Review of flight schools


New Member
I am interested in the ab initio program through Mesa Pilot Development Program in New Mexico and am interested in an objective opinion about the program. Can anyone give me any sources on where to find reviews on big name flight schools?
Thanks, Cory.
Try Plane and Pilot magazine online (I think "", if not search for it), and AOPA (Flight Training magazine)(call them or online). Caution: I have found these orgs don't want to bad mouth any school, so will not give bad info. Due to lawsuits and schools we are inquiring about are paying advertisers to the magazine, so magazine has interest to not saying anything bad about them! This makes our search hard. Visit the schools when closer to decision and definitely definitely talk to many students. They won't lie!
That's also one of the primary reasons why I haven't accepted "pop up" ads from flight schools.

I'd rather have a place for potential students to come and speak freely about their experiences with the school rather than sugar coat it.
I think you misunderstood my message.<P>If you went to "Acme Flight School" in Bumblebee, NV and they sucked, RAGE as much as you like -- let the chips fall where they may.<P>If a school sucks, let it fly.<P>If a school rocks, rave all ya like!
Doug- I think you mis understood me.

I was refering to the initial question: " interested in an objective opinion about the program. Can anyone give me any sources on where to find reviews on big name flight schools?"

I was saying to Cloudbreak: good luck finding any articles with the requested info. in any publication; internet or paper. I was not refering to your comments at all. Sorry about the confusion-should have been clearer.

Sorry Bud. No such articles. At least not Objective. . .like mentioned above, nobody wants to badmouth a advertiser. You might consider aviation related discussion groups such as: (from a CFI's point of view. I take a lot of the comments with a grain of salt. A lot of trash talk about ALL of the schools: ERAU, UND, AIRMAN, FSI...........................

Also give a try. Generally posts from people in the commuter ranks. A lot of good info. The big discussions are about Comair.

Anyway... do some searches at these sites. And do not get discouraged by some of the posts. There are always going to be people who think highly of the school, and others that feel they got cheezed. You just have to find the school that has the least number of posts.

I have HEARD very good things about the school. It is a program in which you have to work VERY hard at. Obviously...A few Years of training packed into 19 months. It is a program where the student has to an awful lot with very little information given to you. (is that vague enough?)

For a general discussion about Mesa's program log into this board and post away. Several current and past students are here and they can give you the good and bad:

Also log into the pilots version of the board. You could post your question here as well since many of the former San Juaners are now flying for Mesa and visit this board:

I've heard some negative things about Mesa's pilot development but upon investigation realized that those issues wouldn't be issues for me and as a result I'm moving on into the PACE program. Good luck!
Can anyone that attends Mesa's program tell us why Mesa makes a FAA Certified Private Pilot take all the flight training and classes over again. It sounds like Mesa is saying to the FAA that a Certificated Private Pilot is not a piolt until Mesa can train them over. Probably a waste of time and a way to get more money from young, uninformed students who have been sold a dream by the school recruiters. For those potential Mesa or other flight school students, do yourself a favor. First, take the time and visit all schools that are of interest to you. Get all the information you can before the visit. Make a list of questions to ask. While there, talk with the students. Also talk with someone in management if possible. Ask them the difference in their school and the others. Some schools will require you to enter CFI training and then teach at the school. Others have a bridge program that will give you more airline type training beyond a Commercial Certificate. Look at the total flight time and type of equipment flown. Compare the ground school classes and how they prepare you for the airlines. Go beyond the Private, Commercial, Instrument ground school classes if you want to make it through the Basic Indoctrination classes at the airlines. Ask what is the school's success rate as to number of students that complete the training and are now working in the airlines or flying cargo, mail, etc. All good ways to get you to the regionals. If you are an above average student, have passed your written test the first take, and have passed all the FAA flight tests the first time, then look at the programs where you do not have to become a Flight Instructor. You will probably make it to the regionals. If you are a average student, look at the programs that allow you the CFI route and extra training. Don't take this wrong, not all CFI's were average students. The extra training will get you over the hump and make you a better pilot. It will take you longer, however it will give you valuable insight and a way to polish your flying skills. Before you interview with a regional, take some classes on how to interview. Also, look at programs that will give you full motion simulation training. There are schools out there that just give training in simulators and teach ways to interview properly. I would also suggest that you buy and read "The Turbine Pilot's Flight Manual", by Gregory N. Brown and Mark J. Holt. You will find it at most FBO pilot shops and also on the internet web sites of pilot supply stores. Hope this will help future airline pilots, now in training, or looking at flight schools.
Probably a waste of time and a way to get more money from young, uninformed students who have been sold a dream by the school recruiters.

Hey, thats what you kinda did when you signed me up with ATA when 2 weeks later it closed and 280 students lossed 50,000 to 100,000 dollars. Way to sell me a dream
Very good question! I am currently finishing up my third semester with Mesa. I began the school with 270 flying hours and wondered if going through all that basic training would be a waste of time and money. From my experience this was not the case. Most people that start the program have time in C-172 or the like. Initial training is in the Bonanza and requires a lot more finesse. You are trained from the get go as a professional with all the checklists and call outs you hear the big iron pilots using. A lot of people (including myself) learned or were taught bad habits and this is Mesa's way of making sure you know what your doing. This is the only way they could trust you flying right seat in one of their jets with minimal hours. The training here is outstanding. It is one of the most difficult things I have ever done. I have two more semesters to go but am very happy with everything and would recommend it to any one who is serious about flying.