Best Local Spots to Fly To!

So you’ve finally earned your highly anticipated private pilot’s license and now you’re wondering, where should I fly to? Our head flight instructor, Rob Becker offers some insights on a few local favorite spots that won’t burn a hole in your pocket and can make for a fun day trip if you want to do some sightseeing, or just fly in and grab a bite to eat.

*The times below are based on flying a C-172 at approx. 110 knots.
Jekyll Island, Georgia (09J), about 1.5 hours
The southernmost island of the Golden Isles, Jekyll Island hosts a wide variety of family-friendly activities and attractions. This 5,700 acre island is beautiful to visit any time of year, but is particularly beautiful in the spring and fall. Jekyll Island offers an abundance of recreational activities for visitors of all ages including white sand beaches, golf, tennis, a water park, fishing pier, horseback riding, dolphin tours, biking trails, and sea turtle center,  just to name a few. There are also a variety of restaurants boasting local seafood and traditional southern fare.
Jekyll Island
Jekyll Island, Georgia
St. Augustine, Florida (KSGJ), 45 minutes
St. Augustine’s heritage makes the city a unique getaway for visitors. Founded in September 1565, St. Augustine is known for being the “Nation’s Oldest City.” When you visit St. Augustine, you dive into more than four centuries of history that owes much to the Spanish, English, Greeks, Native Americans, and African Americans. Stroll the narrow lanes, enter the many museums, visit landmarks such as Castillo de San Marcos, Ponce de Leon’s “Fountain of Youth,” and the Oldest Wooden Schoolhouse. St. Augustine is a favorite spot for history buffs and families alike.
St. Augustine
St. Augustine, Florida
Vero Beach, Florida (KVRB), 45 minutes
Vero Beach, located along Florida’s Atlantic coastline,  is a haven for golf, water sports and also fishing. With peaceful beaches, museums, nature tours and a range of hotels to choose from, Vero Beach is a terrific vacation destination and a part of the region known as Florida’s Treasure Coast. Vero Beach also offers a fine selection of shops – both downtown and in large shopping malls, and delectable cuisine for all budgets and palates. Also found in Vero Beach are art galleries and parks, some of which offer access to an intricate network of rivers and inlets.
Vero Beach
Vero Beach, Florida
Fernandina Beach is located in Nassau County on Amelia Island in Florida. Part of the Greater Jacksonville area, it is also the northernmost city on Florida’s Atlantic coast. Home of the popular Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival and is also known for great golf. Downtown Fernandina Beach offers shopping and a range of restaurants. Amelia Island has been a beloved destination for generations. There is 13 miles of beaches, abundant wildlife and clear, calm waters. Fernandina Beach and Amelia Island have consistently been ranked among Florida’s highest-rated destinations.
Fernandina Beach
Fernandina Beach, Florida
Venice, Florida (KVNC), less than an hour
Venice is located on the Gulf Coast of Florida. Best known for Venice Beach with an offshore coral reef, it is also filled with multi-use trails along the Intercostal Waterway, green spaces, and Monty Andrews Arboretum. Strolling along Caspersen Beach, you may even find some shark teeth. Venice offers 14 miles of beaches  and recreational opportunities, including swimming, sunbathing, shelling, golf, fishing and boating. 

Venice also is a Florida Main Street City – the downtown is graced by northern Italian architecture and beautifully landscaped boulevards dating back to the original city plans of 1925 and reminiscent of the Italian city of Venice.
Venice Beach
Venice Beach, Florida

If you are interested in learning to fly recreationally, please visit our initial pilot training page to see what course offerings we have, or call (407) 888-9011 to speak to our pilot training specialists who can help determine which program is right for you!

Frequently Asked Flight Training Questions

flight training questions

I recently had a chance to sit down with our director of flight training, Rob Becker, and we spoke about some of the most frequently asked questions students have about flight training in general. If you have a question you don’t see answered here, please contact us and we’d be happy to answer it for you!

Robin Frey:  Hi Rob, I have put together some flight training questions that are frequently asked by students. I’m hoping you can help me answer them.
Rob Becker:  Sure, I will try my best!

