Anyone have any opinion on some FBO's in the Atlanta area? Mainly referring to PDK. Any information will be greatly appreciated. I am looking to begin my PPL and of course looking for the best available school at PDK. Thanks
I took my very first lesson at Epps a long, long time ago. I remember it well. The plane was a Piper Warrior. It was well maintained. The instructors and office personnel were very friendly and helpful too. I went there to get sectional charts in later years and to get a meal at the Downwind Cafe.
I did most of my training at Mathis Airport (84a) up by Cumming. I also did some at Cobb County/McCullum (RYY) in Kennesaw because I lived about 5 miles from the airport. Mathis is only 1500 feet long and 20 feet wide. It's basically an aircraft carrier on land. Nobody in any flight school at PDK is authorized to land there. We do have twins and heavy singles (Mooneys and a Navion) that are based there though. If possible, you might want to find an airport that is not so busy because one thing that does stick out in my mind from that very first lesson was the time we spend on the ground waiting in line. The instructor told me that wasn't a "busy" day too.
Don't get me wrong, PDK is a great place to learn controlled field ops but it can wreak havoc on your wallet too.
There are several schools at PDK. Aviation Atlanta is probably the biggest there. I havent heard anything bad about them thats not to say there isnt. There is also Elite. Very expensive and cater to the upper wage earners from what I can tell. American Air, which is right below the downwind, is kinda expensive but I worked there shortly and the Instructors are good. Their Chief Pilot is a DE and so is the owner so you will be prepared. Peachtree Academy is there also but havent heard much about them. American Air use to be Epps Flight School.
There are some decent FBO's at Gwinnett County. I have flown at Advanced Aviation and the Flight School of Gwinnett. The Flight School of Gwinnett has a large fleet of Cessnas and Pipers. The airport (LZU) isn't as busy as PDK or RYY. RYY is I think the third busiest airport in Ga, and can get very hectic on somedays.
I started my training out of RYY. It is a good airport, but sometimes it does get a little crowded. Aero Atlanta is a good flight school with a wide variety of planes. I moved after I soloed last summer to New York. Last summer I think they were still trying to put in the radar into RYY to improve safety. I have flown to PDK in my training and it was extemely busy. We had to make a full stop and taxied back to wait something like 15 minutes to takeoff again because of the 10 plane wait. I think PDK may be a little much for inexpierenced aviators unless they fly in a low traffic time. Good luck!
PDK can be a very busy airport at times. Its a relief airport for the corporate world instead of going to KATL. I have flown out of PDK a few times and never had to wait for than just a few minutes. I do know that early in the AM or around 5-7 pm when everyone want to go home can be busy.
I looked at all the options at McCollum, and went with Aero Atlanta.
I took my initial CFI with Aero Atlanta last fall. As I understand it, it's owned by a guy named Daniel Christman. Good folks, all the way around. A couple new planes, a couple old planes, but I never had a lesson cancel due to maintenance. I trained with a guy named Lastowski, who I think was one of the more senior instructors. No complaints about the instruction, at all. I would recommend it to any one.