Flight Schools (ERAU, Comair)

mcc31

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I am working on my initial training in San Diego, but I'm planning on moving to Florida and comtinuing my training to get all my ratings there. I was planning on going to Embry Riddle, but heard that it was overpriced and not worth it. I heard that Comair in Orlando was a good school also, but cheaper. I was just wondering if ERAU was worth the money or not. Are there any other schools in FLA that are well priced where I can get all my ratings?
 

cvsfly

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ERAU is an accredited university where you you can many types of degrees that happen to have aviation applications. It is expensive, but what high technology college isn't. You can get your flight training done cheaper with probably the same quality elsewhere, but when you put the whole experience together I think it is worth it (or any other of the well known college-flight schools). Comair makes promises they can't keep. Guarrenteed employment?
 

Timebuilder

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University of North Dakota produces a lot of NASA people. Perdue and the University of Minnesota also have good reps. Florida has a great many instructors right now.

However, if you are starting as a freshman, my guess is that aviation will be back on track before you graduate, and probably soon enough for you to have students to instruct as your instructors get flying jobs. If you have the money, ERAU is indeed a fine school. I may do a distant learning degree with them.

After you decide, come back and post your experiences and decision making process.
 

FlyinBrian

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There is enough material on this board about this subject to fill a small ocean. Do a search, and I think you'll find more opinons than you could ever want.
 

ShawnC

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I am currently at ERAU, overall it has a good atmosphere, but take my advice, don't do the flight program, save some money and do it off campus. Take a course of study at ERAU that intrests you (I know someone that wants to be an Professional Pilot, but is taking the ATC degree), personally I am taking Computer Science.

There are many acadamies here in Florida, and with the exception of ATA (nothing personal just what I heard) almost all of them have good reputations. Do what you think would be best for you.

Also PM me if you want more indepth ERAU information.
 

The Regulator

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ERAU is a great school. It gave me many opportunites that most other schools wouldn't have. It allowed me to intern at Continental Airlines and complete DC-9 training during a summer between years of school, get hired at Continental Express at 21 years old and hired at NWA at 25 years old. Every time I went to an aviation interview they always liked that fact that I went to ERAU. I would go there above anywhere else.
 

ACE

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I went to ERAU and I'm now a Comair Captain. I think Riddle is good, but I do suggest Comair if you want to save money. Comair does hire a lot of their grads.
 

kc10/c130

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The Regulator is absolutely right...and so is everyone else on this. I graduated in '92 and it was a great school and overpriced. It is all about what you are looking for. FIT, Florida Institute of Technology, and several other schools in Florida allow you to get your ratings much quicker and then instruct while going to school for free.
My two cents is take a week and go down there to check out all the schools and who will offer you the best package for you. The regulator is obviously a go-getter, meant as a compliment, and the exception rather than the rule. I did find ERAU always had many options readily available to help you in whatever way you wanted to go. I happened on ROTC and it worked for the career path I wanted. Find your niche in whatever school and go with it. After 10+ years I think it was a good choice but 100K+ for four years and all ratings is a little excessive to me. Luckily the governmment picked up half and with loans I only have to pay until the year 2275 to pay it off, J/K.
Good luck and look at the long term in your decisions-
 

The Regulator

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What helped me save money was that fact that I did most all of my flight training out side of Riddle and I just went there for the Aeronautical Science degree. Not doing the flying at Riddle probably saved me about $10,000 The Aero Science classes were great and help me out even now when I go through a ground school on a new aircraft. I am sure all of the other schools are great too, but from my personal experience, I would say Riddle (especially the Prescott campus) is great.
 

bobbysamd

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ERAU

I was an ERAU-Prescott flight instructor in the late '80s-early '90s. I always was impressed by the education my students received on campus. I especially liked how they had courses in systems. Knowing and understanding systems is extremely important as you climb the ladder and fly increasingly complex equipment. Airline ground schools don't give you much time to learn the flood of material they present, and much of that material centers on systems. So, you'll be ahead of the game if you understand systems going in.

I always thought we offered a better training opportunity on the Prescott campus than Daytona. A greater variety of weather conditions in which to fly and fewer distractions. Also, a smaller program. I visited Daytona not long after I left Prescott in 1991.

Riddle does have great name recognition. That can be taken many ways. Also, it used to be that there were too many students and not enough airplanes. Maybe, hopefully, that's changed in eleven years.

I've kept track of the people on the flight line, and some of the high-quality people I met while I was there are still there.

Hope this helps a little. Good luck with your decision.

PS-If you're considering Comair, you might also look into FlightSafety in Vero Beach for a well-known commercial flight school.
 
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alimaui

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I will add that Florida Tech is located in Melbourne, FLorida. It also has a very well established flight program. It, like ERAU is part of a degree program, but is slightly less than ERAU with more scholarship opprotunities if your grades are good enough.

I also suggest doing a search. Many threads cover tons of places. And you will find more information that way than just reading this one thread.


Ali

P.S. When you do narrow your choice down to a couple of schools, I am sure that the people here on the board (including myself) that have attended those schools will be happy to give you specifics. :)
 

generaltso

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I would say that learning to fly is roughly 60% about the attitude of the student, 30% about the CFI and 10% where you learn to fly.

I really don't think it matters. Yes you get nice planes at ERAU, but that goes toward the 10%. Still need to have a CFI and student with the right attitude.

I went to ERAU but didn't do the training on campus... there are benefits to doing the training off campus. It is definitely a more real world experience off campus. You have to make your own go/no go decision, whereas at Riddle it is made for you. Also things break off campus a lot more, as they do in the real world.

