The phoenix campass



Here is a little rundown of what life at phoenix is like.
The weather is cooling down, which is nice, and rides are a lot smoother, I don't hit my head on the ceiling 3 times a flight.

There seems to be a lot of trouble with the training here though. Seems that even the fastest students don't finish anywhere near the published syllabus. Put it to you this way, the chief pilot said that the average instrument student is in the plane for over 49 hours. Well, the syllabus calls for 25. I didn't hear it directly from him but that seems to be accurate. I don't know whether it is because we are in class Bravo for a lot of our training, or if the rides are too hot, or if there is a problem with the instructors.

A lot of the instrument work done out here is done with phoenix approach. I am not kidding when I say that it is like listening to a auctioneer a lot of the time. it is really intimidating at first. granted it is good experience, it will probably take longer to learn and cost a lot more than at other places. You get denied a lot of approaches which end up costing you money and time as well. You also never get anything as published which can make it confusing for the beginner. Shooting three approaches in a row in Bravo is pretty tiresome.
For the private you have to consider that DVT is the 19 busiest airport in the country in terms of take offs and landings with over 400,000 a year. On the one hand this is great because you get great experience in busy airspace. on the other hand it's like being thrown in the pool before you really even know how to swim. Maybe a kiddy pool is a better start.
For the CFI, I have heard that you are not treated with respect. There seems to be a"oh you don't like it, well f---ing go somewhere else then" management approach around here. You see bits and pieces of it as students. I don't want to spread too much gossip, but from what I have heard it is pretty bad. From my personal experience, all of those smiley nice faces that you saw when doing the orientations fade away quickly and soon the you would think you had a communicable disease by the way the chief pilots interact with you. They aren't all bad, some are pretty cool.
Anyway the point I wanted to make about this is that the instructors bring that frustration to the lessons and it is clearly present. I don't know what the heck is going on behind the scenes but i don't think it needs to be this way. Somebody up top is sexually frustrated.
Some good points are that the planes always work, the weather is almost always flyable, and we get cool speakers from time to time. yesterday aviation legend Bob Hoover came to give a talk. Absolutely brilliant pilot.
So, in retrospect, i would have gone to fort pierce or to a different flight school all together. in fact i may do that after this rating.
What do you mean you "get denied a lot of approaches" (do they give you one you don't request or something?) and what rating are you currently working on, the instrument? Also, have you heard anything about or talked to anyone from across the street at Westwind? I visited both places when I was in Phoenix but I don't hear much (positive or negative) about that place. What is your insight?
We get denied approaches here in FPR quite a bit from Miami center as well. It just means that center is so overwhelmed with traffic that they cannot handle your request for a practice approach, so you have to another center frequency or an airport with a radar equipped tower.
Well I know you say it takes longer, but maybe that's because they give you more in-depth training than the bare minumums require? And sure your paying for it, but flight time is flight time and the more the better I say. One of the reasons I like Pan-Am is you come out wth 350hrs or so after you've done everything, that's almost more than 100hrs more than the others schools I've looked at (flightsafety etc)

I've also looked into AirNet a bit, I dunno what everyone is complaining about, it looks like a fantastic company to work for, plus you get paid for duty hours not just flight hours, and the prospect of flying a learjet is definatly apealing.

Seems to me the major complants are the admin and expense, the expence doesn't bother me, if I'm going to be making a 6 figure sallery in the future I don't expect the training to come cheap. And second, I think I can put up with the admin, god I've had to at other places in the past, mainly at college!

Plus maybe people think that because they spend all that money there that the academy should kiss their butt. From what I hear it isn't all that different from training you'd get at the air force, only difference is your paying for it AND you don't have to sign a contract saying you'll work for them for 9yrs

Maybe if your one of those people who can't hack military style training then you shouldn't go here.

