First Day


New Member
Sounds great! Hopefully I will see you around in March!

Until then, if you take off from RWY 9, look off your right wing...I'll be the guy on the dock fishing...


Thanks for your post. I enjoyed reading it!

How many students are in your group and at what rating have you entered the program?
we had 9 people that all started at PPL. i think i had the most flight time, with only 1/2 hour of unlogged. everyone else said they didn't have any time at all. my time was only a free flight lesson i recieved off of the internet. there was alos, i think just one other class member who was already certified...i think up to multi, not real sure. we got these blue baseball hats, they're doing like this military style thing where our class is called "BLUEFLIGHT" and we are all supposed to work as a team and help each other. Flybimmer, you guys in march get red caps, and you'll be called "REDFLIGHT". we'll see how this progresses.
ahhhhh yes, I remember that feeling of excitment you have dakovich, when I first started at PAIFA in PHX. But soon it was taken by greedy administrators, and a bunch of lies to sugar coat their company, but hopefully your luck will be different than mine, good luck,

Thanks for that information. Please keep it coming. I'm also thinking about starting Pan AM, probably in April, and would like having as much "inside" information as possible before commiting 100%. As for KEEPHOPEALIVE09, Can you expand on the things that were bad at Pan AM and what made you leave. What you are saying is what scares me about these academys, they suck you in and then suck your money dry. Any information either of you can provide would be great. THANKS
hope09, when did you go, and what happened?? where are you now? hope maybe some of us can look out for what may have happened to you, if there was in fact some neglagence on the part of the school. please elaborate for us

as for me, first flight is saturday 1100-1300...i spoke with my parents tonight and my mother still doesn't understand why we have to fly so early, "don't you guys have simulators?"...poor ma, still in denial i'm going to be flying for a living. but she is entertaining to listen to. another funny thing, my girlfriends mother just stopped refering to me as "your friend" when speaking about me to my girl, its almost been a year! whacky parents. sorry to get on a tangent, i'll keep everyone updated as i progress.
well, just finished my first day at Pan Am in Florida. It was mainly just an orientation but we learned a lot of what the school is about. We were initially going to start flying monday but we ended up being able to set up flight time tomorrow and sunday. pretty excited to get up in the air again. for the fist few weeks we start every morning at 6:15am with weather checks and some other acedemics of flight. follwoing this we split into our groups (3 students per CFI) and go over the daily tasks and discuss our flight plans. by 0700 hours we are expected to be in the air. between this time and around 1330 the individual CFI led groups take turns at flying. we are able to ride "gemini" or basically in the back seat if it is not our turn. this is voluntary and has to be ok'd by the CFI and the student flying, and i intend to fly as many off hours back seaters as possible. you only learn if you experience it, and theres a way better chance of wierd things happening if you put more times behind the stick ,and/or in the back. try to absorb everything i say. we then get a break from 1330 until our ground school which begins at 1800 and lasts until 2100. this basic pattern happens everyday until at a certain point groundschool turns into actually flying time (two flights a day at 2 hours a piece).

we have to be available from 0600 until 0200 everyday, just like being on call. As for some of the posts i've read about Pan Am having restricted flying hours at night, well, its not true. we are only limited by noise abatment that we VOLUNTAIRALY follow restricting touch-and-goes after 1700 hours. night flying is part of the curriculum.

the whole process is very time consuming, but the schools policy on time off is very open. as long as you need and request a day or goup of days off promptly and curtiously there won't be a problem. except if you are in a critical part of training, in which you will be strictly advised to wait until you pass the critical phase, only makes sense you know.

as for the rest, we learned the history of PAIFA, learned the other associated companies and facilities throughout the US. we were told straight up, that this is not a joke, this is real and that we are to conduct ourselves as though we were employees for a major airline. the staff is very very friendly, but they are also very very intent on training us above and beyond the standards set by the FAA.

one more thing, there are a whole bunch of female pilots at this school. not just saying that because i like girls, but its nice to see a good mix of young professionals. Its cool because growing up i never saw many woman protrayed as pilots in the movies or TV really, nice surprise. if i ever have a daughter some day i hope she grows up to be like these gals who just wanted to do something and did it. very smart, very pro, very intent on what they want to do. i mean, there are more women in this program than i had in my whole department in college. its a nice thing just like the mix of people in general. age varies widely, everyone in my orientation class seemed to be from all over the country...not to mention a student from Denmark. its a really nice opportunity to study with so many different people. anyway, enough...i'll try and write a little less but tell a lot more next time.
Hello all-

Yes my screen name tells the whole story. I have been filled with bad luck, not so much the whole Pan Am thing, but lots of other things so that's where the screen name comes from- and it's just a reminder to stick it through, I am a very positive person. I do have numerous posts about Pan Am as luftpost stated, after all that is what this message bored is for. I haven't bad mouthed anyone, I just explained my story, and my opinions. Let me also state that there are many others with the same opinions, as there are others with the opposite. But I do find it funny that I have found few positives responses from students who have been there for a long time, or numerous ratings. Oh well just a thought!

