Some updates at DCA....

MuscleShirt

New Member
I thought I would post some factual updates here in the hopes that the information won't be lost in a swarm of ridiculous threads. Here is what I know...

-I have heard no word of Key pulling out...But, at the same time I don't physically work on that side of the company so take it as you wish.

-August had an enrollement of 38 new students here at SFB. September has two seperate enrollements, the first looks to bring in around 35, the second is projecting around 40. On top of that figure, there is the addition of 40+ new Chinese contract students, bringing a possible September enrollement of approx. 115 new students by the end of the month. This will put our student number somewhere approaching 500.

-It is a fact that after the next Standz class goes through, there will be no more Standz wait! The reason the school hired outside instructors for Houston is because management is doing everything they can to allow instructors to either stay in Sanford, if they wish, or go to the base of their choosing.

-The replacement of the single engine fleet will not be taking place for a long time. Even if a contract was signed tomorrow, it's not like Piper/Cessna/Cirrus have 100 aircraft just sitting around waiting to be sold.

-The Private, Instrument, and Commercial groups have been combined, so that new instructors may participate in all three ratings. This will allow all the instructors to get more flight time at a faster pace, thus, getting them to the end of their contracts in less time than it has previously taken.

-FINALLY...The rumor of the SFB base closing...well, I don't know how that one started, but I don't think that is the case. My assumption is that people think since Delta is going bankrupt, DCA will be sold or liquidated. Well, according to those I have spoken to, DCA is a subsidiary of COMAIR, and COMAIR a subsidiary of Delta. If Delta sells COMAIR or simply cuts them loose, the school will simply stay with COMAIR. Likely resulting in a name change back to Comair Aviation Academy. This is just my assumption, though, and we know what happens when we assume.

Sorry for the long post, but I hope the information is helpfull.
 

MikeD

Administrator
Staff member
Finally!

Some factual info without the usual BS of the DCA forum members.

Thanks.
 

MikeD

Administrator
Staff member
[ QUOTE ]
My pleasure, MikeD!!!

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It is very much appreciated, trust me.
 

951fan

New Member
[ QUOTE ]
-August had an enrollement of 38 new students here at SFB. September has two seperate enrollements, the first looks to bring in around 35, the second is projecting around 40. On top of that figure, there is the addition of 40+ new Chinese contract students, bringing a possible September enrollement of approx. 115 new students by the end of the month. This will put our student number somewhere approaching 500.

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Hey MulletMan,

Informative post, but the only thing I have a problem with is that you have seemed to have left out the other side of the "total student enrollment" formula (ie the debit side). What about the number of students that leave DCA a month? When I was there (late last year), they had about 250 students and had a hard time providing planes on a good flying day. Seems like they might have some problems when there are 500 students wanting to fly on a sunny afternoon with their existing fleet. I understand student retention is a problem at most flight schools across the country, but I feel DCA has a higher rate of dis-enrollment, especially considering the fact that most attending the school have sacrificed a lot to become an full-time airline pilot, not just fly for a hobby. When I was there wondering what happened to all the familiar faces around DCA, I was told to check out the "DCA Refugee Camp". Not knowing what they were referring to, I asked and the response I got was "If you want to know where your old DCA compadres are, take a quick drive up the street to the RAA in Deland, and there you will find...". Granted DCA may have some high enrollment numbers coming up in the next few months (very typical for the year, and they love the Chinese), they also have some pretty high dis-enrollment figures (for lack of a better term). My instructor personally told me DCA loses 20-50 students a month (I know this is hearsay to some of the folks here because I am not under oath) and the instructors have monthly meetings about the issue and how they can improve their customer service. Again, just trying to get the "whole enchilada" out there. Boy, that reminds me, I could really use some good Mexican food from SoCal right now, is anyone willing to FedEx me a carne asada burrito from Roberto's for a fee? I PayPal.
 

planediveguy

New Member
You are right,

There are people that disenroll from the Academy from time to time. The reasons vary from personal (family ) issues to not being happy with the way things are going for them. But as far as numbers go, they are seasonal. There are times where the enrollment goes up, and times it goes down. The same with people leaving. You also need to count that when you finish the "student" portion of the program, you actually disenroll from the Academy, then you interview, and then Standz...so some of the disenrolment numbers you are quoting might include those cases. Believe me 20 to 50 a month would have brought the school down a long time ago...

Things are looking good at DCA and just yesterday a buddy of mine got his letter from Chautauqua!


Take care
 

951fan

New Member
[ QUOTE ]
You are right,

There are people that disenroll from the Academy from time to time. The reasons vary from personal (family ) issues to not being happy with the way things are going for them. But as far as numbers go, they are seasonal. There are times where the enrollment goes up, and times it goes down. The same with people leaving. You also need to count that when you finish the "student" portion of the program, you actually disenroll from the Academy, then you interview, and then Standz...so some of the disenrolment numbers you are quoting might include those cases. Believe me 20 to 50 a month would have brought the school down a long time ago...

