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Old 02-11-2021, 07:24 AM   #11  
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Tip number one- the ones that show up on the top of a google search are not it. They are just the most funded with the largest advertising budget.

Unless someoneís paying for your training, why do you care about a ďmodern fleet?Ē Itís like this- a well maintained 2008 Hyundai Elantra vs a 2020 BMW 7 series. Both get you down the road to work exactly the same. One just costs a lot more. Why would you want to pay more for the same thing?
Amen brother
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Old 02-11-2021, 10:44 AM   #12  
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Honestly I think the more important factor is to get a good instructor. I would focus on that. Its frustrating to deal with mechanical issues but a bad instructor will cost you a lot more in the long run. I've seen some really good instructors at local flight clubs or mom and pop shops. Big flight schools are not a guarantee for good instructors.

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It goes both ways. My old flight school back in the day had excellent career instructors but that was not of much help when my training was significantly delayed due to aging fleet problems and an overly aggressive airworthiness approach from the local FSDO. The owner of the only available complex trainer ended up pulling it from the program right as I started commercial training. A good instructor can't do much to help that.

My point is that it's a valid concern for the career minded student.
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Old 02-11-2021, 11:27 AM   #13  
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It goes both ways. My old flight school back in the day had excellent career instructors but that was not of much help when my training was significantly delayed due to aging fleet problems and an overly aggressive airworthiness approach from the local FSDO. The owner of the only available complex trainer ended up pulling it from the program right as I started commercial training. A good instructor can't do much to help that.



My point is that it's a valid concern for the career minded student.
Very true and that is why I said unless the airplanes have major mechanical issues.
I was just trying to emphasize to not get blinded by the shiny big schools since it doesn't guarantee good instructors.

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Old 02-11-2021, 11:42 AM   #14  
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Very true and that is why I said unless the airplanes have major mechanical issues.
I was just trying to emphasize to not get blinded by the shiny big schools since it doesn't guarantee good instructors.

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I think you hit the nail on the head there. All airplanes, even new ones, need lots of regularly scheduled maintenance.

A good maintenance team is far more important than the age of the fleet. Keep in mind a 1970s aircraft probably has an engine and prop that are only a couple years old.
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Old 02-11-2021, 12:15 PM   #15  
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A large part of flight training is what you make out of it. On the flip side, a lot of students, especially younger OR ones new to aviation, don't really know what to do, what to expect, what is acceptable, etc. When you get to airlines, you get to very regimented programs with expectations that you follow procedure exactly. You do so because it's not just your life and the passengers on the hook, the truth is it's the financial interest of the company. The ones that realize that it's a lot cheaper to not have accidents and lawsuits. They don't want you operating outside of SOP.

Some schools don't really enforce standards or lack standardization. Some of the equipment is so out of date it will not replicate in any way what will be used from that point on. Some of them have the student switch instructors all the time. Some of the instructors just barely meet the instructor qualifications and have very little experience teaching. Other schools have very regimented programs to fill in the inevitable gaps created by inexperienced instructors, with highly structured training for their instructors, highly structured courses, etc. Some of these require you to perform or you will be identified for lack of progress and possibly dropped or recycled. This is usually a lot more of a "chance" than you'll get at an airline, where if you are not making progress, they let you go.

But airplanes are airplanes and in my experience, they flight a lot more the "same" than different. There can be benefit to experiencing different platforms and equipment. There isn't a "right answer" unfortunately. The old tends of thousands of hour mom-and-pop school CFI may not be nearly as up on the modern developments and current material. Or maybe they are. The structured flight school may be "finish as fast as possible" situation where you lose the knowledge just as fast as you gained it, because finishing fast does not mean you actually are going to retain knowledge/experience.

Military simply isn't an option for some. Generally the structure there is excellent, but that's because the structure of the military, officer corps, etc. Everything has to be structured. Military isn't an option often for reasons outside of this, like medical and number of available slots.

When you go to the airline, you have to be ready to be a self-starter, understand the level of knowledge required, be competent with your flows and checklists, etc. They expect you to do a lot or most of this on your own, and then they test you on it. If you were at an unorganized flight school and not really held to the standards or required to perform at an appropriate level, it can quickly overwhelm.
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Old 02-12-2021, 12:44 PM   #16  
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I would stay at a "mom and pop flight school." I've flown with several people from a certain major flight school and bc of the experience of new vs old planes, or rushing through the requirements, I've found some of them to be scared of clouds and older airplanes that are serviced and maintained just fine. I'm not hating on them at all but imagine going to a 141 and having 2 months of great weather, never going through a cloud but taking your instrument checkride. In theory, you should be fine, but maybe you won't, you won't know until you're in it.
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Old 02-13-2021, 05:25 PM   #17  
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Sorry to attempt to hijack the thread, but it's related (I'm assuming due to being a new user, I'm unable to make a new thread).
I have my PPL, but have not flown in close to 15 years. I'm looking to get back in with the goal being the airlines. I recently got my Class 1, and am going to get current again locally.
What are the best accelerated schools? ATP, American Flyers, Flight Safety, L3, any others? Are they all pretty much equal with their own pros and cons? I will be doing this debt free as well.
Also, will getting current be enough prior to attending such a program? I don't want to be out of water when I get there.

