FSI costs


New Member
Hey everybody! I'm a new member here, so go easy on me if this has already been covered.

Hopefully, some current students will reply to this...

I was just wondering how much I should be looking to spend at FSI for their career pilot program. I'm an AZ resident in Tucson (TUS for you pilots, I believe :) ), so I would have to take up residency at the school. What are the housing costs there? I understand the cost of schooling is currently around $55,000.

Any info. would be very appreciated, and hell.. let me know what it's like being a student there! And if any grads can share their experiences, that would be great, too!
Invest some of your time and read through old posts....that should tell you enough to get your brain asking specific questions, which I think we'd all be more apt to answer!

Good luck and have fun. You won't regret going here, and that is saying something!

I live in a single-room studio-type apartment on-campus and it is $22 per night. If you go for the 2 person dorm-style it is around $15 a nightt and the three BR/ one BA apartment is around $17 per night.

So far being a student is great! I start flying this weekend. I would take Chunk's advice, research old posts and then ask for specifics. Much easier for us to answer.
Guys, those are actually the kinds of things I'm looking for. I got a price quote for schooling from Angela at FSI of about $45,000... a bit cheaper than I expected, judging by how good this school seems. I was also looking for housing costs, which you've provided, thanks.
I was considering PanAm at one time, but was quite turned off by the posts in that forum from students of PanAm. It just seems as FSI is a much more pleasant experience.

Thanks guys.
I guess the next step is to get with Key bank for the moolah /ubbthreads/images/icons/crazy.gif.

Also, have any of you students had to try and find other students to become roommates? If so, how was THAT experience?
Calling marketing was going to be my suggestion, but you beat me to it. I stayed in one of the one-bedroom units kdwilkes referred to during my tour last month. A little more expensive, but nice. Even has a TV!

One thing occupying my thoughts recently is their annual 4% or so increase in prices, which takes effect in January. I had planned to show up then, but if I can make it in Dec (only one class in Dec) I can save 4%...thats $1600 or so and worth considering. Also about what I'll make during Dec at my job.... It is my understanding that if I show up in Dec, I am "grandfathered" in under the 2002 rates for the duration of my training. If this is not correct, somebody stop me!
"Thanks guys.
I guess the next step is to get with Key bank for the moolah . "

Speaking of moolah, assuming a student comes to FSI with zero hours and takes out a loan from Key Bank to pay for everything, and assuming no other debts to pay and no kids to feed, is it possible to pay the bills of life and make the minimum payments on the loan all on flight instructor's pay? I really want to get started with aviation and am willing to put 110% into the program, but don't want to get into a situation where I can't pay back the loan, get bad credit and thus look bad in the eyes of a future airline employer. So is it possible coming in with no other debts or should one really save up first? Of course if it is possible, look for me in the air soon! Help! /ubbthreads/images/icons/confused.gif

I took $60,000 from Key Bank and my payment will be $425 for 20 years. Instructors get $14 an hour and bennies. They only question is the amount of hours they get.
So maybe it is possible. Does working as a flight instructor (one who is working a lot) leave much time to work another part time job to make ends meet? For example, could a flight instructor teach students by day and deliver pizzas to them by night? I know there is a waiting list for instructors at FSI right now. Some people think that if you start your training now the pool will be empty and you should have no problem jumping right into an instructor position. Maybe so. That would be great. How many hours does the average instructor work per month?

Thanks again! /ubbthreads/images/icons/smile.gif
It all depends on the state of the school. Right now its tough for FSI CFI's to pay our bills. Just not enough students, not enough hours. Many are working 2nd jobs right now, which, is completely possible if you only have a few students (we make our own schedules as flight instructors--with some guidelines). On the other hand, when I started here, I had 6 students and was always working. The paychecks were quite good, 2-2.5K per month. We were up around 200 hrs or more per month paid.

So...it all depends, there is no sure answer I can give you. I do know all this stuff goes in cycles, and in 2 years things could (and probably will be) very different. I know its difficult to make decisions about something thats is 1-2 yrs away for you, but, the fact is even those of us working here are living week to week. I know I am. I don't know what things will be like a week from now or 2 months from now. You just do your job day by day, do what you got to do to pay the bills, make ends meet, and one day wakeup with enough hours to move on. Its not a high paying job unless you are working, so its not easy, but, everyone I know is making it work. I saved a lot when things were better. But, I haven't seen anyone starve or leave cause they couldn't do it. So...whatever thats worth, hope it helps. If you have any other questions let me know.
So... the cost of the Commercial Pilot program is around $44,000. Now, as I understand it, if I REALLY want to go somewhere with this whole pilot thing /ubbthreads/images/icons/tongue.gif , I'll end up spending another $20,000 to get my instructor ratings, too. So that really brings the cost of school up to ~ $64,000!

If I go for the whole sha-bang, the 80K from Key Bank, will I be able to survive out there in Vero Beach?
Wasn't there some kinda incentive at FSI, too, where if you came back to instruct for them, you can get some training for free?
You pay for your CFI. If you are hired on as an instructor, FSI will pay for the CFII and MEI (Standardization class) for you. That brings the costs down considerably. That is of course if you are hired though. It's not given out to everybody who goes through the career pilot program.
Ok, sounds good. What about the commercial single-engine add-on? Why would that not be included in the commercial pilot program, I wonder? Maybe it's just not considered necessary...?
SEAD is your commercial licence in a single engine airplane. In the normal FSI course, your initial commercial licence is in the seminole, the twin, and then you graduate. Meaning you don't have your commercial in the SE class yet. So, you do 5 lessons in the cherokee and take the checkride. Its pretty easy. A commecial licence is no different then a private, you have to take a checkride in each class of airplane. You need SEAD to instruct, but its easy, and (realatively) cheap.
Ok then, guys... thanks for all the info.

Now to sum it all up: ~$55,000 to go through the career pilot program and get my SEAD and CFI.

Ok, now for my next question /ubbthreads/images/icons/laugh.gif ...
Are there any of you students who have had to finance the entire amount (PPL on up), plus living & housing expenses? If so, how much did you borrow? I figure I could get by okay by taking out a total of $75,000 from Key Bank, maybe $70,000. Whatcha think?
"I figure I could get by okay by taking out a total of $75,000 from Key Bank, maybe $70,000."


It depends on what your living expenses are.? Do you have a family, a car?, consumables? living on or off campus.? Once you have that figured out, you could basically answer this question on your own.

Personally, I have a family plus a car and savings and borrowed 60,000 from KeyBank.

Best Regards,
Whoa..... /ubbthreads/images/icons/shocked.gif

sombody please help him out here and say something..
something like

" hey dude .. why don't u get your PPL before going to FlightSafety or any other Big Flightschool ??? "
it will save u alot of money..."

$ 75,000 + interest /ubbthreads/images/icons/shocked.gif

"$ 75,000 + interest ."

Try 60k plus interest. Is it high? yes, very, but the the cost of making your dream come true has it's price. It's all a question on how bad you want it. Besides, one thing that I learned while in the military, was that there is no substitute for the best training available.

Also if you compare the cost of becoming a professional pilot to other professions such as a Doctors, Attorney and in some cases a finance professional, we are doing pretty damn good.

Best Regards,