Heavyman, you pretty much said it. They suck you in, then they suck you dry of money. I attended in Oct 2000-June 2001.

as Luftpost said, here is one of my many previous posts:
MY OPINION ONLY.....and it's addressed to everyone. Pan Am and schools like it are NOT the way to go. I am speaking from experience. I attended Pan Am and it was the wrong choice. You have to ask yourself what you want- if you want an airline job and don't have a degree then go to school and fly part time. If you have a degree, go to a smaller flight school where you make your own schedule and fly at your own pace. If fast is what your looking for Pan Am is not the place to go. They make you fly twice a day (I was there 6 months ago, and as far as I know it hasn't changed), which I'm sure you would think that's a good thing. I thought it was also, but when I was meeting pilots that were progresing faster than I was for less money, and they weren't flying twice a day, I began to scratch my head. I finished at the top of my class for every rating when I attended Pan Am. It cost me the cheapest and I was the quickest in my class. Yet there were still people finishing faster and cheaper at other places. They were just as strong and qualified of a pilot as I was, yet they finished faster and for HALF the price. So why go there? People say its for there ACE program, which only one person has completed, and he still works as a CFI there. So if you want to spend over 50K, and believe me you will, and watch other smaller flight schools build pilots faster and cheaper, then be my guest. But don't think for one minute, by going to Pan Am as opposed to another smaller school, is going to make you a better pilot- or get you a job faster. If that is the case, you have the wrong attitude. You are the one controlling how much of a great pilot you can be. Once again, I speak from experience. I have been to every flight school in Arizona. I have done the FBO route, the Pan Am route, and the small flight school route, and I can assure you that the Pan Am route is not the way to go. Also, on a side note, I am a CFI/II/MEI and currently instructing. The rest of my classmates are still working on there ratings. Where I have been instructing since September, because I left Pan Am after 4 ratings there. Please feel free to ask any questions
first off, as for what we've been told we will be doign the two-flight-a-day as soon as we are somewhat finished with our ground school. it was my first flight today, went over basics, learned the practice areas, learned how quickly the skys get crowded, just went through the basics. we fly again sunday, and everyday the rest of the week. not much new to say.

my questions to keephopealive:
what smaller schools are you refering to? do you think these schools build time just as fast with once a day flights, maybe longer single flights than the 2 hour dual we at pan am do? personally if that is true i'd rather do the split so i can speak with the instructor and my classmates about what just happened, what will happen on the next flight, and basically get my thoughts together(opinion).

the big question is, how is it that Pan Am's flight training schedual failed to progress you as fast or faster than that of other schools? instuctor problems, flight scheduling problems, etc...? do other schools really do it better and faster than the 11 month prospectus at pan am from start to finish? and do they do it cheaper? from what i've seen most of the schools are pretty even when you subtract certain "specialty programs" such as ACE at pan am. i'm not trying to bag on you at all, i just really would like to hear what you've got to say.

oh, i do have my B.A. already, and personally don't think i want to have ANY school start me from scratch and have me out the door in less time than what Pan Am has projected. whats expected of us is pretty intense as it is and i just started yesterday...speaking of, i have to go try and memorize as much as i can of the meteorologic section of the FAR/AIM 2002 for monday.

The two flight per day thing was the same for me. If there was a ground school, it counted as one flight, and once ground school was over you were scheduled for two flights a day. My point about that was that I was seeing students fly only once a day at other schools and they were finishing faster?!? The aviation business is all about networking. I know a lot of people in a lot of different situations, and it was shown to me that Pan Am is the wrong choice through many examples.

As for your questions I'll try my best to answer.
I think it's a great way to learn when you sit back seat with fellow students. I did it a lot! But you can do that anywhere. But I do agree with you, that is a better way to learn.
I can go on and on with little things that slowed me down, but those kind of things happen at all the schools. The thing that pissed me off the most was a money issue. They do a good job of giving you the real pilot environment but that's about it. I am absolutely saying that there are places that will finish you FASTER, CHEAPER, and you will be Happier. When you minus the ACE program you WILL still spend 50K I promise. You may not think so now, but it will add up and next thing you know, your asking for another loan. There really isn't specific things I can knock about Pan Am, except the money. Their planes, instructors, and training is excellent but WAY over priced, and you have to do more than you should. Blowing 100 feet on an S-turn after 8 flights shouldn't be a big deal, however at Pan Am- if you do on a stagecheck, you have to go back with your instructor, fix it, then wait for another stagecheck. Believe me, stupid things like that will happen a lot, and they shouldn't. Sure your probably thinking, "Well that will make ma a better pilot" that's what I was telling myself, and it did. But it wasn't necessary at all, it was one of their many ways of sucking you dry. I have a lot of friends that instruct there, and I know a lot of students. The only beef everyone has is the $$$$. They make themselves sound like they are a quick and professional route to the airlines, which is BULLSH*T. You are right, I wouldn't want a school to finish me faster than what Pan Am projected either, but the key word is projected. My main point, and I'll say it again, is you could put up ANY school next to Pan Am and they may not finish you faster, BUT I guarantee they will finish you in the same time frame and for 1/3 the price. Now if you shop around, and I know of a few in the Phoenix area, there are some excellent schools that will finish you faster and WAY cheaper and you will be just as competant as any Pan Am Pilot. And I'm not picking on Pan Am pilots cause that's where I got the majority of my knowledge. Just watch those "briefs" add-up.
If money is not an issue, than I guess Pan Am is the way to go. However, like I said earlier, I am an instructor, where as the other 20 people in my class dropped out cause of money- or they are still training. So who's ahead, and hurting less in the pocketbook?
Keephopealive09 is right, Pan Am is not the way to go.

