Sierra's total value

Calanthrany

New Member
Sierra\'s total value

Hey there. I just signed up last night. Love the site and the in-site


I was wondering if anyone could tell me their opinions of Sierra Academy. I have a start date of June 2, but my mom keeps calling other schools and I keep getting stuff in the mail. I was looking forward to heading out to Cali, but now I'm having second thoughts about it being a good school to go to. I guess if anyone would recomend a certain school I'd like to hear it, and if you think Sierra has a good value for what they give you, I'd like to hear that so I'll be more comfortable going there.

I checked over this forum and the only REALLY bad thing that is said about Sierra is its cost and reputation. I've also been looking at Delta/Comair and Sierra is going to cost about half as much while also giving me my ATP. Delta is only going to give me 1000, 100 ME, and it seems that Sierra is a MUCH better deal. Is there something I'm not seeing?


Ok. I guess that's it for now. Thanks for the info,
Cal
aklash@myrealbox.com
 

Calanthrany

New Member
Re: Sierra\'s total value

I lied. One more question.

When I was talking to the Admissions office, they said that their planes did not have a GPS system in them. I was wondering if you felt that the GPS would be an important training device, of if it would be ok to go ahead, train, and let the airline teach you how to use it.

Just wondered.

Thanks again,
Cal
 

152CPT

New Member
Re: Sierra\'s total value

I visited Sierra this past November, and the visit didnt leave a good impression. Their aircraft are old, and they dont have GPS, but I dont think GPS matters too much. Biggest thing to look at for me was cost of living is too high out there. If you havent visited the school, I would atleast take the time to visit before you commit your time and money to it. Another school I would definately take a look at is Flightsafety Academy in Florida. Ive been researching flight schools for quite a while now, and FSA seems to be getting the best responses of all. Just remember when looking up these flight schools, that this is a business, and that they will tell you what you want to hear in order to get your business.
 

SierraPilot

New Member
Re: Sierra\'s total value

I've been going to Sierra Academy for awhile now, and while It is true they have old planes without GPS, they are by no means falling apart at the seams or unsafe for flight. I've always been able to get a plane when I was scheduled to fly. If a plane gets squawked, they have always had another plane ready to take its place so I dont miss my flight.

As for cost, well I'll tell you right now that most schools tend to give you a price based on what the ideal student is, which doesnt mean that is how much it will end up costing you vs the next guy. If you have a hard time learning to land it will end up costing you more than that ideal price. Granted some places probably do factor that in but as of this posting that is the method Sierra uses. So my advice is figure that it will end up costing you more than the quoted price and this will leave you some wiggle room if things aren't going exactly as you planned.

As for the school itself, I have no real complaints. The instructors know their stuff and always willing to work with you on anything your having problems on. Their will always be something you dont like about any school you attend if you looking for something not to like about a school.

So my advice would be to plan a visit and check out a few other schools and see if you like what Sierra has to offer vs the other schools. While places like FSA may have newer facilities and newer planes, its the quality of the instruction thats most important.

Ryan
 

EatSleepFly

Well-Known Member
Re: Sierra\'s total value

[ QUOTE ]
While places like FSA may have newer facilities and newer planes, its the quality of the instruction thats most important.


[/ QUOTE ]

I hope you're not implying that the quality of training at Sierra is higher than that at FSI. You know as well as I do thats crap. You might want to rephrase that before it kindles a flame fest.
 

SierraPilot

New Member
Re: Sierra\'s total value

Nah.. I'm not implying Sierra is better than FSI or that FSI is better than Sierra, just that the age of aircraft or facilities is not as important as the quality of instruction regardless of where you go.

Ryan
 

Calanthrany

New Member
Re: Sierra\'s total value

Ok. Thanks.

And now, just for fun, can I ask if anyone knows anything about Mazzie Flying Service in Fresno?

Under one of the other threads, "Is Sierra A Good School"

[ QUOTE ]
junior,

www.flymfs.com


Check it out

Good luck man

[/ QUOTE ]



Does anyone know anything about Mazzie? They have a set price and guarentee your training rating as long as you show up on time and show up prepared. I talked to Jerry today (SUNDAY!) and they sound like a really good school. The price for private through instructor ratings (Includes Private, Instrument, Commercial-ASMEL, CFI Airplane and Instrument, CFI Multiengine, Instrument in Multiengine) with the Course Completion Guaranteed at a guarenteed price of 38,990.00
That sounds really good, but it get better because that price INCLUDES HOUSING.

