Is it worth 25 grand extra?


Well-Known Member

I appreciate you thoughts, and by no means am I trying to downplay the quality of training at FSI, because everyone knows it's one of the best schools out there. I'm just looking out for the pilots that aren't financially suited for FSI. In other words, one doesn't have to go to FSI, or any other academy for that matter, to receive good training.

I think we’ve beaten this dead horse to a pulp, so I’ll just let it go at that…


Well-Known Member
I can recommend an excellent instructor in Chicago from whom I got my PPL from. I'm sure that if I had stuck with him throughout all of my training I would be just as good if not possibly better off that some students at FSI. So then why did I come here instead of just sticking with him?

1) I didn't have a career job/family.
2) I could get the loan
3) I'll be done a lot quicker.

But that's just me... Time will tell if I made the more "right" decision.



Well-Known Member
If FlightSafety isn't one of the best and doesn't produce some of the world's best trained pilots, then why do most airlines and many corporate flight departments use them for recurrent training and type ratings?


Well-Known Member
</font><blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr />
If FlightSafety isn't one of the best and doesn't produce some of the world's best trained pilots, then why do most airlines and many corporate flight departments use them for recurrent training and type ratings?

[/ QUOTE ] Possible reasons include: <ul type="square">
[*]Flight Safety is a big school and can handle corporate and airline requirements for training capacity
[*]Flight Safety has the structured programs that meet the training requirements of these businesses
[*]Businesses can negotiate better terms than what an individual might pay
[/list] What's best for a business is not necessarily what's best for an individual looking for training. Although Flight Safety does produce some of the best-trained pilots, it's not necessarily the primary reason that businesses train their pilots there, nor should one draw the conclusion that it's the best place for his/her training because big businesses choose it.


Well-Known Member
The Academy and the Airline/Corporate training facilities are VERY separate entities......although they share the roughly same name and ownership they operate quite independently. I am a Flight Safety student and love the training I am getting, but please don't make the mistake or mislead others into making the mistake that if you go to Flight Safety Academy that it is the same as training at Flight Safety International.

Primary flight training is MUCH different from professional and or corporate training!


New Member
The 25k question is one only you can answer. If you train at a good FBO, with good planes and a good instructor you will be just as good a pilot as anyone at FSI. But to get the savings requires much more than cheap prices. It is up to you to ensure that you get the same quality that is guaranteed by going to FSI. This places alot of responsibility on your shoulders.

You must go to the FBO and look at the aircraft. How many do they have? Are they all the same model or similar? What is the availability? You want aircraft of the same make and model so you will not be in aircraft with different instruments, switches, etc in different locations, with the same engine so they all handle the same. You want more than 1 or 2 aircraft so if one breaks you can still do a lesson and have scheduling flexibility.

What about the instructors, are they skilled and knowledgeable? Do they have a syllabus? (if not don't even consider them) What is their availability? Does the flight school use standardized checklist? If you don't get along with your instructor can you choose another?

What about the airport, is it tower controlled or uncontrolled? Does the instructor feel comfortable in controlled airspace? An uncontrolled field is ok, and you will probably be able to solo sooner, but you want to spend as much time as possible in controlled airspace. You do not want to do your private and only have flown into a towered field once or twice. It can be intimidating if you have not done this. How is the weather? If you want to fly all year it can be hard in some parts of the country.

What about groundschools? Are you self motivated, will you study the Gleim and take the test successfully? Maybe your FBO runs a ground school. It is a good idea to have ground school out of the way before starting the training for a certificate or rating. This way you will have at least some knowledge base when in the aircraft. Some instructors do individual study with their students and this can be ok as long as you get it out of the way before you are too far along in the flying. The Sporty's or King Tapes can be good also (The Kings are pretty dorky though).

If you do your homework and there is a good FBO within reasonable distance, then this may be the way to go, especially when you go to get your private. Besides finding a good FBO, you should be able to fly a minimum of 2 times per week, 3 would be better. The rest of the time you should be reading the Airplane Flying Handbook, the POH, the FAR/AIM, and whatever else your instructor thinks you should know. If you do your part and your instructor does theirs you should have your private in less than 60 hours. I would budget for at least 50-55 hours to make sure you have enough cash to finish.

When you go to get your instrument / commercial ratings, I think that FSI is the way to go. We do all of our instrument rating in the Seminole, so it is very expensive. But, they have dual Garmin 430's, HSI, RMI, etc.. So you will be used to flying a fast (relative to a 172), complex aircraft, with the latest avionics. The work load when flying a twin IFR is alot higher than a fixed gear single. The other plus is the Frasca. They suck at first, but they make you a better instrument pilot. The Frasca is alot more unstable than an aircraft so it is harder to fly. Alot of places do sim rides as part of the hiring process and if you have never spent any time in a Frasca or other FTD, then you are in for a rude awakening.

After you complete the program you will have 55 hrs in the Seminole at a minimum, but it is not uncommon to have 70 hrs. Back when times were good, most jobs required 100 multi. You will already have at least 55, and if you do your MEI at a later date, will have 70-100.

Just a side note, but many people notice that it cost 7 to 8k for the CFI program here, and other places advertise that you can get your CFI and CFII combined for half the price. When you actually look, the other places do a 2 week ground school and 12 hours of flying. At FSI, just the CFI program includes a 4 week groundschool and 25 hours of flying, half in the Cadet and half in the Arrow. It is worth the money.


Well-Known Member
It's not really advertised at all but it is possible to do your instrument training @ FSI in the IFR Cadets at a rate of $143 per hour instead of in the Seminole @ $250....this will save you money but will rob you of multi time. It's a toss as to which you prefer to do but it can be done despite the fact it is not what most people do.


Well-Known Member

You make a lot of good comments. I suppose my case is a little different then some of those that have chosen the FBO route. The FBO I attend has about 15 172's, a plethora of instructors, and it's at a controlled airport. The airport itself is class D, but Tulsa international is very close by and it's class C; so immediately after takeoff you’re talking to departure. Definitely a huge difference from uncontrolled airports.


New Member
I got my Private ticket at a small FBO before I came to FSI. Being new to aviation, I didn't know there was a difference where I did my training. But once at FSI I clearly saw a huge difference. My problem at the small FBO was the fact of flying about once every 10 days or so ( took over a year for Private) The FBO I trained at would be fine if the private was all i was looking for...but not enough to be a professional pilot. I started at FSI in Nov. 2001 and Finished last week with my CFII and somewhere on the IP wait list. My experience at FSI was a very good one. I had the same instructor my entire time here....step 2 - cfii ..I did fly with other instructors to get a different perspective. I never felt like i was just another pilot at a big school. Its basically you and your instructor. You get the big school budget and programs and the small school treatment. My total cost for flying and briefs from day one to cfii was $39,875. That did include 62 hrs of multi, 5 hours of zlin- spin/ upset recovery training- Gatt-II spacial desorientation training- and 9 check rides, plus 38 hours of frasca time. Another point is the fact that airlines(aca) actually came and conducted interviews on campus. Very rare at a small FBO!
Any questions about FSI ...please ask


New Member
well said...perhaps you should fill cimepilot in on this...Just joking...Happy New Year all........
thats me tomm.