Questions for current stuednts?

SierraPilot

New Member
1. Do they offer living disbursements?

2. What is the maximum living disbursment you can receive?

3. Did you loan get paid directly to the school or did the school hand the money over to you to pay as you go?

4. How often do your flights get cancelled for weather?

5. How often do your flights get cancelled for maintence?

6. How often to do get cancelled for lack of a plane being available? (scheduling issues, etc)

7. What is the current wait-list for CFI's at your school?

8. If known what do CFI's get paid at your school?

9. What is the instructor to student ratio?

10. How far in advance are you scheduled to fly?

11. Do you have any say in scheduling?

12. Are you happy with the school your attended?

13. Did you tour the school prior to attending, and if so, did they allow you to talk to other students or ecourage you to do so?

14. Is there anything you would change? (Be honest.. I know we all feel some pride for the schools we attend but there is always something what we would like to see changed or improved).

Enough questions for now.. your cooperation is appreciated..

Ryan
 

EatSleepFly

Well-Known Member
Well, I am an alumni, but I am bored, so you are getting my answers anyways!


[ QUOTE ]
1. Do they offer living disbursements?

2. What is the maximum living disbursment you can receive?

3. Did you loan get paid directly to the school or did the school hand the money over to you to pay as you go?


[/ QUOTE ]

They handed me a check to take to my bank each time. I got to decide how much to put in my account at any given time.

[ QUOTE ]
4. How often do your flights get cancelled for weather?


[/ QUOTE ]

Very very rarely. During t-storm season, fly as early in the morning as possible or at night, and you can fly every single day.

[ QUOTE ]
5. How often do your flights get cancelled for maintence?


[/ QUOTE ]

I NEVER had a flight cancelled because of maintenance, and I don't know of anyone who has.

[ QUOTE ]
6. How often to do get cancelled for lack of a plane being available? (scheduling issues, etc)


[/ QUOTE ]

Very rarely. There were sometimes issues with there not being enough Arrows, but that was only when the foreign students were sharing them with us. And even then, I don't think it caused any delay in my personal training.

[ QUOTE ]
7. What is the current wait-list for CFI's at your school?


[/ QUOTE ]

Eons. But if you pick a school based on whether you *might* be able to get a job there, you have your priorities mixed up.

[ QUOTE ]
9. What is the instructor to student ratio?


[/ QUOTE ]

Not exactly sure. Let me put it this way...its not hard to come by a good instructor.

[ QUOTE ]
10. How far in advance are you scheduled to fly?


[/ QUOTE ]

Depends on your instructor I think. My first instructor would schedule all of my flights a week in advance. My last instructor was a group leader, so she had lots of flexibility...so we just scheduled the day before, or did write-ins.

[ QUOTE ]
11. Do you have any say in scheduling?


[/ QUOTE ]

Depends. Like I said above, I pretty much made my own schedule. Can't do that with all instructors though I don't think.

[ QUOTE ]
12. Are you happy with the school your attended?


[/ QUOTE ]

110% satisfied.

[ QUOTE ]
13. Did you tour the school prior to attending, and if so, did they allow you to talk to other students or ecourage you to do so?


[/ QUOTE ]

No I did not. I had heard absolutely nothing but great things about it, so I took a risk.

[ QUOTE ]
14. Is there anything you would change?

[/ QUOTE ]

The interview/hiring process, and the length of the wait list. But neither of them are going to be changed anytime soon, and it doesn't matter to me now anyways.
 

Acadia

Well-Known Member
Im also alumni, but I will take a swing as well...

"1. Do they offer living disbursements?"
As mentioned above as the loan checks came to FSI who then handed them to me. I kept the cash in my bank and kept my FSI account full enough to fly or pay for ground school. All of my living expenses for my 7 months in Vero came from my loans. You just have to decide how much you will need and have a little buffer.

"2. What is the maximum living disbursment you can receive?"
Up to the loan company really, but with key I could have maxed the loan out and purchased a car If I felt like it.

"3. Did you loan get paid directly to the school or did the school hand the money over to you to pay as you go? "
Again with a Key loan the checks were mailed to FSI, but they were in my name and only I could take them to the bank.

"4. How often do your flights get cancelled for weather?"
Maybe a few times. Try and time your VFR commercial XC building in the fall and winter to have the best odds.

"5. How often do your flights get cancelled for maintence?"
Never.

