FAA Approves Part 142 Training Center to Provide Innovative ATP-CTP Programs

Orlando, FL — AeroStar Training Services, LLC is one of the first Part 142 flight training centers to receive Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) approval on an in-house Airline Transport Pilot certification training program (ATP-CTP).

ATP CTP Certification - atp-ctp at Aerostar

The ATP-CTP became a requirement on Aug. 1, 2014 for new pilots wanting to attain their ATP certification, which qualifies them to fly commercial aircraft. The CTP must be taken before a new pilot can take the ATP written test.

“Our mission is to help aviation students realize their career dreams, and find innovative ways to meet the challenges involved,” said David Santo, founder of AeroStar. “We provide training that meets requirements and more importantly, produces safe pilots who are ready to meet the challenges they will find in the air AND on the ground.”

AeroStar has worked closely with the FAA to develop time and cost-effective programs that meet the rigorous requirements for ATP-CTP certification. Successful completion of any of AeroStar’s ATP courses allow the candidate to take the ATP written exam.   They have also created courses that use required simulator time to serve the requirements for both the ATP-CTP certification and a type rating, making graduates qualified candidates for more flying jobs at a considerable savings.

An innovative ATP-CTP ground school program provides AeroStar instructors and materials to selected partners, such as state colleges, Part 61 and Part 141 programs, so that students can complete the four-day ground school program on-siteATP-CTP at AeroStar.

“We understand that airlines, flight schools and students need to meet this challenge, so we are doing what we can to provide quality, flexible training programs that meet their needs within time and expense parameters.” said Santo.

“Some airlines, such as Lufthansa and Emirates, have already begun recruiting individuals who meet their qualifications other than flight training, and provide ab initio training programs. Partnerships with airlines and flight schools allow us to create custom programs that meet these changing needs with qualified candidates.”

For more information about AeroStar’s ATP-CTP programs, flight school partnerships, or airline partnerships for ab initio training, contact Captain David Santo, AeroStar Training Services, LLC.

About AeroStar Training Services, LLC

AeroStar Training Services is a US-based, FAA approved Part 142 Training Center specializing in pilot and flight attendant training utilizing the latest advances in aviation training technology. AeroStar was founded in 2008 by a team of experienced airline pilots with a vision that aviation training should be realistic, state of the art, and provide an enjoyable learning experience. The team focused on providing flight training using the most advanced equipment available, delivered by experienced professional airline pilot instructors.

How Can Flight Schools Attract More Students?

Paula Williams: All parts of that question. Great, exactly. Let’s carry on with the next one. How can flight schools attract more students? I know this is a problem for a lot of flight schools coming out of what was a slow period and I know a lot of them are starting to get a few more students in the door but depending on where you are in the country, this is still a problem.

David Santo: We see this is a multifaceted problem. First of all, and I’m guilty of this too when we started AeroStar, we had the concept, if we build it they would come. When we built it and opened the doors, we were shocked and surprised that people weren’t lined up around the street to enroll in our programs because nobody knew who we were, they didn’t know we existed.
 One thing that flight schools should really look at is their marketing, their branding, how they’re getting their message out there, and I think that’s a plug for you guys, Paula, at ABCI because I think internet-based marketing to the global market is the way to go. 
We see our opportunity working with the flight school as making yourselves even more attractive. You might have the best flight school in the world but how can you make it better? Are you offering your students the option to complete the ATP CTP? Are you offering your students the option to get advanced jet flight simulation training or type ratings? If you’re not, that’s where we think we can bolster your offering catalogue  and degree programs by adding classes that you don’t have to spend the money in doing your own certification, research and development.
 We’re turnkey. We formalize an agreement. You advertise and market us as part of you and you’re out there really attracting private pilot and commercial pilot students who maybe want that extra program and then you package that into your pricing structure.