Anyone have any thoughts on this? I'm not sure about the internship. He said that they have one but it's hard to get into. He wants me to stop in on my way up to Sierra, look at both schools, then make a decision.
I've tried to get reviews or comments from graduates online but haven't found any. If you know anything about this school I'd like to hear about it. If no one answers, I'll end up at Sierra.

Thanks again for the comments,
Cal
 

SierraPilot

New Member
Re: Sierra\'s total value

Actualy EatSleepFly, in all fairness I wouldn't say Sierra instruction is better unless I had attended FSI and had first had knownledge of their instruction. As I hope you wouldnt talk about stuff you dont have knowledge of. With that said.. I have no idea if you have ever attended Sierra or not or FSI for that fact, so I'll just say in my opinion Sierra Academy has very good instruction and leave it at that.

Ryan
 

EatSleepFly

Well-Known Member
Re: Sierra\'s total value

Nah, I apologize for sounding accusational. I've never been to Sierra, so I won't bash it. You're absolutely right though, its not so much the school itself, but the quality of instruction thats more important.
 

ananoman

New Member
Re: Sierra\'s total value

Before I chose a school, I looked in the magazines at all the ads. They really don't tell you much. I noted which ones had the biggest ads, and went to check them out.

Back in 2000, I ended up taking trips to Sierra, Mazzei's, Comair (Now Delta Connection), and FSI.

Sierra was a hole. I was not impressed by their students, their facilities, or their aircraft. The student I flew with was a retard, although his instructor was ok. Something they will not tell you is how long it takes to get your private out there. You cannot just fly around the Bay on pre-private practice flights. You have to leave the area to practice due to the busy airspace. Another thing is cost of living. It cost an obscene amount of money to live out there in the Bay area. Like $900 for a 1 bedroom roach motel apartment. It is probably more now. At the time their IP's made something like $9hr. You do the math.

While there I went to the Oakland Flyers flying club for an intro lesson/sightseeing flight. They told me about Mazzei's. So, I drove out there and it looked like a nice place. I was impressed and considered going there.

Comair seemed ok, It looked disorganized and I was not overly impressed with their equipment or facilties. It looked like a 'pilot factory' and their marketing did not impress me.

FSI had the nicest fleet, the best campus, and overall was the most impressive. In the end I chose FSI, it is expensive, but not alot more than other large academies. I think it was worth it.

Pan Am was still at Vero Beach then, and did not have their act together. I have since visited their Ft. Pierce campus and it is impressive. I know several instructors who used to work there and they did not like it. I have also talked to several students who switched to FSI and they did not have much good to say either. All I can say is, go take a look and decide for yourself.

If you go to any of these schools without first looking at the school and talking to as many students as possible, you are a fool. You will be paying the loan for many years. Spend a little up front to check things out first.

Of the large schools, I would say FSI or Delta Connection. I have first hand knowledge of FSI as a student and as an IP. You will not get screwed here and the training is first rate. If you ever want to leave you tell Admin, and you have all your unused cash ASAP. No waiting, no 60 days to audit your account, no 'penalty' for leaving, just your money. Read some other schools forums and this is not the case.

I think Delta Connection would also be ok. I feel confident that if I had gone there, I would have achieved my goals.

For a smaller school, Mazzei's looked like a good bet and the price was right.

If you want to save money and still go to an Academy, get your prvate at home. Make sure you find a good instructor. Make sure they have a syllabus. A formal ground school would be a big plus. If you decide that flying is for you after the private, you can still come to a large school and get the checklist disipline, the organized ground schools, and the professional environment for your instrument and commercial ratings. If you do this, I would not build time after private at home. Then you can take advanage of the reduced hour requirements of a 141 school for your commercial rating.

Whatever you do, do not give any school alot of money up front. Never give the school payment for the full program. If they offer a discount for paying the full deal upfront, do not walk, but run away. Just look in the 'Screwed by ATA' forum for an example of why you should not do this. Guaranteed jobs is another marketing ploy to be wary of. No one can guarantee a job. Go to the best school and work hard. A few years from now you may be lucky enough to be able to support yourself flying for a living.
 

DE727UPS

Well-Known Member
Re: Sierra\'s total value

I know a guy who had an overall good experience at Mazzi and got a job at ERAU Prescott shortly there after.

