Author Topic: What's best, private CFI etc. or big integrated flight-school?  (Read 4516 times)

Offline Frank N. O.

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I can't remember if I posted something like this before and couldn't find a thread-title that matched and I wanted to get some info while waiting for the move, after which I'm going to try for real to see if I can become a pilot.

With a limited income then taking one step at the time for the needed licenses and ratings might be the only choice but would it necessarily count against my chances compared to pilots from big all-in-all aviation academys? The type of pilot I'd like to be would be the kind that flies smaller single or twin-engined planes with various different transport assignments and destinations, a bit like SoccerMom and Mike (although Mike flies a twirly-bird).
What licenses/ratings are needed? I'm assuming CPL, night-flying, IFR-rating, multi-engine rating, maybe turbo-prop rating (if there is such a thing)?

I saw an ad recently in Flying Mag I think it was, it said: Zero hours to flying a regional jet in 9 months. That's pretty fast isn't it?

Frank
"When once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return."
Leonardo da Vinci

Offline TheSoccerMom

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Re: What's best, private CFI etc. or big integrated flight-school?
« Reply #1 on: April 06, 2007, 03:30:00 AM »
Hi Frank,

It seems you have a fairly good idea about ratings and licenses, so I won't repeat a lot of what you posted here.  In general, a commercial without a multi-engine is pretty limited -- I know a few retired guys who fly patrols, etc., but they never did flying as a main career.  Of course you would have the IFR and night stuff inside the commercial.

I can't speak for big schools that crank out pilots at those fast rates.  I hear a lot of conflicting info.  I guess that is great if you just desire to get into that right seat somewhere, so you can START LEARNING.  I mean -- do you want to go to a doctor who took all of 9 months to get his "ratings"?  I'm not being sarcastic -- I just hear from some airline friends that they can't believe some of the new hires they get -- they say they can barely hold a heading.  So...

I'd recommend looking at sites like AOPA (here in the US -- Aircraft Owners and Pilots Assoc.) -- they have a ton of good advice, general information, and, when you want, in-depth answers.  [ www.aopa.org ]  Another recommendation is to think about getting your medical out of the way first....  be sure you have set yourself up to really start flying, with no possible delays or obstacles that could come up due to medical concerns.  I've had a few students who showed up, all eager with money in hand, who found they had some delaying medical problems.  It's just something you might want to look at first on your list. 

I'm probably too disorganized here (what's new?!) but holler back with any more questions.  I did so many things wrong, because I just wanted to fly for fun, but it still worked out where I look forward to going to work. 

I personally think that any effort you put into flying AT ALL is not wasted.  I do see people who fly for a living who hate it, and I just don't get that at all.  I'd rather be the guy with the private license who flies now and then but WHO LOVES IT, than one of those miserable guys who makes a living but doesn't even enjoy it.  There are lots of them out there...  kinda weird!! 

 ::wave::     

 
Don't make me come back there!!!!

Jump This

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Re: What's best, private CFI etc. or big integrated flight-school?
« Reply #2 on: April 06, 2007, 07:25:36 AM »
It is like anything, some are good and some are not so good.

Offline Gulfstream Driver

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Re: What's best, private CFI etc. or big integrated flight-school?
« Reply #3 on: April 06, 2007, 02:08:59 PM »
I'm a little leary of those fast-track schools as well, but a 4-year school does allow you enough time to get some proper experience.  You can also get financial aid for a college like that, if money is an issue.

Like Mom said, fly because you love it.  If it becomes a burden to go fly, then perhaps it's not the right career.
Behind every great man, there is a woman rolling her eyes. --Bruce Almighty

Offline Frank N. O.

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Re: What's best, private CFI etc. or big integrated flight-school?
« Reply #4 on: April 06, 2007, 02:20:14 PM »
Thank you all for the replies, I guess I should've noted that the 9 month Jet Academy ad actually raised an eyebrow and not a smile for me. As long as I can get my bills paid and I don't necessarily use that much for living (food, clothing etc.) and I can fly and be in good company then I'll enjoy life from my very first flying hour and even when/if I get a CPL and a job then that's still just another start of a on-going life and not a goal as such so I think I understand life, at least a little part of it anyway.

Money is part of the issue but also that some of these academys seem like to look like the aviation equivalent of Oxford and Yale etc. and I just might not fit in there, or be able to pay for it and that's why I wanted to hear if it was still possible to get a good, well-rounded, safe education from another source although I did already think that it varied from person to person but I wanted to get a confirmation from someone on the inside. I catagorically refuse to do anything if I'm not sure how it works (especially if I know there are dire consequences) so I'm not about to rush something and as written above, as long as I can maintain a living then I'll just enjoy the flying and the company and take life one step at a time.

I hope I've expressed my views on life and learning well here, if not then ask for clarification, communication is important however I sometimes cut my explanations down too short to keep my posts short, however far from all subjects can be written shortly.

