Airline Pilot Forums

Airline Pilot Forums was designed to be a community where working airline pilots can share ideas and information about the aviation field. In the forum you will find information about major and regional airline carriers, career training, interview and job seeker help, finance, and living the airline pilot lifestyle.




View Full Version : Aerosim Flight Academy


CaptainMo
05-01-2015, 09:19 AM
I have looked at three schools in Florida:

- American Flyers - decided not to go with them because they don't give enough multi-engine time and their planes are not glass cockpit as per what they told me.

- ATP - decided not to go with them as all they want is money and don't really care about a student's understanding or training or theoretical knowledge.

- Aerosim Flight Academy - they look promising and seem to have a very structured programme along with ground school (unless they're very good at advertising and way of luring students).


So here's my question (and I've seen posts from 4 years back about Aerosim):

Does anyone have any experience with Aerosim as a student and what do they have to say about their fleet, training structure/methods and overall teaching and business philosophy. Would you recommend the school?

FYI I am aiming to get into an airline in the future and my parents (as they're paying for me) want me to pursue my career properly and at a proper school. I've already done my PPL in Virginia at a small school but I feel they have limitations in terms of career prospects and timeframe so I'm looking at an actual airline aimed flying school.


bedrock
05-01-2015, 10:06 AM
Are you limiting yourself to Florida for some reason? The Florida airspace can get crowded and you won't get much varied experience there. Little actual IFR, although northern FL in winter gets some good steady rain. There are no mountains there, the state is narrow, so cross country flying isn't challenging either. An important thing to consider is on what schedule do they expect payment. I wouldn't pay all up front or even half. Pay for one course at a time to minimize problems. Glass cockpit is a buzzword, that increases your price. Is it good to learn, yes, but your whole training doesn't need to be in glass, in fact, you would be a better pilot learning round gauges before glass, because those gauges force you to scan properly on instruments. All you need is 5-10 hrs of glass to get used to it well. The displays in a modern airliner can easily have close to 200 pieces of information being displayed. On the E-145, it is 140, I think. No Cessna glass cockpit is going to have that much info.

CaptainMo
05-01-2015, 11:08 AM
Well a move to Florida comes down to various factors:

1) The first being the weather and the weather in Virginia has been horrible especially over the last 6 months (I started my IFR training in November and lost 5 months to bad weather so hardly flew at all) and isn't really improving and even when its sunny the winds are pushing past 20-30 knots which isn't fun when trying to learn. I can handle heavy gusts without a problem but it doesn't make learning fun if you know what I mean because I'd rather be learning than fighting the elements. My PPL was accomplished last year through 6 months of absolute horrible weather (including landings) and I've only ever had 10 days of good calm weather to fly in since I started. Having said that, flying in good weather (as a result of training in bad weather) makes it a walk in the park.

2) Cost of living - Virginia (particularly NOVA/DC) is expensive to live in. Rents are through the roof even in the suburbs and house prices are exorbitant. At some point when I get to an airline I'd like to own a good home and have a decent cost of living.

3) My wife's employment - Florida is pretty much a hotel hub because of all the tourists flocking there all year round and she is seeing more job opportunities down there (and better pay) than VA so I have to factor in her prospects as well.

4) I considered a move to Las Vegas, California and Arizona but it'd be too far out from my family on the East Coast so I'd rather keep my training within this side of the country or at least a two hour flight away from family.


From what I know and have heard, Aerosim being up in Sanford which is pretty close to Embry Riddle in Daytona makes for good flying weather all year round (which I guess helps with building time and getting the training done), has a good fleet of training aircraft and a structured programme (which personally I like because it instills discipline in a manner of speaking and I find self-study makes one complacent but this is a personal opinion and others may disagree).

As far as flying goes, I did my PPL in round gauges and then transitioned to G1000 so I can handle both (still adapting to G1000 though because of the various functions and goodies it has). The school I currently go to in VA is great but has limitations on aircraft (two C172SP G1000, two C172R, one C172S, a couple of Archers, one Arrow and a battered Seminole), instructors and weather.

99% of the students who come to the school want to be private pilots or at most would pursue an instrument rating. There are currently 2-3 full time instructors who have a full load on their hands so scheduling becomes an issue and on top of it on weekends it becomes a zoo because everyone wants to rent a plane and go flying, then of course there's the lovely weather.

I am actually visiting Aerosim soon so I plan to ask them on whether or not they accept fees on a rating by rating basis as opposed to a whole lump sum. The lady I spoke to over the phone told me something about an initial payment of $10,000 then $6,000 every 3 or 6 modnths (can't remember!). If I restart IFR with them it'd be about $58,000 and if I started from commercial multi to CFI it'd be around $39,000.

