I did a commercial single add-on with them between May and August and have nothing but good things to say about the experience. Planes are well maintained, instructors are professional and knowledgeable, etc. Their chief pilot and assistant chief pilot are both widely regarded in the business. Also, their assistant chief pilot is also a DE so any checkrides you take will be with her.
Right now, I get the sense that they hire instructors that they train so unless you do your CFI work through them, I'd say your chances are pretty slim. If you do train through them, you've got a chance but like all places, they've got a pretty full slate of instructors and I've only seen one new candidate come up in the past five months. Just ask them, though. They've always been honest with me ... Pam Hengsteller is an assistant chief pilot, was my CFI, and could give you all the information first hand.
I left sunrise after I realized they were gonna cost me $10,000 for my private. I had about 20 hours in my logbook and had already spent $3500. They stuck me witha guy who couldnt speak english after my initial CFI was hired by an airline. The guy told me I wouldn't solo until 40 hours minimum while we were taxing out to the runway for the first time.
I went to Sunrise just by chance to be put on the official renters list. I needed a checkride and made a booking to go up with the instructor that was there. It took 7 hours for my instructor to sign me off, which pissed me off quite a bit as you can imagine.
The thing that annoyed me the most about Sunrise was that the instructor was charging me 'ground time' for walking to and from the plane!!!
All in all they have well maintained planes but are sly when it comes to charging so watch yourself.
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Any more recent info on this operation? I may end up in the SoCal area after I graduate college this year. Iain, I would like to know about your experiences but the link does not work.
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You can PM Iain for his experience; I did the same. I trained out of them for a while, but didn't finish my rating with them due to other obligations. The general consensus is that you will get amazingly thurough training. The flipside is that this will come at amazing high prices in both the hourly rates and the time it will take you to get your rating. If money was no object I would probably say go for it, and also to take the aerobatic classes they offer. My instructor was Pam and she was great.
It's looking more and more like I will be moving to long beach in November, so let me know if you will be relocating around there. I checked out four schools there on Saturday and have narrowed it down to two (that is if I stay in SoCal instead of going to Arlington or Atlanta).
I think 7 hours for a checkout is their norm - I once had a four hour oral there, which made my checkride oral look basic - it was redic. They basically extend training, take all your money, and if you leave they inform you, you will die with other flight training and your attitude. Never been treated like it before or since.
Great training, very knowledgeable but super expensive... Their owner is a bit of an egomaniac, but has lots and lots of knowledge. They also have great aerobatics instruction. They hold a very high standard. They were shocked that I didn’t want to work for them after earning my CFI and II there. Never been back either, too expensive to rent from…