FSI Costs


Well-Known Member
I can't remember which post I was reading about this so I figured that I would start a new one. I was reading a discussion about FSI vs. PanAm and somewhere along the line I read that FSI cost more than PanAm. Are my figures all screwed up? I was under the impression that they were about the same money wise. Personally, I'm leaning in the FSI direction (for the current 10 minute period!) and I'm just trying to get a good idea of what a student who has his/her PPL is looking at paying to get through the program. I'm pretty sure that I'd have to go the instructor route so I'm not really even considering the fast track program at this point. The number that I came up with for training from instrument to CFI is around $47,000. Is that realistic?

Add a 15% fudge factor to that and it is realistic. Also, you need to consider living expenses. My figure coming in with the PPL was about $55,000 including living expenses for eight months and so far I am right on budget after six weeks.
I had enrolled at Pan Am and switched to FS at the last minute. I expected that my end costs would be more, but they were almost identical to my Pan Am info from before they lost the 141 last winter. Pan Am seems to under estimate and did not include a number of costs that FS seems to over estimate on. A small example that adds up to a few grand is that when you look at each program (CIME, SEAD, CFI) each listed price assumes you have never been to FSI and includes uniforms, apptitude & drug tests, spacial disorientation training, repeat books, and a few other odds and ends. That alone dropped my estimated price for CIME through CFI down by several thousand dollars.

The way I do the math Pan Am and FSI are pretty closely priced. Of course the programs are a little different as well so its tough to compare costs directly.

Final Note: Tomorrow is my last CFI flying lesson. Barring any major disasters I should be finishing the entire program CIME (excluding private) through CFI only a few hundred dollars over my FS estimate. (I rented a bunch of times for fun which cancels out the money mentioned above... otherwise I would be a few grand below budget)
FSI quoted me $36k for CIME coming in with my PPL. Add another $9K for CFI, for $45k total. Living expenses are the big variable, one I would like to minimize. I forsee sharing an apartment with 1 or 2 others, and will be actively looking in the next few months for a place to stay. Somebody has to need a roommate!
That's what I got too, but you're forgetting a couple thousand for the single engine commercial add on. And you need that to be a CFI...

Did Pan Am "lose" its 141 or did they "switch" to part 61? I think if they lost 141, then the records would be public, and they would have big problems.

The Turk.
Depends who you talk to. Pan Am marketing likes to tell you how they chose to switch to 61....that it was better for their students. People outside of Pan AM who you talk to will say the opposite and that they lost it. It seems to be a pretty grey area, but I'm still a bit perplexed why a school would voluntarily choose to give up 141 status??? Doesn't sound kosher to me. Just my opinion though... /ubbthreads/images/icons/crazy.gif
I dont really know the answer to this. I was under the understanding that they lost 141 due to poor pass rates (I think writtens). A 61 check airman I had who does frequent checkrides at Pan Am suggested the same thing. I was about to start training there in January and was told at the last minute that they had decided (for the benefit of the students) to switch to 61. I found it a little suspicious the way the last minute change was described and the fact that nobody in administration that I spoke to had any idea it was going to happen in the prior weeks.

To me either possibility was a negative. Either they lost 141 or they decided to make a major program change and did not bother to inform entering students until the last minute.
As a side note. If you need to find out the real story the information should be available to the public from the FAA. All 141 info (incuding pass rates etc are public info). I would try the Orlando FSDO.
I don't know why Pan Am lost (or chose to give up) thier 141 status but in order to retain 141 the school is required to maintain an 80% pass rate.
A side note is now that Pan Am is completely 61 it has started to back up 61 checkrides at FSI. The DE's are swamped trying to cover all their students and FSI.
i've heard both side of the story about the 141 thing being a student here. but they still do have a 141 program active. i think its mostly for the VA guys/gals that go here though. a bunch of the issues you read about in the Panam threads were from when they had the 141 training going. guess it was hard to get a check ride and that caused a bunch of other problems. not enough cheak airmen or whatever. heard stories about people waiting weeks for a ride and that caused them to have to take multiple review flights to stay current, along with all other kinds of headaches. glad i wasn't part of that mess. i filed for a 61 check toady and got scheduled for tomorrow, so 61 seems to work much more smoothly.
That was my thinking...what a great way to make more money-force all the students to train for 60 hours more. That's about $9,000 more per student. Cha-ching.
yeah, i guess it was costing people a little too much. but the 141 was swapped for 61 and things seem to be much more efficient under 61.
Not trying to start more things, but it looks like this discussion got sidetracked, if possible, could we get back to the point, because i was reading soo many good things.


Hey All,

So I am going to fire off a few questions to get down to empirical numbers.

Running through the numbers I have calculated the FSI costs to be: (w/o living expenses)

CPL(MEI) $44,059.00

Add on:

Single: $ 2,566.00
CFI $ 8,343.00
CFII $ 4,453.00
CFI/ME $ 5,310.00

Total: $64,731.00

Does everyone buy off on this?? I know this is with stated minimums but I have to have a base line figure to go with.

So I want to clarify a couple of questions I have regarding the program. If you want to do the ASA program you pay them $26k, but you need to have gone through to CPL(MEI) with the single add on? And then at that point they will pay the rest? But, you will need to be accepted to their program based on ability? What are the criteria?

So if you are accepted you will then proceed through the FSI contract instructor program and once you have completed your 800hr obligation you then are off to fly with ASA? I am unclear as to the timeline/route of getting on with ASA. I am also wondering more about who will be accepted to their program if there is a limited number of spots. Any insight out there? I also realize that you can possibly sign the instructor contract with FSI and that will essentially pay for your CFI/CFII/MEI, thus bringing the above total down to roughly $47k. Thanks for you time in responding.

One more question: I don’t know if it could be said that this is apples for apples but, if you look at Pan-Am vs. FSI, the bottom dollar cost to get you to CFI/MEI is $55,741.00 vs. $64,731.00 respectively. Is this truly apples for apples, and what is all of your emotion opinion on this topic too?????

PS. If one of you have the time/inspiration you should maintain a posting of your training at FSI like Davovich is doing over there at PAN-AM.
I understood that if you're hired by FSI as an instructor after completeing your CFI and Single Engine Add-On, then they pick up the cost of the CFII and MEI... Is this true FSI'ers?