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Hi again ya'll. I've read pretty much every post on this site in the past couple of months. I just wanted to get some of ya'lls opinions on some things.

 

Does anyone see an advantage to going to a big school vs a small school?

 

In related news, is there an advantage to learning to work in the pattern?

 

Is there an advantage to going to a factory school?

 

I'm mainly trying to find advice with the viewpoint of IF you were hiring people does any of this matter?

 

Thank you all for your time, Jeff.

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Does anyone see an advantage to going to a big school vs a small school?

 

I'm sure somebody does. Big schools have lots of helicopters and instructors, so fewer scheduling issues for downtime and instructor availability. I have a friend who trained at a big school, he flew with 19 different instructors over the course of his private. Small schools don't have this problem.

 

In related news, is there an advantage to learning to work in the pattern?

 

Yes. How do you expect to operate safely in the vicinety of a busy airport if you don't even know how to mesh with other traffic. Please dont think I am saying you should spend all your time in the pattern, but you need to know how to fly one.

 

Is there an advantage to going to a factory school?

 

For what? Private-CFII, or for training on a particular A/C?

 

I'm mainly trying to find advice with the viewpoint of IF you were hiring people does any of this matter?

 

If I was hiring you I wouldn't really care where you trained, or what you trained in, as long as you had the experience to fly what I needed you to fly.

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"For what? Private-CFII, or for training on a particular A/C?"

 

from zero to hero, I found a place near where I currently live that offers factory turbine training for not much more than a big school.

 

"Yes. How do you expect to operate safely in the vicinety of a busy airport if you don't even know how to mesh with other traffic. Please dont think I am saying you should spend all your time in the pattern, but you need to know how to fly one."

 

exactly my concern if I went to a small school that doesn't have a control tower.

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Personally, I'm training at a small school, the only big school in the area is SSH of which I've heard the average student takes about 12-18 months to get their private. Scheduling for me hasn't been too much of a problem, though this past year's weather slowed my training down more than I had hoped. The school has 2 R22 and they do their own maintenance so downtime is minimized.

 

"Yes. How do you expect to operate safely in the vicinety of a busy airport if you don't even know how to mesh with other traffic. Please dont think I am saying you should spend all your time in the pattern, but you need to know how to fly one."

 

exactly my concern if I went to a small school that doesn't have a control tower.

 

I fly out of an uncontrolled airfield and for me that felt more comfortable learning to fly as I did not have to worry about the radio work or getting sequenced in between other aircrafts to due autos. There are several controlled airports nearby so ATC practice was plentiful when I got up to that level. It helps develop a valuable skill in flying. See and Avoid.

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from zero to hero, I found a place near where I currently live that offers factory turbine training for not much more than a big school.

 

0-CFII in a turbine won't get you a job in a turbine, except at that school. Most schools are going to fly the 22, 44, 300, or a combination. If you don't have any time in any of those, who would hire you to teach in one of those? Not to mention the SFAR 73 issues.

 

exactly my concern if I went to a small school that doesn't have a control tower.

 

Regardless of what school you train at you MUST have training at a towered airport, since you MUST have solo landings at a towered airport to be eligible for a private certificate. The school I work at has a class C airport 12 miles away, no D or B for a long ways though. One of my CFI students just got a job teaching near class B. He called me before his first flight into class B worried about how he would handle class B. He called me back after the flight and said "it was just like billings." Moral of the story: it doesn't matter where you train, you will get some time at controlled airports, that will prepare you for all controlled airports.

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"I fly out of an uncontrolled airfield and for me that felt more comfortable learning to fly as I did not have to worry about the radio work or getting sequenced in between other aircrafts to due autos. There are several controlled airports nearby so ATC practice was plentiful when I got up to that level. It helps develop a valuable skill in flying. See and Avoid. "

 

that's how I feel, that I would be more comfortable learning in the beginning stages without having to bother with traffic.

 

"it doesn't matter where you train, you will get some time at controlled airports, that will prepare you for all controlled airports. "

 

that's pretty much what I wanted to know, I just like to get the facts before I visit a school so that I can cross reference what they say vs what ya'll say. I visited a big school recently and was pleasantly surprised that they didn't try to fill me up with a bunch of BS, that says a lot to me. i'm just trying to figure what situation best suits me.

 

Thank ya'll for your time, it is much appreciated.

 

edit - PS - "0-CFII in a turbine won't get you a job in a turbine, except at that school."

 

I think that right there is what will ultimately be the single biggest factor in my decision, they do have an intern program but like any other school they can't possibly hire all of their graduates.

