Pre-Solo to MEI.... 5 Months?


Well-Known Member
I came to White Air around the second week in April 2008 and left 5 months later. I had not soloed prior to my arrival to Kansas, now my resume contains... CFI, CFII, MEI, AGI, IGI!

I would be happy to discuss my experience with the school with anyone seriously considering taking the plunge.

The program requires some serious self motivation and self study. If you put in the time studying, 5 months for all the rating is no big deal at all. I feel I could have been done even faster if I knew then what I know now... but isn't that always the case.

Van will give you the tools to make you a good pilot. He has been to the 121 show and knows what it takes. He demands a lot from you in the air, so by making Van happy, the checkrides are a breeze. I went 7 for 7 on all checkrides {as did Andy (stormchaser)}.

The owner is a great guy. There are business owners care about the bottom line only and a student is just a source of money... this is not the case with Allen.

Few things in life are perfect, there were small hurtles along the journey. However, after completing the program, I would have done it all again.

I am currently trying to find work as a CFI as I could not stay in Chanute KS. I hope very soon and am all confident that I will qualify as a White Air success story in the years to come.

Thank you Van, Allen, Kim, Gavin, Nick, and Jacob


Well-Known Member
Ah Chanute great memories. I wouldn't be surprised if you couldn't find work. That airport is a ghost town. Take a ride down to Tulsa, you'll find work.


New Member
I'm glad Travis had a good experience at, and/or needs a good recommendation from White Air. After all, getting ahead in this business with a bunch of fresh ratings is largely about who you know and “making Van happy,” and keeping the snowball D.E. Happy with a stream of $300 checkrides. One local flight school even switched to using an out-of-state D.E. after the local snowball turned softball. I wonder how many snowball flyers could pass an FAA checkride? The answer becomes more obvious when students and flight schools very rarely use free FAA examiners, preferring instead to pony-up $300 for the local snowball examiner.

Travis writes about how the owner is such...”a great guy,” who cares more about the progress of his students than money. Its not clear to what Travis is referring when he next mentions that “few things in life are perfect,” but among them might include that:

Alan White has recently had his Airmen's /A&P certificates suspended by the FAA.
At least one A&P certificate holder took the test as an “open-book” test (gasp)
Numerous (read nearly all) 100-hour inspections were not done, and the logbook entries forged.
Adult “helpers” (painting, airplane washing, etc.) were paid as little as $3.
The on-site housing is leaky and crappy.
Non-airworthy planes have been brought to (mandated) FAA checkrides.
Several aircraft accidents have been covered-up, sometimes unsuccessfully (see point #1)
Instruction has been provided by non-CFIs.

If this list surprises you then the FAA is ahead of you.

To all you budding student pilots out there who are trying to figure out where to go: take a good, hard look where ever you are considering spending a few months and a big pile of money. Talk to past students or instructors who no longer need recommendations. Check online ( to see if your choice flight school has had complaints, suspensions, accidents or maintenance infractions (again, see point #1—information is not hard to locate).

And go visit the place. Ask who does the maintenance. Go meet them. Then ask to see the aircraft logbooks. The first time you see aircraft logbooks should not be the night before your checkride! It won't take long to judge the reaction you get: A good flight school will be impressed that you are considering safety and are familiar with some important regulations. If your request isn't greeted with a smile and a direct walk to the logbooks turn and run, right out the door!

Due diligence done prior to starting at a flight school will dramatically increase the chance that the airplanes you will fly will not drop out of the sky—at least not of their own accord. :panic:


Well-Known Member
As per the above post...

To any students considering white air..

I need nothing more from white air, there is no motivation for my recommendation. I know what it is like to take a plunge into the unknown, I offered a honest and sincere review of what I went through.

It seems clear that someone has some major problem with either the school or the owner as he/she created a new jetcareer ID (hence the first post) just to write the above.

Again, I have nothing to gain from standing behind White Air, but after spending 5 months there, you cannot help to feel a bit part of the place, you know? :)

As per the leaking roof... it sure does! And we had an issue with the air conditioning for a bit, these minor things are what I referred to as the 'hurdles.' Nothing really regarding the training, I should have been more specific.

As per Allen being a nice guy, I stand behind that 100%. I should probably also have mentioned that he is a gifted mechanic. I would never step foot in an airplane that I was not comfortable in. The planes are old, and the roof leaks, but I knew that before I came... I also spent less than 40K (w/ about 50 hrs multi) for all ratings and housing... beggers cannot be choosers!

As per my 'snowball' examiners and check rides? I am not really sure what that is all about. I can tell you that I truly enjoyed my check rides and I was fully prepared for each and everyone of them. I will not let such a statement take away from what I accomplished. I did take my initial multi engine instructor rating (arguably the most difficult) with the FAA and passed on first attempt. The FAA examiner had some nice things to say about my flying/training as well as things to work on. Check rides tend to be as much of a learning experience as they are a test!

Anyways, there is no bitterness in my tone towards the above post, but I will defend what I believe is right when such things are said on a public forum.


New Member
Hey TravDk,
I am currently looking to start flight training from 0 hrs soon. i was just wandering if you knew if white air is va approved yet?:bandit: