Question about the 'big' flight schools


Question about the \'big\' flight schools

Excuse my ignorance but who exactly goes to these schools? I mean take FSI. It definately seems like a good school to learn at. However you'd pretty much have to be completely sure you want to be a pilot, have no prior experience (in most cases), and take out massive loans to pay for it. I'm just curious as to what the profile is of the typical student who attends these schools. It also sounds like you learn very fast, the site said 0 to ME Comm Inst in 32 weeks.

With that new ad I finally visited their site and it looks really good, especially when I read the first hand comments here. But I am doubting my eligilbillity (just toying with the idea along with about 10 million other ideas...), as I already have my PPL and am going to get my Inst soon.

Basically to wrap up this semi pointless post: can someone give me just a basic overview of the whole enchilada? Like who goes there, where you stay, what the typical profile of a student is, etc.
Re: Question about the \'big\' flight schools

I don't think you can paint the typical student with a standard brush at FSI it varies. The majority of students are from the US who average in their 20's, have started out in different careers and decided to have a go at being a professional pilot. Most of these people have done their homework and chosen FSI for a variety of reasons.

That said you do see career changers in their 30's and 40's (these can be the most dedicated students), quite a few ex-military, some right out of college, a few with no college, foreign contracts (swiss air, asiania, ect.) it really depends.

Re: Question about the \'big\' flight schools

Actually, most come to FSI with Private in hand. I advise anyone looking to thunk down large amounts of $$ to make sure that they are really interested in flying as a career.

As far as the schedule, most students eat, sleep, and drink flying. They sleep with a FAR/AIM under the pillow, just in case osmosis learning actually works! The expectations are high and are matched only be the resources. You WILL learn to be a good pilot.

The typical pilot? College grad. Has a private. Wants to get the best training $$ can buy. Hard to encapsulate it. Hafta come for a tour and see for yourself. Seriously...ya gotta see this place for yourself.

Hell, I'll even buy you lunch if you make the trip out here!


PS---Thinking about it, an easy way to figure out the average student profile is for every FSI student on the board to give a quick overview. We are probably a good cross-section.

I'm a military guy. Earned my private at USU's program back in 94. I'm 27 and married. I live in a crappy apartment (big but no Mx). I've got a kick-ass dog and a b*tch cat. I really dig this school and hope to instruct here. My overall goal is NetJets.

That help?
Re: Question about the \'big\' flight schools

Yeah it helps a lot. Thank you to both of you. So where are you left with after the completion of the program? Do FSI grads generally go on to instruct at FSI until they are offered jobs elsewhere?

Also, again just a shot in the dark, but if I were to go there I would hold off on the instrument training (haven't started yet) until I graduate college, at which time I would move to FL and begin training at FSI.... correct?

Money is definately one thing I do not have lots of (who does....), but at the same time I want the best training possible and am willing to make sacrifices for it so I'm just trying to consider all options right now....
Re: Question about the \'big\' flight schools

Yeah...most stay and instruct. This is a great place to instruct. Good pay, benefits (health, 401K, etc), and lotsa multi-time. Plus, your CFII and MEI is free.

If you came here with your private, you would add your multi then do instrument. That's used to build multi time.

Re: Question about the \'big\' flight schools

I'm one of those mid 20's career changers they talked about. I graduated college summa cum laude with an economics degree. I then worked in the "real world" for three years in the financial industry. Decided I hated what I was doing and was miserable so I gave it up to come down here. Got my private in a month of flying time....just under two months total. I'm now working on cross-country time building. Hope to get a job instructing here then move on to corporate. ltimate goal would be MD11's for FedEx. My idea of a perfect date.....
Re: Question about the \'big\' flight schools

I'm the 32-year old career changer. Was a computer consultant in the TV production industry in LA for 5+ yaears. Married for 8 years with a 2-year old daughter. Showed up with a Commercial SIngle Engine Land - Instrument in August. Took out a nice size loan, did my multi-engine and am very close to finishing my CFI. After that, instruct (hopefully here) and wait for the airlines.