Robin Frey:  How quickly can a student obtain their private pilot license at AeroStar?
Rob Becker:  
The minimum flight hours by the FAA is 40 hours, but the industry average is between 55 and 60 hours. If you train 2 to 3 times a week you should finish in 3 to 4 months.

Robin Frey:  What usually happens during a typical flight lesson at AeroStar?
Rob Becker:  
You and the flight instructor will meet for about 15-20 minutes and discuss what training you are going to do during the lesson. Next, you will pre-flight the airplane and then fly and do the lesson. Lessons are generally broken up into 3 types of lessons: 1) Practice in the airport traffic pattern doing take offs and landings  2) Go to a designated practice that is close to the airport area where you will do flight maneuvers such as slow flight, stalls, steep turns, and emergency procedures 3) Cross country and night flights.

Robin Frey:  Will a student have just one flight instructor during training or multiple?
Rob Becker:  You will be assigned a primary instructor with who you will do most all your training. Occasionally, you may fly with another instructor because your primary instructor may be unavailable due to vacation or sickness. You also will fly once or twice with the Chief Flight Instructor prior to completing your training.

Robin Frey:  Do students need to complete a medical examination before they start flight training?
Rob Becker:  
You do not need to have a medical prior to starting your training but you must have it prior to your first solo flight.

Robin Frey:  Will the student need to obtain any kind of special insurance prior to their flight training?
Rob Becker:  
You do not need to have special insurance for training flights, but if you are renting the airplane to do time building you will be required to obtain additional insurance that we can assist you with getting.

Robin Frey:  What are the most important skills you need to be a successful pilot?
Rob Becker:  
There are no special skills that are required. Male or female, young or old, they have all learned how to fly. The most successful students are the ones that make training a priority and set aside ample time to study prior to and after any lessons taken.

Robin Frey:  How soon will a student actually fly the plane or solo?
Rob Becker:  
You will be handling the plane on your very first lesson. Your first solo will be when you have completed the first phase of training, which is usually around 20 flight hours of training.

Robin Frey:  Where will students fly on their cross-country flights?
Rob Becker:  
You must fly at least 50 nautical miles from your departure location. Common airports that you will fly to would be Ocala, Brooksville, and Crystal River.

Robin Frey:  Are students required to submit payment up front or is it pay as you go?
Rob Becker:  
We do not require money up front, it is pay as you go. You do need to have a credit card on file so that the flight cost can be charged to the card. If you do not have a credit card on file, you will need to keep a balance of $500 on your account that will allow you to have the funds available for your next couple of lessons.

Robin Frey:  How far in advance does a student need to schedule their flight lessons?
Rob Becker:  
If the airplane and instructor are available, the lesson can be reserved at any time, although this is not recommended because that would mean that you the student probably haven’t prepared probably for the lesson. It can be done occasionally, but it should not be the norm.

Robin Frey:  Okay and one last question, what would you say is the biggest advantage for students to choose to do their initial flight training with AeroStar?
Rob Becker:  When training at the Kissimmee Airport with AeroStar, you can start your practice area maneuvers within just a couple minutes because the practice area is so close. This will save you from having to pay an extra 10-15 minutes of flight time every time you have to go out to the practice area. Training at AeroStar allows you to train with professional instructors who have trained students for many years and have thousands of hours of experience, instead of a school where instructors are brand new to teaching and have zero to very small hour amounts of experience.

Robin Frey:  Great answers. Thank you so much for your time Rob, hopefully this has been very insightful for student pilots who are just starting out or shopping around for a flight school.
Rob Becker:  My pleasure!

Rob Becker, our Director of Flight Training has been flight instructing full-time since 2009. Rob holds an ATP, MEL, and SEL license. Rob’s instructor ratings include CFI, CFII, and MEI with Gold Seal. He also has his Ground Instructor and Advanced Instrument Ground Instructor Ratings. He has 4,500 total flight hours and has given over 4,000 hours of instruction. He has also given 1,000 hours of multi-engine instruction.

