Is this a good school.


New Member
Does anyone have any insight to this school. They say they gaurantee you a instuctors position. I haven't heard of any other schools doing this so it sounds kind of fishy to me. :crazy:

This is the best school out there. I entered into the July class with only 16 hours of flight time. The atmosphere is friendly and exciting. The instructors are all terrific and very intelligent. Deer Valley airport is the 19th most busy airport in the U.S. Graduates from Westwind automatically get special treatment from the airlines because they know that Westwind produces excellent pilots. Westwind is approximately 20k cheaper than Pan Am. Everyone I have met at Westwind appear to be enjoying their stay.

I wanted to mention that Westwind equated their program to a bachelor's and master's degree in 9 months. Believe it, you will be working VERY hard. However, they have a great staff to help you. Plus, you have your classmates who are going through the same thing you are going through. I had a great bunch to work with.

Now having said all that. I have recently decided that flying wasn't for me and I will be returning to my previous occupation. Westwind returned more money to me than I expected them to. They were more than fair and that's why I am writing this message. Westwind is the most professional and friendly establishment that I have ever encountered.

If you have the chance. You must speak with the school's director and co-owner, Jerry Dilk. He is a great guy. The school wants your business, but they are honest and caring people.

This will probably be one of my last messages since I will no longer be pursuing the aviation career. Good luck to all you future pilots. I respect pilots even more after seeing all the work they go through to accomplish their dreams.

MD Monarch
A.K.A. Hugh Branstetter
Sorry dlmob,

I forgot to answer your question about becoming a flight instructor at Westwind. You heard correctly, any pilot graduating from Westwind (having started from scratch or from their PPL) are GUARANTEED a position as a flight instructor. This is absolutely true. If you have a few licenses before you start at Westwind, they guarantee you an interview.

And the hours you get as an instructor - WOW! You can basically tell them how many hours you want and you can get it. The chief flight instructor stated on the first day that one of their students just recorded 120 hours of flight instruction (flight time) this past month. This is definitely not typical, but I you can basically get what you need. One may not exceed 8 hours of flight instruction (flight time) per day. Then, of course, you get paid for the ground instruction you have with your students too.

MD Monarch (website)
Every school has the same things to offer basically, The question is what is your ultimate career goal. If you want to be a flight instructor for a couple of years than westwind is one of the best. If you want to be a Pilot for an airline in the shortest amount of time, Check out GULFSTREAM TRAINING ACADEMY in Ft. Lauderdale FL. Their program puts you into the right seat of a BE1900 as a paid first officer for 250 hours then gives you the opportunity to interview with several regional carriers that have already hired 50 or so pilots from Gulfstream this year!!!! Check it out at GulfstreamAcademy.Com
Seems like a school for a sucker..... They put you in the right seat for 250 hours and pay you 8$ an hour... it cost 53,000 plus living expeses and you dont even get your CFI, CFIII ratings... So if you dont get hired by the airline then your stuck with 500 hours no job 73,000$ spent, no college degree... At westwind its 38,000 for the school, you get all your ratings. flight instruct for a year, they pay you 15$ an hour, and if you dont get picked up by an airline at least you can get a job as a CFI some where becasue you will have about 1,000-1,2000 hours as a CFI.... So if you go to Glufsterm it will run you 70,000, no CFI ratings. At westwind it will run you 60,000 and you come out with all your ratings, 600 more hours, and a college degree if you take the online courses, if not then it will cost you 48,000 around there. On westwinds site it says you can get the 4 year degree for 8,000 but i called the school and they said most people get the degree and spend 13,000$
I'm sure Glufsterm is a good school but I think your rolling the dice with that school and I think the airlines are like using you for cheap labor.

Will you give it up already, and stop this non-sence, if you whant to advertise, then stop posting this classless B.S. and pay Doug for a spot on this website. What a loser, this should speak volumes to everyone here, if they have to promote them selves this way at doug's expense.

50 pilots hired in a post 9/11 industry when the airlines are trying to recover, and hundreds of pilots on furlough, if your going to out right lie like this, at least show some decency and provide honest facts. I guess that's asking to much.

Doug or Eagle, I tought this moron was banned for posting spam, this all he does and never posts anything meaning full.

Hey 1900,

Get out of here. This site is not for you to promote your school or any of your personal/commercial interests!
This post is like a year old, this is when 1900 first started promoting his school. He has been long gone from this site

Are you a Westwind person or just hanging around here? This seems like a good school. I haven't heard much negative, and mostly positive. That is, if you can stand summer temps in excess of 115! OUCH
Hey whats it doing Ophir,

Well I've been researching schools for over a year now and this is what I came up with

From what I have read at various sites and from emailing students at different flight schools I would say that my list would be like this

1- Flight safety

2- ATP ( if you got the 2year degree and 85TT 25 cross country

3- Panam (Florida location, A lot of negative stuff coming from students in the Arizona location

4- Westwind

Now since I dont have the 85TT I get can into ATP, I want to do my training in Arizona since I have a few friends that moved down there last year so whenever I get a little home sick I can hangout with them and feel like I'm back home.

