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Old 05-02-2006, 06:55 AM   #1  
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Exclamation Regional airline academy or delta connection

I'm planing on starting flight training when I get out of the army at the end of the year and trying to find out some info about RAA and DCA.... are they worth the money they are asking for, or should I go some were small and build time?
Old 05-02-2006, 07:02 AM   #2  
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Default Atp

check out ATPs.

I think you'll find them to be a better deal. A few people on here have gone thru them and a few currently CFI for them.

I've researched the subject and for my money I'll go thru ATP when I'm ready to move into aviation.

Good luck.

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Old 05-02-2006, 07:53 AM   #3  
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Originally Posted by LAfrequentflyer
check out ATPs.

I think you'll find them to be a better deal. A few people on here have gone thru them and a few currently CFI for them.

I've researched the subject and for my money I'll go thru ATP when I'm ready to move into aviation.

Good luck.

Ditto. Check out ATP.

ATP offers more of an a la carte training menu, if you will. Also, once you complete your PPL requirements, the rest of your training is done in a multi-engine a/c.

Hey ctd57, rickair7777 & ryane946 how 'bout some help here.
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Old 05-02-2006, 08:25 AM   #4  
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I would NOT recommend Delta Connection or RAA.

Flight safety is the best of all the major academies.
Costs are competitive, and in may cases, better than DCA, RAA, and American Flyers.

BIG advantage, you get to do your instrument in a multi. Remember you need 100hrs of multi to get a good airline job offer. If you get your CFI, and sign a contract to instruct for 800hrs (About 1 year), which you will probably need to do anyway, Flight Safety will pay for your CFII and MEI. No cost to you. Another HUGE advantage, since the instrument, commercial, and multi training is ALL done in a multi engine aircraft, most your time instructing will be multi time. It is not uncommon to see F.S. guys with 1000TT and like 500 multi!

No other flight academy even comes close to flight safety.

With that said, I think going to a local FBO is the best option. I would recommend you do your licenses and ratings at an FBO. It will save you at least $20,000 for the same training. At academies, you will pay $55 an hour for instruction. At an FBO you will pay about $35 an hour for instruction. The flip side, when you want to instruct to timebuild, academies will only pay you $14 an hour. The FBO will pay you $25-35 an hour. BIG DIFFERENCE! At academies, you will pay like $105 for an old cessna, while at an FBO you will pay $80-90 for an old cessna. At academies you will pay over $200 an hour for a multi, while those cost about $150 at an FBO. As crazy as these prices are, the place where these academies make their money is ground school. If you take the hours of ground school divided by the total cost, it works out to like $20 an hour for a class of 10-20 people. That's too much! American Flyers charges $80 an hour for classroom instruction, and they are proud of it. That is more than classes cost at Stanford or Yale!!!

That is why I recommend an FBO over an airline academy. It is much cheaper, you will make more money, and the training can be accomplished in the SAME amount of time.
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Old 05-02-2006, 08:41 AM   #5  
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Do your Private at a small or affordable part 61 school and then move on to a part 141 school after that to utilize your military benefits.

I will second the notion of staying away from RAA or DCA and looking into FSI. Wow, acronymn city...

Schedule a tour with them and ask about the veteran stuff. From what I hear from my former roomate at FSI (he was in the Marines) they go out of their way to accomidate former military guys.

Good luck!
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Old 05-02-2006, 09:13 AM   #6  
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I would recommend going to Flight Safety Academy. It also depends on how fast you want to do your training. I will discourage going to an FBO. In my opinion, I have been at one for 5 years, and it sux, and that it why I am going to an academy. No planes, no instructors, poor maintence, etc. And I have been to 3 FBO's!! Isn't the student/CFI/Aircraft ratio much better at most academies? Cause at FBO's it really blows!! Hey that rhymes.....
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Old 05-02-2006, 11:16 AM   #7  
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Not sure if you're an army helo pilot...I'll assume not...

Flight Safety is good but still expensive. You can get everything you need at a small school or FBO.

As a military guy, you need to be aware that you will need a 4-year degree to achieve a reasonable income level as a pilot. The GI Bill will pay some of your flight training, but you are probably better off using your VA benies for college. Unfortuntaely, most flight schools that accept VA students will adjust their VA pricing above normal prices. This means you pay about as much out-of-pocket as you would have without GI Bill, and the school pockets your GI benefits! Go to college (a state school) and do flight training on the side.

I'll summarize the usual path for civilian flight training, but first I would suggest that you attempt to get a fixed-wing military flying slot. You'll need the college degree, but as a former military member, you will have an advanatge getting in. This is the best path to a major airline job, because airlines prefer ex-military, your training is paid for, and you make good money while in the military. If you don't want to do active-duty military, you could get your civilian training then join the Air National Guard...numerous benefits there.

