my training so far at dca

hobo

New Member
ZOID
would you truly do it over again knowing that you could have done it cheaper elsewhere?

what were some of the things you did that put you over budget? what would you do differently if you could change it?
 

Zoid01CMH

New Member
If i did it again at DCA it would be cheaper - but when i was looking, I noticed that the "Big" schools were quoting in the same ball park - that was a year and a half ago.

So I think that if I would have gone somewhere else - it would have yealded the same result - I still would have struggeled with how to land anywhere I went.


I could have spent time at a local FBO just getting some of the basics out of the way - I never even had a discovery flight.

The stuff that put me over budget were more personal than anything. I haven't been a "student" since 1989. Im the type of guy that doesn't ask for directions when hes lost - just keep driving, your bound to find it.

That alone can drive the cost up real fast.

The comments can flow from those that are anti DCA - but I have never once questioned my decision to come here.
 

H46Bubba

Well-Known Member
I spent tooo much money!

Would I do it again? No way.
The training is good, but the B.S. and price is too much. Yeah, the "guaranteed" interview was a little enticing, but having been a student for almost two years and having worked for the company, it went away quick. It's more networking and getting your foot in the door, as to speak that will help you get an interview.
 

hobo

New Member
ive gotta agree with he46bubba on this one. i wouldnt choose dca if i had it to do over again. in fact im trying to find a different school to try or fbo and im willing to take suggestions. im almost done with my commercial single right now so ive gotta do multi cfi ii and mei and basically with the 87k loan i had and 10k to live on i wasnt going to have enough money to finish. ive been looking at ATP b/c it seems cheap and fast. also checking air orlando and sunstate aviation anyone know of them let me know. DCA's instruction is good but not amazing enough for the cost. they could lower their costs a lot with the overhead or by getting away from being airline owned. 1 hour hobbs time in a 172 costs 99 plus 54 for the instructor plus fuel surcharge of like 5 plus mandatory minimum .5 flight brief for 27 so like 185 for an hour and thats just too much since theyre paying the instructor 10/hour for that. just my two cents i wish everyone well thats at DCA and no hard feelings its just not my place since i want to have money when im older instead of owing my butt to key bank.
 

jaxpilot

New Member
hobo, i got alll the way thru comm single at DCA and then went to ATP for comm multi and the total CFI program, worked great for me and I passed all my checkrides first try. I recommend it, and after going to DCA you will see that ATP has its act together and you get your moneys worth.... ATP costs less and actually has GPS installed, and the costs are fixed so they dont quote you one price and end up paying double-- what a concept??
 

hobo

New Member
thanks jax
i think im going to do my multi at atp and then go to either air orlando or sunstate for my cfi cfii and mei. how much time did you spend studying before you did the cfi program at atp?
 

jaxpilot

New Member
hey, they sent me a box full of books and this supplement full of questions that I had to have answered when I got there. I got the box in mid-december and the class started late january. It wasnt too bad at all, I guess it all depends on what type of learner you are, the only times I was stressed was the morning of the checkrides, hehe.
 

hobo

New Member
thanks jax, not too worried about learning on my own. i kind of prefer that to the paying someone to read me the book.
 

dapittsta

New Member
so i guess the question I have that you haven't really covered yet...

You said that you spent much more there then a college or university, but the training, you think, was better.....would you recommend the DCA right now, in present situation, overall?

I toured the academy about a month ago but, unfortunately, had to tell them no because of the financial situation.
 

hobo

New Member
well the simple answer is no. as DCA is right now i cannot recommend them.

thats the short answer now the long winded stuff
this past week there(hopefully one of my last) i again didnt get much done. ive been trying to finish up my csel for a month. ive flown less than 10 days this past month b/c of dca scheduling crap and instructor issues. that sounds really bad but its been a normal month here. i fly about every 1/3 day even tho im full time.

there are a couple of serious reasons i would not recommend them. the first is the cost. there are many excellent schools and fbos with better planes that cost less.

second most of the advertising you see is crap. the 62k advertised price is if you complete the program in about 170 hours total time. im passed 150 and have been told by group leaders that im doing extremely well. most people tend to finish the program between 200 and 250 hours. now you say well 30 hours isnt that much over but realize that 30 hours in a 172 here is done in 20 flights and would cost $5268. you can read above about my spending here. the concensus i have from the students and instructors i have talked with is that $75000 is about average with most people between 72 and 80 from 0 time to mei.

now a month or so ago i did say i thought the training was better. hmmm. i dont want to offend any cfis at dca, there are plenty of good instructors. i have met some that are less stellar. overall i would say that you could go to almost any fbo and find an instructor that is just as good as any at DCA.

i will be leaving DCA upon my completion of csel in order to go to most likely sunstate aviation. after touring some more schools like atp and regional sunstate beat them hands down.

does DCA work for some people? yup i just bought some books from a guy whos leaving for Mesa airlines.

does being airline owned make a difference? yes. it makes the school a lot more expensive for absolutely no return. the planes i have flown at dca suck and should be replaced or at least refurbed. most fbos charge less for a 172 sp with a garmin 1000 than dca charges for a 172 p from 1982 that when you fly in the rain it leaks on your head.

i think ive ranted enough. oh and yeah i was on track to spend more at DCA than i did at cornell university. ridiculous that dca costs more than an ivy league college.
 

