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Old 06-25-2009, 03:52 PM
Location: Chandler, AZ
78 posts, read 256,717 times
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Can anyone recommend a good affordable independent flight instructor in the east valley? Would like to get my Private Pilot and if things work well Instrument and Multi-Engine ratings as well. (Please no academy style flight schools like ATP) Thanks!
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Old 06-26-2009, 07:21 AM
Location: Gilbert - Val Vista Lakes
6,069 posts, read 13,887,503 times
Reputation: 3862
I'm a retired airline pilot,having flown for over 35 years, and was with Pan Am for 27 years.

After getting my private, commercial, and flight instructors ratings, I taught in light airplanes for two years before getting a job with a cargo airline, where I stayed for 7 years before going with Pan Am.

While I was with Pan Am, I went into their training department for 4 years and trained other pilots on the 707, and gave 6-month proficiency checks to our line pilots. When I got to go on the 747, I left the training department and went back to flying the line.

I would not recommend an independent flight instructor that is not connected with a flight school. A flight school will have a curriculum which the flight instructor must follow, and the school will have more control over the instructor.

The curriculum will help you to get your license faster, cheaper, and possibly safer.

They may have financial plans for being able to expidite the license process. Whereas, if you take a lesson once a week, it may take you 60 hours to get the license. If you take three lessons per week that time may be reduced to 45 hours. It's a matter of retaining more by doing it more often.

The flight school will also help prepare you for the written exam through their ground school.

So while you may save a few dollars per hour with an independent instructior, it may cost you many more dollars to actually get your license.

What I suggest is that you visit the flight schools at the airport where you'll be flying from, and discuss their programs. Talk to their instructors; talk to some of the students. Get a real good feel for the atmosphere of the school and the training aids they have available. You'll be able to find out how much it will cost you to get your private license, and how the training can be speeded up to take less time, which will cost you less money. Then make your decision.

My original flight school had an arrangement with a loan company that would loan money to pay for flying in advance. I took out the loan and was at the airport every day studying, and flew 2-5 hours per week when weather allowed. (In Michigan). If I remember correctly, the average hours to get the license was 55, and most people took 60+. Because I was doing it in an excellerated program, I got mine in about 4 months and in the minimum required 40 hours under that syllabus.

It took me a few years to pay off the loan, but because of the loan I could fly as much as necessary and I had my flight instructor rating and was working in about one year. Without the loan it would have taken me about 3 years.

My goal was to go with the airlines, and first had to instruct to build up flight time, so I had the incentive to go all out and get there as fast as I could. Your goals may be different, but you will still save money by being in a school with a planned syllabus, where the instructors are supervised, and the owners or managers keep track of the students' progress.

Here is one school at Falcon Field. I can't recommend them over any other school because I'm not involved in the flying business any longer and am not familiar with the schools. I just know that an organized school program will save you money and have you better trained in the long run.

.: Falcon Executive Aviation :: FBO Falcon Field Mesa Arizona KFFZ :: Training :: Commercial Pilot :.

Good luck, and don't take any short cuts. Flying is very safe, but it is also very unforgiving.

Story of the picture: Plane in a Tree
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