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Newbie needs help


PondJumper
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What's up guys? I'm not sure if I posted in the right place, as I am brand new to the forum and this is my first post.

 

I am just a regular dude who is looking to fly helicopters and get paid for it. I am currently living in Savannah, GA and working on my PPL on the Schweizer 300(just hit 14 hrs). I'm just starting to really love it instead of being terrified. Flying twice a week and I can't wait till Tuesday(my first cross country).

 

My plan is to complete my PPL in the next 6 months, as that is when my wife graduates from AAS. From then we plan to move to Colorado where I will enroll in AIMS Community College, and start their Aviation Program. This program includes Commercial Rating with Instrument, and is said to include Instructor Rating, and accepts Chpt 33 GI Bill, if anyone is looking). They are in alignment with Front Range Helicopter for combining the scholastic and flight training.

 

I will be using the Chapter 33 GI Bill to pay for tuition and flight training(which is great because I'm currently working 60+ hrs a week, night shift at Gulfstream to pay for PPL). I figured it would be to my advantage to get PPL out of the way and shave a semester off school since I'm waiting on my wife to finish school anyway.

 

My goal is to get an instructor slot with Front Range after finishing school at AIMS. After getting my PPL, CPL, Instrument, and Instructor rating, I will still be around 200 hrs. Front Range says they typically require min of 700 hrs to be an Instructor. My question is, how are you guys filling the gap between CPL and the required hours for becoming an instructor?

 

I am not a poor man, but I work like two of them, and paying for the difference in hours is not possible. As I said before I am a huge noober to all this, and will likely ask a few routine questions, so be gentle. I welcome any and all advice/help that is offered. I am 29 years old, wishing I had started sooner, but I'm a hard charger, so am looking to fast track as much as possible. Flying helos is where my sights are set, and I will accept no less. Thanks in advance. See you guys around the forum.

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First off, I doubt that the 700 hour requirement is set in stone. Call the school and ask to speak with some instructors, then ask them how they got the job at Front Range. My bet would be that the majority of them had just over 200 hours and were fresh CFII's. Im not sure how a school could manage to only use flight instructors that had 700 hours, because they would all have to come from some other school. Thats just not a very good business practice.

 

Im really not sure why they would say that, as it is kind of off-putting to their operation. Are they saying that the flight instructors that they train aren't good enough to instruct at their school? Whose fault would that be? Why did all those 700 hour instructor leave their original school? What are you going to do when you have to find a job at some other school as a brand new instructor, when that schools own trained instructors are lining up out the door for a job. Who would you hire, the instructor that youve seen grow over the last 2 years, or the one that is a brand new face and didnt get a job at his school?

 

If it is the case, I would go to some other school that is willing to hire their new instructors for your initial training. Obviously those schools are confident enough in their quality of training that they trust their new CFI's. Why put yourself at such a huge disadvantage for a job by training at school A and then trying to get a job at school B when you could just train at school B to begin with?

 

Have you considered any other schools besides Front Range? What is it about them that makes you want to go there?

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Front Range says they typically require min of 700 hrs to be an Instructor. My question is, how are you guys filling the gap between CPL and the required hours for becoming an instructor?

 

 

Did you ask them how they are bridging that gap? Or what happens to all the CFIs that they graduate with 200 hrs?

 

I know there are plenty here who will tell you it's not a school's job to find you one, but the odds are already stacked against you. Find out what they're doing to help their graduates, and decide if that service is part of the package you want from your flight training.

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Please be advised that a flight school is a for profit business. They, like all institutes of learning will tell you what you want to hear, period. The reality is that 200 hrs with a CFII certification is the end of the road, period. Sure there are some that proceed, but most go bankrupt trying. I don't wish to discourage you or others, but there are few on this site, or other sites that are willing to be honest. The reality is that you either get hired at your school immediately after training, or you fall by the wayside in pursuit of being a professional pilot as a career. Good luck, be safe, have fun, and please don't go into debt for training along the way.

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Front Range says they typically require min of 700 hrs to be an Instructor.

 

Is it possible they misunderstood your question or maybe you misunderstood their answer? Front Range has only hired one CFI that did not graduate from their program, and they have a lot of CFI's! I don't see why Front Range would say that since that is not how they operate, unless that is the minimum in the event they had to hire someone that did not go through their program.

Edited by DieselBoy
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Is it possible they misunderstood your question or maybe you misunderstood their answer? Front Range has only hired one CFI that did not graduate from their program, and they have a lot of CFI's! I don't see why Front Range would say that since that is not how they operate, unless that is the minimum in the event they had to hire someone that did not go through their program.

 

Most schools have 2 diffterent hiring criteria. One for CFI's off the street and on for their graduates. The criteria for their graduates is much lower. However, keep in mind that the interview process is much longer, like your entire time at the school. One of the reasons for this is that as a graduate of that school, you are a known quantity and you are familiar with their program, policy and procedures.

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Please be advised that a flight school is a for profit business. They, like all institutes of learning will tell you what you want to hear, period...

 

...and let's not forget the CFI Factory motto; We always hire our graduates!,...and; Job placement assistance available! Of course, then there's the fine print; Sorry we don't know of anyone who would hire you!

 

Don't worry, I'm just kidding? :ph34r: ,... :D

 

Good Luck Dude!

:)

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Front Range says they typically require min of 700 hrs to be an Instructor. My question is, how are you guys filling the gap between CPL and the required hours for becoming an instructor?

 

I welcome any and all advice/help that is offered.

 

 

PondJumper,

 

My response is based on my opinion. You have asked a question and I will do my best to answer it without sounding like a “know-it-all”twit”.

 

Usually, CFI graduates, who are hired, do so without needing to “fill the gap”. CFI’s can be hired with, as little as 200 hours. How an individual is selected depends on numerous variables and not just based upon flight hours.

 

Unfortunately, if the school did tell you they only hire 700 hour CFI’s, they are basically telling you they are not interested in YOU! If this is in fact the case, I’d go elsewhere. Why? The best chance any CFI has for employment after graduation is at the school which he or she trained at. While I can’t give you the hard stats, I believe most CFIs are hired by their respective school.

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I agree with Spike, the biggest "gap" you should have if you work hard and get thru CFII and have a great attitude would be from 200-220 hours with your CFII to the 300 hour mark where many of the insurance mins kick in.

 

Be sure to train at a school that does more than just teach. If they have an active tour or commercial business there will be more opportunities for you to fly, and to fill in the gap.

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There are a few reasons that I am choosing Front Range for my training.

 

-AIMS Community College considers Veterans as a resident student as apposed to having to be a Colorado resident for a year.

-The BAH (GI Bill basic housing allowance) for this area versus the average cost of living for this area is quite favorable

- Job market in this area looks favorable for both my wife and I

-100% of training will be covered by the GI Bill

-The school is within reasonably close proximity to where my wife and I will likely find employment

-Low crime rate area

-Front Range not only offers training, but tours and other heli services so hopefully I will have a higher chance of getting an instructor slot, as they have multiple locations in the area

 

Thanks for all the replies so far. The 700 min did seem a bit strange. I spoke with Don Grffith (Chief Flight Instructor) some time ago, and he told me they exclusively hire from student body. This would lead me to believe that the 700 hr min would be as some of you said (for non students)

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