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Old 06-28-2006, 01:53 AM   #1  
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Default Part 141 groundschool costs...

For those of you who dont know I plan on attending a 4 year university and enrolling in a part 141 training curriculum and minoring in another field of study on the side. One of the things that ****es me off is the ridiculous costs for groundschool going the p141 route. i got my private at a part 61 and did not pay a cent for groundschool. the routine at the part 61 was a pre and post flight briefing from my instructor never charged me a cent and if I ever had a question they would answer it and not charge me for that either.
This is the biggest setback I have about enrolling in the program. at CWU. cwu expects i complete an initial 141 ground school session before I start my training regardless of my ppl I already have. I understand the differences between 61 and 141 but listen to this. A 141 I contacted in AZ estimated I would need 2 weeks classtime and estimated the cost at around 1000 dollars for this initial 141 ground school! ******* this. I contacted the head of the flight dep at cwu and she said theres a place at BFI that can do it in 2 weekend sessions, but regardless their rates arent cheap either when looking at the place for gschool. Here is the link for the rates to complete 141 training at CWU all the way through.http://http://www.cwu.edu/~flight/midstate_rates_2005.doc look at the rates for groundschool instruction just last year and i am sure they have gone up a little since then. Its so ridiculous! in 61 I could buy a thick book for 50 buxx that is specialized for each rating Im pursuing and the gleim red books and ask instructors questions if i was unsure of something. for someone with self discipline who doesn't mind studying the stuff at home and saving money, what's bad about it? worked fine for my private, did my studying, aced the written got my license. That sounds a lot better and would save a hell of a lot of money right?
On the contrary, The upside I see about going 141 at CWU and enrolling in the program is that I can network with people who are interested in the same thing as me, the CWU program offers internship opportunities with alaska and horizon which I would love to do,i can get my ratings in fewer hours and be instructing quicker to build up some hours to become more competitive in the aviation job field by the time I graduate, and the possibility of getting an interview with horizon with the direct hire program cwu is very appealing. My opinion though is that it seems like some of these costs seem ridiculous and un-necessary and makes me feel like im throwing money down the drain. im certainly going to give it a shot but a couple months down the road with some experience of the program, I will certainly re-evaluate my priorities and realize if this is the road I really want to take when instead I could go part 61 which the place CWU contracts out to offers as well, get my ratings on the side and majoring in something else. time will tell, but some comments would be appreciated, regards, chris
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Old 06-28-2006, 04:12 AM   #2  
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I had my private when I went to a 141 school. I paid over $500 per groundschool to watch an old slide show strip made be Jeppesson in the early '80's. It was a major rip-off. My instructors were former students, some of which sucked as instructors. Would I do it again? NO!

141 does not mean better training. (I was at a big name school).
You could have better instruction at a local grass strip. I say could, it's up to you to find a good instructor anywhere you go. You can do your ground school at home on DVD or CD and get better instruction than some places. It's your money, they work for you. Don't be afraid to fire your instructor and get a new one. Good luck.
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Old 06-28-2006, 06:57 AM   #3  
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Dont Part 141 programs have much more rigid rules that they have to follow? Dont you spend less actual time flying (Commercial at 200 hours in 141 vs. 250 in 61)? You might want to take a look at the "big picture" costs.

I think it may be a bit dangerous to assume that all CFI's will give ground instruction at no charge. Some do and some dont. If you are committed to your school's program, then you may just have to pay up and do the work. Or, find some other solution that fits your needs and wallet better
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Old 06-28-2006, 08:35 AM   #4  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by C152driver
Dont Part 141 programs have much more rigid rules that they have to follow? Dont you spend less actual time flying (Commercial at 200 hours in 141 vs. 250 in 61)? You might want to take a look at the "big picture" costs.

I think it may be a bit dangerous to assume that all CFI's will give ground instruction at no charge. Some do and some dont. If you are committed to your school's program, then you may just have to pay up and do the work. Or, find some other solution that fits your needs and wallet better
I have trained and worked at both 141 and 61 operations...

The theory is that by adhering to a more organized curriculum, a 141 school can get the job done in less flight time, but often there is an associated requirement for a set number of ground school hours. 61 does not require a fixed number of ground hours...you can a take a class if you like, or just read the textbook and do the workbook youself (home study course). Your CFI will check your knowledge prior to sign-off anyway. Many 61 schools run organized groun school classes anyway, they just avoid the 141 status because it is a HUGE paperwork hassle for the school and requires more FAA supervision (real pilots don't like paperwork or the FAA).

The reality is that flight schools (many of which are thinly disguised con-games) leverage their "FAA Approved 141" status into a marketing gimmick to justify higher costs (often WAY higher!).

The end result is usually that you pay the same or even MORE for the same rating under 141...but you did it in less flight hours. The problem here is that total flight time is the primary measure of your career progression at the entry level...you may gotten your commercial with 50 fewer hours than a 61 student, but guess who's going to meet airline hiring mins first? Hint: Not the guy with less flight time.

