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View Full Version : instructing in Colorado


Brian3613
04-23-2015, 04:04 PM
I'm from south Florida and am finishing up my initial CFI rating. Was wondering if Colorado would be a favorable area to instruct? Any thoughts?


RadialGal
04-24-2015, 04:09 AM
I learned a TON instructing in Colorado. You are exposed to so many unique challenges there, operating at pretty stiff Density Altitudes, Mt Flying, LLWS, Turb, TS avoidance, roll clouds and all around crazy winds. The folks there tend to be pretty wealthy and there is an Aviation College there as well. I was always able to stay as busy as I wanted before moving on to 135.

I am serious about the Colorado folks having cash. I didn't have the Joe Blow Trucker students. I had the tech kid, the Aerospace fella or the Pharma guy, even a few Dr's; folks that bought their own planes and hired me to tech in them. I instructed in a couple of brand new Huskies, Cirrus, Diamond's....I even got a guy a instrument rating in a turbine Lanceair!

Also the GA scene there is EPIC! Or it was when I was there. (not THAT long ago!) Drag races at night at the non towered airports. 100 dollar hamburgers in the back seat of a friend's Stearman, T-6, or P-51. Chillin at one bachelor's epic hangar with a Beer and a Brat, talking with a AF fighter dude, a retired United guy, another guy who flew the SR-71, a student pilot, and yours truly. Getting calls on my days off, asking me if I wanted to score the IAC guys (and not the nasty kind of score.....for shame!) in exchange for free lessons in an Extra and Pitts! Man! Now you are making me miss Colorado!

Feel free to PM me with any questions (ps, my old flight school is closed)

wrxpilot
04-24-2015, 04:40 AM
Interesting... I'm from Colorado and left to instruct in South FL! The reason I did so was because my instructors in CO didn't fly that much, and basically had to fight for every student. They didn't build time very quickly, and most seemed to have second jobs since they were making very little.

Seasons for instructing in CO can be difficult... Typically when it's IMC, the weather is either convective or known icing. You will not be flying in it. South FL has far more flying days, and much more pleasant ones too. Flying a 172 with a crappy heater on a cold Jan day sucks bad. Yes, flying a 172 on a hot FL summer day can suck too, but as soon as you're in the air it's not bad at all. Often I would have my students climb while also practicing maneuvers... As soon as we were up a few thousand feet, it was very pleasant.

Another consideration is that the Denver/Front Range area has become insanely expensive, and housing is out of control. South FL (I lived near PBI) is MUCH cheaper.

Finally, south FL has far more opportunities for developing your career. After instructing for about a year in FL, I got a 135 job in turbine equipment. Less than a year after that, I scored a corporate gig in a jet, and fairly quickly became a typed PIC with turbojet time. If I had been in Colorado, I would probably have been still scraping by trying to get students in a 172! South FL just has a much, much bigger aviation scene and far more people with money.

I'm now back in Colorado, many years later after getting an airline job. It's nice to be back, but I wouldn't have done anything differently.


Brian3613
04-24-2015, 10:11 AM
I have a friend who flew in Michigan and said the same thing about not being able to fly in the winter because of freezing conditions. It's a shame, I really like Colorado, but the whole point of me being an instructor is to get my hours so I can move on to something bigger and better.

Brian3613
04-24-2015, 10:44 AM
Ever heard of Mcair Aviation in Denver? Good? Bad?

wrxpilot
04-24-2015, 02:54 PM
I have a friend who flew in Michigan and said the same thing about not being able to fly in the winter because of freezing conditions. It's a shame, I really like Colorado, but the whole point of me being an instructor is to get my hours so I can move on to something bigger and better.

If that's your goal, forget Colorado. It is a complete waste of time compared to where you currently live. I would also suggest SoCal due to opportunities out there, but it's so expensive I would avoid that too. Stick with FL, get your time, and THEN move on after you get an airline job.

I was so busy in FL, that I was turning down work just to have a life. I was working 6 days/wk, usually all day. But the money was pretty good, and I had a lot of fun.

wrxpilot
04-24-2015, 02:55 PM
Ever heard of Mcair Aviation in Denver? Good? Bad?

It's a good school, but expensive.

outaluckagain
04-24-2015, 07:34 PM
I'm from south Florida and am finishing up my initial CFI rating. Was wondering if Colorado would be a favorable area to instruct? Any thoughts?

Doesn't Miami Dade still teach Aviation? Search for the schools involved.

Forget about Colorado. Good Instructors, but the conditions aren't ideal for getting students.

I stayed in California because of that. Take a look at Van Nuys near LA.

outaluckagain
04-24-2015, 07:37 PM
Ever heard of Mcair Aviation in Denver? Good? Bad?

Not bad, but that school was in BJC at the time. I had a better experience when I was at APA getting checked out at a school called Executive Flight Training. I remember the Instructors were good and the airplanes were too.

I am pretty sure it has not changed. I only got checked out there, but the experience was good.

zondaracer
04-27-2015, 02:22 AM
I am instructing in Colorado. I have more students than I can handle and give them to other instructors. I am easily flying 100 hours a month. I hear Colorado is a hard market to break into but I guess I was at the right place at the right time.