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View Full Version : Does Part 141 curriculum differ?

09-10-2018, 01:05 PM
My son is a high school senior, almost finished with his work toward his private pilot's license, and currently deeply entrenched in the college application world. He has decided to apply to colleges that offer a Part 141 curriculum, and the tuition costs and infrastructure vary widely from one to the other. I thought that I read somewhere that the curriculum, however, is the same, since it is dictated by the FAA. Is that true? Of course, he is also taking into consideration the entirety of the college experience as he's evaluating his options. Could someone educate me on the Part 141 curriculum and its consistency (or not) from one program to the next? Thanks in advance!

09-10-2018, 07:32 PM
Good question! Part 141 is very similar curriculum to Part 61 but it is a more structured regimen with essentially “pop quizzes” (called stage checks) along the way. The FAA reviews and approves the curriculum and associated completion standards. Thus the Part 141 school can advertise as an “FAA Approved” school. The benefis are slight reduction in training hours and (in theory) higher quality, standardized curriculum. Part 141 curriculum is very attractive to those with military “G.I. Bill” benefits where the military pays for a portion of the training after a certain amount of military (usually enlisted) service. The down side is significantly higher cost and less flexibility. The other issue is that overall flight time accrual is less, which does not help due to the 1500 hour experience requirement if your son wants to be an airline pilot. Recommend you shop around and compare many options. You should also research Part 61 “A-la-carte” schools plus a college degree in something marketable (but separate) from aviation. It does not matter what your son’s degree is to the airlines. It might be good for him to have a degree in something other than aviation in case the industry “tanks” like it did during the last 2008 recession. Hope this helps!

09-10-2018, 07:57 PM
I agree with the previous reply. Also keep in mind the industry has a history of being quite volatile. It would be unfortunate to end up at a regional with a 6-digit+ debt and a degree that only translates to being a pilot. I would say at the very least, keep costs in mind. Having a degree that is useful outside of piloting is probably wise also.

09-11-2018, 05:23 PM
As someone that went to Riddle and got a lot out of it, I'd say the biggest thing I picked up on was this - at a 141 school you for the most part know what you're getting. With all the standardization of instructors you'll be getting the same thing (roughly) from any instructor. Part 61 is a little more variable, could get a really bad instructor, or a much better instructor than a 141 environment.

Personally I'm glad I went the route I did because of scholarships, connections, and the ability to use government loans towards flight training, but you get out if it what you put in. Just going to an 'aviation university' doesn't mean you're able to not do anything and walk out with your certs.

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09-27-2018, 08:41 AM
Thank you all for your advice. He definitely has a hard decision ahead of him! We are hopeful that ERAU will come through with some scholarships to assist with the higher pricetag, as that seems to be where his heart is pulling him.

10-08-2018, 07:56 PM
I sent my son to Flight Safety, Vero Beach, to finish up his private and move on the next stage. They didn't fly him at all the first 60 days. I pulled him out and sent him to Paris Air who jumped right into the training cycle. He is now in their 141 instrument stage, so we're making progress. Dealing in the FLAP (f......light airplane pilots) community is highly frustrating. The biggest problem I see is lack of standardization. Although I only have about 260 hours of light airplane time (16,405 hrs total), some of which was in my own Cherokee 180, I grasp the challenge of getting my son through to his CFI. My other son went through ATP and is flying FO on King Airs. I am Navy trained (retired WAL/DAL), so I have max frustration with some of these flight schools.