Rob enjoys taking students on Discovery Flights and introducing students to the world of aviation. Rob has been happily married to his wife Lyn for 29 years and together they have two adult children. Prior to working in aviation, Rob owned a construction company for 26 years. Email: rob@aerostarllc.com

By: Robin Frey, AeroStar Training Director of Marketing

flight training questions

Rob Becker

Ab Initio Training: Self-Sponsored and Airline Sponsored Options

Paula Williams: Just to get started, maybe you can tell us more about ab initio training. What does that even mean?

David Santo: Ab initio is a … I believe it’s a Latin word that stands for from the beginning. What we’re talking about here is how do we develop enough of future aviators, future pilots to meet the global demand. First, let’s talk for a second if I can about the global demand. The numbers that are being put out there by Boeing, they’ve been validated by Airbus industries, they’ve been validated by the US Accounting Office, they’ve appeared in front page news, periodicals like the Wall Street Journal and the USA Today. It talks about needing nearly a half a million new pilots in our industry over the next 20 years.
 Ab initio is an old concept but it’s a concept of we may have to start training pilots from zero time to get them qualified to be airline pilots because they’re not coming through the ranks organically, naturally fast enough on their own. Ab initio is a way to streamline the pipeline of people coming into the industry all the way into the front seats of the airliners.

Paula Williams: That makes perfect sense. In a sense that means taking people from their very first lesson. Maybe people who are … You’re looking for high school or community college graduates or anybody in particular? Are there any qualifications to start an ab initio?
I know it says from the beginning but there has to be something at the beginning, right?

David Santo: That really is dependent on the airline and the individual. You really have two types of ab initios. You have the self-sponsored ab initio. This is somebody who is looking to start maybe fresh out of high school or somewhere in the early stages of college. Honestly, nowadays it could be anywhere in their career. We have a lot of people that get into aviation late as a second or third career but they make the conscientious decision that they’re pursuing aviation as a job, as a career field. Really, they are ab initio students. It’s how quickly they dedicate themselves to accomplishing that task and some people will use schools like Cochise College, FIT, the 141 schools. They’ll go there to accelerate either their education or their time building to get done quicker so they can get into the job market.
The other type of ab initio is somebody who’s being sponsored by an airline. Lufthansa has done this for many, many years. Lufthansa hired nationals from Germany. They sent them over to Arizona and they sent them to flight school really with zero flight experience.
 Now there is an advantage to hiring somebody with zero flight experience for the airlines and that is that you screen them not on their skill, you screen them on their aptitude. You’re screening them on are they a good cultural fit to your organization and then you train them to be the airline pilot that you want them to be. There are some benefits there.
 United Airlines did this in the ‘60s. Due to the Vietnam War there just wasn’t enough pilots available and they had to recruit people. At that time, Paula Williams, they were using people with private pilot licenses as a prerequisite. It really depends on the airline whether it’s self-sponsored, whether it’s sponsored what that starting point is. The end game is still the same and that is creating a pipeline that is a clear beginning, a gateway, all the way through a career preparation and hopefully placement.

Paula Williams: That makes perfect sense. If I’m going into an ab initio program as a self-sponsored student just to get an idea of what I’m in for, what kind of time and money requirements are we looking at? I know we’re going to talk about this in more detail later but just to get a broad picture of what that would look like.

David Santo: Some of the programs that we’ve worked with can accomplish zero time all the way through the commercial multiengine instrument and a type rating within as little as 12 months. This is based on the student being full time, fully engaged in the ab initio course. If we go through that pipeline they would come into the program having been pre-screened. We’ve seen screening tools like COMPASS which are aptitude tests that help identify before you spend the money whether you have the right stuff, if you will, to make it through the program. Then they complete their private pilot license, they complete their instrument license, they complete their time building for their commercial, complete their commercial license, their multi-engine.
 Then they come to AeroStar for that finishing school, if you will. We do jet transition training. We do the high altitude, high speed aerodynamics and theory training. We can do CRM. We can do the new ATP CTP course which is a requirement for the ATP written. Ultimately, our final stage of training of the pipeline is completing the type rating or A320, B737 crew qualification training.

