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View Poll Results: Vote on best flight school program
UND 2 40.00%
UVU 0 0%
PALM BEACH 0 0%
ASU 2 40.00%
AEROSIM 1 20.00%
Upper Limit Aviation (fixed wing only) 0 0%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 5. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 09-15-2014, 06:43 PM   #1  
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Default Where is the best flight school for the $$?

Hello ladies and gents,

I'm new to this forum but not to flying. My question is where should I go to school? Well that's a really tough question to answer. So here is my deal and what I'm looking for and hopefully some really smart pilots on here can shed some light on this question.

About me and my back ground:
22 years Active duty Air Force. 13 years in Combat Search and Rescue as flight engineer/aerial gunner instructor with 2,700+ flight hours (yes I know it won't convert to pilot stick time).

Got my PPL ticket in 1996 but took a 10 year break from flying GA due to military duties, stupid useless ex-wife and being stationed over seas (was great fun!).

I have just under 300 PIC time in Cessna's. Almost done with my IFR ticket and already have a useless B.S. degree from ERAU I earned all these years. (useless unless I'm going to stay in aviation<?> or work as many of my counter parts for some GOV job).

School funding: I got pretty much a free ride with the Post 9/11 VA so not to concerned with crushing school loans. Thanks Uncle Sam!

Now all I want to do is go to a professional flight school and the only way to do that and use the VA to pay for all the flight training is at a University program such as UND, UVU, Upper Limit Aviation, Dade County, Palm Beach, and other university professional flight programs that are VA approved for Post 9/11. So that means I will have to take a bunch of the same collage classes or close to same as I did at ERAU. But that's ok, don't care, just want the flight training to get me to MEII and possibly a Jet CRJ rating or King Air endorsement.

So where do I want to go and do? Well, I'm 44, will be about 46 by the time I have earned all the flight certifications. Looking at boarder patrol, OGA (Other Government Agencies) or ISR or UAV's or Corporate, charter, etc. Regionals to airlines? If I'm not 60 by the time I get any hours accomplished. I know I'll be instructing for a while to get the Multi engine hours but that's just how its going to happen.

Because of my particular position in life now and retiring from the USAF in a year and just want to fly for a living. Where should I apply too?

So far on my scope is UND, UVU, Dade County Uni, Palm Beach and not sure about VA funding at Aerosim or ASU.

What do you all suggest? I'd like to hear the good, the bad and the ugly of each and also personal experiences if you have them first hand.

Thanks and fly safe!!
RB
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Old 09-16-2014, 05:38 PM   #2  
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Originally Posted by buccirj View Post
Now all I want to do is go to a professional flight school and the only way to do that and use the VA to pay for all the flight training is at a University program such as UND, UVU, Upper Limit Aviation, Dade County, Palm Beach, and other university professional flight programs that are VA approved for Post 9/11. So that means I will have to take a bunch of the same collage classes or close to same as I did at ERAU. But that's ok, don't care, just want the flight training to get me to MEII and possibly a Jet CRJ rating or King Air endorsement.

What do you all suggest? I'd like to hear the good, the bad and the ugly of each and also personal experiences if you have them first hand.

Thanks and fly safe!!
RB
Are you restricting yourself to Florida? If not, then I would say go to none of those schools, they are over rated and over priced. We had a kid come from Embry riddle who had over $100k in debt after two years and hadn't even finished his Instrument Rating. Meanwhile, I had an associates degree in piloting (CSEL/CMEL) in two years and $30K.

You do not have to go to a four year institute to get the VA discount. In fact, you don't even have to go to any college at all to receive it.

At the Community College I went to (that specialized in Aviation), they had multiple people go through the program through the VA.

The FBO I worked and trained at (that was contracted for the flight instruction for the college) also had trained people off the street that were not in the college through the VA. This Flight School however had its own part 141 certificate.

I have seen other companies also advertise that they do the VA paid training without any college association. I believe any company can do it, it is just a matter of understanding the paperwork and process of doing so. It took our company a few people to go through the VA before they figured out just what exactly needed to be done prior to starting the process.
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Old 09-16-2014, 08:01 PM   #3  
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I'll buck the trend and say UND, ERAU, and any similar schools are often "the best", they'll give you lots of knowledge about transport category aircraft and systems, navigation, etc. Their flight schools actually uphold the standards and they have a vested interest to keep people moving through the programs. The maintenance and equipment is usually top notch. They try to prepare you flying a big jet.

The real problem is that this and a fancy paper degree doesn't really get you jack, you start off at the same crappy flight instructing job, go to the same crappy regional airline, spend 7-10 years there before getting a shot at the "real" airlines, if you are lucky. If taking the financial hit of going to these schools somehow catapulted you to higher earnings, it might be worth it, but it doesn't and it isn't.

The full program at these schools costs well upwards of $200K these days, and that doesn't include the interest if you take out any loans. With how flight instruction works and how poor regional airlines treat pilots, it can be a decade before you somewhat start to get back on your feet, this while friends in other industry are well into enjoying the fruits of their efforts.

Those "professional pilot" degrees are toilet paper. Get an engineering degree and go take flight lessons on your own spare time and dollar. You'll be so far ahead of most everyone else it won't even be funny, you could even work towards a test pilot type position with that kind of background.
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Old 09-20-2014, 10:12 PM   #4  
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I think you have a lot of options and certainly use your gov benefits for whatever you can. That being said and in your situation of being a bit older to the aviation professional entrance, which isn't a big deal, I would recommend trying to go immersion style if you could afford to do the training full time for a few months. Look into ATP flight school and do the 100 day program, I saw a VA brochure but didn't look through it since unfortunately I haven't earned that benefit thanks for your service. Happy Flying!
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Old 10-01-2014, 06:50 PM   #5  
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My son is in the aviation program at the University of Oklahoma (OU). From what I've seen so far, I've been very impressed with the quality of the program. And the costs seem to be less than what I've heard about the more well known aviation programs like ERAU, UND, etc.