Paula Williams: That makes perfect sense. It’s like what we call a white level service. As far as the student knows he’s working with Cochise College or FIT, or Sun State Aviation and the student may not know or care or want to know about FIT or any other partners or anything like that, or sorry, about AeroStar. They just see the school that they initially entered in agreement with, is that correct?

David Santo: That is absolutely correct and we really do see ourselves as a subcontractor so we’re not out there trying to beat the AeroStar drum, we’re trying to beat the we’re a subservice to the larger pipeline which is the flight school itself.
We just want to be there at the end to help you provide that finishing school, that graduate school piece which is the type rating ride. How you market it, package it, present it, it is really up to the individual school. We want to support whatever the school thinks is the best approach for their individual marketing efforts.
I will say that with FIT, for example, one of the things that we did early on with FIT was FIT actually got our programs approved for academic credit so that students could attend a type rating course or a flight deck observation program and receive college credit for it, number one, and therefore, they could apply student aid, financial aid to help offset some of the cost of these programs.

Paula Williams: Right, that makes perfect sense. The other side of that I think is that affiliating with AeroStar is to the advantage of flight schools because of AeroStar’s reputation. As you’ve mentioned you’ve been in business for six years, a lot of the other providers in the market maybe don’t have the reputation that you do for quality of training and things like that. It’s like a Gulfstream with a Rolls Royce engine. You do want to have the best components in your system and AeroStar is a really good engine to have under the hood for those students that do want to look at the details.

David Santo: I’ll say this, Paula. Our students have given us very positive feedback. The quality of the training that the students who have come to our type rating courses really has been very, very positive and that means a lot to us. Now, I’m not going to say that we don’t occasionally have people that run into training issues because every flight school does.
In fact, if you have a flight school that doesn’t have some kind of training issues, they’re probably selling the license and not selling the training.

Paula Williams: True.

David Santo: We take great pride with the fact that people have been employed from our training program. We currently have a relationship with Tiger Airways where Tiger Airways in Australia is sending their initial new hires over to AeroStar, a preferential provider for them and the feedback that we’re getting has been very, very positive so we’re very proud of that.

Paula Williams: Right. Let me just expand on that just a little bit more as far as how can flight schools attract more students and I think the keyword here from a marketing perspective is competitive advantage.
If there are four flight schools on your field and you are the one that offers ATP/CTP and type ratings and all of the things that AeroStar can add to your catalogue, that really makes you stand out because people don’t buy flight training, they buy a career. It’s just like … the old marketing saying is people don’t buy a drill they buy the holes that that drill can make.
They’re really buying a solution. I think as flight school owners, sometimes people get in to the mode of we have to lower our prices, we have to offer training at a lower cost per hour than the other folks on the field and that’s our competitive advantage but that’s just a race to the bottom and that doesn’t do anybody any good.
Adding to your competitive advantage rather than subtracting from your price I think is really, really key to staying in business, in a healthy business as a flight school.

