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Different strategy for a foreigner? / Hillsboro

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I have recently researched the possibilities of taking my CPL in the US, as a mature flight student.


I am from Europe, and I quickly figured that my only way to ever make significant hours is a F1 visa. This limits my choice of schools severely. Leading edge looks like my kind of place, but no F1 visa > no work permit > means I will return home with zero experience.


It pretty much boils down to Hillsboro, although I did read about problems there. However, I do feel that as a foreigner, I need a different strategy than Americans or people with unlimited work permit.


1. Anybody know of the situation at Hillsboro today? Some call it a pilot factory - is that for the airline FW program or the rotor section as well?

2. I am an on-the-job instructor in my current job which is also very procedure-based but not aviation. I also speak 2 languages that might be helpful as quite a few people from those countries go to Hillsboro. I also calculate taking my IR and CFI right away. Would this package improve my chances of getting a CFI slot or is it in fact a gamble, and in the end all kinds of people get lucky at HB - or don´t?

3. Any other jobs that my profile might suit well?


From your experience, which strategy would you advise to foreigners, both training- and job-wise? What kind of opportunities are worth pursuing, what would be off limits and therefore waste of time? I figure some stuff like logging is too special for an outsider to just get into because you will need to know the right people locally, which is impossible for a foreigner.


Any thoughts?

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I have a real good friend from Germany that went to HIllsboro, PM me and I may be able to put you in contact with him.


Caution the following is second hand information - I have not heard much good about HIllsboro, bascially manipulating policy to fire their Instructors for BS reason so that they can maintain the image of having a high rate of hiring graduates. AS I said though that is completely second hand information I don't have the slightest idea if it is remotely true.


I did my Instrument training at Bristow Academy, they have a Visa program as well. I personally did not enjoy being there. Mostly because I had come from a Mom and Pop shop where I got a custom tailored syllabus to fit my needs and didn't pump me full of BS. At Bristow I paid a lot of money for unnecessary ground work just because it was part of the syllabus - not because I was lacking in knowledge. I had a stage check airmen tell me if I didn't memorize some stupid mnemonic that there was no way in hell I would ever pass ! I asked him to show me the FAA regulations that state that rote memorization of stupid facts was required to pass an oral examination.... he then got ear turned red mad when I proved to him he was incorrect on a Instrument chart symbol ! hahaha


Anyhow, I believe there may be one other school in south florida with visa program I would look into that if it were me.

Edited by Rogue
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I don't have much information for a prospective foreigner looking to attend Hillsboro, however we have had several students and former employees leave Hillsboro to come here to Leading Edge Aviation for multiple reasons, none of which were due to there part. Im not sure of their F1 visa program other than the school seems to cater more towards the foreign students.


We only offer an M1 visa program here at Leading Edge currently, unfortunately.


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Thanks a lot for sharing. :)


Can´t blame schools for "just" having M1, I would guess it´s a hassle getting F1 approved? Unfortunately, I don´t think I can do without the F1, because that kind of hour building is the real advantage of US training. I can get a license in Europe ok, but the first relevant 1000h are a real problem.

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  • 1 month later...

I know it is possible to go from F1 to M1 but I am not sure we can do that when it is for aviation training. I am like you. I am looking to start a training in the US but I hesitate between the schools. The last thing I want is to finish my training in the US and have to return in Europe with a pilot certificat that won't be recognised and with low hours. There only two shcools in US that offers F1 for Helicopter training Hillsboro and Bristow Academy.

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