Comair for CFI?

jdog78

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I'm at a fork in the road and not sure what to do. I'm looking to get my CFI, CFII, and MEI and subsequently some gainful employment. I've inquired at numerous schools, including Comair Academy, ATA, ATP, and various Cessna Pilot Centers. It seems that for $18K at Comair, you get your ratings, an instructing job is virtually guaranteed, and a interview with Comair is guaranteed. It sounds like a no-brainer, but not sure that i trust marketing bull enough to fork over that much cash.
I'm could my ratings cheap at a place like ATP and looki for an instructor position anywhere or freelance. So all you guys out there with ten bazillion collective hours of experience help me make a good decision!

-j
 

bobbysamd

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CFI at FSI

Why not, as long as you're spending the money?

You graduated there, you know the contacts (a couple of whom I worked with and who are still there), you know the stan, and you know the territory. They know you. You'll primarily be doing everything you know already from the right seat. It seems like the path of least resistance.

I realize from your comments on the other thread that the pool is deep, but as a school grad you'll still have an advantage. Go to Comair, and you'll have to learn new equipment and new procedures. Also, you'll have to make new contacts and you'll be from the (reverb and echo, please) "outside." You can always market your FSI CFI anywhere when you're finished.

Just my (somewhat informed) thoughts about the place. Good luck with your decision.
 

rightrudder

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I dunno, 18 K is a helluvalotta cash to fork over for the 3 cfi ratings. Spend 5 K elsewhere, and then you've got 13 K to buy yourself a lotta multi time if you can't get it instructing.

I bet if you call some smaller schools, you can find one that will employ you if you do all your rating with them.

When I was looking for my initial regiaonal job, they didn't care whether you instructed at a no name fbo or fsi, riddle, comair or whatever. Where you came from was not the issue, what you have done is.

RR
 

Timebuilder

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jdog, have you asked Karen what the starting pay is for CFI? I know it's higher now, but when I first stopped by there to visit back in 2000, it was $7.25.

Just curious.

Bobby is right. Why not fly where you are already comfortable? Don't bank on getting hired at the airline, although you will have an intro for the interview. Instead, bank on the fact that you will have had some great experience, and will also have become a saleable commodity as a professional aviator. THAT's the value.
 

jdog78

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pay for CFIs at FSI is $14 an hour for brief and flight time, according to the latest info i've seen.
You guys make some very good points. I would love to stay at FSI, but the numbers are not encouraging. There are apparently 53 in the pool as of noon today. Since they have stopped stan classes, there are probably 20 from the last ground school, and i'm signed up for the next class of 15 . So there are possibly 70 people ahead of me in line. Who knows how long it could take to get a position. And vero isn't exaclty crawling with other jobs, flying or not.
Comair is attractive to me not necessarily for the airline connection, but because they're hiring instructors and i can be building time and experience there instead of floundering in vero waiting for my number to come up.
Here's something i'm wondering...would it be a bad idea to get my ratings on the cheap and hope for the best? I've heard, as rightrudder suggested, that most places don't care where you get your instructor ratings. Besides, i lucked out with a thorough and conscientious instructor who set a good example for me at FSI...i think if i follow his lead, i can be a kickass instructor.
Thanks for your input and keep it coming!
 

bobbysamd

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"Cheap" ratings

I like your attitude. You indeed lucked out. Aviation needs kickass instructors and not right-seat-warmers.

I thought I heard that pay improved at FSI. Still $7/hr. for company time?

You certainly can get your CFI cheaper and start looking. What I was driving at is apart from standardization and knowing the turf, you get to take a number at FSI and stand in line. In the meantime, I don't see where you have to feel tied to Zero Beach. Finish, go home, and start selling yourself, even to Comair or Riddle. If something comes up that you like, take it, and if it works out, great. Just keep the iron in the fire at FSI, and if they call and you're still interested, consider it.

I agree with Timebuilder 100%. One of the biggest sophistries around in flight training sales is the promise, assurance or guarantee of "the interview." Look at the ads sometime. They blare out in big banner type, "AIRLINE INTERVIEW GUARANTEED," with extremely fine print following, "to top qualified graduates, based on need." Plenty of loopholes there. Take it from me, get your job, work hard and be patient, start sending the commuters resumes when you're in range of their mins, update, and you'll get interviews.
 

Joseph II

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$18K is a lot of cash! Go to American Flyer's CFI academy down in Addision (Dallas), TX (www.americanflyers.net). That will get you your CFI/II and you'll have to pick up your MEI somewhere else, but like the other poster said, spend $5k on the certificates, and save the $13 for multi time, or living expenses.

Just because the CFI hiring is down now doesn't meen it will be down in 6 months. I wouldn't spend a lot extra just to have an "in" although you may not be flying for a few months. I'm in that situation right now but have decided to cool my jets and fly the desk until the economy comes back online.

Good luck!
 

jdog78

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just an update...i went to orlando yesterday to investigate some flight schools. Comair was impressive. Seems like a great program but i can't help but feel that i would be buying a job. It would cost at least 20 grand. While a instructing job is virtually guaranteed and a interview with comair is guaranteed, I'm not convinced that it's worth 20 grand. The marketing guys sure can spin quite a convincing argument, and dazzle me with glossy brochures, but i would listen to the advice of real pilots over them.
I visited ATA, and while i was not totally impressed with their facilities or aircraft, they didn't feed me a line and said that my chances for getting hired as an instructor after completing the program are very good. No guarantees, no glossy ads. CFI instruction is done one-on-one, ground school and all. And the program is much cheaper than comair....approx 7.5 grand.
I also visited a cessna pilot center called Air Orlando. Awesome pilot shop, nice people. Aircraft are so-so. The program looks good and may cost around 9 grand. Unfortunately, i was not able to talk to the instructor who teaches CFI.
So if anyone has information on these schools or other suggestions to make (assuming this thread does not completely vanish to the bottom of the pile), i am open to anything and everything.

thanks!
-j
 

bobbysamd

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Sounds like you're on the right track. Don't believe everything you hear, especially from these "career consultants." Most of them are just glorified sales people who are out solely to score the $20K. Don't forget, it's impossible to guarantee a job.

I indeed realize that FSI is no better than the others about spinning up incredible sales pitches. At least you know the turf there.

Once again, good luck with your choice.
 
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EMcx2

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Do not believe for an instance that a CFI job is assured if you earn your ratings at Comair. They are only hiring 6 CFI's a month and there is 15 - 20 guys competing for those slots.

I'm a student at Comair and heard the same BS from the admissions people. You will get an exellent education but you may or may not get a job. If you are already at FSI I would stay put.
 

jumprunz

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Hey

I did not go to comair's academy but i do fly for the airline and know a little about the academy. my advice is to run! run the heck out of there. that job that they promise is hooey. i think that they require a min # of academy grads to interview. only interview, that dosen't mean they are promised a job. they pay their instructors much less than other places. $8.00 /hr is the rate and you can go across the street and make $20.00/hr. i am no board certified career planner and this is just my 2 cents. good luck in anything you decide. Ryan
 
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