David Santo: Yeah, you’re absolutely right, Paula, and of course you’ve got a lot of experience with that. We try to compete on value and not on price. We want to have the best targeted value. We’re not trying to be the Walmart provider in our market. We’re trying to be the Target.
We’re also not trying to be the Tiffany’s. We find that most of the students are looking for somewhere in the middle where it’s a reasonable price, reasonable quality product, they’re going to get a good foundation of the training and they’re going to be able to better afford it than some of the $40-50,000 type ratings.
I mean let’s be clear here. To get a type rating on a Gulfstream or a Challenger at flight safety or semi-flight CAE, you’re looking at paying 40, 50, $60,000. To get a type rating on a airbus a320 or a Boeing 737NG with AeroStar is ,500 and you’re going to get 28 hours in that program of flight simulation training.
Now if you take 28 hours of flight simulation training and just run the math, so I think the average twin is about $350 an hour. If you get 28 hours of that, that’s almost $10,000 of the cost right there so I think it’s very attractive.
I think one of the other things that I didn’t mention, Paula, if I can, I’m going to go slightly off the track here a little bit, but I think one of the challenges that we’re faced with as flight schools in the United States is, with the new ATP rule how do we get graduates from the commercial multiengine instrument and/or type rating program to employment.
Because if we can’t get them out the door and get them into a job, then it slows down that pipeline and this is where we really see a symbiotic solution to a global problem. In the US, we have a pilot shortage but that pilot shortage has a hurdle of 1500 or 1000 hours depending on what type of 141 school you are.
The international market does not have that limitation. Right now, the average new hire flying an A320 or a Boeing 737 or any narrow body airliner in Asia, the Middle East and Africa, the average new hire has about 300 hours or less. That’s where the biggest demand is. Here’s what we would propose. We would propose to the flight schools to go after the international foreign student, bring those foreign students into your flight school.
They are not going to get work visas so they’re not going to want flight instructor jobs. They don’t have time to go out and do the time building for flight instruction. As soon as they graduate they’re going to go back and go into their airline’s specific training program.
What that does for you is it increases the number of people utilizing your airplanes, increases your revenue streams and it also increases the flight instruction opportunities for our local American men and women. By helping the international market we’re creating more flight instructor opportunities for our own market which then bridges the gap to get people to the airlines.
We really see it as a global and a symbiotic solution. If you stop and think about the demand, with a half million pilots needed over 20 years, if every single flight school in the United States pulled the resources together, we still couldn’t meet that demand in that timeframe so there’s plenty of work for everybody.
We need to try to figure out a solution. It really brings more foreign folks into our training environment and that helps our training environment produce more American pilots.

Paula Williams: Right, which brings up the question, is there anything specific that I need to do as a part 141 or 61 school to be authorized to do those visas and other kinds of things?
If I haven’t been pursuing that market, is there something I need to do to make that legal, correct and all those kinds of things?

David Santo: Yes, you have to apply to SEVIS for what’s called an I-20 authority to issue M1 visas. It’s a lengthy process, it’s a government process but any 141 school should have a fairly easy time of doing that. Even the 6191 schools I think have a venue for being able to do this.
Then of course when they come for jet transport training, we will do the TSA portion to make sure that they’re properly vetted by TSA to train in the sims. I really think it’s getting out there to the global market. There are going to be some hurdles. It’s not going to be easy.
Nothing that’s worth pursuing is going to be easy but we certainly are in a position to help flight schools. We’ve done the SEVIS I-20 visa authority, we’ve done VA, we’re currently VA approved. We’ve trained a lot of foreign pilots and are very familiar with the process. Those are things that I think we can bring to the table to help the schools that are interested in diving into this ab initio market.

Paula Williams: I promised to bring this back up and that is the screening tools that you mentioned, COMPASS and others. At what point should flight schools even approach that? Do they want to disqualify students from the front end or would that actually be a selling point to be a little bit more exclusive with people who really have a good shot at becoming a pilot? 

David Santo: First of all, I think that the right time is at the beginning or prior to initiating the expense of the flight training but I also would not want to see this as a tool that weeds out the determined. I have to share with you. I don’t know that I could have passed the COMPASS test back when I was trying to get … break into the industry.
I go with more the American concept that says it’s a great screening tool for airlines. It’s a great screening tool for moms and dads to feel like before they make a capital investment in their son or daughter, do they have the aptitude for it? I believe if they show the passion and certainly put forth the effort, I wouldn’t take COMPASS as the ultimatum in deciding whether somebody can or can’t do something.
I think with enough passion and effort and time and dedication, a lot more students would pass and graduate than what COMPASS would select.

Paula Williams: That makes perfect sense, so maybe a flight school could offer that as an option for students who maybe are not sure if this is something they want to do or for corporations or airlines or others to use as well.

David Santo: If we were going to use it in an ab initio setting, what we would tell the parents or the airline is if a person graduate … completes the COMPASS test and scores above a certain level, you have a high level of confidence that they’re going to complete the training on track, on course without additional cost.
If they complete below that level, you should anticipate that they may take extra training and there may be some associated extra cost.