Just my two cents
A big problem is that the administration only cares about the student’s money. The student is the client and everyone running the joint apparently has forgotten that. I had a friend make a complaint to the chief flight instructor and his comment was... if you don't like it go to Westwind. Yeah that's what your suppose to say to paying clients. If you call in sick, they will give you three activities the next day as to make up for the day you missed. Man, do they need the money that bad? They would end up receiving the money another day anyway. When scheduling gives a student three activities in a day when they are supposed to only have two max, then there is a problem. Anymore than two activities a day is excessive and a waist of money. You can't even request a day off without administration making a big deal about it. They give no special circumstance to anyone religious or otherwise. Most students go over 65k to finish the program and even may use the full 80k one can receive from Key loans. If anyone is going to spend 80k on training, then they should be a little more accommodating to the client. I guess you don't mind being ripped off because that is what Pan Am does to their clients. How they charge the student for a brief is they charge 1.4 times the hobbs times the cost of ground per hour. For example, I had a 2.2hr flight in the Archer and was charged $195.80 for the flight and $99.20 for the brief. The instructors are scheduled back to back most of the time so how am I suppose to receive my brief, and don't even say ask for it because you will never get it. 1.4 times 2.2 is 3.08hr that I'm being charged for the brief. I get 5min maybe 10min if I'm lucky so there is no way I will ever receive 3hrs for a brief when I had a 2hr flight. You are only fooling your self if you make up some crappy excuse as to justify the cost of a brief that you never get. Oh, I would like to purchase your car that you are advertising for 30k, but since it is such a fantastic car I will give you 35k because I know the quality of the car I'm about to purchase is so worth it. This would never happen, but people seem to think it's ok to pay for a brief that they never get. You can't make any legitimate excuse for that. Don't even try! I had 212 hrs including sim time when I left and was charged 215 hours for briefs. That is 7k for briefs. I would be lucky to have received 30hrs. I had excellent training, but there is no way I will make an excuse to justify the amount of money they stole for brief time. I left because I just got sick of how they treat their clients and did not want to spend another 30k to finish the program. There is no way I would spend 7k for ACE to fly a flight training device (FTD) and not be able to put that time in my logbook. The FTD is not FAA certified so no one can log that time. I would rather spend 7k on twin time than on a FTD. Do you think that a regional carrier will get all excited about someone who has CRJ200 FTD time? I don’t think they give a crap. Just my 2 cents worth.

PS. Hey Doug, do the airlines care if someone has time in a CRJ200 FTD?
The brief times were a total rip off, I wonder how much money Pan Scam makes off of these bogus briefs? It didn't take me a long time to figure out that the charges for the brief times were wayyyyy inflated, it got to the point where I wouldn't sign my reciept when I got it from dispatch. It didn't matter though, they still charged me and didn't even ask why I wasn't signing. I even started writing little comments on their copy about the briefs. No one listened, or they just blew it off. As far as Pan Scam having a militaristic form of training, that couldn't be further from the truth. Pan Scam is in it for the money, solely for the money....don't let them fool you.
as far as the 350 hours, that is one of the big reasons I signed up for this program. Unfortunately, you will come out with like 450-500 hours but the loan will only cover about 400 of those. you will have to come up with the rest somewhere else or drop out like so many before!
I think the point of the ACE program is to get you used to a glass cockpit and jet operations. As far as I know the most common reason for failing an airline hire checkride is because the pilot doesn't have any exprence with a glass cockpit or jet proceedures.

So it's not designed to be a type rating.
As far as I know the most common reason for failing an airline hire checkride is because the pilot doesn't have any exprence with a glass cockpit or jet proceedures


Huh?Are you talking about about the interview sim ride or initial training? Either way, I think you've drunk waaaayyyy too much company Kool-Aid.
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As far as I know the most common reason for failing an airline hire checkride is because the pilot doesn't have any exprence with a glass cockpit or jet proceedures.

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Wow! Did someone tell you this or is this an opinion?
i don't think you meant to say the "hire checkride". i've read many articles about pilots who were already hired and failed out of the training because of whatever reasons, some of which were inability to grasp knowldege of the new systems they were required to know. but then again those articles were talking about a very small portion of new hire pools.
*sheepish look* uh well that's what Pan Am said they created the ACE program for basicly. Aparently their regional partners told them what applicants were lacking and designed this program aroud that.

