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Discussion in 'Pilot Training' started by Gordon Freeman, Nov 7, 2019.
I choose my physicians.
Why wouldn’t I choose a CFI?
Welcome to captalism.
What physician did you chose that you did not pay for an office visit to talk to them them prior to your decision? Welcome to capitalism.
Yes, and even if you can't interview a Dr, there are pretty good ranking sites.
And, Drs are not "transient" like CFIs... Here today, gone to the mail haulers tomorrow.
You may find a Dr you don't like... And you transfer your records... to a new one.
That said, I had 3 or 4 instructors over my learning days... 1 retired, the rest went on to the bigs. Liked 'em all, learned different things from all, trusted one enough to teach me spin recovery.
And, I never interviewed a one of them.
Different times. Different $AMUs. At today's prices, I'd like to get to know you before I let you put your hand in my wallet.
I disagree. It's your money. You deserve an instructor on reasonable terms.
Unless the school is run somehow differently than EVERY ONE I've dealt with, they lose zero flight time. Instructors talking to prospective students is reasonable overhead and shouldn't burn into any billable flight time.
On the other hand, I've never encountered a flight school that didn't let me talk to an instructor first.
Perhaps my original post got misinterpreted somewhere down the line, and I certainly didn't mean to start an argument amongst some of you.
I just think that given the investment quoted by this particular flight school ($21k), it seemed unreasonable that I wouldn't get to choose my instructor, whom (I think) will be instrumental in my success.
Interview is a strong word. Just seeing some credentials would be helpful. i.e. "Here's a list of our instructors, their history, success rate, etc."
Doesn't seem like much to ask.
Unfortunately their history and their success rate and their credentials have nothing to do with your success. Instruction is so personality driven. Then comes your ability to listen to and understand the person you’re going to fly with, which will also probably be different instructors. Even if you talk to every single instructor on staff, find a favorite, that person might not be available when it comes time for you to train or even be able to accommodate your schedule.
Yea, you’re not getting profile information either. But if you and the assigned instructor don’t mesh, you are absolutely in your rights you ask to fly with someone else. If they say no, then you say bye. Flight schools lose lots of prospects, they don’t like losing students.
I’ll emphasize again that there is great value to convenience. You will fly more and be more involved if you’re 15 minutes away vs 45-60 minutes out.
21k does sound like a lot of money, which might be a reason not to go there. Even if you go out to 100 hours (very rare), that would average $210 an hour. How does this compare to other places ins your areas?
You should not worry about starting an argument on this website. Saying hello is all that’s required most days.
You’ll often find the freelance CFIs offer better instruction and networking then a pilot mill
A good rapport with my CFI(s) was essential, in my opinion. Talk to a couple before choosing. I talked to a couple on the phone who were way too... pushy I guess is the word. Really hyping up the fact that their school gets people in left seats faster.. etc. Didn't mean a thing to me since I was not/am not interested in a career as a pilot - just wanted my private. Talked to my first CFI and knew she would be a good fit. Unfortunately, that school closed down. Second CFI same thing - met him in person and knew right away I liked him as an instructor and as a person.
Why would you even consider a place that doesn't let you meet their staff?
They should not just allow it, but encourage it.
I flew with 4 different CFI's at various places before I decided on one, my opinion I think you want to fly with them and get a feel for their teaching style which you wont get just by interviewing them. I actually liked one CFI a ton but his schedule didn't mesh with mine because he was a corporate pilot.
Just my $.02.
There is some advantage to staying with one instructor for the majority of your training, but I would want full assurance that it was my option to choose a different one if the first one wasn't working out.
A Part 141 program alone doesn't get you the waiver for the 1500 hour ATP rule (although it does allow the potential for fewer minimum hours to get your first certificate). It has to be a full program approved by the FAA, and my recollection is that has to be a full curriculum school that applies and gets approval based on its performance.
Lol, welcome to POA, pay no mind to the bickering, it's how we show affection for one another.