ATP CTP Programs & Recurrent B737 ATP CTP or A320 Recurrent ATP CTP

Transcript:

Paula Williams: Fantastic. We did have one other question and I’m not sure if we want to do that now or later. You can tell me, Dave. Do you have a take on MPL implementation?

David Santo: MPL is not something that we’re currently involved with at AeroStar. We know that the industry outside of the United States is looking at this multi-crew pilot license solution. It is currently available in a few places in the world. We think there’s a better solution.
 I think what we would say is if you complete all your licenses and you complete a type rating program, you’re going to be pretty much at the 350 hours that the MPL license gets you to and you’re going to have all of your ratings, it’s all transferable, and it’s all licensed.
 If you go to an MPL program right now, you really don’t get the licenses, you get a certificate that allows you to operate for the airline. We would argue that it’s better just to do the licenses but we certainly think that there’s a better way to modernize how we do pilot training and our solution for that is to combine the multi-crew, the ATP CTP during the time building phase of the commercial license. 
It reduces cost, increase the quality of the training, gets the students more multi-time and it would get them to type rating at the same time they’re doing their CPL.

John Williams: Hey, Dave, there’s a follow on to a previous question. They want to know if the cost you quoted includes the check ride or is it just requirements to complete.

Paula Williams: That was regarding the ATP CTP I believe.

David Santo: It’s the tuition for the entire ATP CTP course which is that 30 hours of ground school. Our course is a little bit longer than that, by the way, and it includes the 10 hours of FTD and full flight simulator time, and the instructors and materials. It does not include actually taking the written test.
 AeroStar is not a written test center but we certainly have affiliates around our facilities that are for the laser testing or the CATS testing centers that we would send the students over to.

Paula Williams: Makes sense. I know we have a lot of other questions that are being asked in and not asked specifically about different cost and things like that. I don’t know if there is a … if you want to answer this in general or if there’s a place that you can direct people to.

John Williams: Before you … as a lead in to the question on the screen, there was a question that came in that says can you walk us through what a trainee would expect once he signs up with you guys.

David Santo: Okay, well, that’s a very good question. Let me see if I can answer two birds with one stone. An ab initio scenario that we have been working with Cochise College in Douglas, Arizona basically is a program where the student would not be enrolled as a college student.
 This is purely an ab initio program. They would live on campus and they would do their private instrument, multiengine commercial and a 737 or a320 type rating. That course would include room and board on campus, no transportation requirements because their runway is right next to the dormitories, and it is a school that offers English immersion training.
 You could do the entire program with room and board and everything right around the $80,000 level that’s including the type rating. When you figure a type rating course right now is retailing for about $13,500, you’re talking about a program that when you compare it to other ab initios that don’t offer a type to get the zero time all the way through the commercial multiengine instrument and include room and board for a year, that’s a very, very competitive price.
 Now, our piece, our piece of the puzzle is to deliver the type rating course or the ATP CTP or jet transition or any of the programs that we teach. When we deliver a course like our standard type rating course, the students come to ground school for nine days, four of those days they’re on self-guided CBT labs. Five of those days they’re with a standup instructor who uses a myriad of different lecture and facilitator techniques to involve the students in the education process.
After the ground school and they take a written examination to validate that their knowledge is where it needs to be, they go into one four-hour FTD session. That’s a non-motion, non-visual simulator. Then they do five four-hour full flight simulator sessions including a line-oriented flight which is basically simulating an actual line flight between two … departure and destination airport. Ultimately, the conclusion of the entire program is a check ride administered by the FAA or one of our in-house TCEs that provides the practical examination under the ATP CTPs. We issue them a new license with a type rating and if they meet all the requirements we can also issue at that time the ATP certificate itself. So, you can get a A320 recurrent ATP CTP, or a b737 recurrent ATP CTP.

Paula Williams: Fantastic, that’s a nice detailed answer to hopefully …

John Williams: All questions.