Flight School Pipeline Partnerships – what are the advantages?

Flight School Pipeline Partnerships – what are the advantages?

 

Paula Williams: Fantastic. Okay, so we know a little bit about the ab initio programs. There’s a question. What are the advantages to my flight school for partnering with AeroStar as opposed to just creating my own program?

David Santo: That’s a very good question and clearly, we believe in creating a symbiotic relationship. Hold on just one second here. Hold on.

Paula Williams: No problem. Yeah, I know that’s a question that comes up a lot and just to … Actually, we had another question come in that we’ll ask again later but it’s basically about not everyone can become an airline pilot, not everyone has the aptitude. I’d like to talk a little bit more about those screening program so I’ll put a note to talk about that more toward the end of the program. I think we can certainly …

David Santo: I think if I come back and I’m sorry for the interruption, the advantages, I think creating a symbiotic relationship means that you allow people to focus on their core competencies. AeroStar’s core competency is we are a 142 training organization. We employ airline pilots whether they’re active or retired to provide advanced Airbus, Boeing, large transfer category jet training.
We are just one small piece of the pipeline. The biggest piece of the pipeline is the 141 or part 61 school. What we are proposing to industry is a partnership that would allow us to work as one single pipeline, a symbiotic relationship so that the student gets the feel of a one-stop shop. It gets them all the way through their general aviation training and delivers them into type rating school and out to industry.
The other piece I think that’s important right now, Paula, is the new ATP/CTP course. The new ATP/CTP regulations here in the US make it difficult for 141 and 61 schools to offer students the ATP and the ATP written examination leading up to the ATP.
Partnering with a 142 school like AeroStar gives you an outlet to accomplish the ATP. Now that course now requires that students or candidates for the ATP written have to have 30 hours of ground school instruction taught by somebody with at least two years of PIC … I shouldn’t say PIC, it could be SIC as well, but 121 experience and they have to receive at least 10 hours of advanced flight training, simulation training of which four hours can be done in an FTD, six hours have to be in a full motion, full flight simulator.
Those have to be provided in an aircraft that weigh more than 40,000 pounds gross takeoff weight. Those are not easily accessed resources and we provide those resources for you through the 142 pipeline.

Paula Williams: Most of the 141 and 61 schools don’t just have one of those sitting on the ramp.

David Santo: No, the level C, level D devices that are required by the new regulation, those are $10 million plus pieces of equipment and the individuals to teach those courses are also tough to come by. We have Flight School Pipeline Partnerships. We have those resources ready to go. It’s turnkey. We’re available to work with 141 and 61 schools as an outlet for your ATP/CTP or your type rating programs. That gives you the benefit of adding these courses without adding the cost.
You can add the course to your curriculum, you can advertise it, you can market it and really, it’s just an affiliate relationship and we create a symbiotic pipeline.

Paula Williams: Right, and then there are also marketing advantages to working together, one of my favorite subjects, and those would be basically you linking and maybe creating some joint materials where you’re splitting the cost or doing some other things that can be more effective and less expensive for both parties.

David Santo: We totally love that, Paula, and that’s one of the things we’d like about with ABCI. If I can make a plug for you guys, is developing synergies where people focus on their core competencies really allows you to excel. You can’t be everything to everybody, you got to specialize if you’re going to be good and we want to be specialist so that we can be the best at what we do.
We want to work with other schools that are the best of what they do so together we can provide a wow experience for the customer. That’s what it’s all about, right? It’s not about generating revenue in the front door, it’s about generating qualified trained professional pilots who are wowed by the experience and who wow their employer and their employer then says, “Where did you learn how to fly,” and they come back and they say, “Well, we learned how to fly at Sun State Aviation” or we learned how to fly at IFT or Cochise or any of these awesome schools that we’ve had the privilege of working with in the past.

 

Ab-Initio Customers – YES You Can Do It!

