Jump to content

California Aviation Services (Riverside, CA)

Recommended Posts

Hello everyone,


I'm a long time lurker - but a first time poster. I suppose I have just about the same story as most of the newbies around here, except that I've skipped much of the preliminary questions (thanks to all who have asked them before me!), and now I'm on to my first big hurdle in my adventure of becoming a helicopter pilot.


Choosing a school.


I feel like this is perhaps the most crucial decision I will face throughout this whole process, as the school I choose will likely be the source of my first job, as a CFI (right?) - I would imagine most schools prefer to hire from their own ranks, and if I don't find/choose a school that has that capability, then I will be in a pickle.


Due to locale convenience, I am currently considering California Aviation Services, in Riverside (http://www.bestaviation.net/school/California_Aviation_Services/). I would like to be able to attend California Polytechnic University, Pomona part time while in (or immediately after) flight school - So a Riverside school would be great location wise. Location, however, is low on the priority list - I'm most concerned with doing what will give me the best possible opportunities to get to that 1000 hour mark.


I plan on taking my first flight with them this week, what would you all specifically recommend I look for while I'm there?


I have about 65k to work with, and plan to work on my flying on a full time basis - and not work for as long as possible (the entire duration of school, if possible). Are there any other schools/avenues that you recommend over this school?


What can I do to maximize the chance of getting that coveted CFI job? (I already plan on practically living at the flight school, doing any odds jobs they'll let me do to allow me to hang around).


Alright, I'm going to cut it short there. I would really appreciate any input anyone has!


Thanks again for reading,


Link to comment
Share on other sites



When looking for a perspective school think safety first. Ask about their maintenance and try to get a vibe on their safety mindset. The next thing on your list should be flight instructor compatibility. If they do not have a flight instructor that fits your perosnality, you will throw away your money trying to learn from someone that can't get through to you. Lastly, see what kind of ground school they offer. I had an excellent instructor, but I found the ground school lacking. Hope this helps some.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have about 65k to work with, and plan to work on my flying on a full time basis -


Fox- My guess is all the students are just jealous, so you aren't getting any response! Most guys on here are just trying to scrape together the funds for their next flight! Choosing a school is very important, but you really just need to shop around a bit. You wouldnt spend 65K on a new boat or car and not shop around ....fly at each of them and see where you feel most comfortable. Throw out some names here on VR, and if they have a questionable reputation, plenty of us will jump in and keep you safe from harm!


Good luck ,



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hey Fox... congrats on taking the leap. This stuff is addicting. The biggest things to think about are the number of helicopters, the number of full-time students (those are the guys who keep the rotors turning) and what type of financing options they have. Obviously you won't need financing, but it's a sign of a school's ability to pull in more new students and keep the CFI pool from stagnating. Check for 141 programs, UVU and other college programs. See what their maintenance folks are like.


It's good that you're willing to be flexible. This isn't a job, typically, that will allow you to stay in one place for a long time, at least at first. Honestly the less you have tying you down, the better your chances of success.


Hope that helps. Best of luck, man.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't understand why people always suggest "go to the school with the nice fleet, the school that is 141, the school that has the most full time students" all that is not as good as you like to think it is. I went to a small school, with older machines, that didn't have a ton of students. it has worked well for me.


first off: nice fleet?

nice fleets cost big bucks. flight schools don't make big bucks. flight schools barely pay the bills and look for other work on the side to make it profitable. I know of multiple schools that have over extended themselves trying to get that nice fleet that creates all the smoke and mirrors. the school I went to had an older fleet. but guess what, they were all paid for, no monthly note to try and cover. also, with the lack of a monthly note, they could play with the prices much more. for instance, the school I am currently teaching at owns the aircraft in the hangar. we don't have to worry about owner's that we are leasing aircraft from that want the monthly note covered. at the beginning of the year for shits and grins the boss dropped the rates to 285 w/ fuel, instructor. no real reason for it. just to do it.


second: 141?

that just means more paperwork. everything that is done at a 141 can be done at 61 except for the difference in times, and 61 cant take government money, but it doesn't sound like you are worried about government funding.


Third: alot of full time students?

alot of full time students means less flying time for you if you are really wanting to hit it hard and get it done. A descent amount of students is good, but you don't want to train at a pilot farm either.


I would say that any flight school you go to, the biggest thing to consider is how you feel when you walk in the door. do you feel like you can walk in and talk to anyone and ask questions? do you feel like you are just another open bank account? are you comfortable in the atmosphere. Also, do you like the management (because that is a biggie. . flight instructors come and go, but you will deal with the management no matter what) also of course, how do you get along with the instructors that are currently at the school?


actually, to many factors to list. I can type forever. go where you are comfortable and enjoy it. its a blast.

Edited by clay
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hey Fox,


welcome and congrats on being a part of the dream.. really!


you are already doing what i would recommend.. gaining as much info as possible before you commit. the first thing i would have said was to contact Goldy as he has the pulse on that area and is solid as a rock...


the second thing i would say is to NEVER GIVE ANY SCHOOL A LARGE AMOUNT OF MONEY... NO MATTER WHAT.

being here on VR is a great first step, you can get answers to most of your questions right here..


check out my topic about the things i learned my first year as a student... there is a lot of info there.


good luck, you will love it!!





Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Create New...