you'll know how to make a no-no go decision better". Total crap. You get through all your ratings and certificates and never have flown in more than 20kts of wind or actual IFR, making you an even less experienced pilot I think, not suited for the real world. This is not totally the school's fault, but it has to do a lot with their insurance policy.

    Juggling flight training with taking 15 credit hours of classes (aviation related and gen eds) just does not work well, and this is the biggest problem I've seen. Topple up to three hours of homework every night staying on track with your flying is difficult. Students only get 3 reserved block times to fly a week, that's it. And in the winter, you can go literally three months without flying, then get back in the airplane after that and have to relearn everything.

    Because of this, there are students going into junior year who have NOT completed their private pilot license. By junior year, you should be starting training for commercial. In some cases it can be the student's fault, but much of it falls under for the reasons as stated above, just a slow training curriculum. There is approximately 100 students that start their flight training freshman year, and about less than 10 graduate their senior year with their private, instrument, commercial, and multi-engine, the minimum required for the 4 year degree.

    Now I know a lot of this sounds discouraging, but there are still some good reasons to choose Lewis. If you really stay on top of your flight training, put 100% in and really apply yourself, get lucky with good weather throughout your 4 years, and have a natural ability to pick up flying concepts quickly, you will probably do well. And then you will qualify for a restricted ATP certificate with only 1000hrs of TT, vs. the 1,500 hrs required for non 141 students. I wish I had applied myself more freshman year. I came in freshman year with my private (which they do accept), but fumbled with instrument for a year, and now fumbling with commercial too, mostly because I hate the 182. If I had to do it all over again, I would do my training at a different 141 flight such as ATP or Aerosim, that doesn't require you to take other gen eds, etc, and allows you to focus 100% on your flying. Now it's all up to you in the end. I'm not trying to discourage you from Lewis, and as I mentioned it is doable, and many have done it before, but I'm just letting you know what I've seen over the past two years that I've been there.
     
  5. GrifGod

    GrifGod Well-Known Member

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    While there are pros and cons to everything in life, I'm glad to say that I chose to go to WMU instead of Lewis at this point.
     
  6. Avgirl

    Avgirl Well-Known Member

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    Don't go to Lewis. I know a few people who went there and had the hardest times getting jobs even being at the top of their classes. It is not a well known or rather respected aviation program and I don't know one person who graduated from Lewis who is proud of that and doesn't regret the decision to go there in the first place. There are so many better programs out there, why limit yourself and go to the best one you can get into instead? Romeoville is not an impressive place, either.
     
  7. tcco94

    tcco94 Professional GTA V Pilot

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    Just curious....

    How can an aviation program be that bad? Do they not have any accreditation? Poorly managed? I'm talking more on the side of the classroom, not flight operations. I know flight operations can always make a school unattractive. Having a bad classroom environment and bad reputation isn't something I'm use to seeing with school programs. Whatever their issue is that's a shame.

    Hopefully they at least have the R-ATP approved. If they don't even have that, don't even bother. I chose my school based on AABI accredited programs. I'd look into SIU like someone said above. I've heard good things from them.
     
  8. Avgirl

    Avgirl Well-Known Member

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    I don't know all the specifics, because I didn't go there. But, it is an okay program but an expensive one. Recruiters would have to answer why they don't care for it. I had never heard of the program, and am not the only one. It's fine if you have a program, but if it's not well known, and heavily recruited from like Purdue, Embry-Riddle, SIU, etc. why bother? I remember one of my friends getting calls from them to donate money and he would practically cuss them out. No way he was donating scholarship money, and when asked where he went, it would be answered by saying a University in Illinois and people would always assume SIU. Sucks to be embarrassed about where you went to school...
     
  9. mikecweb

    mikecweb Third Generation Arizonan

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    So basically you have an uninformed opinion of the place.
     
  10. tcco94

    tcco94 Professional GTA V Pilot

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    Lol.

    So you preach to go to schools that have a nationwide well known name? Nice.

    Just because some random Joe hasn't heard of the program doesn't mean it has a diminishing value. That's the problem today. People keep boosting and praising Riddle because it's known...so they get students to pay $250k + for the same piece of paper (and usually worse training), all so some random strangers can know their alumni school.

    You're judging a school with all the wrong reasoning.
     
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  11. Avgirl

    Avgirl Well-Known Member

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    No. Just based on the opportunity to get the most important thing, a job in the industry. SIU isn't a private University, a heck of a lot cheaper, and has a great reputation.

