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Old 09-29-2008, 09:40 AM   #1  
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Default Delta Connection Academy

I have my private pilot and started my instrument at a local FBO but it takes so long to go through the process just working on it part time. I have thought about going to Delta Connection Academy. Does anyone have any reviews and thoughts about them? What is a typical day like? I have looked into the price and overall its about the same price as a local FBO in the long run. Any suggestions or tips would be great! Thanks
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Old 09-29-2008, 09:54 AM   #2  
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What's the rush? Who's hiring right now?

Have you looked at the 15 other threads on this very topic? Why not find a cheaper FBO? What exactly does going $100k into debt for a $25,000 a year job do for you?
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Old 09-29-2008, 11:26 AM   #3  
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You don't hear much positive about that place. I'd suggest you go over to www.jetcareers.com and do a search.

If the rates at your local school are reasonable, you'd be better off sticking it out local. Any reason you couldn't just fly more to get it done faster?
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Old 09-30-2008, 02:36 PM   #4  
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Originally Posted by astyron View Post
I have my private pilot and started my instrument at a local FBO but it takes so long to go through the process just working on it part time. I have thought about going to Delta Connection Academy. Does anyone have any reviews and thoughts about them? What is a typical day like? I have looked into the price and overall its about the same price as a local FBO in the long run. Any suggestions or tips would be great! Thanks
You get a great education, no doubt. You also get a lot of debt. I went there as a student after getting private pt 61 and then instructed there.

As stated, being that there is no hiring right now I do not see the rush into going to an accelerated program.
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Old 10-01-2008, 09:46 PM   #5  
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Default Delta Connection Academy

I am going to take a slightly different perspective than the people who have replied so far. First, let me say that I was a student and instructor at SFB DCA. I completed my private at a local FBO and did the vast majority of my instrument training at the FBO too. The previous posters who say that you get a quality education at DCA are not exaggerating. Since I completed most of my IFR training at an FBO, I took the ground school inst. course and did an abbreviated part 61 inst. course at DCA. The comparison between the instructors' knowledge and training techniques at DCA vs the FBO were night and day. Granted, I do not dispute that good CFIIs can be found at some FBOs, but the fact that each DCA instructor is rigorously standardized greatly conributes to a uniform, quality product. (It's hit or miss at an FBO). If you'd like to save some money, might I suggest getting your PVT and part of your inst rating at an FBO, then finishing your inst. rating and other ratings at DCA. I did it and I feel that I still got a good education.

I would also like to address the comment that one should not be in a hurry to earn one's ratings now since not many airlines are hiring. That is true...for NOW. Hiring cycles come and go, and unfortunately, it appears we may be in a hiring down swing for quite some time. SO...why go to DCA? Like I told my students (and I still quite thoroughly believe it)....having instructional experience at DCA (or other quality institutions) is an insurance policy that increases your odds of getting hired by certain regional airlines when hiring is meager. I have witnessed it personally many times. Instructors from DCA were getting hired at Comair, ASA, and Chautauqua when the industry in general was stagnating. Is it a GUARANTEE that someone will hire you? NO!!! BUT it greatly increases your odds. I have personally witnessed an individual in HR call a pilot recruiter in CVG for Comair and have a DCA instructor's application plucked out of the thousands on file to be given an interview (and he was hired). It is NOT an exaggeration to say you have connections at DCA.

But in the end, it's a gamble. If times are tight when you're interviewing at a regional, your DCA experience may very well get you a job months before others. But if times are good, it probably won't make THAT much of a difference where you got your hours. And for those that say, "Why go tens of thousands of dollars in debt to get hired a few months earlier?"...the answer is simple. Seniority at any airline is KING. Being hired in September 07 at the airline I currently work for means I have a job. If I were hired in December, I'd be collecting unemployment on furlough. If I had been hired in August, I'd be a regular line holder (I'm holding build up lines now). SO timing is everything....take every advantage you can...get your ratings and experience at DCA (or other reputable institution) and be ready for whatever the hiring environment may be like in the future.

I hope my perspective is helpful. I wish you well in your aviation career and hope the best for you whatever route you decide to take. If you'd like to talk more about DCA, feel free to PM me and I'll try my best to assist you. But also listen to what others have to say so that you can have balanced understanding of all your options!

Good Luck!

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Old 10-02-2008, 01:49 PM   #6  
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I don't believe a couple months seniority is worth the price you pay for a school like DCA. And, networking can be had at any flight school big or small. You meet the right people and they can help you out. Luck and timing means much more than what school you went to.

Some smaller FBO's, flight schools, or flying clubs, can do as well as the big academies. It's all about you, your CFI, and the airplanes. Hunt around and can find better training for less money.

What the DCA's of the world have going for them is easy squeezy loan programs. Some people will have no alternatives than to buy into a program like that. To each his own. DCA's marketing practices resemble a used car lot and I hate to see people sucked in to that, later find out there were other options.
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Old 10-02-2008, 01:58 PM   #7  
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What the DCA's of the world have going for them is easy squeezy loan programs. Some people will have no alternatives than to buy into a program like that. To each his own. DCA's marketing practices resemble a used car lot and I hate to see people sucked in to that, later find out there were other options.
And that paragraph brings up an important point. What will the pilot factories do as the credit standards tighten and it's harder to get those loans from Sallie and Key Bank?
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Old 10-02-2008, 06:44 PM   #8  
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Hands down, DCA has one of the best aviation programs in the nation, but it isn't worth it. I attended DCA and loved the time there and still feel that it is a great place to learn, however the price that they are asking is way too high. My suggestion would be to find a different FBO especially if they are the same as DCA. I will say, as long as you have a good instructor, you'll be fine, if you don't, find one, change.
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Old 10-02-2008, 07:09 PM   #9  
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If one feels the need to pay top dollar for an academy, I'd suggest FSA. Very expensive but it's the only place I could suggest if someone feels the need to have a "big academy" experience.
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Old 10-03-2008, 05:53 AM   #10  
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For the amount of money you will spend at DCA could get you a fast ticket, but why are you in a hurry to get your tickets when the airlines are furloughing pilots? I'd say take your time and find a good local FBO that has good equipment and instructors and work from there. If you want a more economical route, try ATP and they should be able to work with you. Good luck!
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