Re: Question about the \'big\' flight schools

I will take the second 32-year-old career change slot. I had been working on the water as a sail charter captain and yacht delivery captain. I got interested in flying (which is a pretty close bridge from offshore sailing) got my private part 61 and decided on FSI for the rest. I’m sure for a number of people the size and cost of a school like FS is hard to digest, but It had many advantages for me. The size of the school and quality of the aircraft for me met a guarantee that I could train at my pace and get home to Maine ASAP. I had no plans of staying there to build time since I have a pretty good option for an FBO teaching job at home. People thought I was nuts heading back to Maine to build time, but not a single person who has taught and flown for my local FBO has ever been turned down by the local commuter (Colgan) for an FO slot. So I finished CFI in August and headed home. I really enjoyed my time at Flight Safety and would certainly make the same choice again.

P.S. I had zero money. Borrowed it all. Educational loans are fairly cheap and my payment is less than most car payments.
Re: Question about the \'big\' flight schools

All right, I guess that puts me at the #3 slot for 32 year olds. I originally was enrolled at Southern Illinois University back in 1988 and was scheduled to go into the aviation department there when I ran face first into the music business. i.e. free beer, chicks, no homework. Well, after 10 years of playing in bands, touring the world, and releasing a few albums (I really am milking this for all it's worth
), I decided that the music business was way too risky for me to continue dedicating my life to. So, after a lot of deliberation of what to do, I decided to go back to school for aviation. Hardly any risk there, huh? Anyway, I first began by applying to the University of Illinois and Lewis University (in Joliet, IL). U of I said, "Thanks, maybe you can try again next year" and Lewis said yes. I decided to earn my PPL at a FBO before entering school and on one of my local lessons we stopped at Lewis' airport where I ran into a couple of Lewis University students who were working the fuel desk. I told them about my plans and they told me that if they had it to do over, they would have attended one of the academies instead. Up to that point, I hadn't even considered it. I still don't have a degree and I figured that the 4 year college was the way to go.

Then I found (tadaaa!) and began inquiring into the different schools that are out there. After I did the math, coming to FSI, or any other academy for that matter, was going to cost me a little less than going to Lewis because it's a private school. Now, as far as the degree goes, I'm planning on completing my degree online through Utah Valley State College. I plan to have at least my associate's degree complete by the time that I'm looking for a job.

OK, this is starting to get a little long because I've had too much coffee, but in a nutshell here's why I chose to go to FlightSafety.

1) Speed of training
2) Excellent Maintenence
3) Good Student/Management relationship
4) I control my money (loan). i.e. I pay in money to my account when I need to and keep the rest in a savings account. AND, I don't have to cash my loan checks until I need to which also saves me interest.
5) Excellent reputation
6) Experienced ground school instructors
7) I'm a customer and I'm treated accordingly.

Ironically, FSI wasn't my first choice, but after weeding through a lot of smoke and mirrors and general BS I settled on FSI. Is it right for you? You have to make that decision. I would suggest coming down and making the flight school grand tour. If nothing comes of it, at least you'll get a free pen and coffee mug from FSI! They'll put you up in one of the studio dorms for up to two nights for free too. For that matter, visit PanAm and they'll set you up in a hotel for the night. Make it a vacation... I wouldn't suggest taking ComAir up on their free flight offer though because they pretty much want to get you in and out which doesn't leave you any time to visit the other schools.

If you decide to do the tour and want to compare notes on the different schools, PM me and I'd be glad to give you my impressions.

OK, gotta go get into the 'box' (Frasca).

Re: Question about the \'big\' flight schools

Ok Chunck, you sucked me into another message board...thanks.

Wow, making full circle back to FS after not listening to my friend over at AA.

Just laid-off from high-tech, sold my house, plane for sale, CFI writtens FS still a worth-while option for someone like me at this stage of the game? I'm serious about making this my career but will sinking into a student loan hole at FS help me verses being flush somewhere else up to my MEI and instructing at a small FBO be worth it? Last thing I want to do is end up like all the other newbie CFIs (with a fat loan to pay-off) complaining about not finding a job....especially in FL.