    Another way to tell...look at the alumni magazine with updates on graduates. This is the latest Lewis issue:
    http://www.lewisu.edu/publications/magazines/spring-2016/html5/index.html?page=1&server=
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2016
  12. Plata

    Plata Well-Known Member

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    The 182 is completely predictable. It's basically just a slightly bigger 172. If you're having trouble with it, especially with power off maneuvers, I'd guess that you're not using a standardized profile. If you get with a good instructor you can develop a set of profiles (on the ground) and then use them religiously in your training. It will make everything a breeze.

    You want to be able to land the 172, 182, and Arrow with a 15 knot crosswind. Push your instructors to go out and train in crosswinds. You should be able to do a smooth landing on the upwind wheel, and gently let the downwind wheel come down.

    That shouldn't happen. You need to know how to fly in winter conditions, and you need to be comfortable flying in winter conditions. If pilots used Chicago "winter" conditions as an excuse to not fly there would be no commercial flying done in Canada, Alaska, Scandinavia, Russia, etc. for months every year. You need to push the school.

    You need to get over it. It's just a plane. If you can't, or won't, master the 182 you need to pursue another career path, because you're going to encounter lots of planes that are more difficult than the 182.

    I had a good experience at ATP, but cannot recommend Aerosim or any place that concentrates on training overseas pilot candidates. Aerosim was too crowded, too slow, and just generally a frustrating goat rope.
     
  13. Kolekinc

    Kolekinc New Member

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    I would highly advise you to get your flight training somewhere else. I went to Lewis and realized that I was being overcharged for everything. You will get more bang for your buck at a Flight academy where the Graduation rates are higher. Luckily the Air National Guard paid for my student loans. Best of luck to you!
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2016
  14. Kolekinc

    Kolekinc New Member

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    These universities are partnered with Jetblue and would be a great program for you to becoming an airline Pilot.
    http://pilots.jetblue.com/university
     
  15. Kolekinc

    Kolekinc New Member

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  16. Kolekinc

    Kolekinc New Member

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    Schools are judged by the success rate of the pilot graduating and getting jobs. I know many pilots that have jobs where they can barely support themselves and a mountain of debt... My tip is look at the graduation rate of the pilots and job placement success. This will tell you if its worth the money.
     
  17. girls.dispatch.too

    girls.dispatch.too Active Member

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    As a graduate of Lewis but not of the Flight Management Program I would like to disclose that the Flight Management Program has a 1% graduation rate, so out of 100 students who begin the program only 1% graduate with that degree. I myself started as a flight student, obtained my private but then had to switch majors because I was not going to graduate on time. However saying that, I met life-long friends and colleagues there who have helped me get jobs and been my confidant through a lot. I wouldn't trade those relationships for anything, The aviation teachers have a vested interest in all of the student's and want you to be successful. At Lewis I say the ARTCC in Aurora, the TRACON in Elgin, ORD Tower, United's headquarters in the Willis tower, went to every WIA I could and AHP conferences. Those experiences I would not trade for anything. I would say you need to decide what type of school you want to go to, any college has BS GenEds and frustrating teachers.

    As a flight student you would need to push yourself, the CFI's there do not push you to be successful it is up to you to study and get your done, which is difficult as a Freshman in college, you want to experience college and party. That is why I was not successful, no one pushed me and I didn't push myself. However if you make flight training your priority then you will be successful.
     
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  18. Avgirl

    Avgirl Well-Known Member

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    There are still better (and more affordable schools to go to) that don't require a religious class. I know a few people who went to that program, and graduated and are not proud of that decision at all and refuse to have anything to do with the program because ultimately, it wasn't Lewis that got them their jobs. Lewis is not well known in aviation. Maybe in the Chicagoland area because its there, but the better choice in Illinois anyway is SIU. Much better reputation, night and day affordability and a better program. The only information that tends to say that Lewis is stellar is the information that the university posts themselves. Look at the Alumni newsletters and aviation is just not a big presence. A good school ensures that its students have the right tools to graduate on time. I bad school extends that time, because in the end, it makes them more money. I am glad that you liked Lewis, but you are the only person from the aviation program that I have ever heard say good things about it.
     
  19. girls.dispatch.too

    girls.dispatch.too Active Member

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    Yeah and it had benefits particular to me; offered a significant scholarship that made the decision between Lewis and SIU pretty easy (I only applied to those two schools and was accepted to both, and let me say I didn't apply to get that specific scholarship, private schools give significant scholarships way more often than state schools do), the airport was on campus (SIU you need to drive or take a bus) and 45 minutes from my parents house. But I think I need to emphasize that I loved it so much because of all the clubs I joined. Maybe your fiends didn't join the clubs and create those bonds. Yes there are better programs out there for flight training, and yes there are cheaper schools, your collegiate decision should be based on what you are looking for in a college.
     
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  20. Derg

    Derg Naval Intelligence, MCRN Staff Member

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    Based on… what experience?
     

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