Civilian Training: What airlines want is ratings and flight experience. They don't care where you got them (unless it was in the military). You will need Private (PVT), Instrument (IR), Commercial(COM), Multi-engine(ME), Flight Instructor (CFI), Instrument Instructor (CFII), and Multi-engine Instructor (MEI). This should cost roughly $35K at your local airport or at most small/medium size schools. WARNING: There are numerous small-time scam artists and large "glossy-brochure" flight schools who will try to sell you on the idea that their training is "better" or that you need ADDITIONAL jet or airline operations training. They will usually want to charge you $60K-100k+ for their unnecessary crappola. Since the FAA sets and closely monitors training standards, most schools and instructors meet the requirements. You need to find one that will get your basic ratings done in a reasonable time (6-8 months full-time) and won't charge double what they should. Try to find a LOCAL school, every town has them...if you move across country and find yourself in a scam, it's hard to go back. Also any school that wants ALL of your money up front is a big red flag...walk away immediately. You will want to pay in installments of 1K or 2K max. Remember some of the biggest schools with the smoothest fast-talking salesmen are the biggest scams...the bigger the brochure, the bigger the lies.

Flight Instructor: Now that you have your ratings and 250-300 hours, you can get a job as a CFI, probably teaching PVT, COM, and IR students in single-engine airplanes. You will do this for 1-2 years until you 1000+ total time (TT). You will also need 100+ multi-engine time (ME) can get a job as an MEI or maybe just rent 100 hours worth of airplane time ($$$). CFIs and MEI's make $10K-30K/year

Night Cargo: Next step is flying overnight packages from small towns. You will start in small single-engine, single pilot airplanes that are often poorly maintained, and fly in night, weather, mountain, and probably icing conditions...if this sounds dangerous, that's because it is! You will usually do this for 6-18 months. Pay is $20-25K. If you have a degree and hiring is good you may be able to skip this step and go from CFI to regional airline.

Regional Airline. You will start out in a turbo-prop or small jet (Regional Jet or RJ) as first officer (FO). This will pay $15-20K at first. You will fly as an FO until your seniority allows you to upgrade to captain (2-12 years). Once you upgrade to captain you will be acquiring turbine (jet) Pilot-in-Command time (PIC), making $30K-70K. Turbine PIC is what the major airlines require in their candidates. How you got it doesn't matter as much as the fact that you have it. A this point you probably have 5000+ TT. An F-16 pilot with 1500 TT will have 1000+ PIC because he is always the PIC in an F-16.

Major Airline: Once you meet the minumum experience requirements, competetion is severe. Military pilots go to the head of the line here. In addition to your flying background, they will look at other "whole-person" factors as well. If you get a job at a major airline, life might be pretty good in the long run.

Notes: The estimated times at each job assume no catastrophic 9/11 like events. This would delay hiring for a period of time.

You will need an FAA First Class medical to be an airline pilot. Get one before you start training to make sure you qualify.

Get a PVT license first BEFORE you commit yourself to professional pilot training. Make sure you actually enjoy flying.

Expect to get furloughed at some point in your career...there are a lot of ups and downs in this industry.

Remember: Be wary of big-name "glossy brochure" flight schools that want to rip you off...anyone who says the airlines "prefer" their graduates is lying. Airlines prefer pilots who have appropriate ratings and flight experience. Visit any school before signing up, and talk to some instructors and students, not just the salesmen.

There are a FEW shortcuts to an airline job, but they are expensive and have potential your research if you think you want to do a shortcut program.

Last edited by rickair7777; 05-02-2006 at 11:19 AM.
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Old 05-02-2006, 11:55 AM   #8  
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"Remember: Be wary of big-name "glossy brochure" flight schools that want to rip you off...anyone who says the airlines "prefer" their graduates is lying"

Amen, although rather than say they are lying I'd say they just don't know any better.
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Old 05-02-2006, 12:20 PM   #9  
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I am doing the Delta connection academy, however its through Bridgewater state college which is a cheap school and i live close by so its the more cost effective route. Ive heard mixed reviews about the program and so far its not to bad, but im getting my degree and flight training at the same time.

Best of luck, and thanks for serving!
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Old 05-02-2006, 07:52 PM   #10  
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Default Seek out professional counseling:

Couple of things to consider:
1. Do you have the GI Bill? You can use that for either schooling or flight training beyond the PPL.
2. Are you going to be considered 20% disabled? If so, you have the capability to get additional training through the VA. The program is called the Vocational Rehabilitation Program. The VA will pay for several years of training for a vocation or for a college degree. If you have this you could possibly use VOCREHAB for the degree and the GI Bill for flight training. I dont know if it is possible to double dip so find your VA counselor.
Because you served you have more options than Joe Bagodonuts.
Believe PANAM also has training aimed at the converting mil helo guys. Dont know the details on it but you might want to give them a call. I do know that some of their training is free to exmil types. Good luck
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