I'm 39 with 400TT and can't afford to make any more mistakes in my aviation career path...this MUST be correct on the first shot.....sell me....PLEASE!
Re: Question about the \'big\' flight schools

Yeah, but click on the ad and show FSI some appreciation then Chunk'll talk!
Re: Question about the \'big\' flight schools

Which other board did I suck you into?


PS--This is a great place to instruct (I can think of no place better), but there is a significant wait list.
Re: Question about the \'big\' flight schools'll be talking to students, not used car salesmen. Come do a tour. The place sells itself!

Perks of instructing here:

-Incredible job contacts
*In the past month, NetJets, US Customs, Townsend Engineering, a rep from USAir, and who knows who else has been around campus.

-Great aircraft
*20 NEW PA44's

-Lotsa Multi
*Each student gets about 60 hours of multi in the syllabus (10 students = 600 multi)

-Competitive Pay

*Where else are you going to get health/life/401K

*Strong syllabus

-Professional Management
*0% Sleazeball factor (no pressure to fly broken aircraft/in bad Wx, etc.)

-CFII, MEI reimbursed

-Saab 2000 Level D training free (not sure if everyone gets this or not...mostly senior instructors around the time they are going to move on to bigger aircraft)

-I'm tired
*So I'm going to stop typing now.

*'Course, get in line behind me!
Re: Question about the \'big\' flight schools

I am also a 32 yr old career changer! Fresh out of the millitary after 12 years. Just finished my BS at Embry-Riddle part time. Married no kids. Sold the house and moved to Vero. Top notch school and I have loved every minute of it! Yes it is expensive, but I truely believe you get what you pay for! You are always the customer first here and the CFI and ground instructors really seem to do everything they can to help you succeed. I also agree with the others, you must visit a few schools and decide whats best for you!
Re: Question about the \'big\' flight schools

It seems like there has been some confusion over the cost of FSI, not only on Jetcareers, but other aviation websites as well.

Can one of you current FSI students give an "accurate" price for FSI training? Let’s assume that the student already has a private and the cost of living isn't a factor... Just the flight training.
Re: Question about the \'big\' flight schools

Your best bet is to call marketing and give them your specific information (your hours, what programs you want to complete ect) and they would be able to give you a pretty good estimate. There are just to many variables for myself as a student to give you a quote!
Re: Question about the \'big\' flight schools

</font><blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr />
Your best bet is to call marketing and give them your specific information

[/ QUOTE ]

I know I can do that, but that's exactly what I was trying to avoid. I've heard more than a few JC members say that the original price they were quoted was inaccurate. I just want to hear it from the horse’s mouth... the students, or graduates.
Re: Question about the \'big\' flight schools

Coming in with my private done, my cost for training through comm/multi/instrument is $36,429.00. This is from my training agreement for a January class date. That amount includes over $1000 for books, uniforms, written test fees, reserve, etc.

I did some research myself, and when I visited FSI I asked several students about staying within their quoted amount. In all cases, going over was due to having to re-do a lesson (yellow sheet is the term I think) so it's largely up to the student. The school seems to do a credible job of providing a fair estimate of the true cost.

Although the costs for advanced training are competitive, it appeared that their cost for the private license was quite high. Given that their highest attrition is in the PPL program (from my tour guide) I would definitely show up with a PPL already done.
Re: Question about the \'big\' flight schools

</font><blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr />
Coming in with my private done, my cost for training through comm/multi/instrument is $36,429.00.

[/ QUOTE ]

That's not too bad, but I'm guessing the cost of living is killer...

Does FSI provide dorm style living quarters?
Re: Question about the \'big\' flight schools

Don't know about off campus, I'll be living on campus for a while. I am getting a room in a 3BR apartment on campus for $480/mo ($16/day), furnished, full kitchen, all utilities incl cable tv, maid service, pool, even bed linens. Not too bad, especially when you consider I won't be living there more than 7-8 months.

I might consider off-campus quarters later on, depends on what I find. With the instructor pool so deep, I forsee getting my CFI, getting hired (I hope!) and then leave for 6-? months. I don't want to be tied down to a lease in that kind of situation.