Enjoyed a great week teaching an initial A320 type rating course for five fellow aviators. I always take special pride in working with ab-initio customers and this class had two such candidates fresh from commercial pilot training, one customer who is from Egypt and the other is from Madagascar. Both are awesome hard-working guys dedicated to advancing their careers.

Obtaining a type rating is hard work. There is a ton of new information to learn and memorize. People have correctly described  these courses as trying to take a sip out of a fire house. I like to say it’s like eating an elephant, it may be to big to eat all at once but very manageable if broken down into small bites.

Having never gone through this type of training before, ab-inititio customers especially need help and guidance knowing how to study. They need someone to show them how to break the elephant down into bites.

My two customers expressed their concerns many times this past week, will they be able to do it? My answer is yes! Although it’s a daunting task we should all take comfort in knowing that thousands of pilots have done it successfully and you can too!

Ab Initio Training: Self-Sponsored and Airline Sponsored Options

 

Paula Williams: Just to get started, maybe you can tell us more about ab initio training. What does that even mean?

David Santo: Ab initio is a … I believe it’s a Latin word that stands for from the beginning. What we’re talking about here is how do we develop enough of future aviators, future pilots to meet the global demand. First, let’s talk for a second if I can about the global demand. The numbers that are being put out there by Boeing, they’ve been validated by Airbus industries, they’ve been validated by the US Accounting Office, they’ve appeared in front page news, periodicals like the Wall Street Journal and the USA Today. It talks about needing nearly a half a million new pilots in our industry over the next 20 years.
Ab initio is an old concept but it’s a concept of we may have to start training pilots from zero time to get them qualified to be airline pilots because they’re not coming through the ranks organically, naturally fast enough on their own. Ab initio is a way to streamline the pipeline of people coming into the industry all the way into the front seats of the airliners.

Paula Williams: That makes perfect sense. In a sense that means taking people from their very first lesson. Maybe people who are … You’re looking for high school or community college graduates or anybody in particular? Are there any qualifications to start an ab initio?
I know it says from the beginning but there has to be something at the beginning, right?

David Santo: That really is dependent on the airline and the individual. You really have two types of ab initios. You have the self-sponsored ab initio. This is somebody who is looking to start maybe fresh out of high school or somewhere in the early stages of college. Honestly, nowadays it could be anywhere in their career. We have a lot of people that get into aviation late as a second or third career but they make the conscientious decision that they’re pursuing aviation as a job, as a career field. Really, they are ab initio students. It’s how quickly they dedicate themselves to accomplishing that task and some people will use schools like Cochise College, FIT, the 141 schools. They’ll go there to accelerate either their education or their time building to get done quicker so they can get into the job market.
The other type of ab initio is somebody who’s being sponsored by an airline. Lufthansa has done this for many, many years. Lufthansa hired nationals from Germany. They sent them over to Arizona and they sent them to flight school really with zero flight experience.
Now there is an advantage to hiring somebody with zero flight experience for the airlines and that is that you screen them not on their skill, you screen them on their aptitude. You’re screening them on are they a good cultural fit to your organization and then you train them to be the airline pilot that you want them to be. There are some benefits there.
United Airlines did this in the ‘60s. Due to the Vietnam War there just wasn’t enough pilots available and they had to recruit people. At that time, Paula Williams, they were using people with private pilot licenses as a prerequisite. It really depends on the airline whether it’s self-sponsored, whether it’s sponsored what that starting point is. The end game is still the same and that is creating a pipeline that is a clear beginning, a gateway, all the way through a career preparation and hopefully placement.

Paula Williams: That makes perfect sense. If I’m going into an ab initio program as a self-sponsored student just to get an idea of what I’m in for, what kind of time and money requirements are we looking at? I know we’re going to talk about this in more detail later but just to get a broad picture of what that would look like.

