Real Answers from Real Pilots

Local Flight School

Good Evening Pilot Mentors,

I was wondering if you would recommend going to my local flight school. I would really love to go to ATP, but I simply can’t afford it. I have done some research and found another local flight school located at our major airport that will give me the same training for a fraction of the ATP price. I thought it sounded too good to be true, but they also are part of the XJT Preferred School Program. Also, would it be best to get the FCC Radio License before I start training? I have completed a first class medical exam and have to wait on the dreaded CPAP readings before they issue me a certificate.Like everyone else, my dream is to fly for a major airline. As a backfall though, I’m getting my degree in Aviation Management in case things don’t work out so I will always be in the aviation field.

I thought I would ask the professionals before I made any final decisions.

Very Respectfully,

Johnathan Bell

Johnathan,

I never like to bash any flight school but if you read through this forum you’ll see many who have tried to do their training at the local FBO and have found it to be less than ideal (myself included). While it may seem cheaper far too often that turns out not to be the case. The primary reason is most local flight schools simply don’t have the resources to allow you to train with consistency and if you can’t you end up spending much more time than you would otherwise. I recommend you take a look at this list of questions Chris put together to make sure you’re comparing apples to apples: Questions For Any Prospective Flight School

As for the FCC License you’ve got plenty of time since you won’t need it until you’re actually interviewing for a Regional.

Adam

Thank you for very much for this information. I have a tour scheduled with them in a few days and I would have never thought to have asked many of these questions.

Johnnathan,

Again not trying to sour you on going local (or sell you on ATP), just want to make sure that the school can help you achieve your goals. It took me 2yrs to earn my Private at a local flight school and 90days to get EVERY other license and rating with ATP. While the local school “appeared” to be less expensive in the long run they were not. Had I continued along that route I honestly believe I would’ve quit and not be where I am today.

Ask the questions and make sure you get answers. This way you can make a well informed decision. Let us know how it goes.

Adam

Johnathan,

To chime in a little bit if you take a look at their website where they quote you they usually quote all FAA minimums (ie. PPL at 40 hours). I have shopped around and ATP really isn’t that expensive when you factor alot of things in. You get done in 6 mos (PPL-CFL) or 9 mos (0-CFL), their fleet to keep you going, and the options that come with it later.

Unfortunately for me I can’t go the 0-CFL route as finances are not allowing me to start until 2018 so while I wait I am going to get my PPL this year and everywhere I looked they either don’t have more than 2 of the same type or they do have more but have certain time restrictions due to lack of CFLs and amount of students.