Aerosim Flight Academy (Jacksonville University - Davis Aviation Center) attendees


Well-Known Member
I am a 'mature 40-something year old student' with a Private Pilot License (FAA issued). A friend suggested looking into continued flight training toward the Commercial with Aerosim (Jacksonville University affiliated), after some rather horrible (and unreasonably expensive) experiences with the other 'mom and pop' and other smaller outfits I've dealt with in the past. The instructor I flew with for my Private is no longer flying (his business is closed as well). I would prefer sunny Florida because of the proximity to my place of abode. In addition, I've also noted in recent years that the airspace has grown increasingly hectic south of Vero Beach--and north of Key West (I lost some quality instructor aided flight time in the past because of that)!
I would like to know if there are any pilots on this forum that have attended the school--or are currently attending. The school is constantly highlighting their small classes and availability of aircraft, and excellent location for personalized pilot training (Craig Airport). What was/ is your experience in terms of budget (in relation to the time required to complete the training). Did you end up over budget (many of the 'mom and pop' operators are notorious for stretching the training beyond the agreed upon training budget)? Finally, is the school really connected to the regionals (in terms of prospective interviewing/ hiring agreements) as they claim? Thanks for the responses.
I understand your problem, and was lucky in finding really good Part 61 schools that got me through the program quickly and cheaply.

I visited Aerosim during their open house a couple months ago. I already had CSEL/CMEL and was looking to do my CFI there and possibly instruct. It seemed like an interesting place, and it certainly has it's advantages. They seemed to have quite a few nice airplanes, and tons of instructors. The instructors were not paid for doing preflight/post flight, so you are not billed for those. They seem to rely on their simulators heavily, especially for instrument training.

They are advertising heavily right now for American students. From what I was told, they bid "very aggressively" with some foreign programs (China, mostly) and were trying to get American students in to help subsidize the really low bid that they won. I asked one person (director of admissions, if I remember correctly) what percentage of students finished the professional pilot program "on time" and "on budget". After some dancing, they said it was somewhere between 20-30%. The rest take longer and cost more money that what is advertised. I think that this is probably true for most of the big programs from what I have read and seen. Their dorms are not an option for domestic students, and apartments are not too badly priced in the Sanford area.

I took a discovery flight with one of their instructors to try to get the real info on the place. As far as CFI's go, they work ~25 hours of flight time a month, and they spend a lot of "free" time doing required pre/post flights for free, or teaching in the sim, where they are not logging time.

As far as the airspace, I did most of my initial training in the middle of the East Coast of Florida - Vero/Ft Pierce area. I really enjoyed it. It was busy and I got plenty of experience dealing with controlled airspace. We spent time flying to the Keys (several times), to Orlando, Naples, Ocala, Jacksonville, etc... There is plenty of "practice areas" in the middle of the state. Florida is pretty much a giant swamp with a beach on each side. There are a restricted areas, but not too bad. Aerosim is near Orlando, but there are plenty of areas to the North.