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Old 02-20-2006, 11:36 AM
  #45  
Flying Ninja
Need More Flight Time!
 
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Joined APC: Jan 2006
Position: Flight Simulator X
Posts: 400
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Originally Posted by WatchThis!
Can anyone tell me what would cause a person to spend about $75,000 to get a job that pays $24/hour? Unreal.
Now that I've gone through the CAPT program and graduated, I can answer your question.

Was it unreal? Yep.

What would cause someone to do it? They want to fly for the airlines and circumvent the CFI route a.k.a. Fast-Track.

Now, this is what I can add:

Was it worth it? No.
Why? Keep reading.

Delays in training - very costly to cadets.

I bought into the advertisement of 10-12 months of flight training, which ended up being 18 months for me. I bought into the "elite training" advertisement. I bought into the Embry-Riddle name. I bought into 250 hours to an airline job (even though you really only get 225 actual flight time). I bought into the lofty statements like:

"pilot monitoring time is being considered by the FAA and it's a near done deal, and it will revolutionize the industry and the airlines will accept that time as part of your total time" (right...)

"7-9 guaranteed interviews after graduation" (at the time of graduation, there were 3 available only -- and it wasn't all guaranteed)

"FCI (fighter combat instruction) training included" -- which, they put a stop to and never took it out of the tuition...we were supposed to get hyperbaric chamber training too and they stopped offering it and it was never taken out of our tuition either. Since their job placement guy left, my class had the pleasure of not having an interview prep course that everyone ahead of us had. Again, it was not reimbursed out of the tuition.

Things made less and less sense as I got closer and closer to graduation. CAPT invited airlines to look at the program and they flat out told us our flight time at graduation are too low compared to their minimums. I always wondered why CAPT would bring in airlines to tell us that? A simple phone call would have saved a LOT of money catering to these events. And they attacked airlines one at a time. My suggestion to contact all the regional airlines at the same time was ignored. But it's funny how they started doing that toward the end of their business life cycle.

Ah...sim training. Was it fun? Hell yeah! And if you got the 3:00am slot with no sim techs around to get her started it's even better. But the sim training certainly didn't make me feel like I was some "elite" pilot. Quite the opposite. The "fire hose" they tout is just that. They dump a bunch of information at you that I have pretty much lost due to non-use. Important stuff like 121 regulations were hardly appied in the sim training. They do give you more sim sessions than what an airline would give but that, in no way, means you're getting any better. Don't get me wrong. The instructors were great people. The only thing that sim training was for is to prove to the airlines that you are trainable, not so that you can go on IOE flying the real thing. Hell, no one ever taught me to land that thing during my sim training. I had to figure it out for myself.

I was short 0.4 of an hour to get my 100 multi-engine hours to qualify for some of these other airlines they brought in. Did they help? No. I had to go out to another FBO to get that time. You'd think they'd work to get me the time so I can be an easier sell to the airlines. It took over 5 weeks to get our resume done...on our own too. We got a nifty template and little answers to the questions I had about it. That's just unacceptable. Job placement was never taken seriously by CAPT. They got lucky with the people they were able to get placed.

On the up side, graduates of the program have gotten hired by the airlines...if you have the money to support yourself with the regionals' low pay scale. I unfortunately came into CAPT with only a dream...they just didn't tell me that I needed a boat load of money above and beyond tuition to do this career. When I made my decision, I wasn't aware of sites like airlinepilotcentral.com or flightinfo.com. If I did, I would have NEVER in a billion years done CAPT or any other low time, fast paced program. The program is not for everyone.

In a nutshell, I paid for the most expensive vacation I have ever taken, and it'll take me many, many years to pay off. My dream turned into a nightmare. Made some cool friends in the process though. Otherwise, hind sight...20/20.

I hope this answers your question.
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