"6. How often to do get cancelled for lack of a plane being available? (scheduling issues, etc)"
Never

7. What is the current wait-list for CFI's at your school?

8. If known what do CFI's get paid at your school?

"9. What is the instructor to student ratio?"
Was great for students when I was there, and I understand its about the same. Great for learning, but not great if you are worried about question #7.

"10. How far in advance are you scheduled to fly?"
My instructors and I would schedule the next flight at the end of each lesson. I pretty much flew 6 days a week so I scheduled about 24hrs in advance.

"11. Do you have any say in scheduling?"
Pretty complete control. Its up to you and your instructor within reason.

"12. Are you happy with the school your attended?"
I have been out a year and I am still 100% happy I went.

"13. Did you tour the school prior to attending, and if so, did they allow you to talk to other students or ecourage you to do so?"
Yes. They dont "allow" you to talk to students they pretty much go out of the way to be sure that you do.

"14. Is there anything you would change? (Be honest.. I know we all feel some pride for the schools we attend but there is always something what we would like to see changed or improved)."
Im sure there were some things, but nothing big enough to remember now.

My experience was pretty easy in terms of the logistics you mentioned. The loan through Key was easy to take care of and I was able to train at my pace.
 

pavelump

Well-Known Member
Well, I'm a current student and I'd pretty much agree with everything that's been said, but I got a few minutes...

1. Do they offer living disbursements?

2. What is the maximum living disbursment you can receive?

3. Did you loan get paid directly to the school or did the school hand the money over to you to pay as you go?


Pay as you go and do with the loan what you would like. Personally, I paid for all of my school through my Sony MasterCard. By the end of it all, I got a pretty cool Clie handheld. Actually, I just sold it on Ebay and spent a little extra to buy myself a 30gig iPod as a graduation gift to myself. (doing my CFI checkride tomorrow!) I don't know of any other big schools that do it this way. Unfortunately for those at ATA...


4. How often do your flights get cancelled for weather?

Not very often. Kind of depends on what you're doing. I started here w/ my private last November and I only had to cancel one flight due to weather. That being said, I know that a lot of the time builders trying to do XC trips this time of year run into problems. I was lucky because just about the time that I went into instrument, the weather started sucking a little bit. I've had to cancel a couple of my flights during CFI, but usually if I get an early enough start it's not a problem since everything that I do is local.


5. How often do your flights get cancelled for maintence?
Never. Maintenance here is ridiculously good. If you do run across a problem during pre-flight, maintenance will either come out and fix it on the spot or you'll get a different airplane. That's kind of a drag when you've already pre-flighted an airplane and have to pre-flight another, but it's a heck of a lot better than having to call it a day!


6. How often to do get cancelled for lack of a plane being available? (scheduling issues, etc)
It's never happened to me. Student load is pretty low right now so getting an airplane isn't a problem.


7. What is the current wait-list for CFI's at your school?
That's anybody's guess. The list is somewhere in the 70-80 range at this point. It really depends on a few things. How many people are even willing to come back at this point, if student enrollment gets better, etc. Originally I was told 6 months (back in Nov 2002), then it went up to more like 8, and now who knows. I'm pretty sure that there are some people who have been on it for a year. Even so, I decided to do my CFI here because the quality of training as well as the excellent equipment. I plan on trying to get on the list myself, but who knows what that will hold... I plan on doing my CFII and then going off and doing the part 61 thing for a while.

8. If known what do CFI's get paid at your school?
Last I heard it was $14/hr + medical and dental with paid holidays. They also get free jepp. charts, sectionals, and AFDs as well as a pretty decent discount on aircraft rental. Oh yeah, and free Frasca time.

9. What is the instructor to student ratio?
I'd say 2:1 or 3:1.

10. How far in advance are you scheduled to fly?
I would generally do it the day before although we would usually get a rough plan of what to do week to week.

11. Do you have any say in scheduling?
Yes and no. You don't have to fly if you don't want to. You can take as many leaves of absence (LOAs) as you'd like. The no part comes with what's known as "prop turn times". There are three prop turn times and I think that they are like 6:30, 7:00, and 7:30. I could be wrong on the times so don't hold me to it. The main idea is that they are early. Unless you have a valid reason not to do it early in the morning (doctor's appt. or whatever) you will invariably get a pretty early start time. Instructors usually rotate the early slot between their students. As much as I hate getting up early, it's actually the best time to fly around here, especially during the summer/thunderstorm season...