Clip 4 , at least you are very honest about being a egotistical icon at least in your own mind. I know and have had the privilege of flying with some of the top instructors in the U S and the world. One of them was the highest time CFI in Canadian history with 30,000 instructional hours and decades of RCAF time. Almost to a man these folks had manners. They weren't poodles who barked about how great they are. I"ve flown with Patti Wagstaff, who has her own flight school in Florida. I am sure her time is pretty valuable and as a former U S nat champion I m sure she can fly rings around you, but there is a recent article by a man who did a lesson with her and none of this better than you attitude.
Would you let us know what airport you teach at and maybe what school so no one wastes their or your valuable time?
At the flight school where I most often am, if a prospective student walks in and asks about lessons, they usually say here is a couple of guys or gals who are available. Then the two meet and talk about it briefly, then usually schedule a lesson if their time fits. There might be some effort to match types, say an older student might not want a rank new CFI or a lady prefers a lady, etc. It's not a formal or harsh process. They also offer and introductory flight if desired.
That’s a nice field. I stopped there for a few hours while a friend checked out a Navajo. They have a nice sim. The flight school seems low key. The combo of terrain makes approaches here fun to execute.
On the schools website you should be able to review their CFIs and experience. So you see Charlie, Joe and Bill and they look best to you. Guess what, every student who looks at that website wants a Charlie, Joe or Bill. You get who is available because Charlie, Joe and Bill can’t train every student who wants them..
As far success rates, I can tell you that >90% of the students at good flight schools who complete the training pass the FAA exam. At all flight schools, the drop out rate is rather high. The less structured the training, the higher the drop out rate. At Part 61 schools, a drop out rate of >65% is the norm. Instructor availability, poor aircraft maintenance, student social, work and financial conflicts are all part of the mix at the lower quality schools.
That “Academy” is a pilot mill. There are much better options out there, even if you have to drive a little bit. I would do some more shopping before dropping money.
I agree. How reasonable is it for a flight school to incur 2-3 hours each time a potential student wants to interview their flight instructors to pick one? Remember that 1 out of 10 people that walk in the door are going to actually stick with it. How many hours of overhead would be reasonable for the school to incur every month for interviewing rather than having the instructors teach? I say 0 is reasonable.
The best way to know what a flight instructor is going to do is to hire them, fly a few times and if you don't like them, change. It isn't a big deal, it isn't like you're hiring a brain surgeon.
I am a highly sought after instructor in a top notch flight school. I am not impolite or demeaning to my students. But I also do not have the time or desire to be interviewed by the students. Nor do any of the other highly qualified CFIs at the school. All of us work hard and put in a lot of hours to accomplish a high quality training mission.
There are 200 students at the school. Having our instructors standing student interviews is not productive and an unwarranted cost to the student.
If that bothers you, there are more options in the area that may better meet your individual needs.
Our policy, we assign you an instructor. If you want a different instructor we will assign one. If you want different instructor again, we give a list of other flight schools in the area and wish you the best with your training.
But honestly, it is a very rare event a student wants a different CFI, which is the way it is when your staff is top grade instructors.
Sounds like a fun place.
Do you have a dentist on staff offering root canals without any freezing as well?
Just wondering if the customers have options for things to do there is all.
No root canals, but honestly if you have issue with 2 different instructors, the issue is you. 99.9% of the students do not have issues with their CFI.
Who said it's going to be 2-3 hours? Why are flight schools immune from normal operating costs like any other business? Talking to potential customers is part of running a business.
I would think you could speak to a prospective new student while you’re billing a student flying a solo cross country. Oh, but that wouldn’t allow you to bill a second student at the same time your billing someone while not even with them. I forgot, it’s important to rush several students to solo status so you can be billing for 2, 3, even 4 of them at a time while you post on POA about how we are all bad students.
For others that didn’t follow the other thread, clip4 believes it is appropriate and necessary to bill students full price for dual while they are solo and he is on the ground doing other things.
Genuinely curious - being that you work for a top notch flight school. How is the performance / success rate of the instructors in your school graded? What incentive do you have to really outdo yourself at your job and give it 110%? Does school management send a QA guy at random times with you and a student to judge your performance? Most great schools routinely evaluate their staff and their teaching methods. Does the busy schedule you describe allow you to adequately remember each student, the areas of improvement they need, etc.? I’m just trying to compare this to a piano teacher who focuses on a dozen pupils, and a piano teacher that has a class of 100 students. Which one is more likely to produce a prodigy?