Can someone tell me how you "build experience toward your ATP" at Sierra, like you're gonna train there tell you get your ATP??? One should get one's CFI at about 300 hours and then get a job instructing, not stay at a flight academy until you have enough hours to get your ATP.

I'd never advise a guy to attend one of these big academies. You can get great training in nice airplanes under part 61 if you look around enough. Just don't look in Flying mag, Flight training, or AOPA for a full page ad. I know an instructor with an IFR GPS equipped Cessna 152 aerobat who's an airline pilot in his spare time who loves to train young wannbes. Sure can't offer that Direct Track to the right seat of an RJ at 300 hours, though, God forbid...

I have quite a few friends that made it to the airlines in the 90's. A couple at majors and the rest at regionals. Not one went to a big academy...
 

SierraPilot

New Member
Re: Sierra\'s total value

[ QUOTE ]
Can someone tell me how you "build experience toward your ATP" at Sierra, like you're gonna train there tell you get your ATP??? One should get one's CFI at about 300 hours and then get a job instructing, not stay at a flight academy until you have enough hours to get your ATP.

[/ QUOTE ]

Whats the difference between working as a CFI at a academy and working as a CFI at some FBO??? None, except you get more volume at a academy which = more hours in the same given time frame. While I'm sure you could work as a CFI until you get your ATP I think the majority of people who have the miniumum number of hours for the job they are looking to get into go ahead and apply for the job they want while working as a CFI. No reason to give up a job for something you havent landed yet.
While I think it really doesnt matter if you teach at a academy or not as your goal is the same, if a academy is willing to hire them.. more power to them.

[ QUOTE ]
I'd never advise a guy to attend one of these big academies. You can get great training in nice airplanes under part 61 if you look around enough.

[/ QUOTE ]

Its not nice planes that make you a good pilot, its quality of instruction, and while I'm sure you can find great instructors at both, Part 141 offers students more structure and less restrictions on fulfilling requirements for a particular rating.

[ QUOTE ]
Sure can't offer that Direct Track to the right seat of an RJ at 300 hours, though, God forbid...

[/ QUOTE ]

Excuse me? While I would never talk bad about something I have no knowledge of I would hope you would have the same intergrity to do the same as obviously you know nothing about Sierra Academys direct track intership. I can assure more that the CFI's at Sierra have over 1000-1500+ if not more hours before they leave Sierra as a CFI.

[ QUOTE ]
I have quite a few friends that made it to the airlines in the 90's. A couple at majors and the rest at regionals. Not one went to a big academy...

[/ QUOTE ]

I dont think anyone said you have to goto a academy to get hired by the airlines, while for some they may be happy with a small flight school and for others they like the structure of a Part 141 school so to each his own..

Ryan
 

DE727UPS

Well-Known Member
Re: Sierra\'s total value

Well Ryan...

If you have 1000 to 1500 hours of CFI time before leaving Sierra, I guess it's no more of a "Direct Track" then doing your training and working as a flight instructor under part 61. I got no problem with that.... What does 1000 to 1500 hours of CFI time lead you to?

"Direct Track" means to me some Joe being in the right seat of an RJ with 300 hours...I have issues with that...

"I dont think anyone said you have to goto a academy to get hired by the airlines"

I think Sierra Academy's ads imply that they have the best route to an airline job, bar none...

"Its not nice planes that make you a good pilot, its quality of instruction, and while I'm sure you can find great instructors at both"

AMEN BROTHER...

"Part 141 offers students more structure and less restrictions on fulfilling requirements for a particular rating."

I'll buy the more structure part but how can 141 possibly be less restrictive? 141 is very restrictive. 61 may have less structure but that's a great thing in the hands of the right student/instructor. I hate having structure being dictated to me by the FAA but love using structure in the right place based on my experience as a pilot with over 8000 hours and being a flight instructor since 1980.
 

SierraPilot

New Member
Re: Sierra\'s total value

[ QUOTE ]
I'll buy the more structure part but how can 141 possibly be less restrictive? 141 is very restrictive. 61 may have less structure but that's a great thing in the hands of the right student/instructor.

[/ QUOTE ]

You'll find that you can take the commercial checkride with 190 hours if you train under part 141. Part 61 you need 250 hours among others. Then again I guess that could be a good thing or a bad thing...


Ryan
 
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