Regionals prefer Pan Am or WSA?


New Member
Reading this forum and the Westwind forum has been entertaining but eye-opening. It's pretty tough to read through everybody's different opinions and try to get a clear picture of the schools, as far as their credibility with a regional airline might go.

I think I can see that Pan Am is a very rigorous program and not everybody is right for that. On the other hand, perhaps Westwind's planes aren't quite as new, but it sounds like you can go at your own pace and pay less.

My biggest question that hasn't been addressed is this: once you get all your training and have been through simulators and are building hours waiting for an airline to call back, which of the schools has the most respect from the industry? Is the ACE program at Pan Am replicated at Westwind? Is it as important to a hiring airline as Pan Am's literature makes it out to be?

I posted this question in the Westwind forum as well. I would also be interested to hear about other flight schools such as FSA or DCA, although I'm really looking to move in the Southwesterly direction. Thanks guys.
You just answered your own question. Go west young man, go west. Don't be surprised if you find limitations in getting hired at a regional that is located in the west. You may not have the choice of where you live for a while. Mesa has a good program and is located out west. I have a friend who just started and he said it is OK by him.
I don't think regionals really care where you learned to fly. You should come down to DVT, tour both schools and decide wich one is better for you.
I am a student at Westwind, so if you have any questions ..feel free to ask. Keep in mind that both schools will give you the "We are the best school around!!!" speech just to get you interested. I checked out both Pan Am and Westwind when I came here and decided on Westwind because it seemed like a more relaxed yet still very productive atmosphere. There are good parts and bad parts about each place, so try and get some honest anwers from the students on this board.
I don't have the raw info so maybe someone could just post how many Pan Amers (Who took ace and got placement through Pan Am)have left in the last 6 months as compared to Westwind.

I know that many have left to airlines, but some of them did not take ACE and did not recieve placement assistance from Pan Am so it would be innaccurate assessment of ACE to include them in those figures.

As for quality of education, I don't really know if one is better than the other, but i can say that I recieved a fantastic education and had a great time doing so thus far. Maybe you should ask some examiners what they think since they are probably more objective.

Whether ACE helps me remains to be seen, but it was a really eye opening and fun program. I can't even imagine what groundschool and sim training at an airline must be like for someone who has no experience with high tech complex aircraft systems. Not to mention things happen so much faster in a jet. I am glad to have the experience. plus i get to use the sim and sit through the ground school again anytime for free. Granted the plane i will fly at my first airline job will probably not be the CRJ, I think the basic procedures and concepts we learn in ace are probably very similar to most commercial jets. I definately feel that i would have an advantage over someone who hasn't ever sat in one of the sims and flown the plane. They really are a completely differant beast from the GA aircraft you get your training in.

hope that helps
If you are serious then tour as many schools as you can. If you tour Flight Safety Academy they will put you up and feed you while you are there. I attended Flight Safety for six ratings and WSA for one. Based on my experience at WSA I would stay away from there. I have never attended Pan-Am but have several friends who have. If you were to pick between WSA and Pan-Am I would go with Pan-Am. Of course, I think that if you were to tour FSA then you would more than likely end up there. They are top notch and very up front and honest about there program. FSA's multi program is the best in my opinion because you are completing your instrument rating in a complex twin. PM me if you have any questions...ILS
i went to ATP and loved it. you might want to include them in your list of places to tour. i don't really know a whole lot about the other schools so i can't say anything bad about them. you'll hear good and bad about almost all of them. i do know however that there were students from pan am, dca, and flightsafety at ATP when i was going through. they were all unhappy with their previous schools and they all loved ATP once they got there. if i remember correctly their reasons for leaving were financial. it ended up costing a lot more than anticipated. i'm sure they are all great schools and i doubt if regionals care to much about which one you went to. take the tours and decide for yourself which is right for you. good luck.