Ironically, for someone who can’t be bothered to meet with a potential student and “waste his time” with such a futile task, you seem to have a lot of spare time on your hands to rave about yourself on this forum.
Just stating facts.
You have just shown that you will be a difficult student. Sounds like you are smart enough to train yourself after starting your own flight school that has idle instructors standing by to answer the two most important questions every DA askew when they walk into a flight school to interview the person that they deem suitable for mommy and daddy’s special baby boy. Most great schools...QA guy...
Is it irony or are you just too special? You started a thread to complain that they didn’t recognize how important you are to them. Now with the help of other non-instructors (who also live by the same two questions every prospective student asks) offering their sage advice, you question the time that people have dedicated to offering you advice.
Can we just get into politics already so this thread can get shut down?
30 minutes to talk with a flight instructor x 4-6 instructors. I don’t think you intend that you can get to know someone in 5 minutes?
Yes, I do! Any business that cares about their client should take the time to meet them. And if you don't have time for me, I don't have time for you.
Part 61 is vastly better —>with a good CFI<—, 141 is cookie cutter for the lowest denominator. Only other benifit with 141 is VA bennies or some loans.
Now if you’re paying out of pocket, get the most for your buck and find a good CFI and to 61 to tailor it to how you both best see fit.
Drop out rate, huh, in my experience that’s mostly been $$ related, with moving or family stuff coming in second.
If the CFI is at the airport anyways or you guys set it up like that I’d agree, if the dude is coming to meet JUST you, kinda rude to not expect to give him a few bucks.
I can buy a $21,000 car at any of a couple dozen within 15 minutes of home.
If you don't want my business enough to talk to me about what YOU offer as opposed the the guy across the street, I'll see ya later.
you ain't making something unique... You're offering a service I can buy elsewhere. Perhaps for less, and offering better customer care...
Or he has shown himself to be an analytical, questioning student who does advance preparation and research before acting, and who values efficiency. If those qualities make him a "difficult student" in the eyes of an instructor, and they very well MAY for some instructors, then it's equally possible, and I'd postulate MORE likely, that it says more negative about the instructor than the student.
I've flown with four different CFIs, and liked, respected, and learned from them all. The moves from one to the other were driven mostly by convenience as I changed from renting to owning, then relocating the aircraft,rather than a search for a "better" instructor. Having said that, I ended up with an instructor who is as demanding as I am, and as self-motivated as I am. Over the years he's seen me go from a shaky pre-solo student to an increasingly competent pilot working towards an IR and doing an increasing amount of mechanical work w/ several local A&Ps (to the point where I'm able to help him figure things out at times), and I've seen him go from working for a very small flight school to freelancing to opening his own FBO/flight school/small rental fleet and becoming an upper echelon Cirrus certified instructor (can't remember the actual title). He's also become much more expensive over the years, and he's worth it. He's tough to schedule because he's so busy, and the hourly rate is tough for me to pay at this point, but I respect him and we've grown together over the past 12 years. He's military trained, an absolutely incredible pilot w/ over 20,000 hours, in constant demand.....and humble, kind, and never shows the kind of ego or disdain for student questions shown by a few other self-described top notch in-demand flight instructors here.
As one who's spent his life as a professional musician, I can unequivocally say that in the vast majority of cases, the truly best players are usually not the ones who are constantly telling you how great they are. The best ones are humble, enthusiastic about their craft, eager to talk about it and share their experience, and enjoy helping others who are sincerely interested in learning from them. The pompous blowhards, usually, are just covering for their own insecurities/deficiencies, or are just unhappy, miserable people for some reason.
I see no reason, nor evidence, that the CFI population is any different. No one is a perfect fit for everybody, student or teacher. People DO deserve to be paid for their time and expertise. Seems like all reasonable people should be able to find common ground and work within those two axioms.
Needy, emotional and dramatic = poor student. So he finished ground school and knows a thing or two.