The only thing I don't know is how Aerosim really is because most people have done their ratings at ATP (which many who've been there criticise and say they'd have never gone there if they knew how it was from the start) or a mom n' pop school and waiting 5-6 years to get into an airline.

Timeframe and understanding is important to me because I want to do this properly and not just come out with a bunch of ratings. I feel I'd rather have a good understanding of what I'm doing and why I'm doing it so as to be a safe pilot someday when I'm responsible for carrying a plane full of passengers.

Oh and I also plan to go for CFI as I want to teach/instruct both flying and ground school to also be able to continuously learn myself and improve on the skills already learned.


kingsnake2
05-01-2015, 12:18 PM
Have you considered US Aviation down in Texas? We have affordable living costs, competitive rates, and a big fleet. Unemployment is also relatively low in Texas compared to many states.

CaptainMo
05-02-2015, 10:55 AM
I did indeed look at training in Texas however it would logistically place me too far from my family in VA (I'd like to be at most a 2 hour flight from VA).

I also looked at Phoenix East in Daytona but the reviews people gave me weren't encouraging or positive so its come down to Aerosim if anyone has any feedback/thoughts on them.

bedrock
05-02-2015, 11:39 AM
I see you have analyzed your needs and your current training situation, and narrowed it down to FL for that reason. You had bad luck with enduring one of the worst east coast winters in years. however, I got my PPL in MD years ago, and weather was bad then too, but living costs 20 yrs ago weren't nearly so bad. I am sure you know, that being away from family is part of this business, especially at the lower levels in the airline business on reserve in junior bases. Have been able to get time in a flight training device for your IFR training? If you can maximize that, it will build your skills as well as keep costs down. PArt 141 training allows more FTD time. The best thing to do is go down to Aerosim and check out the facilities. Try to see other schools in FL too, so you can maximize the productivity of your trip. Go soon, though! The kids will be getting out of school soon, so the ticket price will go up!

When you go, ask to see the training contract and get a copy! Give them what ifs. Like what if I have to stop training for a week or 2 due to illness, can I change instructors, are checkride costs and written tests included in prices? Get a ride in back on a multi-engine instrument lesson if possible. See how many aircraft there are. Condition, check out maintenance hangar, is it ordered? Talk to other students. That's the only way to vet this place. Check for complaints against the school. If they balk at any of this it is a red flag. If you decide to go there, run the contract by a lawyer to understand the loopholes or risks. Florida in summer is going to be loaded with pop up thunderstorms, so you can have delays for those too.

CaptainMo
05-02-2015, 10:10 PM
bedrock, your guidance is much appreciated thank you!

As far as my training goes, I transitioned from round gauges to G1000 for instrument.

I have about 10 hours of IFR time but for some weird reason I was told under 141 that I'm only allowed a maximum of 3 to 10 hours in a FTD and the rest of the rating has to be done in the actual plane which doesn't make sense.

I did go gung-ho and built my own sim at home (four screens, yoke and the works complete with G1000) and I actually learnt the core basics of G1000 (and still learning) on my sim at home and when I got into the plane on my third lesson, I instinctively knew where to find stuff so I guess it has its benefits even if not FAA approved.

Aerosim's catalogue pretty much highlights all questions and I have made a note of questions I intend to ask them when I meet them.

The school was previously owned by Delta Airlines/Comair then bought out by another company so it supposedly is an airline geared school as they have retained Delta's training structure.

Aircraft are:

Cirrus SR20 - 32 planes
Cessna 172S - 12 planes
Piper Seminole - 12 planes
Piper Arrow - 7 planes
Beechcraft King Air C90 - 1 plane

Maintenance is all in-house with their own engineers/mechanics (again retaining Delta's structure).

They are supposedly affiliated with about 15 regional airlines who come and pluck CFIs out of the school even before they reach the required times.

They do a lot of training for Chinese and Taiwanese pilots apparently and these guys get their commercial ratings then go join their own airlines back in their countries.

The other school I'll be visiting is Trax Air (also in Orlando) which is a little smaller so let's see what they have to offer.

If I do decide to make the move it'll probably be sometime in August so perhaps I could get my IFR rating out of the way here in VA and start off there with commercial multi and single add-on thereafter then CFI (as per their courses).

tinman1
05-04-2015, 11:44 AM
Although I was never a student at Aerosim (aside from MEI), I did work there for a couple of years as an instructor and check airman. Also I had friends who were attended the school as a student, instructed at the school, and later went on to the regionals. It was a great place to work as an instructor if that's the path you are gunning for. I have no knowledge of the training contracts so I can't really help you there. But if you need a structured training program and would like to get done in a timely manner, then they can definitely help you accomplish those goals. We had some good instructors when I was there, and some not so good instructors (that's any flight school though). I honestly don't know what the current environment is like there as the turn over is so high with the regionals hiring.