Greetings ::wave::
Frank
« Last Edit: April 06, 2007, 02:28:21 PM by Frank N. O. »
"When once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return."
Leonardo da Vinci

Offline Gulfstream Driver

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Re: What's best, private CFI etc. or big integrated flight-school?
« Reply #5 on: April 06, 2007, 02:27:56 PM »
Thank you all for the replies, I guess I should've noted that the 9 month Jet Academy ad actually raised an eyebrow and not a smile for me. As long as I can get my bills paid and I don't necessarily use that much for living (food, clothing etc.) and I can fly and be in good company then I'll enjoy life from my very first flying hour and even when/if I get a CPL and a job then that's still just another start of a on-going life and not a goal as such so I think I understand life, at least a little part of it anyway.

Well said.

Normally, as long as you meet the experience requirements for a job, they don't really care how you got the experience.  (As long as it was all legal.   ;) )
Behind every great man, there is a woman rolling her eyes. --Bruce Almighty

Offline TheSoccerMom

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Re: What's best, private CFI etc. or big integrated flight-school?
« Reply #6 on: April 06, 2007, 09:02:37 PM »

Normally, as long as you meet the experience requirements for a job, they don't really care how you got the experience.  (As long as it was all legal.   ;) )

This is a VERY good point.  If you meet what is required, the rest just works itself out.

There are many, many differents aspects of aviation...  as I know you're aware.  I've worked with a few guys who simply HATED the fire jobs, because of the uncertainty, the weird schedules, and the lack of a constant work environment.  One guy was just miserable -- he was beside himself with frustration.  He had an airline background and he was lost without the structure, the routine and the strong support system of having a dispatch system to decide his routes, loads, weather input, etc.  He was, and IS, an excellent pilot -- but he was unhappy, and the people he worked with were ALSO unhappy.  Nothing was "right".    :(

So, sometimes, the "bad" points about something may well be the very things that cause you to fall in love with the same job.  And, nothing says you will figure any of that out on a certain schedule -- you might enjoy something for a few years, then start wishing for something different.  But that is a GOOD thing about aviation --there are so many choices.    ::wave::   
Don't make me come back there!!!!

airtac

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Re: What's best, private CFI etc. or big integrated flight-school?
« Reply #7 on: April 09, 2007, 04:41:25 PM »
I have to add to Soccorstepmom's  post-----It's not just the type of flying that makes a job great, it's the pilots you get to work with, and the fire business has some of some of the best !  |:)\   

There are a few wienies  in our business but they are easily recognized by their arrogance   ::rambo::  Like the one who declared at a meeting "there is NEVER any circumstance over a fire for an air attack platform to exceed 30 degrees of bank"   ::banghead::

Gee, I guess we've demoted from captain to being a meat servo in a Forest Service remotely flown UAV    ::loony::

Offline TheSoccerMom

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Re: What's best, private CFI etc. or big integrated flight-school?
« Reply #8 on: April 09, 2007, 05:29:10 PM »
Wow, that is SOMETHING ELSE!  Hmmm....  I can bet you everything I own (okay, a six pack AND my favorite beer glass) that whomever said that, has NEVER flown air attack or anything on a fire....  am I correct?!?

 ;)         ;)         ;) 
Don't make me come back there!!!!

Offline Frank N. O.

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Re: What's best, private CFI etc. or big integrated flight-school?
« Reply #9 on: April 13, 2007, 12:34:18 AM »
Again thanks for the replies, very helpful, as I've always thought you guys/gals in here are, as well as skilled and responsible and intelligent which is why this is the premier place for me to ask for reliable aviation information  |:)\

Frank
"When once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return."
Leonardo da Vinci

airtac

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Re: What's best, private CFI etc. or big integrated flight-school?
« Reply #10 on: April 13, 2007, 03:45:30 AM »
Wow, that is SOMETHING ELSE!  Hmmm....  I can bet you everything I own (okay, a six pack AND my favorite beer glass) that whomever said that, has NEVER flown air attack or anything on a fire....  am I correct?!?

 ;)         ;)         ;) 
NOPE----
That's a quote from a lead plane pilot---I was absolutely astounded when I heard it----They aren't all in the same league as the good ones---not sure what the hiring requirements are for these guys nowadays but fire experience obviously ain't one of them------I like German, Mexican, or Canuck beer my little chickadee!! ::drinking::

Offline tundra_flier

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Re: What's best, private CFI etc. or big integrated flight-school?
« Reply #11 on: April 16, 2007, 09:42:38 PM »
Frank, I think it's probably just down to which works best for you.  Some people learn better in the highly structured environment of a large flight school.  Others are much happier with the individual attention and more casual schedule of a one man school.  It also depends on your time line.  Obviously the large flight schools will get you through the ratings much faster, while a small outfit spreads out the experience (and expense) more.

Phil