I sent an e-mail to the academy regarding the rumor of its closure, here is their reply which I have posted with their permission.
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Only rumors. What is happening our Academy is going in a different direction. As far as our First Officer Program which is why everyone comes here this is where we are headed into more Airline Training. We have now acquired our 142 Ticket where we can now start training for other airlines. In fact we may even start the Indoc training for NW Airlink, which hires most of our students as it is. But
because of this we do not feel we have the space and workforce to also run a flight school. So the flight school we are moving to close out and whatever students we have we will finish up and get them into the F/O Program because again that is why they really came here for.
As far as the Flight school the minimum requirements will still be the same to get in the F/O program which is your PPL, Instrument, Commercial and Multi-engine ratings but we will now refer these students to Approved flight schools which we approve to go there and then come here into the F/O Program with a special discount for going to these schools.
You must remember half of our F/O students were coming from the outside already with their ratings as it was.
We are excited with our new status and that just means more job opportunities for our F/O when they complete the training because we will be training for a lot of these regionals now. There are several flight schools vying for the right to train students for our F/O Program so it seems to be working well. Either way it is positive for all sides.
If you have any questions or concerns please let me know. I know a lot of our competitors and well wishers will jump on this and try to make it look negative as usual but as much as they try to discredit us the more and more pilots we are placing out there.
Bobby Pinto-Toll Free 1-877-359-4853 ext. 217
The flight school IS closing. It comes down to them wanting to downsize the flight school as is already. A mid-air accident that claimed one of their planes and resulted in 5 fatalities off the coast of FLL hastened the process. They are releasing all their CFI's (great, more CFI's in the already flooded pool!) and the students have the option to get their money back, or have it transfered to other schools that have have set up a deal with Gulfstream.
They are however keeping the F/O program. Now they will just be accepting Instrument CMEL's from outside for the program and everythign else will continue as was. So now they can continue the cash-cow of PFT without having to spend money on maintenance, insurance and training issues with the Private through CMEL/I ratings....
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We have now acquired our 142 Ticket where we can now start training for other airlines.
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142 is CRAP ... there's simply no other way to describe it. It's essentially all sim time with just enough in an aircraft to get your ratings (if you're still working towards them). My brother has a friend who is under 142 here in PHX at CRM and paid nearly 50k for essentially all SIM time. He just ran out of money and busted not only his ME-private, TWICE but failed the Commercial oral just a few weeks ago.
I'm going to disagree about Part 142. How else would you get your Flight Engineer ticket? How about if you are already an Engineer getting ready to upgrade, and want a little stick time before your eval ride? Part 142 is SIM, if you want/need sim training it's the only way to go. You can bet your butt I'm buying a few hours in the Sim before my eval ride.
"Which Northwest Airlink carrier?"
Pinnacle. They've hired quite a few of their "graduates". Kind of sad when I have a friend with 121 time who's been applying there religiously for years without so much as an interview.
I didn't know that there were Part 142 primary training programs. In order for a pilot to get typed, they have to have "X" number of flight, not sim, .......flight hours, depending on if this is their first type rating. I don't don't remember the regs off the top of my head, I "Ram-Dumped" that more than a year ago. My company requires me to get several hundred more hours as an Engineer, before I can even THINK about moving into the right seat. Besides that, during my interview, the Chief Engineer said he would hire me as an Engineer, and not to try to upgrade too quickly(meaning 2, maybe 3 years), I said, "Yes Sir" and I meant it. I'm not going back on my word. Everybody in Aviation knows each other, and you don't want to get a reputation as backstabber. That will follow a pilot around forever.