My opinion of Pan Am


New Member
Hello everybody,

I am currently a student at Pan Am international Flight Academy (PAIFA) in Phoenix Arizona. I have read most of the posts put up by other people and have some opinions of my own. I got my private at an FBO and came to Pan Am because they sell an image of professionalism and make you feel assured that going to Pan Am is the best and quickest way to the professional level. I felt that those were benefits worth paying for. Sadly, however, I myself along with several (majority) other student that I am friends with feel like we were misled. I think Pan Am tries to do what they advertise but it is not happening. I'll list several things that I do not like about Pan Am:

1- Very expensive and for 90% of the students much more than estimated. Something definetely worth thinking about.

2- Most chief flight instructors I belief are way rude, arrogant, and are not people you want to go ask questions to. Must note: Beth Ann is a great lady.

3- The school is foremost a business and secondly a school. I never feel like they actually care about me or my succes. The only thing I feel they care about is making money. Very frustrating!!

4-Ground schools for me, with the exception of instrument, have been horrific. I would try to get my money back but that would be impossibe I'm sure because I have no doubt that somewhere in the 20 pages of the contract I signed would forbid me to do so.

5-That brings up the contract issue. Do not sign up for everything at once because then you are bound to the school unless you want pay a 2000 dollar fee. It is possible to pay per rating unless that has been recently changed. Furthermore, the contract really got me angry because I never saw it until had moved down there and then I was expected to sign it right away in the office the first 10 minutes I was there. I feel like they pressure the contract on you.

6- Flight instruction is not exceptionally great. It's not bad, but dont go to Pan Am because your expecting the instructors to be much better than anywhere else. They hire from ATP and other places so that to me means that you get the same education there as you would at Pan Am.

7- Pan Am does not deliver what it promises. It is not that fast and the education is not much superior than to an FBO; not for the money anyway!

8- I havent seen anybody get hired on by anybody but by Airnet. Not that Airnet is all that bad, but all the talk about partnerships with regionals I think is just a bunch of BS. Maybe they do have partnerships, but nobody is getting hired on by them.

9- Last, I have my doubts about the ACE program. For 7k you do not get to log more than 30 hours in the CRJ and I wonder what it really does for me. Besides, the new contract makes it so that you have to do the ace before your instructor ratings. That means, you do ACE and then have like at least a year lapse until you would actually apply the skills learned. Also, its taught by people that I feel are underqualified. They have no real CRJ experience and I am sure that they probably dont have more than 400 hours a piece. Also, for 7k you could by a lot of twin time and how much does it cost to get a type rating in a jet??

Anyways, I am not writing this to bash Pan Am. I am sure that most big flight schools are all the same. Furthermore, I am not whining, I do not like to whine but I feel that this is all true and needs to be said. BOTTEM LINE, I would not recommend my friends to go to Pan Am. They are not personable, nor faster, and most of all not worth the money. Now, having said that, I have no idea what other schools are like so maybe Pan Am is not all that bad but do your homework. I hope that this helps.


hey men [censored] happens.. oops i mean •ts happen.. u gona bone me for spelling it wrong too... people type fast sometimes.. and sometimes people look over their work to make sure things are correct.. but then again some tiimes(opps ) we overlook thinggs( oop's again) (opps, I spelled oops wrong) opps..

we should designate somone as the spell checker on this site... ... I know l it's not me... : ? )
thank god for a spell checker( too bad we don't have one on this site) untile then I' ll do the best i kan.... : )
Well Mr. Orville Wright, or whatever your name is, maybe after this person's letter all you can do is insult him for one typo; since everything else he said was, unfortunately, the truth. I consider you pretty much a (insert expletives) idiot since all you do is throw useless insults around. I saw your post in the other section too. Hmm, Orville Wright.... shouldn't you be dead right now? If Orville Wright were as much of a moron as you are, we'd all be grounded.
Well from what I can gather, all the bad rap about Pan Am seems to be coming from the Phoenix campus. All those diary type posts from the Ft Pearce campus seems to be fine. It is possible that only Pan Am in Phoenix leaves much to be desired? Whilst the other campus living up to their promises?

On another note, the first thing that caught my eye about Pan Am is, that in the comparison of some flight academies shown on Pan Am provided more than 100 log hours than its 2nd closest competitor and it was the only school to give the 30hr jet sim training. I also read that they will hire you as an instructor for a minimum of 4 months and will give you your ACE fees back if your not hired 6mo after reaching 800hrs

Maybe what all this has taught me is to steer clear of the Phoenix campus and goto Ft Pearce instead, even though the desert climate is what I'm used to. (born in NM)

Anyone out there have any major complaints about the Ft Pearce campus? Or any good stories about Phoenix for that matter?
i think a lot has to do with the cheif flight instructors. here at fort pierce i really can't say anything bad about any of the lead instructors, or the new chief instructor. they're all very personable, professional, and taking the same path their students are taking to get an airline job. i've got a great relationship with them actually, as do many of the students, and they feel like friends just as much as they feel like teachers. when it comes down to it they're still students themselves (in a way), because you never stop learning in this type of work. the only time you stop learning is if you let yourself "think" you know your stuff better than everyone else, thats when your drive to do better stops and your inflated ego takes over. also doesn't make you a very good instructor in my opinion. which brings me to my memory of the Chief Instructor when i first got to Panam Ft. Pierce...needless to say that person no longer holds the Cheif Instructor position because they embodied none of the positive qualities i mentioned. from my limited dealings with this individual i would actually have to say that the majority of complaints you here about this campus have stemmed form this persons actions as Chief. i hate to semi-bad mouth anyone, but i really do see this individual as having been the weak link at this campus. maybe not so nice to say, but in a business sense, this person pissed off a lot of people whom this school depends on....namely the students.

that being said, the new crew are people you can talk to and get a positive response from. they are still strict when it comes to our training, as they should be, but they will work with you to resolve any issues you have. i really do think they're going to get me to where i want to be, if i don't get there then the only person to blame will be myself.
Flyer, these are things that all educational business encounter. The stinky thing about Pan Am in Phoenix is that there is a general feeling that we are screwed amoungst the student body. If you bring it up to anyone that can do something about it, it is as if you will be marked for destruction. It is really disgusting.

The top instructors need to realize that they are customer service professionals and not only instructors. They tend to be not friendly and warm but rather aloof and arrogant. At least this is how they seem.

The structure is reminiscent of highschool. I am personally way to old for this crap. I may be a beginner in aviation but I am accomplished in a lot of areas in my life as I am sure many of the students there are and deserve respect.

By the way, are you interested starting a message board for currently enrolled pan am students?
Strength in numbers