Some people that come out of ERAU take for granted the planes they flew and the fact that most of their decisions were made for them. When they go to get a CFI job somewhere other then Riddle they are shocked that they have to fly 1980 C172 with winds more than 10 knots across the runway.
 

list2002

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I have no experience with Embry-Riddle or Comair, but I work at ATP and have had a few Embry -Riddle students getting add-on ratings with us. i guess after the initial certifications, price does become somewhat of an issue and some opt to get the rest of the flying portion done elsewhere.
I would say that learning to fly is roughly 60% about the attitude of the student, 30% about the CFI and 10% where you learn to fly.
I agree with this statement. It's really what you're willing to put into the program you choose.
 

alimaui

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Something else I will add....

When deciding to go to a flight school vs a college or university a college or university will have better networking opprotunities. This industry being as small as it is, this factor is very important. Most universities/colleges have some sort of Alumni contact program. Some are more developed than others.

There are many things found at a college that just cannot be reproduced at "Joe's Flying School".

Ali
 

Dan CFI/CFII

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Of course, on the flip side of the coin, a flying college can't offer everything "Joe's Flying SChool" can...

In a college town, there will be dozens upon dozens of young pilot willing to whore themselves out for the allmighty hour. I know when I had a twin (not for too long, but I had one), I absolutelly avoided airports with the multitudes of people trying to leech their way into flying with me. I took a lot of people I knew flying, but not if they were begging to go fly the 310...

That doesn't happen as much at "Joe's Flight School." The FBO I work at now, probably handles a dozen or so transient cross country airplanes a day (High Performance Singles, Twins, Jet -A burning stuff). There are not the usual bevy of young pilots trying to sidle up to the pilot of the exotic King Air with the "So, you got a King Air 90, huh" routine.

It's all a matter of opinion. I felt screwed by the college town, due to the overabundance of extremely young hour mongers, but here in a relatively large metropolitan area, even with an awful lot of CFIs on staff, I'm having a MUCH better time (I singed three people up for lessons this morning...:) )

So I'd say there are better opportunities here to meet people (which I tend to do anyway, I"m just a friendly kinda guy). Even if we rarely get jet operators (althought that is changing, our resteraunt is getting tres popular), we get lots of 421s, King Airs...

Dan
 

EMcx2

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Avoid COMAIR at all costs. Making promises they do not keep is just one of the problems. Of course, they do not actually make promises, but those sales people sure make it sound as if a job flying a RJ is a slam-dunk. The reality is far different. If you are interested, go tour the school. Then talk to students and instructors one on one. Ask them what percentage of their indoc class has survived. Ask them about how much students go over the already expensive price quotes. Ask the students how they feel about paying $46 an hour for an instructor who had never flown a year ago. Ask an instructor how they feel about getting $10 an hour out of that $46.

I went there with my ASEL/AMEL because the admissions people said there was still a great chance of being hired as a CFI after finishing the program. Of the four guys in my indoc class who were there to do the CFI program, all four quit within 1 month. We all came to the same conclusion, that the chances of getting a job were slim so paying $17,000 to get CFI/CFII ratings just didn't make since.
 

Crabtree

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Flight School

I can honestly say that I looked at schools for a very long time before making my choice. I just about exhausted every route to try ti figure out which is the best school to go to (for me). I finally ended up at PanAM. I am very happy with the training I am getting here, but I am at the Phoenix PanAM not the Fl one. From what I have been told there is a difference. If you have any questions just send a PM.
 

Hovernut

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In defense of Comair:

An earlier post said CAA promised you a job. No, they don't and never had. They promise you an INTERVIEW with the airline upon successful completion of your teaching there.

The most recent poster is correct in the contract rates for students and instructors, which is KNOWN before signing-up! Believe me, I'm not in complete agreement with the rates, but I went in with my eyes open (and cheaper rates a couple years ago!) You're foolish if you go to ANY school and believe you're going to pay the advertised rate. Always plan for more. I did all my CAA training with just a 12% overage, of which I planned for and was pleasantly surprised. There are people who go waaay over, but flying in a fast-paced program is quite demanding.

Comair worked for me as advertised! Already having my PPL, I made it through in good time, got the CFI position, taught ground school, then flight instructed my way to the airline interview. I'm overjoyed to announce that I got my letter of acceptance to Comair Airlines just earlier this week!! That was at 1020/220, and I was a "high-timer" with the multi!

Was it a challenging program? Yes. Did I have to work hard? Yes! Did I have to put up with my fair share of BS? You bet; but you'll do that anywhere you train! Believe me, I've heard plenty of dirt at other prominent schools. Were the CFIs professional? Without a doubt, all the CFIs I had while going through the program ALWAYS had my best interest in mind. There was no "milking" going on in my airplane. Were my CFIs seasoned professionals? Well, most of them were 1-month to 1-year CFIs that knew a WHOLE lot more than me at that time in my training...I knew that going in...it's a pipeline as advertised. How am I as a "newbie" CFI? Eighty percent FAA pass rate, former CFI of the month, teaching advanced systems to senior CFIs, sought-after by students....all because my mentors instilled that work ethic in me and because of my background and self-study while in the program.

You'll have good people and you'll have screw-offs wherever you go. It's your job as a professional student to seek out the professionals and fire the others. Oust them if you can, they have no business molding new pilots.

How many became CFIs out of my indoc? A surprisingly smaller percentage that what I thought might be. But it was personal/financial decisions that drove them to leave. Those that really wanted it and held fast to their dream are teaching and are darned good instructors as a result!

I'm going to the airline; it worked. If you want more details, PM or email me.

Regards,
John, Longwood, FL
 
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