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Old 07-13-2006, 09:10 PM   #1  
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Default Delta Connection Academy

I know this one will get hit hard as all the other have in this forum. I was hoping to ask some questions (Sits back and expects the worst) about the Delta Connection Academy. (Yes, I've taken the time to research all the topics regarding DCA). I found that, most of the complaints regarding DCA was the cost with a few mentions of being "talked down to".

My thing is this, alot of these posts I read were, "He said, she said, they said, I read" kinda thing. Very few were from actual students. I understand that alot of people may have lost a great respect from DCA, but I'm just trying to find the best solution to get to where I want to be. With money being no factor (Yes, no factor in this case) - is DCA an academy that will succeed in getting me hopefully to the regionals with a strong dedication and motivation? I've checked out the other schools and ATP seems to be a top competitor. However, it's too much like a chain (Or so it appears). If someone can give me factual advice (Other then cost figures) about why this academy is the worst, I would like to hear it. As I stated above, I'm looking for a guality, brand-name (Yes, I am a devoted Delta member, lol) flight school (Not FBO) that will help achieve my goals. Also, I saw alot of posts regarding the hiring and pay that these airlines offer. I'm not looking to be the next second richest person or even close. I do however, want to fly. My schedule is VERY flexible. If I was a DCA student I would be devoted 100% for the entire two years without question. No job, just the academy. All finances paid. So, after being very flexible, not worried about cost, or what pay a job can offer me down the road... is there anything else? Another reason why I should not attend this academy? Or better off, why should I attend another school?

Thanks taking the time to read this guys. I appreaciate it and not trying to set off any sparks. I've loved flying and regardless of what school I believe I will attend, I know I will make it some how. Just gathering more opinions. Thanks again!

-Chase
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Old 07-13-2006, 10:53 PM   #2  
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Sounds like you pretty much have your mind made up. You have restricted your options to only name brand, as you call them, Academies.

Where there is smoke there is fire, and I personally wouldn't spend a dime at a place that gets so much negative feedback.

There are many good options out there. You just have to get through all the salemanship and find out what the truth is. The truth is you do not need to spend premium dollars to get quality flight instruction. I suggest you talk to some of the people that do the hiring where you want to work, and ask them what they want. That is what I did, and I am not going to a name brand school. I simply found a good instructor that is passionate about his job at a place that has a couple singles and a twin to fly. Pretty much all you need right there. I suggest you shop around and see what fits for YOU. Other peoples opinions aren't always what will be best for you.

As far as DCA goes, I have no experience with them at all. I saw the price of their program and moved on, period.
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Old 07-14-2006, 06:30 AM   #3  
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Rumor has it DCA is getting sold. I went to one of those outfits, they took $45,000 of my money and closed after I got my instrument rating. Get your stuff at a local FBO, pay your dues, do your time, yada yada!
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Old 07-14-2006, 06:57 AM   #4  
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I started at DCA. After I spent the money they told me I would spend for my Instrument, CASEL, CAMEL, and they expected me to start using CFI money - and I wasn't even done with my Commercial Single - I went to ATP. I think that the corporate concept behind DCA is a good idea from Delta's standpoint, but come on, do you really want to spend that much money, and that much time to go to a Delta carrier right now? True, ATP has a lot of locations, it's b/c they know what they're doing. Call their 800 number, they've got some spreadsheets that they can tell you about direct differences between other schools and them. Me personally, I took 10 months from the time I started ATP, to my first interview at ExpressJet. (granted I had a little more time than most of their students when I started.) I'm loving the right seat of the RJ! Just give ATP a call, see what they can offer you. Every location will give you personal attention to make sure you succeed. One closing thought...

ATP = A fixed time + a fixed price....no hidden fees.
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Old 07-14-2006, 07:50 AM   #5  
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All my posts about DCA are first hand. I attended the school in late 02 through early 04. Oh, and I'm still stuck in this black hole called Sanford.
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Old 07-14-2006, 08:10 AM   #6  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chase87
I know this one will get hit hard as all the other have in this forum. I was hoping to ask some questions (Sits back and expects the worst) about the Delta Connection Academy. (Yes, I've taken the time to research all the topics regarding DCA). I found that, most of the complaints regarding DCA was the cost with a few mentions of being "talked down to".

My thing is this, alot of these posts I read were, "He said, she said, they said, I read" kinda thing. Very few were from actual students. I understand that alot of people may have lost a great respect from DCA, but I'm just trying to find the best solution to get to where I want to be. With money being no factor (Yes, no factor in this case) - is DCA an academy that will succeed in getting me hopefully to the regionals with a strong dedication and motivation? I've checked out the other schools and ATP seems to be a top competitor. However, it's too much like a chain (Or so it appears). If someone can give me factual advice (Other then cost figures) about why this academy is the worst, I would like to hear it. As I stated above, I'm looking for a guality, brand-name (Yes, I am a devoted Delta member, lol) flight school (Not FBO) that will help achieve my goals. Also, I saw alot of posts regarding the hiring and pay that these airlines offer. I'm not looking to be the next second richest person or even close. I do however, want to fly. My schedule is VERY flexible. If I was a DCA student I would be devoted 100% for the entire two years without question. No job, just the academy. All finances paid. So, after being very flexible, not worried about cost, or what pay a job can offer me down the road... is there anything else? Another reason why I should not attend this academy? Or better off, why should I attend another school?

Thanks taking the time to read this guys. I appreaciate it and not trying to set off any sparks. I've loved flying and regardless of what school I believe I will attend, I know I will make it some how. Just gathering more opinions. Thanks again!

-Chase
If money is no object, do Flight Safety. They are THE source for turbine training in many, many airplane types for most corporate and 135 operators, and some small airlines. They are highly regarded in the industry and very unlikely to sc#w you over. Luckily you for you, they also happen to do entry-level training also. My knowledge is limited to the turbine side, but their reputation precedes them.

