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WMU or ERAU?

Discussion in 'Collegiate Aviation' started by FuturePilot81, Feb 17, 2016.

  1. Adler

    Adler How much cheese is too much cheese?

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    It's no secret that I'm not WMU's biggest cheerleader, they won't even send me the little alumni pamphlets asking for donations. However, comparing those of us that did our flying at WMU and the others that took admin classes and flew at a Part 91 school on the side...well there is no comparison. Despite the bubble and inbreeding that 141 promotes, there's something to be said for the strict nature of the beast. It promotes a certain study habit, a specific mindset, and attention to detail. I realize there are exceptions in both directions, but in the grand scheme of things, the outliers aside, I say go fly at WMU - if you can afford it.

    It's like that joke about doctors. What do you call the doctor who graduated at the bottom of their class? A doctor. Yes, right now the regionals will take anyone with a pulse; but do you want to be the one struggles through class and your career, or do you want to cruise through training and be the guy that people are happy to fly with?
     
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2016
  2. FuturePilot81

    FuturePilot81 New Member

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    So you're saying training is easier at wmu right? Also would it be hard to balance flight training with college with a major in engineering?
     
  3. Zapphod Beblebrox

    Zapphod Beblebrox Well-Known Member

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    I will chime in here. I don't think he is saying that training is easier at WMU. It is more structured. It is actually easier to learn to fly part 91. Structured flying is tougher and there is a lot of extra stuff to learn and do. It is a bubble, but so is airline flying. In part 91 flying the only base level is a 70% written pass rate and the minimum required show of competency on a check-ride. If you read the practical Test guide standards for the FAA, FAA-S-8981-12C, you will see the guide provides everything you need to know on how to meet the minimum test standards for the issuance of a commercial pilot certificate.

    The US Air Force, US Navy and Marines have always trained to the highest standards possible. Because the training was and is so rigorous, the quality of the product is a "known quantity". They do not train to a minimum acceptable standard. I am not saying they represent the absolute best quantity; but military training is standardized and well known. The minimum required to meet the practical test guide standards in the civilian world will earn you a license. That will not get you hired with a major airline. How can the airlines determine that you are not just the minimum quality candidate? How can they determine that you are the civilian counterpart to a military trained pilot?

    The closest way to attain this is to attend a University Flight Program. It does not guarantee that you are a super aviator. It does however give you an edge in that the Airlines know that you have been through a well known and documented program. The FAA has seen fit to allow graduates to gain the ATP requirements at lower hours. I don't want to get into the debate about better, worse, College non College Aviation, Military or Civilian. It does depend on the individual.

    It is important enough to know that this is how the airlines, at least my airline, (AA), thinks, and that is backed up by the lack of a simulator ride in your hiring process. When I was hired the simulator ride was a major hurdle to overcome. You had to show that you were capable of doing the work in an large jet, or at least show you were trainable. Briefings for the ride could be very involved requiring over an hour and written review or as simple as "Takeoff". The sim ride is now being phased out. So how do they figure out what kind of pilot you are? If you are a graduate of one of the major Aviation Schools you are a known quantity. You are very likely a "cookie", like all the other "cookies" of that organization. "Just another brick in the wall" if that is easier to understand. However you are a known quantity brick.

    It simply means they know what to expect when they hire you as far as overall aeronautical knowledge and ability. It fills that square. The "Joe Bag of Donuts", local FBO Part 91 flying you can do could in fact be better than Air Force Test Pilot school. It could be run by Orville Wright, Bob Hoover, Sully, Chuck Yeager, and Neil Armstrong. It's just that the airline hasn't heard of it.

    Don't shoot me. I am just the messenger, but I head about hiring preferences from AA CEO Doug Parker in person.
     
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  4. modernicarus

    modernicarus Well-Known Member

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    Nah, I did that. Engineering sucks. Wish I would have studied art instead, much more fun! Marine biology sounds cool too.
    I thought I was being pragmatic doing a program that looked like a good career instead of doing something I was actually interested in, but in the long run I was wrong and realize now that I made a mistake.
    I love art, flying, fishing, and SCUBA diving, and absolutely hate cubicles and business meetings. I probably would have been much happier and more successful in life if I had listened to my heart instead of listening to what everybody else said I should do.

    Anyhow, consider going to a community college and then transferring to WMU. That'll really save you some buck$.
    Northwestern Michigan College (NMC) in Traverse City has a really great aviation flight program that you might want to look into. You could transfer into WMU as a CFI afterwards and maybe even get reduced tuition as an employee.
    Not sure about training Part 91 as mentioned in several posts above, I've only heard of Part 61 and 141. I always thought that Part 61 and Part 141 is where the FAA gives you your certificates, and Part 91 is where they take them back, but I'm learning new stuff all the time. I'll have to get out 14CFR91 and research Flight Training under it.
    If you're interested in getting an A&P in addition to pilot certificates, you could attend Lansing Community College, or SMAT in Ionia to get your A&P certificates, then transfer to WMU for flight training or whatever.
    I really hate how Western's A&P program is set up. It spreads the A&P out simultaneously together over 4 years instead of doing the A and then doing the P, or vice-versa. It's stupid, and screws the student if something happens before graduation. If you don't graduate, then you don't have anything except a huge tuition bill to pay. I think it's their way of holding you hostage. I wouldn't recommend it.
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2016

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