A regular flight school or a academy airline program?

futurejappilot

New Member
I am thinking if it would be worth it for me to wait until I finish HS or college to attend the program that offers future pilot to become First Officers at ASA or Mesa from the Flight Safety or Mesa program from zero time? I feel the program is a very good deal because it will offer me to be at a regional airline faster than others. If I decide to go with this program(s), do I have to have zero flight time or could I start out with several raitings? How much does these programs cost and would it be better for me to go through a regular flight school and work myself up to a CFI or a 135 pilot and go to a regional and join a major airline? Which would be better for my future career? I would be out of HS in the summer of 2005 so I do need to plan my future and I do plan to go to college for 4 years.
 

DE727UPS

Well-Known Member
You would be a more well rounded pilot with a broader experience background if you did the FBO route over a direct entry program. There is so much more to being a pilot than just being an "airline pilot". Those who go through the direct entry programs and sit in the right seat of a jet at 300 hours miss out on a lot....in my opinion.

Places like the Mesa PDP make it sound like you gotta do it their way. They spend a lot of money on those ads and fancy brochures. What these places don't want you to know is there are many, many, different routes to an airline job and the majority of airline pilots didn't go to Flight Safety.

Good luck in whatever you choose and keep asking questions here.
 

pilot602

If specified, this will replace the title that
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Those who go through the direct entry programs and sit in the right seat of a jet at 300 hours miss out on a lot....in my opinion.

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I completely agree. Risking raising the ire of the Pan Am, FSI and such folks around here I think the biggest thing acdemy guys miss out on is the fun of flying.

Stop by an acdemy and just look at the students; they all walk around with a 1,000-yard stare, they're tired, they're stuck in sims or books, etc. Take a tour and the school reps half scare you to death with the "expect to fly, breathe and live flying" and "it's like drinking from a fire hose," etc. Being immersed is ok but you have to have a life outside airplanes and the FARs. Trust me ...

I my eyes these academies just aren't conducive to having any fun - which is exactly what flying should be first and foremost. If you don't, or can't, enjoy flying for the simple fact that it is flying then I sure don't want to be in the same cockpit with you eight years down the road when your totally bitter and burnt out.

I'm not saying the acdemies won't teach you how to fly or that you won't learn a lot but they don't teach anything that you can't learn on your own or through a good instructor/FBO. And once you realize this fact it becomes very, very hard to justify putting yourself through the stress and financial burdens many acedmies place on new pilots.

Just my opinion.
 

EatSleepFly

Well-Known Member
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And once you realize this fact it becomes very, very hard to justify putting yourself through the stress and financial burdens many acedmies place on new pilots.


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I wish I had realized that *before* I went the academy route.


I find myself every day trying to justify putting myself through that place. Great training, and an excellent experience overall- but nothing I would've missed out on flying with a good CFI at a nice FBO. The bills are killing me.

Oh well...hindsight is 20/20.

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Risking raising the ire of the Pan Am, FSI and such folks around here I think the biggest thing acdemy guys miss out on is the fun of flying.


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Nah, I went to FSI and you'll get no ire from me. That said, I had a lot of fun flying before I went there (I had 200 some-odd hours when I started at FSI): went to Oshkosh, flew dates to various cool places, did the NYC VFR flyway (twice), hit up Niagara Falls (more times than I can count), and flew around with all kinds of neat pilots at the FBO where I got my private. Of course, I've done lots of fun things since then too.
 

Cosmo1999

Well-Known Member
Well there is definately not a right answer to this question. There are many different ways to go about your career. There are two truths however when it comes to getting a job at a major airline.The first is that a four year college degree is a must, it doesnt matter what its in as long as its something that intrests you. Almost every single person that works at a major is a college graduate, some even have their masters degree. You definately want to plan on going to college for four years because you can get a job at a regional or whatever without a four year degree even though a four year is preferred even at a regional. There is almost no chance at getting a job at a major airline without a 4 year degree. The second is that in this buisness networking is extremely important!!!!! Its very important to get to know people in the industry. Your chances are much better at getting ahead if you know the right people. Your resume wont sit nearly as long if you have someone you know walk it in for you as opposed to just handing it in yourself. Since you are so young I personally recommend leisurely going about your flight training while going through college that way when you finish college you can be done with your flying and maybe even instructing part of the way through college. That way you can build your hours and by the time you finish college your on your way to getting the minimums required by airlines. Now the only person that can really tell you whats right for you is you. For some the FBO route is right and for others the FSA or whatever program is what is right for them. There is no right way to achieve your goal. I do know however that if you follow those two pieces of advice you have a much better chance of working for the majors. 1) Get your four year degree no matter what. 2) Network Network Network. How you get your experience isnt nearly as important as those two steps in my opinion.. Good luck with your career, its great to get started so young..
 

Sprint100

Well-Known Member
If you can do it, I would suggest going the FBO route while in college. Otherwise, I would finish college first then flight train at an FBO. I would definitley suggest the FBO route though.
 

SteveC

Really?
Staff member
So far I score it as FBO - 5, academy - 0.

Academy guys must be all out training yet.
 

av8rmsu

Well-Known Member
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So far I score it as FBO - 5, academy - 0.

Academy guys must be all out training yet.


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I go to FSA right now.

I enjoy it...but hey, different strokes for different folks.

I won't tell you one way or the other. FSA provides great training and if you can afford it, go for it. I feel the structured schedule and syllabus is what I need.

Yeah, the academy route is more expensive, but I'm not taking on debt. Some people come down here and get in to debt way over their head. If I didn't have the money, I would be doing the FBO route and working.
 

ready2fly

Well-Known Member
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go to FSA right now.

I enjoy it...but hey, different strokes for different folks.


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Amen, bro!

Personally, the FBO route is working for me... but, that's what's best for ME and my situation.

I decided that I'd like to stay employed full time, keep money coming into the bank acount - and hence - stay married
.

I'm about 3/4 through my Commercial rating and startin' to eyeball the CFI material.

But, that's what's best for ME.

Do what's best for YOU and it'll all work out in the end.
 

TripleSticks

Well-Known Member
I'm getting ready to start the FBO (Aviator, Inc.) route in a couple weeks but I don't want to comment on that. I just wanted to throw out another option that I would have considered if I was looking at this while I was in High School.

There are a number of colleges with 4 year aviation degree programs. Utah Valley State comes to mind because they're all over the place with the distance learning program. But... I think I have heard that other colleges like Ohio State have programs that take you through the 4 year degree and the class work to get your bachelors degree. If you were to do that you would have the benifit of learning in the field that you're interested in working as well as something else that's very important.... fully experiencing your college years at a good university. Keep in mind... You will never have a chance to go back to college in your late teens/early 20's. That's something that you don't want to miss out on.

And.... imagine how popluar a college student who can take his dates to different cities for dinner would be. Ohhhh.... I wish I would have done it. I'm kicking myself right now.

Just my 2 cents worth.
j
 
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