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does anybody think that it would give you a better chance of being accepted to the program if you entered with some hours accumulated already. Or our previous hours generally disregarded in the application process
If you show up with your Private certificate, you will still have to refly their private program, but you will not need an FAA checkride for the rating to continue into the IFR program. You will be flying a complex and high performance aircraft. You will need both of these endorsements before you can solo those planes. They are also teaching to their standards, and at the completion of the private program, you need to be at the same level as the pilots who had no previous hours. This is quality control on Mesa's part. Just because a pilot holds a Private, or even Instrument rating, that does not mean that they have the skills necessary to perform to the standards that Mesa expects of its students. The only way to guarantee that each pilot is at the required skill level at the completion of the program is to have each pilot complete the entire program, regardless of the previous flight experience that the pilot has. If you are contemplating getting your pilot certificate to reduce your expenses at Mesa, it could work in the exact opposite way if you learned some bad habits that they have to break you of. That only takes time in the air to unlearn, and time is money. If you have previous flight experience, great. Go to Mesa to learn how to fly as a career pilot. I don't believe that previous flight time has an effect in either a good or bad way on your acceptance into the program. If you can start the program with zero time, and not spend extra money beforehand on unnecessary flight training, that is probably the way to go. If you already have some ratings, realize there will be some duplication of effort and expenditure. Fly Safe
I start the program in August. In my acceptance letter it was suggested that I try to solo prior to starting the program. I am working towards that goal.
chess, since you say that you were accepted to the program, what is the interview like, what kind of questions do they ask you about, do you think that it makes you look better in the interview if you have already gathered some hours
The interview lasted about twenty minutes. I meet with the head (in FMN) of the program Rich Castle. I had about 12 hours of flight time. I don't think it made a lot of difference in getting accepted or not. I picked up a copy of a book by Cheryl Cage called "Checklist for Success" prior to the interview. It is all about airline interviews. Most of the questions asked of me were very similar to questions from her book. I found it very helpful. I would not get too worrried about having flight time prior to going into the program.
This reply doesn't address previous time in the cockpit, but rather in the classroom. I am getting ready to move to Farmington for the Mesa Program in about a week and I have only 1 hour of previous time (a discovery flight)...but I already have a bachelors degree. From this degree, six of nine non-aviation courses that you need to take through Mesa's program have transfered in. So I plan on really concentrating on flying and not have to worry about the non-aviation stuff as much. I think this will be a huge bonus for me. I am taking two of these non-aviation classes this summer leaving me only one more during the rest of my time at Mesa. I wish I had more time in the cockpit, but they say their program will take you from 0 hours to a f/o position in 19 months. Hopefully if I can fly well...I can shorten it because of my degree. Just something else to think about.