I would only recommend a 141 program to someone who has a specific need for it: Military veterans need 141 to use their benefits, and if you have a scholarship to a university that runs a 141 program obviously you should do that. There is one other 141 benefit: Some, not all, 141 schools can conduct their own checkride in-house without a DPE. This is a little more comfortable for the student, and due to regulatory technicalities you cannot get a pink slip (check ride failure) on an in-house 141 checkride. If yoy "fail", it counts as incomplete, you get more training, and redo the part you screwed up.

Last edited by rickair7777; 06-28-2006 at 08:41 AM.
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Old 06-28-2006, 08:51 AM   #5  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rickair7777
The end result is usually that you pay the same or even MORE for the same rating under 141...but you did it in less flight hours. The problem here is that total flight time is the primary measure of your career progression at the entry level...you may gotten your commercial with 50 fewer hours than a 61 student, but guess who's going to meet airline hiring mins first? Hint: Not the guy with less flight time.
That quote is dead on...

Ground schools in 141 are highly overrated, in my opinion. If you are a motivated student, and especially if you desire to become a professional pilot, I always recommend home study with a textbook. It's a lot cheaper, and you will save a lot of time and money (two things you will need!). At some of these airline academies, they will charge you over $20 an hour for classroom ground school with 10-20 people. At American Flyers, its $80 an hour, and they are proud of it. That is MUCH more than classes cost as Harvard or Stanford!!
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Old 06-28-2006, 12:41 PM   #6  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rickair7777
I have trained and worked at both 141 and 61 operations...

The theory is that by adhering to a more organized curriculum, a 141 school can get the job done in less flight time, but often there is an associated requirement for a set number of ground school hours. 61 does not require a fixed number of ground hours...you can a take a class if you like, or just read the textbook and do the workbook youself (home study course). Your CFI will check your knowledge prior to sign-off anyway. Many 61 schools run organized groun school classes anyway, they just avoid the 141 status because it is a HUGE paperwork hassle for the school and requires more FAA supervision (real pilots don't like paperwork or the FAA).

The reality is that flight schools (many of which are thinly disguised con-games) leverage their "FAA Approved 141" status into a marketing gimmick to justify higher costs (often WAY higher!).

The end result is usually that you pay the same or even MORE for the same rating under 141...but you did it in less flight hours. The problem here is that total flight time is the primary measure of your career progression at the entry level...you may gotten your commercial with 50 fewer hours than a 61 student, but guess who's going to meet airline hiring mins first? Hint: Not the guy with less flight time.

I would only recommend a 141 program to someone who has a specific need for it: Military veterans need 141 to use their benefits, and if you have a scholarship to a university that runs a 141 program obviously you should do that. There is one other 141 benefit: Some, not all, 141 schools can conduct their own checkride in-house without a DPE. This is a little more comfortable for the student, and due to regulatory technicalities you cannot get a pink slip (check ride failure) on an in-house 141 checkride. If yoy "fail", it counts as incomplete, you get more training, and redo the part you screwed up.
Rickair,

Thanks for your follow up comments, I always find your tone to be reasonable.

I have completed all of my training in 61, so my knowledge (admittedly limited) is based on that. I have had a couple of CFI's that gave me as much free ground instruction as I needed, and I also had one that charged me. So, I was attempting to say that expecting free ground instruction might be a bit much.

I agree with your point regarding completing the commercial in 141, vs. 61. That's the way that I have always looked at it and is the reason I went with 61. It seems that my point about taking a "global" view about training costs is invalid. It sounds like you are saying that it is a common practice for 141 schools to "make up" in ground training costs what they arent getting in flight time. Is that the case?

I think my final point still stands, if CWU1919 doesnt find his program to be fitting all of his needs, he should seek other options. There certainly doesnt seem to be a shortage of them
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Old 06-28-2006, 08:40 PM   #7  
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I started my aviation degree at CWU Fall 2004 with no flight time or experience, now after finishing my 2nd year there, I am a full-time flight instructor at a busy part 61 flight school across the river from Portland.

Central has a solid aviation program, but no matter where you get your ratings, the harder you work, and the more you practice, the better pilot you will be in the end.

The reason you must take a 141 g school, is because that is the only approved way Central can give you college credits for the required PVT ground school. Which is required for the FO, ASM, or Aviation Minor. Best of luck.
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Old 07-01-2006, 05:01 AM   #8  
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You were spoiled just like me. I did most of my primary training at a local flying club pt 61. It was laid back and like you said the CFI's would help you out with no problem. But thats what seperates pt 141. Its more structured and theyHAVE to follow a standard FAA curriculum. They have no choice. The FAA inspects them periodically to make sure they are compling. The FAA isnt as tough on pt 61 programs. I went to a 141 school for advanced lisence and it ws a cultural shock (especially to my wallet) but all in all I am glad I did it. I figure if I am going to work in a professional aviation environment , I might as well tran in one to get used to it
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