American Flyers CFI Acad.

jhugz

#lighttwin Mafia
So I have a week left of the CFI acad. and let me tell you it really was the biggest mistake of my training. I decided to go to the Chicago DuPage branch and I don't know if others are better but this one is terrible.


  • Where to start...we have supposedly 5 or 6 days left of the academy and I still have not done my CFII APR. I am scheduled on Tues. and im the only one out of eight that is signed off, so most won't even have the II done in the 30 days.
  • The overall flight portion of the program is hogwash. You pay for there airplanes at some very high price (don't have the exact) and they won't schedule you. You have to fit in with the schedule. So lets say that tomorrow you are suppose to fly and someone else wants to pay them to fly you will get bumped by the other person.
  • I had all 5 written tests done basically before getting there. The first weekend we went over the II written and they made me sit in class and listen...I was not aloud to study something else. I was somewhat OK with this because I was doing my CFI part 141. Two weekends later was the CFIA/FOI test I didn't show up to class because it was 61 and I had more important stuff to study...and flyers had a fit about this and I was pulled into the office to be talked to.
  • There are 1-2 good instructors but the rest are a joke. I have to do my own collision avoidance while in the airplane due to a couple close calls so if App. gives us a traffic adv. I come out from under the hood. Another instructor flew us right over a grass strip that was used to throw "shooters" out while the jump plane was over 10k which twr told us. Another instructor likes to talk like an idiot in the cockpit even when you go over and try to reinforce sterile cockpit. You miss radio calls on CHI APP....agrh. This same instructor must have a good stick to be alive this long but some of the things he has done and told people about make me just shake my head. Like taking a student up into known icing in a skyhawk to teach them a lesson. Losing a the vacuum system on TO on a 250 mile x-country and deciding to fly the x-country instead of just coming back around and shooting the ILS and calling it a day (BTW he told us it was like 500ovc)...an instructor telling people its ok to bust DH's
  • Cancelling an airplane on your part and being harassed about it. Doing the IMSAFE checklist doesn't work for them. Also deciding to make a no-go decision when the turn coordinator was inop while under IFR (It was clear and a million, but we were under IFR with my name on the fp and according to 91.205....idk)
  • Me calling instructors on their mistakes...I guess they just know it all. According to my conversation with the Chief FI.
  • And my latest exp. was I had 1 flight left until my APR. That flight was in the afternoon. So me and another student decided to hit the sims instead of listening in on class about systems of a 172rg...I have 30+ hours in a 182rg and there almost exactly the same. While practice teaching Part. Panel and some ADF stuff the chief flight instructor comes up to me and asks me what I am doing out of class. I explain to him what I am doing and he leaves and I got no weird vibes from the conversation at all. However the next day they want me to teach someone 1 on 1 during class time. I told him no I wasn't going to because I wanted to hit the class about x-country's and weather. The chief instructor called me out in the lobby of AF and basically decided to rip into me. I was so angry I almost walked out with the rest of my money at that point. I instead decided to have a conversation with him telling him how unprofessional that was that is not how a Chief FI should act.
  • 90% fail rate and a bad name at the CHI FSDO because they sent students that are unprepared while in class but someone who is studying out of class and in class they are giving a hard time.
  • Me having my APR on tues. and probally failing it because I have to take it with the Chief FI which whom I ripped into.
I am telling you as a fellow JC'er stay away and just take the money go to a local fbo and knock it out.
 

wrxpilot

New Member
That's too bad you're having that experience... I had a similar one at a flight school when I was working on my CFI. I was pretty much stuck there as they were the only ones in the area with a complex airplane - fortunately I was using my own outside CFI. At one point I was so pissed at them that I was ready to walk, but my CFI talked me into staying. In the end I was glad I did, but it can really get frustrating when you feel stuck.

