Post-graduation jobs


Well-Known Member
I'm planning to go to FSI Winter 01/Spring 02, after I save some money. I visited them in April and was extremely impressed. One question that nobody could really answer is this-does everyone get a job? Let's say I go for the ASA program and don't get in, and instruct instead. A year later I have lots of time. How effective is FSI at placing graduates? Does anyone "fall through the cracks"? I fully intend to go for the ASA Fast Track program, and can anyone comment on the difficulty of entering this program?
My info-29/M, BS degree, PPL-ASEL, 60 hrs
Your first clue as to what the schools can promise is that they can't. No one could give you a straight answer, to your question, because they do not work for the airlines. Any school that guarantees you a intervie/job during their presentation, I would be highly cautious as to the promsise. Since they do not work for any airline, they cannot guarantee you anything. They might state, "guaranteed a job interview with ......". What does this mean? Read the fine print. One of the big flight schools has an add that states "97% of our graduates** are hired by airlines as First Officers". If you read the fine print it then states "**469 of 482 students who completed the entire program through 1/2000." Do the math. This school has been in business for over ten years and has about 500 students go through their training each year. What happened to the other 4,500 students? What do they mean by "graduates"? What they really are saying is, you do not graduate unless you are hired by an airline. If this is true, the math works out to only a 9% graduation rate. You can interview with any airline, but, were you properly trained to even get through the interview. You have just spent $$ for flight training. What if you blow the interview? Then what path do you take? Think about it, future students, and you will save a lot of time and $$. are you discouraging flight schools in general? Or just advocating a cautious attitude? I know the school you speak of that you don't graduate unless you are hired. I visited them first and left thinking "no way." When I was at FSI, I did not have the perception that they were witholding information, rather the opposite, they were quite honest. I fully understand and agree with the point you made, and agree that nobody can guarantee anything. But there have to be some people that fall through, and I am interested in their fate. One of the primary advantages I see in FSI is, aside from quality of instruction, the name recognition and reputation.
I thought I had to add something to this.

The school, ERJ is talking about is Comair Aviation Academy, which becomes obvious once you start reading into aviation advertisements, when on the lookout for a flight school.

ERJ is absolutely right that there are no guaranties. This topic has been widely discussed here so I don't want to get into the very details but just think about it fore 1 sec. How could anyone guarantee anything to someone who just walked in the door? No WAY. People get it please: NO GUARANTEE! The only guarantee there is, is you. Since it is really up to you (not talking about extreme medical cases.) When you buy a TV they can guarantee that it will work for 6 months. Because it only depends on them how well they build their TV. But when you start flying it will depend on you mostly. They can teach people flying, but they can’t change your character, financial situation etc…

About the 97% and the rest which is not included in it.

ERJ I’ll tell you what happened/could happened to the 4500 people:

- they gave it up
- they figured they have to give a lot more effort than they thought
- they just ran out of money
- they did not want to be an airline pilot from the beginning on (many people come to do PPL or just to add a rating to an existing certificate)
- they figured it is not for them
- they were really among those few who could not bring it together for this or the other reason.
- or simply died, or moved, or who knows what…

There are your another 4500.

The highest killer is attrition while on the way toward the CFI rating. People leave for 1000s of reasons. If you would like to see a school which places 97 out 100 PPL candidate to the job than you will wait for quite a bit. You can't measure the success of a school by comparing the number of those who just figured out that “I would like to be an airline pilot” with those actual hired.

I think the commercial that talks about the 97% is a good and true one. And it says that those who graduate (and complete the 1 year CFI period), 97% of those and ONLY those will be hired. And also only those are the one who will get a guaranteed interview.

Quote ERJ:
"What they really are saying is, you do not graduate unless you are hired by an airline"

Wrong. Please be a bit more factual and do not mislead people who are trying to find answers on this board by such an unreasonable comment. If you don’t like a particular flight school. Fine. There are plenty ways to show the weak points of that school without making up stories or writing inconclusive posts. Bring up the valid points. There are several for Comair and for each school out there.