DE727UPS

Well-Known Member
"yup i just bought some books from a guy whos leaving for Mesa airlines"

Dude...anyone with a pulse can get hired at Mesa.

"does being airline owned make a difference? yes. it makes the school a lot more expensive for absolutely no return"

HAHA....that's a good one. I like that.

Hey. Did anyone go to that DCA marketing meeting up at Comair on the 22nd. The one where real Comair pilots were going to say how great going to DCA is and how great the industry is, so get in NOW. I've been hearing rumors about furloughs at Comair as a result of the DL bankruptcy.
 

hobo

New Member
"anyone with a pulse" sigh this guy was a good pilot from what i understand he was supposed to go to comair til they put on the hiring freeze. comair is trying to not furlough and they have a hiring freeze til december.
 

abcd

New Member
727 here you go again. "anyone with a pulse can get hired at Mesa" you are a nice guy. You seem to have a talent at putting people and achievments down. I bet that would make that guy who got hired by them feel great about himself. You say you are here to help people out but you do alot of bashing of others in your quest to save the uninformed. You fly for UPS....that's great but no reason to act better than others. As far as Hobo goes thanks for the honesty in your posts. I am sorry things haven't worked out for you although flying every third day doesn't make much sence...they are supposed to have two events a day...that could go unnoticed for a day or two but not a month without anyone in management doing something. That stinks for you though. It's amazing how quicky opinions change....last month you had nine out of ten instructors at dca you liked...and said that if you had an issue you could change the next day...what happened? Why didn't you get an instructor change or talk to the leaders? Getting no return? Read some of you previous posts about how safe you feel and how good groundschool is and the busy airports you fly in and out of...I'd say you got something out of your experience. Good luck in the future where ever you end up.
 

hobo

New Member
i mostly just realized that i wasnt respecting the ability of an fbo to be a good school. not that the training at dca is bad just that its not magically better than everywhere else. ive had a really good instructor this month just met a few instructors while back seating flights that really made me wonder. i had a lot of down time b/c my instructor had trouble getting standzed in the arrow. ive also met instructors outside of the school that were excellent and kind of cut down the ego i had going with dca.
 

DE727UPS

Well-Known Member
"I bet that would make that guy who got hired by them feel great about himself."

The guy went to Mesa for a reason. They are not going to furlough and they offered him a job. I'm sure he feels fine about his new job and he could care less about what I say. Actually, it could be a great move for him if the others aren't hiring. Perhaps I should have used one of those sarcasm tag thingys ref my pulse statement. But I do feel like Mesa is towards the bottom of the pack when it comes to how they operate. Why should their hiring practices be any different and how they treat their pilots be any different? I just helped a buddy of mine from Mesa get on at UPS...I could tell you some of his stories if you'd like. Maybe that would make the guy "feel great about himself".


"You say you are here to help people out but you do alot of bashing of others in your quest to save the uninformed. You fly for UPS....that's great but no reason to act better than others."

I'm acting better than others how? I'm trying to make sure people look past the marketing and take a second look at their decision to go to a big academy when entering this career field. If said second look is good enough for them, then more power to 'em. I applaud guys like hobo who have the balls to come around here and say what they think when it could result in problems for them if someone knew who they were....if you know what I mean.

abcd. you seem to think that because I'm a successful major airline pilot, I should just encourage everyone no matter what. While I'd love to be the person you want me to be, I have a real problem with certain things in this industry. Big academy marketing is one of them and until that changes, I'm not gonna be the happy "nice guy" you seek.
 

abcd

New Member
727...when have I ever said you should encourage everyone no matter what. I think you should keep your personal opinions to yourself about things like someone getting hired...that's something to be proud of not walked on. If my memory serves me correctly it wasn't all that long ago that UPS wasn't looked at as such a great flying job to have compared to the rest of the industry..obviously things changed. Talking about the academy and flight schools are one thing but you do nothing but loose credibility and respect I have for you when you make comments like that.... I think the industry is awful right now and there is no way I ever want a child of mine to become a professional pilot....things seem out of control these days and it's just not what it once was.
 

DE727UPS

Well-Known Member
"but you do nothing but loose credibility and respect I have for you when you make comments like that...."

I don't base my comments on what anybody thinks of me. That goes from Doug down to abcd. Whether you respect me, or think I'm credible, makes no difference to me. I guess that's why it's called an opinon. I got one, you got one. It's up to the reader to decide who to listen too.

"I think the industry is awful right now and there is no way I ever want a child of mine to become a professional pilot"

That said, don't you think DCA should tone down it's marketing a bit?
 
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