As for westwind, from what I've heard back in the late 90's the school was on of the worst, nothing but bad stories, people getting ripped off left and right, but then I think they were bought out and its kinda funny, I keep on hearing that it was bought by Panam. I dont know..... Any way after that with the exception of a few people I've heard great stories
one instructor said "I've heard of Panam students switching to westwnd but I've never heard of any westwind students switching the panam " thats coming from a CFI at panam.

Another guy told me that 2 of his friends went there and 1 guy loved the school and the other guy took something like 5 months to get his PPL so he didnt have kind words to say towards the school

In my opinion, Some people bash the schools for there slow progress when they should be bashing them selfs for not working hard enough to make good strong progress

I'm going to go visit the school in a week or so, so I will write an update.

I have been debating this, for what seems like, so long now. I am a Westerner and I have this really anxiety when I think of training in FL. I have been reconsidering the whole thing now with the ASA program back at FSI. But in the end I figure if I went there, and was accepted into the program, I would be in the SE for around five years, or so. I think I would go crazy! My life, thus far, has been centered on hard work and hard play. I have always been a competitive athlete in one sport or another, skiing being my first. So going to the SE doesn’t sound so great.

So narrowing it down to the West there are few options. I never graduated college but have a lot of credits. So at this point I am enrolled in UVSC bachelor’s of aviation program and I am planning on moving to Salt Lake. Salt Lake isn’t that great, but it isn’t that bad either. I went to the university there for few years and know I can tolerate it, especially due to the amount of snow that the Wasatch range gets (a guys got to have a diversion).

But recently Westwind has come back up on the scope. It seems like a pretty solid program and the cost is greatly reduced from the FL schools, and Pan Am Phoenix. Pan Am, Phoenix seems to have a really bad wrap. The people that go there seem to be afraid of the school and voicing their concerns, weird. What a departure from Pan Am, FL. So I am considering Westwind, with no certainty to my decision making process or decisions, at this point.

Add to the mix the relatively new ad initio First Officer Program that Embry-Riddle is doing and I don’t know where to go and what to do. But for the time being, I am thinking of going to SLC and getting my degree, meanwhile training to CFI/ME and then reconsidering some ab initio program from that point.

I have been told numerous times that to really get in there and get a job rolling; beg, borrow, and steal the money you need to go with an ab initio program that will get you time and experience. The result will be a job and a seniority date faster than most.

Anyway, my .02 dollars on my plan. At least that is what it is today.
Phoenix offers a myriad of cultural and sporting opportunities. Activities include scenic hikes, mountain-bike rides, and horseback riding. Water sports, camping and fishing tend to be some of the favorite activities during the summer and fall months. Snow skiing and snow boarding are most popular during the winter and spring. The beautiful beaches of California and Mexico are less than a two-hour flight away, as are the glittering lights of Las Vegas. So, if you desire to take a flight to the Grand Canyon, try your luck at the casinos in Las Vegas or simply relax and take in the Arizona sun - Phoenix is the place for your.

Thats coming off westwinds website, I guess the mountians are up in Flagstaff.

On the other post Any students that go here One could replayed and is attending westwind, he said panam is only more expensive because of the planes they fly, there more expensive to operate and they all come with GPS and Air conditioning

What do you mean by ab initio program? Flight academy right?
No, ab initio programs are programs set up for you to buy time, essentially. The way I understand it is, most airlines, small and big ones, feel training a pilot is really expensive. And they are so many pilots who are chomping at the bit to get a job. Combined with the FAR that states and aircraft that is over 12,500lbs needs two pilots, the result has been that many schools and airlines offer ab initio training. That is a program that your pay a certain amount for, up front, and you are in a streamlined training program to fly right seat in a regional plane. FSI is doing this with the ASA program. Gulfstream is probably one of the most well-know, because they are basically telling people that if they pay them X amount of dollars, they will guarantee you 250 of right seat in a Beech 1900 (or something like that plane). But the end result is that you aren't really getting anywhere with them.

Essentially, ab initio allows you to pay to get time. The end result is that you you many have taken $25,000 and put it towards a type rating ina certain plane with a certain number of hours too. The result is your resume/experience is higher than the guy next door who is only going to get his hours through instructing.

I hope that clarifies it for you. I am not an expert, this is what I have picked up along the way. Don't quote me. ;)
Hey Ophir

Go to search, then go to usernames, type in flyallday, then go to newer then 1 month, at the bottom of the page go to Gulfstrem Academy, I asked if it was a good idea to go into one of those programs and this is what Doug had to say

1200/800 as a CFI.

Think about it this way. Any Joe Blow can walk into a operator, drop cash and get 250 hours in anything the money will cover.

the airlines know this

Let me put it this way, 100 hours in an aircraft that a company hired you and trusts you to fly is more valuable than 10,000 hours that you "bought".

Ask anyone in the industry and they'll tell you the same, of course, unless they sell flight time.

A few other people had things to say too, one said it was a career finisher