If you ever decide that you want to leave, a $2,000 penalty charge applies. That should be a good indication that this school just wants your money. They charge a "brief time" that doesn't really exist. They will schedule you whenever they want. They will make you wait for days just to get a stagecheck. And those uniforms... student pilots dressed like airline pilots...ha ha!! Ladies and gentlemen, you will not be going to the airlines when you finish Pan Am. You will have to build experience as an instructor, etc. And Pan Am does not guarantee a job as an instructor.

Why not enjoy the process? Fly when and where you want, have a job, and choose an instructor that you like. Those are the real advantages to a small, friendly school. Or you could take out a $60K loan and wear a silly uniform.
i see where you guys are coming from. i'm sure there are cheaper ways, and i already do see the "brief" charges as being a little questionable. although, altogether with briefs it is still fairly the same as it was going to cost me back in buffalo at Prior Aviation for my PPL. they were charging $115/hr in an Archer, whcich from what i'm seeing is only maybe $10-15 an hour difference from Pan Am, even with Pan Am's brief costs. and, as for myself i want to fly every second i can, i don't want to work and do this, i want to fly now, today, tomorrow, 4 times a day, 7 days a week and on holidays. i'm already working on getting other instructors to go up with me when my normal instructor has off. i wanna get this private cert quick, and do it the best it can be done. i just have to get this whole nav/com tower talk stuff down.

i do appreciate hearing from you guys about what you think of Pan Am and other schools as well. maybe it'll materialize to be like that in the future for me, who knows. but right now i'm all about it, and i can't get enough of it.

as for today's lesson:
got to do the usual, and some today. taxi, talk with the tower ground control, get clearance, flight checks, takeoff, medium banks, some tight banks, held altitude during it all so i was psyched, practice throttle and pitch descents and ascents, instructor did a little 0 gravity fun stuff, took down mental notes of the visual markers and practice areas again. saw the nuclear power plant i can't fly near
, set up base leg, lined up landing, and i got to land it, instructor talked me through it all. taxiied back to Pan Am did all the post flight stuff. had a good time, learned a lot.

How much are you expecting your PPL to cost you all together down there at Pan am?

I am thinking of going there but I want to get my PPL here in Denver at a local FBO before I take out the big loan. I'm thinking my PPL here will run me a little over $6000?

I know they quote it at around $8400 but have you heard any estimates about average prices that people actually end up paying down there for their PPL?

Also how many hours does it usually take for people there to finish it? I have heard that most pilots consider their private the most difficult of all the ratings to accomplish.

Please let us know what you have heard.

Thanks, Tim

I'm thinking about attending Pan Am Academy, more specifically the one you're attending, some time in the future.

I want to go here not only to get my ratings, but to beef up my resume, which is a little 'lacking.'

At any rate, Keephopealive09 has shown me a side that is going to possibly make me rethink these plans.

I would very much appreciate it if you were to make this a daily journal of sorts. I really want to know what you think of the program on a day-to-day basis.

Thank you!
Originally posted by PurduePilot:

I want to go here not only to get my ratings, but to beef up my resume, which is a little 'lacking.'

<font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">You can make your resume more competitive by adding quality flight hours and a university degree. No one cares where you got your ratings or how much you spent on them.
Originally posted by Citation X:
</font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by PurduePilot:

I want to go here not only to get my ratings, but to beef up my resume, which is a little 'lacking.'

<font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">You can make your resume more competitive by adding quality flight hours and a university degree. No one cares where you got your ratings or how much you spent on them.</font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Yeah, I'm currently attending Purdue University. I expect to graduate sometime next year.

I was thinking about attending Pan Am, not only for the quality of the experience, but to 'beef up' my resume.

I also want the "airline-type" training style. If I'm eventually going to become a major airline pilot I might as well gear all my training towards that atmosphere. I guess I want a really accelerated training atmosphere. What I'm doing now, training on the side through an FBO, is fine for my schedule. When I graduate, I want to train full time and quickly.

Aside from what keephopealive09 posted earlier, I have heard nothing but good things coming from these programs.
Purdue Pilot,

I think what citation x meant was that going to Pan Am, as opose to another flights shool, isn't going to beef up your resume at all, and I agree. Nobody will care that you went to Pan Am. Also, I have just posted my experiences to help other people get an idea of what it's like. I don't think that many former Pan Am people are aware of Dougs website otherwise you might get some similar things from them. Most of the positive posts are from current students that haven't been there very long, i.e. more than 3 ratings, cause it took me that long to figure out how screwed I was getting. Good Luck