Ekk I'm so confused now. I've been looking into westwind lately and they seem to have much the same training only a lot cheaper. Granted their aircraft arn't as nice or new but does it really matter? I figure with the saved money I could always go rent a twin for a couple of trips.

As long as you get quality training does it really matter where you go?
Where you go determines the quality of instruction!

You all know what I think of the school I'm at....I couldn't be happier.

Your instructor and your learning determine the quality of instruction. you have to push your instructor just as much as they push you. Don't wait to get it, go get it! If your instructor doesn't know the answers and is unwilling to find out, then there is a problem.

i was speaking of two different parts of the hiring process:

A. the interview

B. initial training

one of the big reasons the school created ACE was because people were failing out of the "B." initial training portion of the hiring process. people were getting through the "A." interview phase ok, but were sometimes overwhelmed by the initial training that as i hear can be extremely fast paced.

to pass the interview it seems people practice in the frasca pretty hard because its a common fixture at the actual interview itself.

after you've gotten in, and go to train on whatever aircraft they assign you it seems a certain ammount of people can't handle the initial systems training or whatever.

so, basically ACE is designed to get you through initial training, not the initial interview. thats all i was trying to explain.
Well the first time I touched a glass cockpit was a beech 1900 and it's actually way easier than using steam gauges.

I hadn't touched an FMS until Y2K and two days of training I was bored to death because it's actually a lot less demanding on constantly tuning in radials and HSI courses.

If the FMS/Glass cockpit training is economical, it wouldn't hurt. But I wouldn't suggest paying an largev premium for that training.
Well I've been gone for a while, but unfortunately I see that things at Pan Am still haven't changed. It seems that the students there are still experiencing all the same problems I encountered when I was there. Just by the quote, "If you don't like here, than leave," I can tell that Pan Am still has the same chief flight instructor too. That is too bad because all he cares about his robbing the students blind so that he can get a pay increase. I hate to say things like that, but it's the truth. My advice to anyone who wants to be a pilot, find a school where you can pay as a go. That way your business will be appreciated and the school will take an interest in the quality of your training. Besides, any time you take out an 80,000 loan and put it in a stranger's bank account, you are really taking your chances!
i still think the ACE program is a great tool....but not in todays market, and not where it is in the program. today, i really think it would be way more useful if introduced later on while working as a CFI at the school who was nearing the hours required to enter the job search and be competitive. maybe even offer it free of charge to those who are at that point right now and let the program prove itself. this market today sucks, in better times i would personally have no complaints.
I agree with Dak.. its a great tool, but the problem I have with is it, is to work as a CFI there, and to be provided "airline placement" services, you must take it. And they put it right before your CFI training, so you can't even begin getting your CFI training until you've completed it.

I'm now looking at the problem of coming up a few thousand short, and thanks to the ACE program, if I don't get any extra money, then I won't even be able to make it to my CFI ratings. However, without the ACE program, I would have enough to complete the program.

Paying over $8,000 for 30 hours of NON-Loggable flight time just kills me to think about when that could possibly be the deciding factor whether or not I can complete the course...

Anyone else been in a similiar situation??
And one other thing after re-reading Dak's post...

Something that I've commented about, was exactly how effective really was the ACE program in terms of when you actually take it.

For instance, you take the ACE program prior to getting your first CFI rating... So lets say you go thru ACE, have a great time, learn lots of great stuff, and can now "fly" a glass cockpit. So you continue on with your CFI ratings, and then end up teaching at Pan Am for ATLEAST a year to build enough applicable hours to get an airline interview. Your ACE training is now atleast a year, year and a half behind you, and I can't imagine that you would remember enough for it even to be that useful.

I have asked three different instructors who had taken the course about what they remember about the ACE program, and if it was really helpful, and each one of them just kind of shrugged, and couldn't recollect hardly anything of it.

Like Dak, I think if they are going to charge for the ACE program, it should be at some point after you become a CFI, and our teaching, and are actually getting close to going to an airline, so it can be more effective as it was designed to be.

However, as I've been told before, if they did that, NO ONE would take it, and the way they have it now, your forced to take it to finish up your ratings.

If theres one unviersal complaint amongst the students at the DVT campus, it's that...