12. Are you happy with the school your attended?
Yep.


13. Did you tour the school prior to attending, and if so, did they allow you to talk to other students or ecourage you to do so?
Yes I came here as well as Comair, PanAm, ATA (yipes!), and AriBen. I didn't really talk to many people, but I wasn't discouraged from it. I stayed in one of the bungalows over night so I could have easily talked to many people. I was a bit shy though... Awwww.


14. Is there anything you would change? (Be honest.. I know we all feel some pride for the schools we attend but there is always something what we would like to see changed or improved).

Nothing glaring that I can think of off the top of my head. I wish there were more students and that the higher time instructors could move on, but I'm not sure how much FSA can do about that.

One really cool thing is that you can buy 16 oz. Coke bottles from the vending machine for $0.65! Being a Coke drinker, I like that a lot.


Dave
 

Cav

Former Maddog Whisperer
I don't have anything to add other than the instructor student ratio is about 3:1 right now. It definitely works out in the student's favor as this does not necessarily mean the instructor flies 3 X's per day. Students tend to have one lesson per day and sometime 2 but they vary from simulator sessions, flights, or briefs which are basically one on one ground instruction. My instructor has 2-3 students at a time and I rarely have a scheduling conflict. There is always something that you can work on so I've never felt my training pace was stagnant. Given the # of students right now getting an airplane in never a problem even if it is an unscheduled lesson. If a pilot preflights and decides he wants a different airplane the change is made and very few questions are asked other than ones that might interest maintainance. It's a great time to be a student here. FSI is student focused and I have always been treated as a customer. Hope that helps.
 

SierraPilot

New Member
Thanks for everyones input, nah.. im just looking for some info, I have been thinking about switching schools lately, not to mention its a hell of alot cheaper to live in florida then california.. just trying to get a idea what people think before I spend any money flying out to florida to look at schools. I'm favoring FSA right now as FSA has alot more to offer in terms of education, dont get me wrong I love sierra and the people there, but im not paying good money to be grounded by planes not working.


Ryan
 

CLR4ILS

Well-Known Member
I would agree with everything that has been said so far. FSA is a great school that has only the students best intrest in mind. If you run into any problems with your studies along the way you can make an appointment with any of the ground instructors to cover any questions free of charge. That is pretty cool. I know the trip from the West Coast is a long way but it is worth it. I made it twice and would make it again. Good luck...ILS
 

ananoman

New Member
I went and looked at Sierra before I came to FSI, and there was no comparison. The facilities and aircraft are far superior here. The CFI wait list is a two edged sword. You will not get a job here anytime soon, but we have alot of high time CFI's. and that is good for the student. All things being equal I would rather have a high time CFI than a low time one. There are also other opportunities like the internship available to graduating students on the CFI wait list.
 

TheWife

New Member
Well, we just got finished touring last weekend, and let me just add that they were so accomodating and friendly and beyond helpful. They not only encouraged us to talk to other students but also encouraged us to tour the other schools. Which we did. There was no comparison. FSI, by far, exceeded our expectations.
 

TheWife

New Member
I could go on and on about how great they were and what I thought of them vs. the other schools....but I didn't know if that would be appropriate or well received. :\
 

chunk75

Well-Known Member
Actually, that's EXACTLY what this board is for...impartial views/reports of various schools...everyone knows where I stand, but your opinion is fresh and without prejudgement. I'd, for one, love to hear it!
 

TheWife

New Member
I dunno. I am scared.... LOL

I don't want to offend any one or start a huge debate so I guess if anyone wants to hear about it maybe PM me. )
 

AnotherWife

New Member
[ QUOTE ]
FSI is student focused and I have always been treated as a customer.

[/ QUOTE ]

I agree 100% with this, and it's a glaring comparison to other flight schools.
 

Derg

Cap, Roci
Staff member
[ QUOTE ]
If Doug says it's ok....


Now I have gone and hijacked this thread....sorry.



[/ QUOTE ]

Aww, now let's not mischaracterize Doug now!
 

Snow

'Not a new member'
I'm starting there in October and a little over a month before hand I got some emails from the academy asking if I had any questions, I have since emailed and phoned various people at the academy with questions and they all have been very friendly and helpful. Not sure why I put it here but I didn't think it justified having it's own post so I just latched onto the end of yours
 
Top