David Santo: Some of the programs that we’ve worked with can accomplish zero time all the way through the commercial multiengine instrument and a type rating within as little as 12 months. This is based on the student being full time, fully engaged in the ab initio course. If we go through that pipeline they would come into the program having been pre-screened. We’ve seen screening tools like COMPASS which are aptitude tests that help identify before you spend the money whether you have the right stuff, if you will, to make it through the program. Then they complete their private pilot license, they complete their instrument license, they complete their time building for their commercial, complete their commercial license, their multiengine.
Then they come to AeroStar for that finishing school, if you will. We do jet transition training. We do the high altitude, high speed aerodynamics and theory training. We can do CRM. We can do the new ATP/CTP course which is a requirement for the ATP written. Ultimately, our final stage of training of the pipeline is completing the type rating or A320, B737 crew qualification training.

 

Want to see the whole recording & transcript?

How do International Students qualify for training?

Female airline pilots – Is it a good career choice for a woman?


Paula Williams:  Is it a good career choice for a women to be an airline pilot?

female pilotCaptain David Santo: Yes. Absolutely. I don’t think there’s any difference between the career opportunities for men and women. Specifically, Paula I’ll tell you why: Because the airlines do things by seniority, by date-of-hire seniority. That takes all of the bias out of it. If a men and a women are hired at the same date, they’re going to upgrade with the same opportunities. They’re going to have everything the same right on down the line.  I think women are very successful pilots. I’ve flown with many of them. I think they’re very level headed. I enjoy the opportunity to work with them because they finesse the airplane a little bit differently then I think guys do. As far as the career opportunity, absolutely this is a career where once you get into an airline there really is not going to be a difference.

Paula Williams: Great. Have there been women go through Aero Star program and be successful with that?

Captain David Santo: We have had a number of women go through Aero Star. We’ve had students as young as twenty go through a type rate program. We’ve had a women that was near her sixties go through a type rate program. We’ve seen the success rate really is equal with the guys that have come through. We had a young lady came through our type rate program. I’ve asked her if I could use her name. She said I could. Her name is Julie Meade. She was a Comair pilot. Comair went out of business. She took an opportunity to use work improvement act money from the State of Kentucky and came through. Did a type rating with us, and she has complete the phase one with a major airline to fly the A 320. Is waiting to hear on the phase two interview. We’re expecting to see her hired very quickly, flying an A 320 within the next few months.

“How do International students qualify for training?”  And a bonus question- “In what year will you be making roughly $100,000 a year if you start training today?”


Paula Williams: How do international students qualify for for training at Aero Star?

international studentsCaptain David Santo: Well, Aero Star’s been a great organization for me because it allows me to share my passion for this industry. I have a real passion for teaching. That’s what got me interested in starting the school. I’m very proud of the fact that I’m directly hands on and involved if a lot of the training on the Airbus side. I certainly am involved in trying to help support the training that goes on on the Boeing side. 
 I think for international students one of the challenges of course is they still have to know how the fly the airplane. Everything’s going to be the same. The second language, English and technical English, I think presents a little more of a challenge for them. You need to have that English proficiency down because you don’t want to be thinking about translating words while you trying to fly the airplane. 
 As far as getting qualified to come into the United States, there’s all kinds of resources available. Faa.gov you can go on that site and find out everything you need to know about converting your licenses, or you can simply call. Elizabeth and myself we provide a lot of career mentoring to individuals that may never come to us for type rating, but we still take a lot of pride, and we help them find a direction. Foreign students absolutely this is a greatest place to train in my opinion. It’s English immersion. All the controllers speak English, wide open air spaces, low cost of renting aircraft relatively speaking. I still think it’s outrageous, but compared to industry or globally it’s still low cost. I think the U.S. Is a great place to train, and I think Aero Star really is a great place to go to finishing school, to grad school if you will, and add your type rating before you go home and seek out that airline job.

Paula Williams: Right. Let me back up. Let’s separate this out and say international students for ab initio training. I know you were talking about international students for finishing school, or your graduate degree or your type rating. Do you want to back up and take a little bit about some of the opportunities for ab initio training? Is it a good choice to come to the U.S. For your complete flight education or should people start where they are and then come here for their type rating?