Things are looking good at DCA and just yesterday a buddy of mine got his letter from Chautauqua!


Take care


[/ QUOTE ]

Thanks for clarifying Fabio. Honestly, I have always respected your knowledge, professionalism, and willingness to help others at the school, I just wish more of the instructors followed your example. When I gave the 20-50 disenrollment figures, I used a range for the exact reason you cited, that it always fluctuates. I agree the school probably wouldn't make it if they were losing 50 students a month (unless of course they were enrolling many more than that monthly), but I believe losing on average 20 per month is totally reasonable. And to reiterate your point, people leave for a gamut of reasons, not just because they don't like the school. When I was there earlier in the year, my instructor told me one month 26 left (and a cfi meeting followed, I'm sure you were there) and a month or two later, 42 left (hence the 50 high end of the range). These figures he stated were people leaving the school to transfer or quit, not disenrolling from the student portion of the program. Also, I am not trying to say the program doesn't work, for it does. Many of the instructors/check pilots that I met have since been hired by an airline, and I know you will soon follow. It is the expense, standz break, equipment quality, cfi pay, quality of instruction (at some level), management, etc. that I have some issues with. Anyway, sounds like you're doing well, take care, and good luck with everything.

ps Oh yeah, I caught a brief portion of some Discovery channel special and you were the dive leader for the team, very cool.
 

MuscleShirt

New Member
Just for informative reasons, I obtained some figures for disenrollement for the month of August.

17 students left the school, of those 17, 14 were graduates of CFI-I going on to interview, 3 of them left without graduating.
 

FO_SHIZZLE

Well-Known Member
[ QUOTE ]
Just for informative reasons, I obtained some figures for disenrollement for the month of August.

17 students left the school, of those 17, 14 were graduates of CFI-I going on to interview, 3 of them left without graduating.

[/ QUOTE ]

Way to go Shirt, actual numbers vs. random heresay.
 

951fan

New Member
[ QUOTE ]
[ QUOTE ]
Just for informative reasons, I obtained some figures for disenrollement for the month of August.

17 students left the school, of those 17, 14 were graduates of CFI-I going on to interview, 3 of them left without graduating.

[/ QUOTE ]

Way to go Shirt, actual numbers vs. random heresay.

[/ QUOTE ]


Yo Snoop Dogg, first, the word is "hearsay". Secondly, if we want to go down that road, we can. Does Shirt work in the admissions dept at DCA? Is he a student or CFI? If so, who provided him the figures, and in all honestly, can the source and/or the numbers be trusted? I'm sure Shirt is a stand up guy, but I am as well. I have no interest in DCA "bashing" and have no ulterior motive. I'm just here to give the other side of the story where I see fit, so prospective students can make a more informed decision when they choose a flight school. In short, I guess most, if not everything, is hearsay in these forums. People will just have to decide for themselves what they believe, what makes the most sense, and who they trust.
 

FO_SHIZZLE

Well-Known Member
Thanks for the grammer lesson. Does he work for admissions, no. Do you not believe him because he works for DCA? Nobody is saying you are not a stand up guy but I doubt you have access to the same information as he does. I'm sure alot of what you say has some truth to it but I'm guessing alot is second and third hand information.
 

Mike Lewis

Shadow Administrator
Staff member
951,

If you're not trying to be a jerk, why the sarcastic grammar rant? And I think MuscleShirt and some of the others have been pretty up front with their association to the school, while you, on the other hand, have not. That's where who and what I trust comes in.

If you have another side of this story, I'd love to hear it. Otherwise, let's keep the forum civil...
 

Derg

Cap, Roci
Staff member
When I made the threat to axe the DCA forum if you guys can't have a civil dialogue, I wasn't screwing around.
 

hobo

New Member
please dont axe the DCA forum, with hundreds of students at the main base in sanford and lots of prospective students it would be a disservice to let a few uncivil tongues kill off all the good info about the school. prospective students need to hear the good bd and ugly sides of the school here because there isnt another great source about DCA
 

MuscleShirt

New Member
[ QUOTE ]
[ QUOTE ]
[ QUOTE ]
Just for informative reasons, I obtained some figures for disenrollement for the month of August.

17 students left the school, of those 17, 14 were graduates of CFI-I going on to interview, 3 of them left without graduating.

[/ QUOTE ]

Way to go Shirt, actual numbers vs. random heresay.

[/ QUOTE ]


Yo Snoop Dogg, first, the word is "hearsay". Secondly, if we want to go down that road, we can. Does Shirt work in the admissions dept at DCA? Is he a student or CFI? If so, who provided him the figures, and in all honestly, can the source and/or the numbers be trusted? I'm sure Shirt is a stand up guy, but I am as well. I have no interest in DCA "bashing" and have no ulterior motive. I'm just here to give the other side of the story where I see fit, so prospective students can make a more informed decision when they choose a flight school. In short, I guess most, if not everything, is hearsay in these forums. People will just have to decide for themselves what they believe, what makes the most sense, and who they trust.

