I'm back


Well-Known Member
I\'m back

What can I say about this school, I was simply blown away. WOW.... What a school....

I took the tour on Tuesday around 11:30-12. The tour guide was the director of the school and part owner Jerry Dirkk.
(might have spelled it wrong) Great down to earth guy. When every he started talking about his school he had a big smile on his face, He was not the kind of guy who wanted your money and didn't care about you. The building is only a year and a half years old. It has one $500,000, one 200,000 and 1 or 2 20,000 simulators. A computer room with 12 computers with high speed Internet access. A fleet of 46 aircraft. A few other rooms for ground school and debriefing. A lunch area with vending machines. The school is a lot better then the way I'm describing it, you have to see it for yourself. Jerry asked if I have visited Panam, I told him that I didn't. He had a few good things to say about the school, the only negative thing he said was if your sick or cant fly panam still charges you for the aircraft and the instructor, he said that isn't right. Each aricraft after 100 flying hours gets a full blow inspection. 50% of all students in the right seat direct program dont make it. The tour took about 2- 2 an a half hours. I did not see one unhappy student at the school. It seemed like one big family. Jerry knew all of the students by name and where they were from. He said if you are unhappy with the school he would do any thing to help you out and that his door is always open, which it is by the way, his office is in the front of the building right when you walk in. After talking the tour of westwind and reading all the bad things about Panam I decided not to even bother taking a look at Panam.

I took a few pictures of the schools and Arizona so once I get them developed I'll put them on the site.

The closest apartments are about 3 miles away. In the hot summer its way to hot to ride a bike and to hot to walk so you need a car, which is another expense. It seemed that all the students had one so you would look kinda stupid ridding bike to school everyday. If you want a furnished apartment, it will run you 1,500-1,800 a month. You get a discount because you go to WSA, I'm not sure how much it is, I'm going to call up some apartments in the next few days and see how much they are. A one mile radios around the school looked kinda bad. Some parts of Arizona were really nice, and some parts were like I dont know, nothing to special.

Since I never figured I needed a car and the price for a furnished apartment in my living expenses I have to take some time to make my decision

They have about 10-14 new students a month, I dont understand were these people get the money from, you can only take out 60K in loan.

The school is great, nothing like an FBO. Its like this. Westwind is like the major leagues and my local FBO is like A ball if that.

Is spending an extra 40-50k worth it. Big decision I have to make.

It looks like I'm going to be playing to lottery a bit more offten, I really want to attend the school but just dont have that kind of money.

If anybody knows how to put pics up on the site please tell me how
Re: I\'m back

This from the FAQ section of the site.

If you have some pics, i would love to see them. Thanks for the report

In order to add an image to your message or your signature, you must have the image already available on a web server. This can be an image on your own personal web page, for example. To place an image within a message, simply use the following Markup Tag:
For example, if you have an image called cateye.gif and its available from your own website at http://www.mywebsite.com/pics, then you would use the following image markup:
You can do the same for your signature. Click the My Home option found on any page. Then, under the Main Configuration heading, click on "Personal Information, email, password...". Look for the Signature box, and enter your desired information, including any images/markup as above.
Note: To keep the forums loading quickly for everyone, it is recommended that you do not exceed 35k for your image size.
Re: I\'m back

Since I guess you need a website to pic the pics up, I cant put them up. But I did find something cool on WSA site. Go to aircraft, then at the bottem of the page go to that little blurry square thing. click on that It shows you there fleet of aircraft, in the collum N #, click on the things and they show u pics of the plane
Re: I\'m back

Well I guess the key difference is that the guy who works there is the owner, the owners of Pan Am are a bunch of shareholders who have probably never even been in a plane smaller than a 737. But of course you come across that kinda thing in all walks of life, if the person who runs the joint is the person who owns the place then the service is always going to be better cause its in his best interest to keep a good reputation and keep coustmers happy, if they're just on a sallery they couldn't give a hoot, if the business fails, they'll just go somewhere else
Re: I\'m back

this place sounds like they took what everyone at Panam has been upset about, fixed it, and applied it to their operation. damn fine business practice if you ask me.
Re: I\'m back

hehe yeah, Pan Am is a good school, even Westwind will admit to that, it's just you got to ask yourself if Pan Am is worth the extra money and hassles for the extra goodies ie new planes, all painted in fleet colors, Air con, full color gps etc etc Me personally, those things aren't worth an extra 20k or so, hence my dicision to change from Pan Am to Westwind as my school of choice.
Re: I\'m back

from reading what some of the westwind students had to say, everybody goes like 20k over anyway
Re: I\'m back

The chances are you will go over what is quoted to you at any school, and as the saying goes…individual results may very. The difference of attending Westwind over Pan Am would be that Westwind might not rip their students off like Pan Am does. Quality instruction is only is good as the instructor you get. It doesn’t matter the schools name, you are liable to run into bad instructors or instructors that you will not get along with at any school. Besides the point of quality of instruction, Pan Am has poor business practices. Embry-Riddle has adjunct professors and one of them is a business teacher, part time for Riddle and full time for the local junior college. Now I paid a premium to attend Riddle and take these classes, but I could have went to the JC, taken the same business classes with the same teacher, and I would have received the same quality education for a fraction of the price. The only difference is the name. Of course I was working on my Bachelors Degree, but I could have transferred those business class from the JC if I had went there first.
Re: I\'m back

the big name isn't everything, it is so true that there are good and bad instructors at any school (almost any). even being at Panam you see excelent instructors, really crappy ones, quite a few milkers, and many who will bust their hump to get you through cheap($) and make you very proficient.
Re: I\'m back