Captain David Santo: It’s going to depend on the individual, but I’m a little bias. I’m going to say I think the U.S. Offers the best training opportunities for ab initio. I believe that’s a Latin root word that says “from the beginning”. If you’re zero time and you want to go from zero time to completing a commercial multi-engine instrument and an aircraft type rating, there are some tremendous schools here in the U.S. That are positioned not only to help you with that, to provide you with room and board, to provide you with all the testing services and the English immersion that I think is so critical to your success. 
 If I could, I’ll names a couple schools that we’ve worked with. We’ve worked with Florida Institute of Technology, FIT, in Melbourne, Florida. We’ve worked with Cochise College in Douglas, Arizona. Here’s a school it’s in the middle of the desert in Arizona. There’s no distractions. The runway is right next to the dormitories, so you literally walk from your dorms, to your cafeteria, to your classrooms, to the flight line. You go fly your training sessions, and walk back to your dorm. I think that’s an ideal situation for learning how to fly and really doing it in minimal time, with minimal distractions, to get you out there and get that seniority number as quick as possible.

Paula Williams: Right. That’s fantastic. I know in Arizona they have 364 perfect days a year. They have no weathered out days.

John Williams: Dave, I’ve got a lot of questions coming in. One of them I just now got to and realize it should have been asked a slide or two back. If a person starts, in what’s left of 2014, goes through all the appropriate stuff, and given everything works right. The question is in what year would you be making roughly a 100,000.00 a year?

Captain David Santo: That’s a great question, John. I think it’s really going to depend on the region of the country and the level of dedication to do what it takes to get that job. Let’s say that flight school, if you commit yourself full time to going to an ab initio fight school, like the one we mentioned at Cochise College, you’re going to be done with your commercial multi-engine instrument type rating in under twelve months. Now you’re going to want to try to go offshore. If you’re looking for Airbus, Boeing experience if you take a two or three year contract offshore, you’re not going to make bad money by the way doing that. You’ll be back here probably four years down stream. You’ll be ready to enter a legacy or airline that’s flying Airbus’s or Boeing equipment. The entry level pay don’t quote my on this I think it’s somewhere around the 60,000.00 mark depending on what airline you go to. By your third year in the airline depending on you’re work habits, your at a six-figure income.

What are the academic requirements for airline pilots?

“What are the academic requirements for airline pilots?” “Do I have to have perfect grades in science and math?”

We ask Captain David Santo.

Paula Williams: What are the academic qualifications that are required for any of your programs or any programs that you know of?

academic requirements for airline pilotsCaptain David Santo:  It’s not that challenging academically.  I know that people like to promote aviation as being a very tough career field.  It’s not.  You do have to be able to memorize.  You do have to be able to study and apply yourself.  You do need to be able to understand situationally the things that are going on around you.  Academic qualifications really almost anybody could be trained to fly, and I think if you’re of average intelligence and average academics, you’re going to successful if you apply yourself.

Paula Williams:  You don’t have to be a straight A student or be really fantastic at science or math or any of the things they told me with I was a kid?

Captain David Santo:  When I was growing up, Paula, they told me that I had be really good at math in school.  Now I think of the absurdity of we’re not really doing algebraic equations while we’re shooting an approach at 200 miles an hour.  If you can ad subtract, multiply, and divide, you’re probably fine on the math, and the science is not much different.

Paula Williams:  Right.  Okay.  That’s a relief to a lot of people an the line, myself included.

Happy Halloween! Are You Afraid to Pursue your Aviation Career Dreams?

dreaming of an aviation career
Dreaming of an aviation career? Afraid to take the next step? Come to our free webinar and get your questions answered.

Are you afraid to pursue your aviation career dreams?

It’s interesting how sometimes what we want most and what we’re afraid of is sometimes the same thing.

In the U.S. and other parts of the world, Halloween is a time of year when kids dress up in scary costumes and go door-to-door. Neighbors hand out candy.

Sometimes kids dress up as what they want to be when they grow up. We see little cowboys, astronauts, famous athletes, or even airline pilots.

