Pan Am vs. Westwind

inop

New Member
There seem to be a lot of people on this board considering both Pan Am and Westwind. Having been a student at both I think I can offer some insight to prospective students. There are currently about 15 former Pan Am people at Westwind but I am not aware of anyone leaving Westwind to go to Pan Am, this is largely due to cost I believe.

Westwind is definitely cheaper. Pan Am costs a student about $14,000 more when you consider the ACE and route programs, but even if you take those out of the equation Pan Am will still be more expensive if you compare apples to apples.

There have been a lot of negative posts on this board about the difficulty of the Pan Am stage checks and the fact that you are not guaranteed an instructor job when you are done. The fact that right seat direct students are guaranteed a job at Westwind and the prog checks are not as difficult as Pan Am's means that the level of instruction is not necessarily as high at Westwind.

People say that Pan Am does not care about students, and that is partially true, they do not care if you wash out because they do not want an instructor who is not the absolute best possible pilot.

If money is not an issue Pan Am will get you to an air line quicker and leave you slightly better prepared to succeed there once you get the job. But this comes at a cost of about $60,000 to $75,000 depending on the student. Westwind on the other hand will take you longer but will cost much less, most likely $40,000 or so. You will get training that is very good quality but not quite as good as Pan Am but you will do it in a much more relaxed and less political environment.
 

TheFlyingTurkey

Fetus Worshiper
I dont know why people are saying Pan Am's stage checks are so difficult. So far I have had 6 different stage checks, (3 for private, 3 for instrument, and I have one coming up next week for multi.) and I have not had any trouble with any of them. (knock on wood) And I have had a different check pilot for each one. I find that I prepare myself well, and I know what is expected of me. The check pilots are very fair, and they dont expect you to know everything, that is until your final stage check. And I usually learn something from the different check pilots, in the air, and on the ground. Which makes me a better pilot.

The Turk.
 

inop

New Member
Turkey,

That is great that you have taken 6 stage checks and passed them all the first time. You must be a very good pilot. I can tell you that there is not a single person on the DVT campus that can say that. I for one do not think there is any thing wrong with busting a stage check every so often. I busted my first IR stage check entering a hold, and I have never made the same mistake again.
 

foxbat

New Member
You say you are not aware of anyone leaving Westwind for Pan Am, I can tell you that I my self left Westwind for Pan Am and there are others. Pan Am is a better school.
 

Tophinator

New Member
How about failing a stage check at Pan Am because you did'nt give the check pilot a passenger briefing correctly...... There's another few hundred bucks....buy old Ford dealership Bob over there a new scuba tank. At Westwind you don't have to give them two weeks notice if you want to take a day off....or a doctor's excuse at that. All large flight school's are clearly a rip off.....just some ALOT more than others. That's just the way it is.....plus....you will get kicked out of Pan Am with barely a refund if you get "caught" flying a non-Pan Am owned aircraft.

-Geesh
 

chunk75

Well-Known Member
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All large flight school's are clearly a rip off.....just some ALOT more than others.

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I beg to differ...
 

secretapproach

New Member
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You really get dropped if you take up planes other than panam's??? That's ridiculous!!

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Especially since when I did the tour I was told that it wasn't possible to rent a plane for fun i.e. if family or friends visit and you want to take them up.
 

Wolverine

New Member
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You really get dropped if you take up planes other than panam's??? That's ridiculous!!

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No. If you want to fly in a non-PanAm plane, ask the chief for permission. They want to cover their a$$es and want your word that the aircraft is airworthy and safe.

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Especially since when I did the tour I was told that it wasn't possible to rent a plane for fun i.e. if family or friends visit and you want to take them up.

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Not true. All you have to do rent a plane for fun is give the accountant money for the flight and have an assistant approve your destination, then you'll be scheduled a flight if there's an aircraft available.
 

secretapproach

New Member
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Especially since when I did the tour I was told that it wasn't possible to rent a plane for fun i.e. if family or friends visit and you want to take them up.

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Not true. All you have to do rent a plane for fun is give the accountant money for the flight and have an assistant approve your destination, then you'll be scheduled a flight if there's an aircraft available.

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The marketing people should be more careful what they say then because that was a big minus in my book against PanAm. And all this time it was untrue - he was underselling his school in a sense.
 

250blue

New Member
Can you rent a plane at another FBO? I have heard that you cannot. If this is true it is ridiculous, as a rated pilot you should be free to rent and go wherever you want without having to get an "approval".
 

Mavmb

Well-Known Member
Go to a big academy and pay anywhere from 50,000-80,000 for your flight training, plus cost of living and loan expenses.

Go to a smaller school pay 20 to 30,000 for your flight training, and get done a lot faster. Do the math; as Doug and many others on here have been trying to say for a long time -- it's just that simple. Save 20,000 to 40,000 dollars.
 

panampilot

New Member
And instruct at an FBO for 2-3 years building as many as 20 hours a month! Sounds great. Sign me up! There's good and bad to both sides.
 

Mavmb

Well-Known Member
No, there is not a good and bad to both sides. That's the point I keep trying to hammer in. And build 20 hours a month at an FBO? Get real, maybe if you're in Nome, Alaska.
 

DrBenny

New Member
You guys are worried about $50k - $80k for your training? Are you talking about the whole thing? Have you seen college costs? You can't get out of many colleges without having forked over $130k. Even at the state colleges, you might still pay as much as $60k. You're saying that the most you'd EVER pay would be $80k?

There are many people who wish that half their student loans were that low.
 

panampilot

New Member
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No, there is not a good and bad to both sides.

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Dude that is the most arrogant remark I have heard out of your pie hole yet. So let me get it right, Mav is right and everybody else is wrong. Get a clue.
 

Tired

New Member
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And instruct at an FBO for 2-3 years building as many as 20 hours a month! Sounds great. Sign me up! There's good and bad to both sides.

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Depends on the FBO.
 

panampilot

New Member
My point is that not all fbo's are these great places where you get top rate instruction and then instruct to your heart's delight. Mavmb1 seems to only see that side of the coin. You're right, this might be the case at some fbo's but certainly not at all. As has been said many times on this website, some people do better with the academy setting and some people do better with the fbo approach. There isn't a wrong or a right way.

That is unless you talk to Mav over at Sawyer, where according to him only the true pilots go to learn the only true way.
 

Mavmb

Well-Known Member
[ QUOTE ]
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No, there is not a good and bad to both sides.

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Dude that is the most arrogant remark I have heard out of your pie hole yet. So let me get it right, Mav is right and everybody else is wrong. Get a clue.

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Yep, that's right. I'm still trying to figure out why someone would spend an extra 40,000 dollars up front for their flight training when they don't have to; and taking all of your loan money up front is just the way the academies do business and not the best way to go about flight training.
 

DrBenny

New Member
[ QUOTE ]
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No, there is not a good and bad to both sides.

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Dude that is the most arrogant remark I have heard out of your pie hole yet. So let me get it right, Mav is right and everybody else is wrong. Get a clue.

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Indeed.

A lot of training may have to do with the environment, just to name one example. For instance, one person may thrive in a high pressure training environment (Air Force), another in a less pressured yet still structured one (large flight academy), and another in a more academic environment where s/he can also enjoy a broad array of academics (university).

Congratulations to you if you feel you've chosen the best route. It might not be the best--even if it costs less--for everyone.
 
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