[ July 08, 2001: Message edited by: zsolez ]
I never expected any guarantee (I hope no one interpreted it that way) but rather was concerned about the success rate of the schools themeselves. I realize it's up to me, but also realize that there are other factors that can contribute to failure or success, factors that involve the school-equipment, maintenance, scheduling, placement assistance, etc. After visiting some schools this spring, I had a very skeptical outlook until I visited FSI. Some of the schools had a really slick marketing presentation and pushy marketing reps. I got to poke my head around FSI anywhere I wanted to (and did) and talked to a dozen or so students while taking a stroll around campus after the tour. I'm going down there giving it 110%.
ZSOLEZ is correct on what the ad, for the flight school in question, states. I have looked at the ad for some time over the years and the part about the % of students that graduate to the airlines has not changed. I will stand corrected, as to what graduate means, if I'm wrong. Still a little vague as to what it really means.
Aha...thanks Aviator, that did help. So what happens to these 70% that don't make it? I had really planned to stay at FSI and instruct, and didn't think that ASA would hire all of the program grads that FSI turns out. I sounds like they basically interview you, and give you a conditional offer knowing you have a 3/10 chance of making it. Oh yes, and charge you $25K for a chance. I do realize that these schools are great cash cows. FSI is still my destination. Thanks again!

Can you please qualify the statements you've made reference to the ASA program.

You wrote:

"If you can make it through the entire program your costs will average around $70,000 with living and other expenses, also plan on the program taking 1/4 to 1/2 longer than advertised".

The program is $30,000 USD. An additional $6,000 if you enter without your ME. I am currently enrolled in the program to enter in late summer. My rental expenses are $750 per month (for 3 months). Even if I assume $1,000 in food/books etc per month I still don't come even close to $70,000. If I am leaving something out please educate me.

...plan on the program taking 1/4 to 1/2 longer than advertised".

From what I've seen there is a strict schedule to the program. Are you referring to the wait to be called for your ASA type training in Atlanta. This FSI was upfront with me on and said it has ranged from as little as 3 day to as much as 3 months.

"Of the people who make it through the program there is a 70% failure rate for the final hiring process."

All over the website, and on all the brochures the interview process takes place after the third week. In speaking with one ex-asa fast track graduate. He told me that of the six persons in his class, one never made it to the interview, two didn't make it past the interview, and three received a COE. Of those, every single one is now with ASA. He also told me that once you reach graduation, ASA does everything it can to help students through the training in Atlanta. If someone is behind, they will provide the extra help to get them up to speed. In fact he said, "everyone has difficulty with something." However, he felt that everything that was promised was exactly what he got.

Finally, a frequent contributor to this board "OnTop" was enrolled in the program, and everything that you've said is in complete disagreement to his earlier posts. Search the archives and you can see.

As I will be attending the program, I look foward very much to your response, and any additional information to clear up the apparent inconsistencies with your experience and others.

Best Regards!

[ July 14, 2001: Message edited by: Tilestablished ] there is hope...I think the $70K number came from showing up ab-initio. Not to digress, but you say expenses are $750 a month-do you share an apt, what do you eat, etc...this is the precious information that I really would like to find out. I did some calling myself and found the same as Tilestablished...FSI even gave me names & emails of grads from the ASA program to contact myself to get more info. That's honesty! I had hoped participate in the ASA program but wasn't sure about numbers. Looking forward to follow ups on this one, it's a biggie for me and many others.

I am not in Vero yet, but my expenses are 750 per month for shelter only. In fact, that's for a 2 bedroom house about a mile from the airport. Check the website it has classifieds for the area. At least you will be able to get some real estate people working on it for you. Most of them are for 1 year rentals you may have to pay more for a temporary rental. Also, consider that if you show up in the winter you may pay twice as much as late spring/summer/fall.

I also called FlightSafety in reference to the additional time 1/4- 1/2 as long as expected. They told me that some people do take longer in Phase IV, but they alow them the extra time on the sim without charge.

Can't argue with that!

Thanks for the info..I was going to look for an apartment, either studio for me or rent a 2BR and get a roommate. I'm single and don't need much space, but the FSI on-campus housing is incredibly expensive. I also might check if someone else needs a roommate when I arrive, but would like to have something set up beforehand. Good luck, hope to see you around.
Hello all. Well, I've been reading these posts since Nov. 00. I tried to log in, but it didn't work. Looks like I've cracked the system!