Well the quoted price is 29k or 30k or somthing but he said the average price 40k, what does pan am quote? 59k? I forget, if you look at it that way then the quoted price is 30k less than Pan Am

Here a good guide though, the maximum loan ammount for Westwind is 60k, and as far as I know, everyone's been able to finish the program, buy supplies and live for 10-12 months on that without going over budget. And didn't Pan Am raise the loan ammount from 80k to 100k? well.. that speaks for itself really :smirk:
Re: I\'m back

Yea the school has a pretty new building but thats it. The sims are not worth nearly what you say and only one is worth using. I can gaurantee that you will not even come close to finishing at the amount MR. Jerry quoted you. Next time you talk to him ask him why he has been refunding so much money lately and giving free flight time to various students. It is to avoid lawsuits from breech of contract. 75% of their aircraft are junk. The quality of the training should be your #1 concern and you won't get it there. Even the marketing girl there Jennifer told me that only 10 out of their 50+ instructors are worth training with. They will force you to do LOFT training in their lame sim that has 3 big screen TV's in front of it. The training is a waste and none of the students want to do it. They will charge you like $2000.00 (approx.) for LOFT. The only multi time you will see is the 30 hours it will take you for your MEPL (twice what it should take you). The list goes on and on about what they promise and can't deliver. You should definately tour some other schools.
Re: I\'m back

I'm sorry you had a bad experience at Westwind but as a current student I have had the opposite experience and what you say about the multi time is not true. I have been completing my ratings under what was quoted to me (granted I had some time when I got here and do not have to do as much "building"). Starting January you will be able to do the commercial in the multi and do a single add-on. This is going to allow much more multi-time at only and additional $75/hour (should be around $2k more). Also, you won't be wasting your time doing the commercial in singles and (expensive) complex singles. Personally, I would rather have that time in a multi for the $$. I have no idea what you are saying about the aircraft being "junk". Almost all of the 172's are brand new, and the older aircraft I have flown are in the best shape of any club I have utilized. As for instruction, I have no complaints nor do I know of other students with any complaints. If you do not mesh with the instructor you simply request another one. I had originally planned on going to Pan Am and am very happy with the choice I made. I would like to see other schools give any of their students "free" flying time to make them happy as you say Mr. Dilk is doing. Treating the student like a customer sounds like pretty good business practice to me.
Re: I\'m back

All of the RG's, Seminoles, 152's, and a lot of the 172's are junk. I know, I just left there. They do have about 10-15 newer 172's. Out of 40+ aircraft that ratio does not look to good does it. You say the older aircraft are in better shape than any other place you have flown. Why is it that they can't keep the RG's or Seminoles on line long enough to get students finished on time. I had 13 cancelations due to maintenance and lack of aircraft during one rating. That costs the students money when they come in to fly and are told sorry our shi-- planes are down for maintenance again. and then you do not get re-scheduled for another two weeks. As for Jerry giving up free flight time. He wouldn't have to if this were not happening. He does it to avoid lawsuits and to try to avoid re-surfacing Westwinds bad reputation they had a few years ago. Do you have any idea how many students at Westwind are pissed about their current situation. You should open your ears. As for the Multi commercial program, that can get pretty expensive building time for commercial in a twin. They would be better off having the students do their instrument in the twin. I will say that at least they are making an effort to incorporate some sort of a multi-engine program. The problem is their Seminoles are alway's down for maintenance. I hope they plan on buying more before they start the program. By the way I still know and talk to a lot of people there and what I am saying is 100% on the money. You sound like you work there and that would not surprise me. ILS
Re: I\'m back

I can assure you I do not work at or for Westwind. I came in a few months ago entering at the instrument stage. They are planning to get more Seminoles for the commercial program from what I understand. Obviously they would have to if everyone is going to go through the same way. I would rather build time in a multi splitting the cost with someone else than flying a 152. As everyone knows, multi time is what you need and you are going to have to get it somehow. In my opnion you might as well do it for your ratings and kill two birds with one stone. RG's are notorious for maintenance issues. This may even be the reason they are switching the commercial program to the multi, but I don't know. I have not had any cancellations for maintenance so far and they have 20 newer 172's (not 10-15). One I flew the other day had a whopping 60 hours on it.
Re: I\'m back

Hi , I am a student at WSA and after reading what you wrote, you seem to know the school very wel, so maybe you can help me out. Where are the junk airplanes ?? I have been searching for them but I can't find them is there a secret ramp that they haven't told me?? And the same for the unhappy students with all the ppl I see and talk too I have not one heard saying a negative word about the school or training. So maybe what you are saying is not 100% on the money
Re: I\'m back

I know this is an old thread, but...

With regard to air conditioning, is an airplane extremely uncomfortable during a summer in Phoenix?