Paula Williams: All parts of that question. Great, exactly. Let’s carry on with the next one. How can flight schools attract more students? I know this is a problem for a lot of flight schools coming out of what was a slow period and I know a lot of them are starting to get a few more students in the door but depending on where you are in the country, this is still a problem.

David Santo: We see this is a multifaceted problem. First of all, and I’m guilty of this too when we started AeroStar, we had the concept, if we build it they would come. When we built it and opened the doors, we were shocked and surprised that people weren’t lined up around the street to enroll in our programs because nobody knew who we were, they didn’t know we existed.
 One thing that flight schools should really look at is their marketing, their branding, how they’re getting their message out there, and I think that’s a plug for you guys, Paula, at ABCI because I think internet-based marketing to the global market is the way to go.
 We see our opportunity working with the flight school as making yourselves even more attractive. You might have the best flight school in the world but how can you make it better? Are you offering your students the option to complete the ATP CTP? Are you offering your students the option to get advanced jet flight simulation training or type ratings? If you’re not, that’s where we think we can bolster your offering catalogue by adding classes that you don’t have to spend the money in doing your own certification, research and development.
We’re turnkey. We formalize an agreement. You advertise and market us as part of you and you’re out there really attracting students who maybe want that extra program and then you package that into your pricing structure.

Paula Williams: That makes perfect sense. It’s like what we call a white level service. As far as the student knows he’s working with Cochise College or FIT, or Sun State Aviation and the student may not know or care or want to know about FIT or any other partners or anything like that, or sorry, about AeroStar. They just see the school that they initially entered in agreement with, is that correct?

David Santo: That is absolutely correct and we really do see ourselves as a subcontractor so we’re not out there trying to beat the AeroStar drum, we’re trying to beat the we’re a sub-service to the larger pipeline which is the flight school itself.
 We just want to be there at the end to help you provide that finishing school, that graduate school piece which is the type rating ride. How you market it, package it, present it, it is really up to the individual school. We want to support whatever the school thinks is the best approach for their individual marketing efforts.
 I will say that with FIT, for example, one of the things that we did early on with FIT was FIT actually got our programs approved for academic credit so that students could attend a type rating course or a flight deck observation program and receive college credit for it, number one, and therefore, they could apply student aid, financial aid to help offset some of the cost of these programs.

Paula Williams: Right, that makes perfect sense. The other side of that I think is that affiliating with AeroStar is to the advantage of flight schools because of AeroStar’s reputation. As you’ve mentioned you’ve been in business for six years, a lot of the other providers in the market maybe don’t have the reputation that you do for quality of training and things like that. It’s like a Gulfstream with a Rolls Royce engine. You do want to have the best components in your system and AeroStar is a really good engine to have under the hood for those students that do want to look at the details.

David Santo: I’ll say this, Paula. Our students have given us very positive feedback. The quality of the training that the students who have come to our type rating courses really has been very, very positive and that means a lot to us. Now, I’m not going to say that we don’t occasionally have people that run into training issues because every flight school does.
In fact, if you have a flight school that doesn’t have some kind of training issues, they’re probably selling the license and not selling the training.

Paula Williams: True.

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.

 

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 salary does an airline pilot earn?

One of the key questions that must be considered for any vocation is compensation. What salary does an airline pilot earn?   We ask Captain David Santo, here’s his answer.

Paula Williams: Next question of course we want to get right down to the nuts and bolts. What kind of salary can I expect?

what salary can an airline pilot earn? Captain David Santo: Well, that’s a very good question because it’s a pretty wide spectrum. The entry level into the aviation career field is typically flight instructing if you don’t come through the military. I did not. I was a civilian pilot. I flight instructed. That was what I would call starvation wages. You were building time. You transitioned into some type of a corporate flying student or a commuter flying opportunity or even some cargo on demand charter operations, and the pay gets a little better. I think of it this way, Paula, it’s like being a doctor. You don’t start out at the top. You have to work you way up. You’re going to have to pay your dues a little by. This is like being an intern. I forget the other term they use for a doctor while they’re going through their initial early stages of building their experience. It’s very much like that. 