There is a positive to this though - after seeing what it's like to deal with idiot/uncaring CFIs, you are going to be a great CFI that takes care of your students.
 

twdeckard

New Member
I am sorry about your experience with American Flyers, I accomplished my COM-SEL at Kissimmee and was generally pleased. It cost quite a bit more than I anticipated however I am probably slower than the average bear.

I did want to question one comment:

"...an instructor telling people its ok to bust DH's"

I am curious what is implied here. Are they advocating cheating or are they educating that an airplane on a precision approach will always descend below DH on a missed approach. I had a contrary argument with a local instructor ... you make the decision at DH, then pitch up, power up, climb away. You invariably dip below the altitude identified on the approach chart. Its a small curiousity against your larger issue.

Good luck with your instructor certficates!
Todd
 

jhugz

#lighttwin Mafia
He is saying that it is ok to teach a student that. I personally think that students should fly between 50-100 feet buffer...which is also acceptable on checkrides too. Private Pilot's with Wet Instrument Ratings seem to be overconfident, that along with a incorrect alt setting who knows...thats all I was trying to say...but I am not aloud to go against the grain there anymore...:)
 

twdeckard

New Member
He is saying that it is ok to teach a student that. I personally think that students should fly between 50-100 feet buffer...which is also acceptable on checkrides too.
You and I have different philosophies then. You should practice to, and demonstrate; the proficiency that is going to be required. It is also important to understand the difference between a minimum descent altitude, and a decision height.

Sorry to hear about your other issues on the CFII. Good luck.
 

jhugz

#lighttwin Mafia
ok i just re-read that and it sounded kinda weird...so i just want to clear somethings up...I personally don't want to provide an instrument rating to someone and then have them go shoot app to minimums....however I do agree that the precision should be close to exact. I personally don't believe that the DH should be blown through. How much is to much then? 25ft, 50ft, 100ft below DH. That is all. I just want to drill it into a students head that they should not descend below the DH so if that means going missed 50ft early I am cool with that. The same goes with a MDA how far is to much? And that was what I was trying to explain with my example...thx for the encouraging words though.
 

Toonces

Well-Known Member
I did the CFI academy in PMP a few years ago. I thought it was great. The CFI academy instructor (Patrick) is one of the best instructors I have ever flown with. I am including 121 instructors as well. I got everthing they advertised at the price they advertised. I did take an extra week though. The FSDO took their sweet time scheduling my initial CFI ride. It wasn't the schools fault.

The rest of their training outside the CFI program is really expensive and I wouldn't pay that much. The CFI academy in Pompano is awsome.
 

MikeFavinger

Hubschrauber Flieger
ok i just re-read that and it sounded kinda weird...so i just want to clear somethings up...I personally don't want to provide an instrument rating to someone and then have them go shoot app to minimums....however I do agree that the precision should be close to exact. I personally don't believe that the DH should be blown through. How much is to much then? 25ft, 50ft, 100ft below DH. That is all. I just want to drill it into a students head that they should not descend below the DH so if that means going missed 50ft early I am cool with that.
What you're instilling in your students are personal minimums. While that's okay now (and probably a good thing), if you or they want to get into the game professionally, DH is DH. You have to willing and able to touch that altitude, and if you don't see the required items, be prepared for a small amount of sink below DH as you execute your missed.

The same goes with a MDA how far is to much?
Completely different. You get down to the MDA and stay there. If you go missed, you'll go from that altitude.

Decision Height: You make a decision (after you make the decision, you will go lower while you execute the missed) to proceed down the glide slope or go missed.

Minimum Decent Altitude: The minimum altitude you may descend to on a non precision approach unless you have the required items in sight to make a further descent for landing.
 

ufgators

Well-Known Member
I did the CFI academy in PMP a few years ago. I thought it was great. The CFI academy instructor (Patrick) is one of the best instructors I have ever flown with. I am including 121 instructors as well. I got everthing they advertised at the price they advertised. I did take an extra week though. The FSDO took their sweet time scheduling my initial CFI ride. It wasn't the schools fault.

