Florida Tour Suggestions Wanted!


New Member
Hello Everyone,

I've been watching the boards for the past few weeks. Will begin training next summer and I am trying to choose a flight school. I am visting FSI and ATA this Thursday and Friday. These seem to be the two schools that have the best reputation.

Was considering Gulfstream but have heard way to many bad things about the program.

I'm definitely excited to see them. Just wondering if any of you who have been through this process could give a rookie some advice on what to look for and some important questions a guy should ask.

Thanks for you help!

A Southern Illinois grad?

I would also suggest seeing Comair and Pan Am (all within 1.5 hours of each other driving). That would pretty much cover your "big name" schools down there, assuming that's what you are looking for.
Current SIU student-athlete actually. WIll graduate next May. (Praise God!)

This is a short trip this weekend on family's plane. Have a few things to take care of in Orlando and don't have time to do Comair. Plan on visiting them later and letting them foot the bill.

Just wanting to pick everyone's brain over the two schools and what they think.
Well, fortunately I live in Orlando which made the tour thing very simple. Comair and ATA are both in Orlando, one at Orlando Executive (ORL) and the other at Sanford's airport (SFB). Be wary of both of those schools. Comair is an old, but well-maintained facility with old airplanes. My instructor at a local FBO at Orlando Executive Airport went to Comair. He had good and bad to say. He said scheduling sucked and you missed a lot of flights due to maintenance. This FBO has several instructors that went to Comair . . . I reccomend a stop there if you go to visit ATA.

ATA is a joke. They claim 500 hours with their school will put you in the right seat of an RJ. I was set on going thre until all the • the marketing dept. speiled to me about how they were the best, they said Comair and FSI were a joke because they made you go the CFI route, and that ATA is best because it trains you with military and airline pilots. Slamming other big name schools is a bad marketing tool! In any case, the local FBO were I trained for my PPL had many students show up from ATA who had dropped out due to their multiple problems and finish their ratings at the FBO. If you want the name of that FBO, feel free to e-mail me at kdwilkes@bellsouth.net and I'll send you it with the name of my instructor. It is right next door to ATA so you can talk to ATA guys there as well as others about their opinions.

Now, I may be a little biased about FSI because I begin class there July 1. However, I am biased because FSI, their students, and their graduates made me that way, as well as some members of this forum. I flew to FSI from ORL with my father for the tour. We landed and taxied to the local FBO and FSI sent a car for us. They tour was thorough, extensive and very professional. They took their time and answered any questions. We toured the flight line, the new and the old airplanes, all of which are impecably maintained. They employees are friendly and approach their work with professionalism. If you tour FSI, I can guarantee you will look no further. They are the best and have that repuatation. The best part was that the marketing department put no pressure on me to sign-up or put a deposit down as did ATA and Comair. in fact, Comair told me to leave the Univ. of Florida a year early and not finish my degree. FSI told me to get the degree then come talk to them!

I chose not to tour schools south of Vero bech becuase I did not want to live there. No other reason than that. I grew up in and have family/friends in Orlando, and Vero is only 2 1/2 hours away.

You have to decide what school is best for you. Just be wary of Comair and ATA. From what I hear, they give flase promises and never do what they claim to do for their students. Best of luck to you and feel free to e-mail at kdwilkes@bellsouth.net for any questions.

What are your thoughts on ATP. I feel they have a pretty good program from my research thus far but am also very fond of FSI. I would welcome all who can help me compare the two.

I have no experience or research on ATP. Sorry! They seem to have a good program from what i have read on these forums, but hve also heard negative such as what happens after you graduate their program. I say visit both facilities and make your decision based on that. Talk to airline pilots next you fly somewhere or just go hang out at an airport that services the airlines and stop pilots in the terminals and see what they say. Many are happy to talk to aspiring pilots. Good Luck!