So really... what's the deal with the acadamies


Well-Known Member *giggity*
So really... what\'s the deal with the acadamies

We all open up our flight magazines and see advertisements for flight acadamies... "the quickest step to the right seat." We also know they charge a huge amount of $$$$. Are these acadamies really what they are cracked up to be, or are they just places where they throw you in a suit and get you to your CFII? Is there reallly an advantage over part 61 training?
Re: So really... what\'s the deal with the acadamies

Schools that promise you the moon are full of it. Your skill as a pilot has more to do with who's teaching you and how much you want to apply yourself. Are academies better than part 61 schools. Yes some of them are, but that's like saying that all 4 door cars are better than all 2 door cars. Some suck. Some rock. I did my private part 61 with an excellent instructor, but I completed my training (to commercial) at FlightSafety. Why? It fit my situation as I saw it. If I were to continue with the part 61 instructor would my ratings be any less valuable? Hell no.

I went 141 because I was interested in getting on with my flight training as quickly as practical while still receiving quality instruction. Had I continued part 61, I'm pretty sure that I wouldn't be where I am now (ratings wise) because of weather and other factors. The flip side of that is that I also wouldn't have spent as much money. That was my choice and so far I'm happy with my decision.

But, that's exactly what you have to do yourself. Make a decision. It's pointless, in my opinion, to blindly argue about part 61 vs. 141. Gather as much information as you can and then make a decision based on that and your personal situation. If I were 10 years younger I probably wouldn't have made the same decisions regarding flight training, but who knows? Ten years ago, things were entirely different in the world. Maybe ten years from now I'll have completely changed my tune!

Re: So really... what\'s the deal with the acadamies

It's pointless, in my opinion, to blindly argue about part 61 vs. 141. Gather as much information as you can and then make a decision based on that and your personal situation.

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Well said. There have been umpteen "141 v. 61" and/or "academy v. FBO" arguments on this board over the years, but all said and done, the bottom line is - do what is best for Y.O.U.

I chose the FBO route as it allowed me to keep my full time job, train as agressively as I wanted, at my own pace and allowed me to begin paying off the loans immediately rather than downt he road when the interest has piled up.

I have met guys from part 141 academies who gave everything up, went to the big-name reputible academy, got all their ratings in a matter of months... and are now working as a sales associate at some retail place just to make ends meet until they can find a job instructing somewhere.

I have also met guys that took their time at an FBO, got all of their ratings, and are looking for that first CFI job.

I think you'll find that those who are ACTIVE students at their academy/FBO will tote that banner loud and proud while they are there. After all... whether we admit it or not...everybody seeks justification for their decisions..., but after they're done - might not be so vocal. I can think of a few on this board, actually.

So, it's pretty much a personal decision for you.

For me - financially, it'll work out the best. I'll be able to finish all of my ratings for somewhere in the neighborhood of $25K.... and that's a neighborhood that I can live with.
Re: So really... what\'s the deal with the acadamies

To me the big difference between the big name academies and joe blow FBO is how long it takes you to get through it. Academies usually are a great option if you want to get though fast, and it makes since to me that they have a large amount of students so the instructors get their hours faster. In my opinion if want to save money, get good training and are willing to take a bit longer then id go part 61, where as a guy who is a career changer where money is not a factor or someone who doesnt want to spend a long time training would be better off at an academy, they both have their pros and cons, just have to weigh your options and find out whats best for YOU! Which is something youll hear from every pilot on this site!
Re: So really... what\'s the deal with the acadamies

I'm doing 61 at an airpark in the boonies.

Things I wish I had from an academy:
Total immersion
The potential network to jobs
Multi time

Things that keep me at my airpark
Great job with bennies, retirement etc.
Kick *ss weather (and that doesn't mean sun)
Beautiful flying (ocean, mountains, desert)
Re: So really... what\'s the deal with the acadamies

Having instructed on both sides of the fence, I think I'm qualified to make a few observations oon the academies vs. FBOs. (Remember that there are some smaller 141 schools at FBOs also. Also, some big schools like ATP are FAR 61, and most academies offer parallel FAR 61 courses.)

The main advantage to the academies offer is total immersion. This is a good route if you are a busy person who has trouble finding time to study at home, or if you have trouble motivating yourself to crack the books or schedule a lesson. I spent two years working for an FBO in college. I inherited a couple of students from the previous CFI. Several of these guys were still students when I left. At the academies, you don't have any excuse for letting something come between you and your licenses. The fact that you paid them a truckload of money is also a motivating factor.

Additionally, the fact that the academies have relationships with airlines can also be helpful when looking for a job. It is not a guarantee that you will find a job though, and it doesn't mean that you won't have to pay your dues. I can say, however, that I would not have my current job if I had not taught at FSA.

Third, the academies have the advantage of consistent quality in instructors. This is due to FAA oversight and strict standardization policies. This is not to say that FBOs don't have some good instructors or that academies don't have some bad ones. Generally, however, most instructors within an academy have similar methods of teaching and use the same syllabus. At an FBO, teaching methods and curriculum may vary widely.

The flip side to that is that many academy instructors may be freshly minted CFIs with little or no teaching experience. It's been my experience that FBO CFIs are much more likely to be seasoned with a lot of teaching experience.

Furthermore, the knowledge level needed for a professional pilot trainee is vastly different from the knowledge level required for a Sunday afternoon pleasure pilot. Both must meet FAA minimums in the PTS, but a prospective professional pilot or CFI needs to go further.

Furthermore, most FBOs specialize in two things: the private license and the instrument rating for single-engine airplanes. A multi- rating or commercial training may be next to impossible to find at an FBO.

My personal recommendation would be to find a good FBO to get a private license and then build some time and experience. If you get this far and like flying, then consider going to an academy for advanced ratings. But don't stop there, talk to people where you fly and ask questions about local schools and instructors.
Re: So really... what\'s the deal with the acadamies

Hey Farewell. where do you fly out of?
I got my PPL at Pearson and now fly out of HIO with the Hillsboro Flying club.
Nice day for flying today, wasn't it? Too bad I had to work on the yard
Re: So really... what\'s the deal with the acadamies

Hi Ron, It is a great day however I have an IR lesson tomorrow and would like a litte actual. I fly out of Twin Oaks, just south of HIO. Have you been there? One way in, one way out... It's a great place if you haven't been there. I don't know what your club rates are but a 150 is $48 wet, 172 $68 wet, most of em have GPS. There's a Comanche, 182, Apache, and Cub.
Re: So really... what\'s the deal with the acadamies

Hi Tony, sent you a PM, didn't want to tie up the lines here...