The rest of their training outside the CFI program is really expensive and I wouldn't pay that much. The CFI academy in Pompano is awsome.


I did the academy at PMP a few months ago and I agree with Toonces.
 

jhugz

#lighttwin Mafia
Even though this is getting a little off topic I am just stating that something a student is doing on my tix and a 1200 pilot is two different things...
 

Gulfstream IV

New Member
Hey Jhugz,

sorry to hear about your experience. Every American flyers location is different. See if you can transfer to Addison, Texas or PMP or SMO. They are probably a little better. I know a few friends who've completed their training at those places and have nothing but good things to say about them.

good luck!
 

lookingdown

Well-Known Member
I would try another AF location, honestly. Suck up that this one did not work. The PMP facility is really top notch from my experience. Do not continue until you are comfortable.

DO NOT GO TO ANY CHECK RIDE OF ANY TYPE IF YOU DO NOT FEEL READY.

Stop dealing with the chief flight instructor and talk to the GM of your facility. Or talk to someobdy higher up (there is a guy named "Dave" who seems pretty sympathetic).

The single hardest lesson we learn as students of aviation is when to walk away from a bad training environment. As folks who want to do well, want to get along with our fellow aviators, etc; we just stick it out. Many of us have done the same thing. The double whammy is that frequently we want to work at the flight school we are taking our CFI (or other training) so we try even harder to blend in and get a long. Well, that is a recipe for a very poor and miserable training event if you are not getting what you want, need or are not enjoying your flying.

Nice CommutAir Dash 8. You work there?
 

jhugz

#lighttwin Mafia
Used to? Did you like it there?
I liked it there a lot. However my leave for the rest of my flight training did not work out so I had to resign. I am eligible for rehire and hope to go back to them as an FO once i get more hours.
 

jhugz

#lighttwin Mafia
Finished my double I APR two days ago (Writeup going in Checkride Section)...and the official academy yesterday. I am going today to hopefully get my sign off for the CFIA and schedule with the FSDO.

BTW: The chief flight instructor apologized to me so its been a little better in class.
 

PDC

New Member
Good news and bad news about AF.

The locations are all different, but some of the problems are systemic. I did the academy at PMP and had the same problems with scheduling the airplane; their system derogates the CFI academy students relative to others, and is pretty primitive technologically. There is not enough money spent on coordination and management, so even with the best intentions, the front-desk people (who were pretty nice at PMP) get overwhelmed if you start messing with their book for personal reasons--IMSAFE or wife in the hospital, it is all one to them.

That said, the personnel at PMP work for you as much as the AF system permits. The instructors, both ground and flight, were all (ALL) superior. Some of them were downright inspirational: a few in how they taught on the ground; others in the skill with which they handled the plane. None of them was less than a fine CFI role model.

You have to understand that to keep people like this teaching is not easy, because teachers are underpaid, and pilots are not naturally "academics." Somehow AF does it at PMP.

One other thing: their understanding of the instrument scan is profound. You simply cannot learn, or learn to teach, attitude instrument flying faster and better than they do it.

All that being said, I am a natural critic, and I had some problems that resulted in a bunch of "suggestions" for them. They accepted these--which were not presented with the courtesy I might have had under less trying circumstances--with the best grace I have ever seen from anyone carrying a pilot certificate, much less a chief flight instructor.

My advice would be to head on down to Pompano; and if it costs a bit more than you expect, well, what does not, nowadays?
 

amit_agarwal2007

New Member
hi guys
my name is amit currently residing in india. i am planning to join the cfi academy program of american flyers. i was wondering where to go santa monica or pompano beach. i have been keeping track on weather at pmp and smo and found that smo was much better option. what do u guys think?
please help me out. i was even wondering what i should study before i reach american flyers? can anyone help me out with the accomodation at santa monica?

i would even like to know whether american flyers is a better option or should i go somewhere else?
 
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