I would definitely recommend Aerosim over ATP for obvious reasons as stated earlier in this thread. Plus the "90 day" zero to hero track is garbage. I realize it's been done before but there's no way you can get a quality education out of that.

Back before the regionals were hiring like gangbusters, I would've highly recommended places like Aerosim as it helps you get your foot in the door at the regionals with benefits like onsite interviews, resume forwarding, etc... But now that anyone with a pulse can get a job flying an RJ around, all of that seems less important. Truth be told you can probably do your training just about anywhere and still get hired in TODAY'S hiring climate. I will say this though, the initial CFI there is an in house checkride and that is HUGE! I went to a small mom & pop type school and I lost months of training proficiency while they squabbled back and forth with the FSDO over checkride dates and the airworthiness of an old, clapped out Arrow. All in all it set me back over a year.

To be honest, there are other parts of the country better suited for quality flight training, but they may not get you done as fast as the schools in Florida as they are more challenging areas to train in. Florida is good for practicing decision making in areas with lots of pop up thunderstorms, and nothing much other than that. It is the mecca of "fast track" style training programs as the weather is nice all year round. You may struggle when you get to the airlines and have no real mountain experience. Know that going in.

That being said...Florida is a great place to work as a CFI right now if you get on at a busy school. Decent pay, year round flying weather, and a reasonable cost of living. When I went out there a few years ago, I got a $7/hr raise, MEI paid for in full, and was billing out more hours than I could have ever dreamed of compared to my old job in southern California.

Good luck with whatever you choose!

marz7490
05-04-2015, 01:56 PM
I was also curious about this as I am considering an Aerosim or ATP type "academy"

Seems like the traditional style flight school is the way to go at the moment.

CaptainMo
05-04-2015, 10:42 PM
tinman1, thank you for your insight and kind sentiments!

As far as the training contract at Aerosim, I plan to ask them about this and other policies when I see them next weekend then run it through a laywer just to make sure I'm not being shafted for fees (considering how high they are!).

As far as instructing goes, I definitely would like to teach both ground school and flying not only to hone my skills as a pilot and build time but also constantly keep myself fresh with the information I have learnt.

From what I have read and researched, they still offer onsite interviews i.e. the regionals pop their heads in through the door and hire instructors before they reach the minimums and Aerosim says it is affiliated with about 12-15 regionals flying anything from Embraers to CRJs to Dash.

What did you mean by the inhouse checkride for CFI initial being a huge deal? I didn't quite understand (and my apologies if the question sounds silly).

At my current mom n pop school (which is a good school and instructors are awesome except for the weather and endless winter months!), if I complete my instrument there, then Aerosim would start me off from commercial multi (with single add-on) and from that point to CFI should take 8 or so months with weather factored in then another 12 months or so to build the remaining time before getting into a regional.

You also mentioned other parts of the country being better suited for quality flight training; would you share your thoughts on where please? As I stated in my previous posts, I looked at Florida because it is in closer proximity to VA (and family), favourable weather (besides the pop-ups and storms) and cost of living.

I also want to build as much cross-country time as I can (which I do now when I'm not training and try bouncing to new airports solo for experience) so I'll definitely venture out of Florida if I do join Aerosim. For instance in a few days I'm planning a trip to Allentown (Class C) or Allentown Queen City (Class G) which is smack near the mountains/hills just for experience (and I'm always looking for solo time XC time!).

Sorry for rambling but the more I learn about aviation myself and from others, the more zest I have to do this properly and be a competent and safe pilot and also enjoy my flying.

Would really appreciate feedback to some of the questions below :-)

tinman1
05-05-2015, 08:25 AM
What did you mean by the inhouse checkride for CFI initial being a huge deal? I didn't quite understand (and my apologies if the question sounds silly).

At my current mom n pop school (which is a good school and instructors are awesome except for the weather and endless winter months!), if I complete my instrument there, then Aerosim would start me off from commercial multi (with single add-on) and from that point to CFI should take 8 or so months with weather factored in then another 12 months or so to build the remaining time before getting into a regional.

You also mentioned other parts of the country being better suited for quality flight training; would you share your thoughts on where please? As I stated in my previous posts, I looked at Florida because it is in closer proximity to VA (and family), favourable weather (besides the pop-ups and storms) and cost of living.