Edited by Rogue
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One last thing I would add about flying out of an uncontrolled field is that I don't have to spend time flying out to a practice area. Some of the schools I looked at that were at controlled fields had to fly out to an area where they could do most of their maneuvers. In some cases these were 10-20 mins away. I can do 2 or 3 180 autos in that time at my field. I can do just about every maneuver at the airport apart from pinnacles, for which our practice area is only a few minutes away. We takeoff and land near our hanger in what is essentially a confined area.

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Well, people are always going to root for their own. I'm going to shift the heat off the big school. Aim to give you another way of thinking.

 

Does anyone see an advantage to going to a big school vs a small school?

 

Depends on the school. There are pro's and cons with both.

 

PhotoFlyer said: I have a friend who trained at a big school, he flew with 19 different instructors over the course of his private. Small schools don't have this problem.

I would suggest that most 'big' schools don't have this problem either. At least you have choice of instructors if your allocated one doesn't work for you!

 

In related news, is there an advantage to learning to work in the pattern?

 

OK, by this it seems the thread has assumed 'Towered vs Non-Towered'. Personally, I think the every day exposure to ATC and other traffic is invaluable.

 

As for being able to practice in the airport environment, well why can't you at a towered airfield? A good location will have in-field practice areas as well as off-airport practice areas.

 

Is there an advantage to going to a factory school?

 

What do you call a factory school? Are you implying that all big schools are 'factory schools'? If so, I think you're missing the point.

 

Schools can be good or bad - regardless of their size. It is the people inside them, the maintenance they have, the organised teaching structure, location...and things like that that make them good. Those should be the things that you focus on.

 

Don't be misled that 'all big schools' have an unfriendly, production line feel to them. Some do, some don't. Just like some small schools have a single lazy instructor and maybe an equally lazy mechanic, lack resources and funds to keep their aircraft in the air, overcharge because of their lack of economies of scale etc..etc..

 

In short, don't judge a book by its cover (or a school by its size). Look deeper than that.

 

I'm mainly trying to find advice with the viewpoint of IF you were hiring people does any of this matter?

 

As previously said - No it doesn't matter. The certificate is the same...issued by the same FAA. It's who holds it that counts.

 

Good luck in your search....

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For what it's worth I trained with, and now work for, a "large" school. We have 11 R22's, an R44, and 18 instructors. We're located in at a Class D airport with two other class D's and class B less than 10 minutes away. G is less than 10 minutes away as well.

 

I've trained at a small airplane school, no small heli schools, and can say that most things are very similar between the two. Both provided one on one instruction and as Joker said, a pilot trained at either school will be tested to the same FAA standards.

 

Our airport is one of the 3 busiest GA airports in the USA, and even still it's not difficult to deal with the radios. It can be a little intimidating at first, but it most certainly eases the anxiety of talking on the radio down the road, especially with B. We can do every maneuver we need to do in the airspace except for Pins/Cons (all city) and settling with power. That said, G airspace is 4 NM away.

 

I choose the school I did because in spite of its size it still offers one on one instruction and provided with the most opportunity to train. Of the 14 months I spent training, I only ever had to cancel one flight due to A/C availability. If we had something that grounded the A/C, we could just take another. I also was thinking of my future as a CFI. A school that can keep me working full time, with a steady stream of students and available A/C will get me to 1000 faster, pays better, and provides me with a greater base of people with whom I can network later on in life.

 

A larger school will tend to have a more strict curriculum and procedures, for example our school's standards are above those of the PTS in most areas, and if that doesn't jive with you so be it. I felt it would make me a better pilot. I'm not saying this is not the case at a small school, just that a CFI for a smaller school will usually have more freedom to train how they see fit. For an instructor with thousands of hours of experience this may be stifling, for newly minted instructors I feel it's a good idea. Keep in mind I'm not saying your individuality as an instructor is prohibited, just that what you teach is already blueprinted for you.

 

I've rambled long enough. Enjoy.

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"What do you call a factory school?"

 

The factory where they manufacture the aircraft is what I mean by factory school.

 

Its not nothing vs nothing, just "what do ya'll think" :) well... actually it is I have two particular schools in mind, I've visited the one and now I'm fixin to visit the other. I didn't name the schools because its not important, I'm not trying to start wars over this school sucks and this one rocks the big111, I'm just looking for differing viewpoints so that I can see the whole picture better.

 

Thanks again ya'll for your time I appreciate it, Jeff.

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