Anyway, might be worth checking out: Department of Aviation - University of Oklahoma

Best of luck to you!
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Old 10-01-2014, 07:11 PM   #6  
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Originally Posted by DAL 88 Driver View Post
My son is in the aviation program at the University of Oklahoma (OU). From what I've seen so far, I've been very impressed with the quality of the program. And the costs seem to be less than what I've heard about the more well known aviation programs like ERAU, UND, etc.

Anyway, might be worth checking out: Department of Aviation - University of Oklahoma

Best of luck to you!
Graduating from OU as an air traffic management major, they have a pretty solid program. A lot of the guys I know that we're pilots went from flight instructing to the regionals. One of my buddies just graduated and 4 months later is in a regional class with Envoy. If I was smart and wanted to save money I would have done my flight training at the University of Oklahoma. Although I am happy so far with my training at ATP. Best of luck to you too!
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Old 10-04-2014, 04:20 PM   #7  
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Originally Posted by Sooner91 View Post
Graduating from OU as an air traffic management major, they have a pretty solid program. A lot of the guys I know that we're pilots went from flight instructing to the regionals. One of my buddies just graduated and 4 months later is in a regional class with Envoy. If I was smart and wanted to save money I would have done my flight training at the University of Oklahoma. Although I am happy so far with my training at ATP. Best of luck to you too!
Did you get caught up in not being able to be hired as a controller because of the FAA's new diversity program? Or did you just decide you want to fly instead?

My son was an Air Traffic Management major last year (his freshman year) and switched to Professional Pilot major this year. The diversity thing got him concerned about the advisability of the air traffic control path. But now that he's switched to flying, he's really excited about that and I don't see him going back to air traffic control.

On another note, that football game today sucked! I think we need a new quarterback. And TCU's quarterback played lights out. My son is in the band and was at the game. I haven't talked to him today but I'll bet he's really bummed.
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Old 10-04-2014, 08:56 PM   #8  
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Here's a new community program in AZ. and near ERAU.

https://www.yc.edu/v5content/academi...ctec/aviation/

Yavapai College launches aviation technology degree program

Good luck and thank you for your Service.
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Old 10-17-2014, 01:11 PM   #9  
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ERAU offers (expensive) flight training that has pretty high quality standards. So if you're into that, by all means. Otherwise, go for a bachelors degree and do flight training separate from the university, it is usually cheaper.
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Old 10-28-2014, 09:58 AM   #10  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by buccirj View Post
Hello ladies and gents,

I'm new to this forum but not to flying. My question is where should I go to school?

About me and my back ground:
22 years Active duty Air Force. 13 years in Combat Search and Rescue as flight engineer/aerial gunner instructor with 2,700+ flight hours (yes I know it won't convert to pilot stick time).

Got my PPL....

I have just under 300 PIC time in Cessna's. Almost done with my IFR ticket and already have a useless B.S. degree from ERAU I earned all these years. (useless unless I'm going to stay in aviation<?> or work as many of my counter parts for some GOV job).

School funding: I got pretty much a free ride with the Post 9/11 VA so not to concerned with crushing school loans. Thanks Uncle Sam!

Now all I want to do is go to a professional flight school and the only way to do that and use the VA to pay for all the flight training is at a University program such as UND, UVU, Upper Limit Aviation, Dade County, Palm Beach, and other university professional flight programs that are VA approved for Post 9/11. So that means I will have to take a bunch of the same collage classes or close to same as I did at ERAU. But that's ok, don't care, just want the flight training to get me to MEII and possibly a Jet CRJ rating or King Air endorsement.

So where do I want to go and do? Well, I'm 44, will be about 46 by the time I have earned all the flight certifications. Looking at boarder patrol, OGA (Other Government Agencies) or ISR or UAV's or Corporate, charter, etc. Regionals to airlines? If I'm not 60 by the time I get any hours accomplished. I know I'll be instructing for a while to get the Multi engine hours but that's just how its going to happen.

Because of my particular position in life now and retiring from the USAF in a year and just want to fly for a living. Where should I apply too?

So far on my scope is UND, UVU, Dade County Uni, Palm Beach and not sure about VA funding at Aerosim or ASU.

What do you all suggest? I'd like to hear the good, the bad and the ugly of each and also personal experiences if you have them first hand.

Thanks and fly safe!!
RB
I started this process when I was about your age. I'm 52 now. Not in aviation. Graduated from ERAU in Dec '87. I know how you feel about the degree being useless outside of aviation and in some cases after being outta aviation for a few years. IMHO, do not go to any flight school in Palm Beach County. I'm from PBC and there isn't jack**** here when it comes to flight training accept a bunch schools that are overly priced. The same may be said for Broward and Miami-Dade counties as well, however that's JMO. Take it with a grain of salt.

At any rate, may I suggest Aviator College (formerly Ari-Ben)in Fort Pierce, FL. They're located about 60 miles north of PBC in St. Lucie County, FL. Check it out for yourself and make the comparison. A majority of your flying is going to be ME time; sure you'll have to get your SE CPL & CFI, but weigh the options to what other schools are offering; btw....no simulators. In addition, you may wanna check to see if the VA is willing to pay for the Professional Pilot's Program that they offer so that you won't have to repeat any classes. If they do insist that you go thru the degree program, check to see if there are any classes that you may be able to clep. Just a thought. Good luck to you though!

All the best. Blue skies!


atp

Last edited by atpwannabe; 10-28-2014 at 10:34 AM.
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