I also want to build as much cross-country time as I can (which I do now when I'm not training and try bouncing to new airports solo for experience) so I'll definitely venture out of Florida if I do join Aerosim. For instance in a few days I'm planning a trip to Allentown (Class C) or Allentown Queen City (Class G) which is smack near the mountains/hills just for experience (and I'm always looking for solo time XC time!).

Sorry for rambling but the more I learn about aviation myself and from others, the more zest I have to do this properly and be a competent and safe pilot and also enjoy my flying.

Would really appreciate feedback to some of the questions below :-)

The initial CFI checkride is a different animal from the rest of them. You have to apply through your FSDO, which makes every effort to get you scheduled with an FAA inspector. If they can't set you up with a Fed within two weeks then they are supposed to select a local DPE for the ride. But the reality is they can make you wait as long as they want. Mine involved a month wait, which they canceled with night before, and then another two weeks wait just to attempt the checkride (during which he grounded the aircraft for airworthiness b/c he didn't want to go flying that day).

I went to a small flight school at a junior college with very few career track students, and even fewer CFI students (I was the only one at the time). Choosing a school that puts through CFI applicants on a regular basis will be to your advantage as they should have a good working relationship with the local FSDO. In the case of the Aerosim, they have in house examining authority for the initial CFI. Which means when you're ready you will go up with a company check instructor, thus eliminating the whole red tape process with the FSDO.

As far as training locations, I was merely pointing out that I think it's best to do some of your training outside of Florida, which you have already done. Anyway, sounds like you have thought this through very well and are planning appropriately. Good luck!

Flyingmoose2254
05-15-2015, 01:03 PM
I did the from 0 time Professional Pilot Course at Aerosim and have been working there for the past 2 years. PM if you have any questions.

TheWeatherman
05-19-2015, 04:39 PM
Well a move to Florida comes down to various factors:

1) The first being the weather and the weather in Virginia has been horrible especially over the last 6 months (I started my IFR training in November and lost 5 months to bad weather so hardly flew at all) and isn't really improving and even when its sunny the winds are pushing past 20-30 knots which isn't fun when trying to learn. I can handle heavy gusts without a problem but it doesn't make learning fun if you know what I mean because I'd rather be learning than fighting the elements. My PPL was accomplished last year through 6 months of absolute horrible weather (including landings) and I've only ever had 10 days of good calm weather to fly in since I started. Having said that, flying in good weather (as a result of training in bad weather) makes it a walk in the park.


As somebody who did half of his training for the PPL down in Florida, I can tell you that Florida weather is VERY overrated. I would say that about 40% of my lessons were weather canx'd due to thunderstorms and low ceilings, and when you are able to get up, the air is very bumpy due to thermals making it very hard to perform maneuvers.

For perspective, I had only about a 10 - 20% cancellation rate during this past Wisconsin winter.

You may have plenty of reason to go to Florida, but weather should not be one of them. Almost everywhere else in the U.S. is better.

TheWeatherman
05-19-2015, 04:41 PM
Are you limiting yourself to Florida for some reason? The Florida airspace can get crowded and you won't get much varied experience there. Little actual IFR, although northern FL in winter gets some good steady rain. There are no mountains there, the state is narrow, so cross country flying isn't challenging either. An important thing to consider is on what schedule do they expect payment. I wouldn't pay all up front or even half. Pay for one course at a time to minimize problems. Glass cockpit is a buzzword, that increases your price. Is it good to learn, yes, but your whole training doesn't need to be in glass, in fact, you would be a better pilot learning round gauges before glass, because those gauges force you to scan properly on instruments. All you need is 5-10 hrs of glass to get used to it well. The displays in a modern airliner can easily have close to 200 pieces of information being displayed. On the E-145, it is 140, I think. No Cessna glass cockpit is going to have that much info.

Had a representative from the Regionals come talk to us a few weeks ago. She said that one of the biggest problems they had with new hires is that they were mostly trained in glass cockpits and due to that lacked some of the fundamental skills of flying, including those you mentioned.

CaptainMo
05-19-2015, 09:03 PM
Flyingmoose, I sent you a private message in your inbox. Would be really grateful if you get a chance to respond, thanks :-)

Flyboyxc91
05-20-2015, 06:29 PM
I'm just skimming this thread a little.. The OP, you stated you can only have 10 hours of FTD for the instrument rating. Per 61.65 (i)(2) that must be because you will be using an ATD - Aviation Training Device. The FAR regs state that if you're using an FTD it's Allowable up to 30 hours toward the instrument rating with the CFII per 61.65 (h)(1)