Paula: A resident who doesn’t make a whole lot of money, but they work their tails off I think. 

David: That’s exactly right. Then when you get to the top of the career field, and again it varies greatly on what region of the world you’re in, there are some regions of the world that airlines pilots are makes in excess of 350,000.00 a year comparable to U.S. It may not be in U.S. Dollars, but that’s their earning pay. I think you’re going find even here in the U.S. An airline captain is a significant six-figure income if he’s flying for a major mainline airline carrier. If you’re flying for a commuter even some of the commuter jobs after you build up enough time and experience and move up to the left seat, are starting to see better pay wages. Overall lifetime earnings you’re looking at a multi-million dollar job.

Paula Williams: Great. There was one conversation that we had not to long ago and you told me there were two different career paths really that an airline pilot can take one of them is the route that you took, which is basically being a student pilot and building time. The other is basically going from zero to an airline pilot or first-officer as quickly as possible and getting that jump cutting through that period of low pay. Can you tell us a little bit about that?

Captain David Santo: Well, I think is we’re seeing a global demand. The global demand for airline pilots is really being fueled by the demand for the middle class. As the middle class is going bigger in what we would have considered in under industrialized in third world countries, that middle class wants to enjoy the opportunity to travel. We’re your looking at statics, and these statics were put out originally by Boeing but I think they’ve been validated even by the U.S. Accounting office, your looking at almost a half a million new entrant airline pilots needed over the next twenty years to meet the global demand. Now the part about that is we’ve never seen that demand before, and there’s not currently the training infrastructure really to even supply that demand. That’s really great news. This is very well documented and published. 
 How do we take advantage of that? Well, there’s a couple of things that we can do to take advantage of that. A lot of that training is offshore. Those offshore opportunities are now looking to American pilots, European pilots, North America pilots to fill their first-officer seats because they don’t have enough of their nationals who have come up through the ranks who can fill those positions. We have talked to many folks, who have taken a very exciting career choice that wasn’t there for me when I was coming up through the ranks, to go fly Airbus or Boeing equipment outside of the United States for a few years as first officers, as contract pilots, build their experience level, come back to the U.S. They really they leapfrog or bypass the rest of us that had to do flight instruction and fly freight in the middle of the night. They really went from flight school, ab initio, through a type rate program, offshore got a job, built some sometime up, came back, and they were the front of the line to get the airlines job now because they have experience in the A 320 and the 737 already.

Paula Williams: Right. Then getting seniority quickly is another thing that you mentioned as being incredibly important?

Captain David Santo: Well, Paula, like you and I have talked about seniority in the airlines it’s a really strange system. I think it’s hard for people to get their arms around if they’ve not been in this industry before. For most airlines everything is based on date-of-hire seniority. Your base assignment, your bid assignments, your aircraft assignments all are based on how senior you are, what your seniority number is. In my particular airline for example, we’re getting close to about 3,000 pilots, and I’m somewhere around the seniority of 509. That puts my in top twenty some percent, a little better than that, for pilots, which means I have my pick of bases or I have a better shot at my pick of bases. I’ve now been a captain for a lot longer. The captain pay is still substantially betting than first-officer pay depending on how hard you want to work. I’ve said that had I’d had the opportunities that young people have now to break into the industry sooner, to land an airline job, to land that airline job that they want to spend their career at, the quick you can do that the quicker you’re going to build up your seniority. That’s going to equate to hundreds of thousands of dollars if not millions of dollar in lifetime earnings by the time you retire.

Paula Williams: Right. That’s not just money. That’s also quality of life because you get to chose, have a better selection of bases, flights, and schedules really that has to do with your life it sounds like?

