Academy Tips


New Member
Here's a short list of how to get through the academy without getting canned for something stupid!

1. Be early. Be early to the security center the first day. Be early to class every morning/afternoon. And definitely be early back from the breaks. The first time you're late they will just have a little chat with you. But the second time they have to send a letter back to your facility.

2. Leave your cell phone in the car! If you are not driving I would strongly urge you to leave it at home. If you take it into the classroom it must be TURNED OFF. Not on silent or vibrate, but off. Also, you cannot take it out of your pocket while you are in the classroom. The FAA will stand by the door and watch. If you even take it out as you're walking out of the door you could get in trouble.

3. Dress appropriately! No tennis shoes! No clothing items with sports logos or any big logos. No jeans whatsoever. Anything with a collar is OK. Banded collar sweaters are OK. Cargo khakis are OK. No fleece jackets with hoods. If your jacket looks "sports-like" they will tell you to leave it.

4. Bring the ID they ask for in the OKC packet! You will need two ID's, even though "column A" says you can just have one of those, the FAA wants two anyways. Good ID's to bring: Passport, Driver's license, Military ID and/or SSA card. Also, you can't use your license and mil ID together as they are both in the same column. I used my Passport card and my Mil ID.

5. Bring your bank account information with you. The first day HR will hand you back your direct deposit form for you to double-check. You can attach a voided check if you're not sure you did it right.

6. Bring your own food for lunch (or dinner on nights). The lunch break is short (30-45 minutes at most) and the cafeteria lines can be long. There is a large cafeteria in the HQ building a few buildings down but the food is overpriced and not that great. There is also Ted's in the same building as basics but once again, overpriced and even lower quality. There is a break room next to Ted's with vending machines, a fridge to store your own food and microwaves.

7. Find a decent place to live. If you get there and your apartment is a crap-hole you can move! There is nothing keeping you there. Ask the other students where they're staying and if they like it or not. There was one guy in my class who stayed at the Isola Bella and had no hot water in the morning and a bunch of other problems.

8. DO NOT BUY YOUR OWN PLANE TICKET!! You will not get reimbursed for the full amount! Even if you don't get your OKC packet until two days before class you can still get a plane ticket through Amex for the next day. If you buy your own ticket they will only reimburse you up to the amount the Amex ticket costs. Even if you can't get out on time you will still be in the class. There's on person in my class who missed the first two days.

9. Don't stress about the academy! Everyone is really friendly and it's all quite laid-back. The Contract instructors (blue badges) are real friendly and don't want you to get in trouble. Actually no body there wants you to get in trouble. But they have so many dignitaries (senators and upper-level administrators) that visit that they have to enforce some of the rules strictly.

Anyone else think of anything feel free to add to the list.
Yeah, Nathan.... thanks for the post. Nice to see you have not vanished from the boards after showing up there.
Hey nathan,
You DA MAN!:rawk: Thanks for any updates and nitty gritty info. that might help us. Just curious can you give me an estimate of how much studying you have been putting in?
Hey nathan,
You DA MAN!:rawk: Thanks for any updates and nitty gritty info. that might help us. Just curious can you give me an estimate of how much studying you have been putting in?
none so far. But i've got a lot of experience in aviation and was most of the way through CTI school before I got here, so I've already learned most of what they're teaching. But some of the other students are putting in about 1-2 hours a day, some doing group study (highly recommended by the instructors) as well.