Thanks.
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Old 02-13-2021, 06:20 PM   #18  
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Sorry to attempt to hijack the thread, but it's related (I'm assuming due to being a new user, I'm unable to make a new thread).
I have my PPL, but have not flown in close to 15 years. I'm looking to get back in with the goal being the airlines. I recently got my Class 1, and am going to get current again locally.
What are the best accelerated schools? ATP, American Flyers, Flight Safety, L3, any others? Are they all pretty much equal with their own pros and cons? I will be doing this debt free as well.
Also, will getting current be enough prior to attending such a program? I don't want to be out of water when I get there.

Thanks.
I had an instructor that went to L3 as part of a university program. He wasn't crazy about it. I know a few guys who went to ATP, and they say the same thing just about everyone else says about it: it's not for everyone. You'll either love it or hate it. Some people excel and some get kicked out for too many training failures. If you're in New York area you can also look into Academy of Aviation. They have two locations there. They're also a little cheaper than ATP and advertise the same sort of accelerated program (but do your research and be aware that weather will play an issue in the winter time anywhere outside of Florida or Arizona and will affect how truly "accelerated" any program is). AoA has other locations in the South, but I don't have any first hand knowledge outside of the New York locations.

Honestly, if financing isn't an issue and you're paying out of pocket, I'm going to echo what a lot of people on here have said and suggest you do it Part 61 through a mom and pop shop. It'll be cheaper than any of the big name schools, and probably just as fast assuming you can go at it full time. I got my ppl part 61 and blazed through 50 hours in one month. In contrast, my instrument rating at a part 141 school took forever. IMO, it's more about your dedication and cooperation of the weather than it is about the specific school's offerings. The only real benefit the big part 141 schools really offer is access to a loan. If you don't need that, you're better off finding a good instructor and staying close to home rather than moving across the country just for a big name school (unless you live in a place with really terrible weather, in which case moving to a southern region might actually enable you to fly more often and get finished more quickly). On the flip side, one of the major downsides to some locations in Florida is that fact that you won't get as much actual instrument time because of how sunny it is all the time, and the overcast days they do get are usually associated with thunderstorms. Pros and cons to everything. Just have to weigh your options and see what fits your situation best.
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Old 02-13-2021, 08:28 PM   #19  
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I had an instructor that went to L3 as part of a university program. He wasn't crazy about it. I know a few guys who went to ATP, and they say the same thing just about everyone else says about it: it's not for everyone. You'll either love it or hate it. Some people excel and some get kicked out for too many training failures. If you're in New York area you can also look into Academy of Aviation. They have two locations there. They're also a little cheaper than ATP and advertise the same sort of accelerated program (but do your research and be aware that weather will play an issue in the winter time anywhere outside of Florida or Arizona and will affect how truly "accelerated" any program is). AoA has other locations in the South, but I don't have any first hand knowledge outside of the New York locations.

Honestly, if financing isn't an issue and you're paying out of pocket, I'm going to echo what a lot of people on here have said and suggest you do it Part 61 through a mom and pop shop. It'll be cheaper than any of the big name schools, and probably just as fast assuming you can go at it full time. I got my ppl part 61 and blazed through 50 hours in one month. In contrast, my instrument rating at a part 141 school took forever. IMO, it's more about your dedication and cooperation of the weather than it is about the specific school's offerings. The only real benefit the big part 141 schools really offer is access to a loan. If you don't need that, you're better off finding a good instructor and staying close to home rather than moving across the country just for a big name school (unless you live in a place with really terrible weather, in which case moving to a southern region might actually enable you to fly more often and get finished more quickly). On the flip side, one of the major downsides to some locations in Florida is that fact that you won't get as much actual instrument time because of how sunny it is all the time, and the overcast days they do get are usually associated with thunderstorms. Pros and cons to everything. Just have to weigh your options and see what fits your situation best.
Thanks for the reply. I'm in NY as well, and like you said, weather and traffic will definitely play a large part in your progress. Yes, I understand what you're saying in terms of Mom and Pop schools. Another part of this would enable me to leave NY, something I've always wanted to do for quite a while now. With that, I would be funding training from my sale, so staying in NY would not be an option, even if I wanted to.
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Old 02-14-2021, 01:31 AM   #20  
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Again... all these schools you mention have the highest advertising budget. EVERY flight school is accelerated if you want it to be. Find the best balance of cost, fleet availability, and instructors. Start with one cfi under the premise that itís an interview and youíre trying to find the right fit. Try a few for a few lessons and settle on one.
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