Choosing the Right Program


New Member
Heres my situation. Soon I wil be looking for a place to get my Commercial lisence. There are three programs I am looking at. First of all, I am looking for a part 141 program so that I can use my veterans beneifts. Ok, now my current instructor tells me that because I currently have over 250 hours that he can get me my ticket in a few weeks. but I want more that that. To me, being a commercial pilot is more than just learning to do Chandelles, eights around a pylon and lazy eights. To me being a commerical pilot is about a certian attitude as well. To be honest, as a private pilot, when I would fly, becuase I always flew the same plane by myself to the same place,I never really worried much about weight and balance, fuel burn, or long distance navigation. these are skills that I think professional pilots should be masters at. And I dont feel I have masterd them yet. So I am looking for a program that will not only teach me how to do the required maneuvers but also teach me how to be a real master of my trade.

So, I have looked at Delta Connection Academy. Very professional,but very costly. There is a small two year college in south Georgia I am looking at. Now, mind you, I already have a Bachelors degree so I dont really need the degree, I just like the fact that they have classroom training and its very structured and it fits into my budget. The third option is a navy flying club near my house. Its cheap, 141 and I wouldnt have to relocate. The hesitation I have with them is I dont know how professional the classroom instruction will be. I think they do it one on one. I am looking for a classroom environment. I dont always know all the questions to ask so I may miss something on one on one whereas in a classroom someone may ask I ask a question that I may not have thought of asking.

So, there you have it. Should I go to the college down south (and work on an associates degree even though I have a BS), go to the Flying club (and risk not getting the whole prfessional education. Delta Connection academy is not a serious option cause I know I dont have the money. The way the GI Bill works is they reimburse you for the tuition. SO I would stil have to pay the full amount($38,000) and then get reimbursed by the VA.

By the way, Ihave my instrument checkride in a few weeks. My CFII says I am ready, the chief instructor at the flying club says I am ready. I wish I had as much confidence in me that they do.
I would recommend either staying with your current instructor or the Navy Flying Club.

The CPL is not a huge step like the Private or Instrument. It mainly consists of learning the new manuevers (like chandelles, lazy 8s, and pylon 8s) and perfecting old ones (like steep turns and short/soft field takeoff and landings). There is also a written exam. I really don't think that there is any need to enroll in a college program or an expensive course.

Actual commercial flying will be mainly instrument and multi-engine. I would take the cheap and quick commercial courses and use whatever is left over for a multi-rating and to brush up on instrument flying.

BTW what college in Georgia has the aviation degree program?
Dave is on the right track to an extent. I am where you are right now. Bunch of hours puddling around in my comfort zone ticking away time at the CAX certificate.

Master the PTS, know the pertaining FARs to Commerical pilots (part 91, etc.), perfect the manuevers, etc.

You were once a private pilot, but now you are becoming a professional pilot. Fly every flight as if you have a passenger who has never flown before in the plane. That meaning, think twice before you yank back on the yoke, make very small changes (this will require planning ahead) in engine speed, start your climbs and descents so only you will be able to tell that you are now climbing or descending. When preflight planning, really get down to the nit and gritty. Preplan emergency airports along your route (what airport has fuel, services, airport lighting at night, close to a city, etc) Those sort of things.

Your instructor(s) molded you into the private pilot you are today, they molded you into a comfort zone. Now you and I have to move out of that comfort zone and up the bar for ourselves because we are professional pilots now.

I know you were looking for some advice about what school to choose, I hope I left you some. What I am trying to say is, you don't need a big school with the hours you have in your logbook. Just dig your nose in the manuals you have that got you where you are.

I hope this helps a bit.

While it is not really necessary for you to go to an academy, it would not cost what you think. If you already have that many hours you would not have to start at the beginning. You could go and do your single engine commercial, then the multi-add with instrument privileges for alot less than 38k.