There are three flight schools on the field here and they are booked weeks in advance. Good luck interviewing them. I guess customer service don’t mean jack here either.
Guy can’t even fly yet but he knows how to run a flight school better’n anybody else. Maybe I should take lessons from him.
First, let me make it clear there is nothing with primary training in Part 141 that can’t be
Let’s address your incorrect statement statement. In a previous post somebody posted their school charged the student dual rate for XC solo flights. The school I work does not do this, but I defended the policy. Simply stated, the school maybe meeting requirements of their insurance other other operational considerations where they believe this policy is prudent.
Flight schools pay their instructors from fees collected from students. I also clearly stated if you don’t like a schools policies and fees go elsewhere. Schools do not let students set the policy.
I also defend the policy that a CFI for all solo needs to be present to release a student solo. In the Part 141 schools that is an FAA regulation. It is the students responsibility to pay that cost if a CFI is not at the school to release the flight.
I don’t work for free and I have no duty to aviation to work for free. Neither does any other CFI. If you disagree with that I have some painting at my house that needs done and I can pay you for part of the time you are here working.
Salty, if you want to become a Hobby CFI who works for nothing, have at it, but don’t expect the professionals to adopt your hobby ethics.
Don't make it so complicated. If the CFI is regularly teaching at the school at the airport, then when a prospective student phones in or walks in, the desk person says. "Joe's out flying, will be back in half hour and you can meet him, he has lesson times in the morning at 11." No big deal,
Just to see I phoned my flight school at Boulder, asking about an IPC which I need in 2 months. Friendly guy answers, says Dune is the best one with the simulator and the sim is available most days, and Dune is except off on Mon , Tue. No hassle.
Lets contrast it with Chip 4 who writes under an alias, won't tell us the name of this leading flight school whom students are begging to get into, nor even the airport or town it is located in. So if I was the OP , the student and was thinking about spending not just 12,000 but $21,000 with this guy, I would not only ask other students at the airport, but I'd check out the business name with the Better Business Bureau.
And beware when a guy starts throwing in nonsense like, "I don't work for free" or about a "2 or 3 hour interview", it puts doubt on other things he has to say.
Don’t need your permission as it’s none of you’re business.
It’s kind of a silly argument about interviewing your doctor. For one thing, I’ll go out on a limb that your doctor is not being interviewed because he is going to teach you medicine.
Also, and this is kind of key, even if we interviewed our doctor for the normal reason, we have NO BASIS or ability to judge how good a doctor is. All we could assess is about their perceived intelligence and maybe how congenial they are.
In fact one could easily be mistaking good bedside manner for competence.
My experience, in a flying club, you don’t interview the instructors. I’ve had three main ones so far. My first fit me best temperament wise, and also I got a lot out of the pre, and post flight briefings. But he wasn’t able to be permanent there because of his work. The next, I had a very bad feeling about. He seemed to not brief, or care, and there was very little instruction. I could be wrong about him but I didn’t feel confidence in him.
My next is a very respected pilot, who has been teaching for many years. I totally respect him and like him. I’m not happy with the lack of teaching in the briefings, they are way more informal and hasty, and not at all like my experience with the first instructor. Also, he can snap a bit, and though never mean, his manner is rough, but I’ve learned to accept and let that slide over me.
I felt I responded better to the first instructor as far as information, learning. But in reality I can’t tell if that is important or true. I feel more stress with the current instructor, which I just have learned to handle.
the only thing a new student would get out of an interview with an instructor would be “is he a nice guy?” And most are I think. Meaning on the ground in conversation. You will only learn how they teach up in the air, and that could be different than ground personality anyway.
BUT, I would expect any school or club to accept and react if a student said to them “I don’t feel like this instructor works for me” and assign a different one to you. If that is the case, that’s totally ok.
Also, to the OP, the cost which seems high, it still is pay as you go and you can stop anytime or move to a different school without losing anything right? Your logged,flight time and acquired skills would still be intact.
Ha, this made me chuckle. Don’t worry, you didn’t do anything wrong. Arguments just happen organically around here