All of the "glossy brochure" academies take advantage of newcomers who assume that a professional-looking operation is better. This is not really true in general aviation for some reason. The "academies" make gobs of money by selling you the same training you get anywhere else, packaging it in new paint and shiny facilities, and charging two or three times what it's worth. Once you are there, realize what's going on, and try to get your money back the real fun begins! They will threaten to ruin your flying career by giving a bad recomendation on future reference checks; they will say "quiters" don't have what it takes to succeed in the airline industry. Unfortunately, airlines WILL check out your background, and there is some risk that a school COULD actually damage your job prospects down the road if they really wanted to trash talk you. This is all a standard formula that has worked for years in the that industry.

ATP appears to be the most cost affective of the large schools, and I haven't heard about any strong arm tactics on their part. I have done only a small amount of training there.

I understand the tremendous appeal that a large, shiny organization has to a newbie like yourself (that is what to the academies do best, sell themselves), but If you do not listen to the folks who have experience and 20/20 hindsight you will be back on this forum in 2-3 years with a whole different attitude!

Last edited by rickair7777; 07-14-2006 at 08:14 AM.
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Old 07-14-2006, 10:08 AM   #7  
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"I'm looking for a guality, brand-name (Yes, I am a devoted Delta member, lol) flight school (Not FBO) that will help achieve my goals"

Not sure why you would say that. DCA airplanes are no better than your average FBO airplanes. 152's, 172's, and PA44's. DCA hires instructors from within their own program at about 300 hours and they stay until they meet regional mins. Same thing for an FBO CFI. At DCA you have formal ground schools. At an FBO you can take formal ground schools or just read the book/watch the DVD. Formal ground schools don't make you smarter, it's just a different way to present the information.

You get out of flight training what you put into it. That goes for DCA or a FBO.

I don't know, what good reasons are there to go to DCA in your eyes? You should pay them a visit. I hear the official tour is a sell job, so be careful.

Desertdog is right. The place has a terrible reputation on the internet, even from people who went there. It's got worse over the years from what I've seen. There must be a reason for that.

The guaranteed interview is a joke, in this day and age. As is using DAL as a marketing ploy.
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Old 07-14-2006, 11:14 AM   #8  
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Well, one of my biggest influences was actually my local FBO. However, it wasn't "positive". Out of the instructors, I found only one good guy who actually took the time to explain things and help me if I requested it. The others were fresh CFIs with attitudes. (My guy retired soon after I began) So, with that, I made sure I wasn't going to attend another one in the area.

I did however, ask them questions about flight schools and what they thought. Alot of them really had no opinions other then the typical, "He said, she said, I heard, I read". Though, I did run into a few people who all had mixed feelings about each academy. I heard good things about them all and bad things about them all. I was actually surprised to hear ATP getting put down as much as I did from the instructors. (After reading all these posts, it seems that what most people lean to) - But anyways, just about each of the instructors told me that it's difficult to get a real opinion because most people are biased towards their favorites. (Which, in reality, is 100% correct). Anyways, I don't mind exploring other schools or academies. However, there were a few things that turned me away from some of these schools. Phoenix East and ATP both haven't returned my calls after leaving several messages throughout a weeks time. (Not the best first impression). FSA however, did discuss their options and seemed like a great place. In fact, I'm buying my own tickets down to FL to visit both DCA and FSA.

However, here's my downfall with FSA. Immediatly from the moment the gentleman said hello was about the same time I thought I was at Circuit City with one of their customer sales agent. My questions were answered with more "ummms" then anything. He didn't seem to be very knowledgable with the product that he was trying to sell. Though, DCA, the advisor spoke to me as if I was a normal person. I read about all the people complaining over DCA advisors treating them as if they were nothing really and showing them the "glossy side of things". Simply put, he answered my questions, elaborated on them, repeated them if I had to, and had a typical discussion. I will be visiting the campus as well as FSA to make one of my initial decisions. I understand the price is steep and that alot of people don't agree with this academy. Which may be the case... and I know alot of you guys are trying to make sure no one goes through a hell that others can, but personally, I haven't heard the same opinions from the people I've spoken with to about the school. Occasional negavtive point or two, but other then that, just the price. And as I said initially, I'm fortunate enough to not have money as a factor. Regardless of what I chose, like I said also in my first post, I'm a dedicated, motivated person, and I know I'll make it regardless of the route I chose. I just have that type of "gung-ho" attitude towards life. I do appreciate all opinions and I'm not trying to come off hostile at all. Thanks though guys!

-Chase
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Old 07-14-2006, 06:20 PM   #9  
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From what I have seen, Flight Safety has good training material. I don't know about their GA training, but their turbine aircraft books for the JS31's and EMB-120's are great. DCA just takes bits of info out of existing training manuals, types them into their spreadsheet, doesn't seem to know how to use spell checker, and makes copies of photo copies. My instrument and commercial "workbooks" had some pages that were cut off because of the copy machine.
As far as the planes go, the only nice planes they have are the PA-44's, and be assured on the tour, that will be the plane they show you, and they park them in front because they are the nicer planes. The others don't have GPS, air conditioners are disconnected (in FL?!?). There is an FBO that does the 141 training right next to DCA that has nicer 172's and charge a lot less. While you're there go over to Avion and get their info too.

In short, what I'm saying is, if you're paying that much, why can't they give you a better product? Its like I paid for Macy's and got a K-Mart brand.
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Old 07-16-2006, 09:53 AM   #10  
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Quick question for you guys. Can you give me some details for FSA? (Packet hasn't arrived just yet) but what can I expect for multi hours, etc? (Another school I am now looking at)
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