[/ QUOTE ]

Well 951,

I do not work in admissions, I am a flight instructor who took the time to go get the numbers from the ONE person who takes care of disenrolling students. Plus, every time a student leaves the school, an email/memo is sent to all group managers (which I am not), and since I work as a Group Leader two days a week, I have access to the information through that channel as well.

Hope this clarifies that I was not pulling numbers out of my empenage.
 

MikeD

Administrator
Staff member
[ QUOTE ]


Well 951,

I do not work in admissions, I am a flight instructor who took the time to go get the numbers from the ONE person who takes care of disenrolling students. Plus, every time a student leaves the school, an email/memo is sent to all group managers (which I am not), and since I work as a Group Leader two days a week, I have access to the information through that channel as well.

Hope this clarifies that I was not pulling numbers out of my empenage.

[/ QUOTE ]

Thanks for sourcing the information. That certainly helps to clarify if anyone was wondering whether you had a "dog in the fight" or were just putting out info.

Keep the facts coming. If others have counter-facts, write them. Additionally, I'd suggest they be sourced too, so that the neutrality of that writer can be ascertained too.

This place has good potential to be a great source of info, and to be a place where people can separate the wheat from the chaff concering DCA (as should be done on all the school forums here). I applaud people like MuscleShirt for keeping a level head and simply presenting info, with no personal attacks.

Now about the mullet..........
 

951fan

New Member
[ QUOTE ]
Well 951,

I do not work in admissions, I am a flight instructor who took the time to go get the numbers from the ONE person who takes care of disenrolling students. Plus, every time a student leaves the school, an email/memo is sent to all group managers (which I am not), and since I work as a Group Leader two days a week, I have access to the information through that channel as well.

Hope this clarifies that I was not pulling numbers out of my empenage.

[/ QUOTE ]

Shirt,

Thanks for being upfront, wasn't accusing you of lying, just questioning the figures and who provided them. Were you instructing there in Jan. or Feb.? If so, maybe you (or another CFI here) can confirm the CFI meeting that took place (I think it was Jan.) regarding management's concern of the 26 students/cfis that quit or transferred schools that month. The emphasis was on customer service since that was an unusually high number of people leaving apparently. My instructor told me about it, my 2 roommates instructors talked about it, and we heard our ground school instructor talking about it. Yes, I know, I wasn't there ( I was a student), but it took place, and again, it was 26 (both students & CFIs) that quit or transferred, not the ones taken out of the student pool and put in the CFI group. Yes, I suppose all 4 of those instructors were wrong or misunderstood, but I doubt it. The other question I have is the 500 total student number you mentioned. I was told there were about 250 students when I was attending early this year, and based on the daily flight schedule at DCA, it seems as the number has actually slightly decreased. It looks like about 190 students fly daily there (on avg), so does that mean 200-300 aren't flying? I honestly don't know, maybe the Chinese student figures are much higher than thought and many of them aren't flying daily because they're in ground school? It just seems that if the number of students is around 500, more than 200 would be flying daily. If that is the case, they better be getting more planes, because scheduling one when I was there was sometimes an issue. Unfortunately, if they do get more planes, they'll be temporarily leasing some more jalopies that have different panel layouts (and avionics) than the rest of their fleet, but that's another story for another day.
 

FO_SHIZZLE

Well-Known Member
I was instructing then and I don't remember a meeting about that. In fact, I have never heard of disenrollment numbers at any of our meetings be it weekly or monthly. Now I was just a plain ol' instructor so maybe that was a meeting that involved group leaders and managers but I don't think it was for regular instructors.
 

hobo

New Member
a lot of people come and go at dca. ive been here 8 months as a student and of the 21 guys that started on their ppl with me i know for a fact seven of them have left. four others are currently looking into switching schools and there were a few guys that i didnt know but have heard they left. however you look at it tho it is a fact that 1/3 left of those seven i ran into two of them recently and they are doing well at ATP. they both left back in may and you can read one of the guys stories in this forum http://jetcareers.com/forums/showflat.php?Cat=&Number=286020&page=1&view=collapsed&sb=5&o=&fpart=1

hope that link works. if not its on the second page. qtrmantb started the thread.
there arent 500 students at DCA sanford. when i talked with mary(finance lady)today we talked about how there are around 300 full timers and then a lot of part timers now with about 150 instructors here where do the other 150 guys go? if we placed 116 guys at airlines last year that opens 116 spots for the 300 guys that finish from sanford. and dont tell me satellite schools. i know some go there but how many and arent those schools graduating cfi's?
 

FO_SHIZZLE

Well-Known Member
I was not questioning that all those people left, I know they did. I was just saying that there was no general meeting for flight instructors to discuss it. I heard it via the DCA rumor mill.
 
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