I am starting at FSI Aug. 6. I don't have accommodations yet, and plan on staying on campus till I find a place/housemate. Maybe I'll see some of you on campus and possibly get a place.
Out of all the schools I've looked into/toured, I'd lend FSI's marketing department far more trust than the others. It's staffed by students who ususally give the straight skinny. I was concerned about what I had read here on the washout rates for Direct Track students, but I called FSI and the student I talked to said she only knew of 2 individuals who failed the final sim check..they were given retraining and failed it again. She also said that about 85% of those interviewed get COE's. I have heard similar stats from students I personally know who aren't in marketing.

Good luck to all...

See you in Vero next year,

Well, I lost my password and haven't been able to get it emailed to me, so I had to re-register.

I can't say enough good things about the FSI program, and particularly the ASA Fast Track program.

I came in with my PPL, and was quoted $32,000 for the CIME program. When it was all said and done, I spent about 5% less than that quoted, and I did it in 16 weeks (vs 22 quoted). Of course, not everyone does this, but it is indeed possible.

As for the ASA program, if you do your training at FSI, it's $25,000 (or was). The program is 10 weeks. A few people have failed their final checkride (anyone can have a bad day), been given remedial training, and most have passed their subsequent checkride. I'm only aware of one person who was unable to pass at all.

One thing that you WILL get: the interview with ASA. Not many schools can get you an interview with an airline at 250 hrs.

I am now in training at ASA in ATL, after waiting 9 weeks for a class date. I'll tell you this: I can't imagine coming into this training without the additional knowledge and preparation gained from the ASA program at FSI.

It's a lot of money, a very big decision, and requires a lot of discipline and dedication. But it is definitely worth it.

Good luck with your decision.
Congrats OnTop,

Question for ya...

Once you get your COE ans pass the final checkride (Direct Track), do you get a class date right away (yours is 9 weeks but is that typical)? Without getting the CFI, how would you stay current if your class date was 3 or 4 months away? Pay more $$ for time?



PS--I have read that ASA is slowing down hiring...I'm not starting at FSI until next Spring. Do you think FSI's deal with ASA would go away during a big slowdown or would it be preserved? *I know this is purely speculation!*
BTW OnTop...

What's your expected time on reserve? Do you have a choice for domocile or is it all ATL?



ASA's classes have slowed (so far) to only 1 per month, when they were planning on 2/mo. I don't know what future plans are, but they're still interviewing. I see nervous guys in blue suits wandering around the hotel and the FSI building every day.

When I passed the checkride, they basically said "congratulations, welcome aboard, we'll call you when we have a class date for you." They told us at that time to expect August-November time frame. The wait for a class date can change, and while waiting, be ready to answer the phone. If you don't actually answer the phone when they call, they move on to the next name on the list until all slots are filled.

As for staying current, I went out and flew at the local FBO every couple of weeks, and took a group of friends on trips (cuts down the cost considerably). FSI also will give you extra time in the Saab every 3 weeks you're waiting. Of course, you've got to get yourself to Vero. I went once, on my way to Atlanta, spent 2 hours in the sim with my partner.

It is a great program. While there's a wait, you might consider getting your CFI anyway, as you could be building extra PIC time and getting paid for it. Sitting 9 weeks without work sucked. The reason you'll need the PIC time is that to upgrade to captain on the RJ, you need to meet ICAO ATP mins, which is 1200TT and only half your SIC can count toward TT. So for example, you go to ASA with 300TT, 200 PIC. You need 1150 SIC hours and 50 PIC for FAA ATP. For ICAO, you need 1800 SIC hours (because you need 900 if it were PIC, but SIC only counts as half). So the more PIC you have, the sooner you can upgrade. Clear as mud, right?

Hope this helps.

PS: We were assigned aircraft & domicile the first day of class, more ATL than DFW.

[ August 12, 2001: Message edited by: OnTop2 ]
With ASA slowing down training, I've got to believe FSI will have to also, or there will be a huge pool of guys soon. I'm planning on a Mar class date with FSI, so hopefully, if you guys spend those $300 the IRS gave you, the economy will turn rosy again. OnTop, I didn't read it in your post specifically, but did you get assigned the RJ in ATL? Also, do you know how many people did NOT go through the fast track with your class? From what I heard on the tour I took, it isn't typical to all finish the course as a class. Thanks for any answers!
One additional question OnTop. Does ASA put you on the payroll at the ATL class start date or when you finish that sim at FSI?