Captain David Santo: Well, one of the common questions we get asked in the flight school is from parents. The parents are trying to help their young son or daughter make a decision about is this a career path that they should pursue? Of course there parents not being in aviation or business they want to know what’s the return on my investment? If we spend this money, is my investment going to work for my son or daughter. I would have the same question. 
 The answer is we really need to show them what the lifetime earning is versus the initial expense. It’s absolutely worth it. Now I would like to qualify that because I’ve had some people call me and e-mail me and push back and say Dave I’ve been stuck in a dead in computer job for twenty years. What I typically find that when I press them and say have you been applying? Have you been trying to make a move into an airline? Typically what I hear is I haven’t been applying because I don’t want to take a pay cut. I don’t want to move. I don’t want to make the sacrifices that would come along with doing that. I would caution people to say are there people in this career that have been less successful than others? Absolutely. That’s no different than any other career path. I think there’s an old saying that says successful people are those who do the things that unsuccessful people aren’t willing to do or haven’t had the opportunity to do.

Paula Williams: Right.

Captain David Santo: I think that if you’re a person who’s dedicated to this career path and you’re willing to do what it takes, you can create a tremendous career and be very successful at it. You’ve got to take ownership with making that happen. It’s still not going to fall on your lap. 

Paula: Right. Exactly. I think that’s true of any career. We’ve taken a little more time with this slide than others. I think it’s really very important to students and to their parents and others to really understand that that opportunity is there for a good salary.

Video – Flying an Airbus!

We love this video of a great pilot flying an airbus!  Can’t keep from smiling when we watch it.

AVIANCA BRASIL
Airbus 319
GoPro Hero 2

Song: Sail – Awolnation

Sequence:
0:05 – SBRJ Santos Dumont RWY 20L – Rio de Janeiro – Brasil
0:30 – Copacabana Beach – Rio de Janeiro – Brasil
0:35 – SBRJ Santos Dumont RWY 20L – Rio de Janeiro – Brasil
0:51 – Florianopolis SC Brasil
1:07 – Downwind leg SBRJ Santos Dumont RWY 02R – Rio de Janeiro – Brasil ( Botafogo Beach )
2:11 – SKBO El Dorado RWY 13R – Bogota – Colombia
2:16 – SBSP Congonhas RWY 17R – São Paulo – Brasil
2:23 – SKBO El Dorado RWY 13L – Bogota – Colombia ( Gust from left before touchdown )
3:16 – SBSP Congonhas RWY 35L – São Paulo – Brasil

Do airlines hire pilots with zero time in type?

Captain David Santo talks about time in type

We’ve heard it said and read it posted in aviation forums that “no” airline hires pilots who possess a type rating with zero time in type. This is a false statement. We all know that Southwest Airlines hires type rated pilots without time in type and that Spirit Airlines has publically said that they prefer a PIC type for initial applicants. Whether you or I agree with this hiring practice is not the issue. The fact is that it is happening both in the USA and all around the world. Airlines all over the place have adopted this standard practice.

Although most airlines have not drawn a “line in the sand” by stating a type rating is mandatory many have made it a point to offer preferential interviewing and hiring to those who are typed. If you owned an airline wouldn’t you want to mitigate your training risk by doing the same thing?

Years ago I was offered an interview with South West Airlines which would have required me to obtain a b737 type rating paid for out of my own pocket. At the time I rejected the idea and turned down the opportunity. It scares me now to look back at how much money I lost over the years which have passed by not jumping at opportunity. I can only imagine how senior I would be by now and how much better my quality of life would have been. What an  OOOOPS.

AeroStar’s students are and have been very successful getting jobs and this is a fact. For obvious legal reasons I cannot post any of our customer’s names here however I can give you names of a few of the airlines who have hired our graduates (in no particular order). These are; Jetblue, Spirit, Lan Airways, TACA, Copa, Avionca, Philippine Airlines, Vietnam Airlines, VietJet Airlines, Nile Air, Jeju Air, Qatar Airways, Nas Air, Saudia, e.t.c.