When I was a kid and I told people I wanted to be a pilot, well-meaning people (like aunts, uncles, and teachers) would say things like:

  • “You’re going to have to be very good at math. Pilots need to know a lot of math.”
  • “You know, they don’t make very much money anymore, and their schedules are crazy.”
  • “It’s very hard to get a job as a pilot in this economy.”

 

I could have let these things scare me, but when I thought about it, I realized that my aunts and uncles and teachers wanted the best for me, but they really didn’t know that much about being a pilot, because they’d never done it.

The best thing to do, I realized, was to ask people who were actually working at the job I wanted. They could tell me more about what it’s REALLY like.

Here’s your chance to ask your questions of a working airline captain:

David Santo has worked in private aviation and is now a Captain for a major U.S. airline. We will ask him first-hand the questions you want to ask:

  • Do you have to have perfect grades in school?
  • What is the salary and schedule really like?
  • How hard is it to get a job? And what can I do to maximize my chances?
  • And many others.

The online webinar is free, but we do have a limited number of seats, so click here to register today!

Have a question for Captain Dave?   Reply to this email! We’ll ask Captain Dave as many as we can during the session.

 

DON'T BE AFRAID

Coming to America . . .Helping Foreign Flight Students Navigate Entry into the United States

By Kim Jones

Foreign Flight StudentsTraveling to a new country can be daunting. Foreign flight students travel from their country to the United States, and  will experience some culture shock and might even feel a bit homesick. It’s an advantage to stay with someone who strives to make things easier and feel welcome by providing the caring support and services you need. The same holds true when choosing your flight training organization.

Good judgment when it comes to training means you pick the best value not the lowest price. You cannot rely on the price of your training alone. You need to look at your school of your choice to see what is provided in their total package. Look for a school that takes great pride in being a full-service flight school. A school that considers not only the training event, but the student’s total training experience. A school that will help you navigate through the many checkpoints of entry into the United States.

At AeroStar we welcome customers from all over the globe. Our typical student is an aviation student who desires to become a pilot flying large jet aircraft. The AeroStar distinction is that we know what is required when it comes to visa and immigration issues to achieve this dream by attending training in the United States. AeroStar recognizes that these requirements to enter the United States are extensive and time consuming to you. We are there when you need that extra lift.

To ensure that international students are well equipped, AeroStar puts in the extra effort in assisting you through this demanding task and aids you in expediting processing. We have done this in part by generating an informational “flight plan.” This flight plan is specifically for foreign students attending AeroStar to successfully navigate the required course for entry into the United States for training at the AeroStar training center. This “flight plan” was developed by the experiences and suggestions of students who have attended AeroStar before you and now are flying jet aircraft for airlines around the world.

The flight plan has several “checkpoints” that each student must complete to begin their training at AeroStar. These checkpoints are required by the United States government to ensure that the student is properly vetted and meets the requirements set forth by United States laws and regulations. These checkpoints are cumbersome and confusing if you do not choose a training school that has the first hand experience and is highly qualified in dealing with the different government departments of the United States. It is so important to select a school that is committed to helping you complete these requirements in a timely and acceptable manner to prevent being denied entry in the United States.

Some of these checkpoints are items such as being processed to receive an I-20 document to begin the visa application process. AeroStar is one of the few advance aircraft training organizations approved to provide you with this document. Another checkpoint is the process of receiving approval through the Alien Flight Student Program administered by the Transportation Security Administration. Other checkpoints deal with how to properly contact and schedule an interview at an US embassy or consulate in your home country. Several more checkpoints deal directly with entering the US and what to expect in this process. Finally, what to do when you have arrived in the United States to begin your jet training. In addition, throughout the “flight plan” AeroStar will provide you with more detailed information as necessary and be there to answer the hard questions that arise by working closely with all the Federal agencies involved to ensure that your interests are represented.

This flight plan is one of the many ways AeroStar is there for you along the journey to your aviation career. Just remember the team members here at AeroStar take great pride in providing you the best training experience in the world and the benchmark for which you will measure all of your future training events in your aviation career. The training you will receive from AeroStar will lay a foundation for building a successful career.

We look forward to helping your aviation dreams become a reality!