New Red Bird Simulator Lands at AeroStar

AeroStar has added another flight training device to our simulation efforts, a Red Bird FMX, which will be used to support Career Pilot Academy students here at our Kissimmee training campus. This device is the third recent addition to AeroStar’s simulation portfolio. We acquired an A320 simulator in late 2017 and a B737 simulator has also been purchased and will be delivered at the end of the year.

“With all the space our new hangar facility provides us with, we are able to bring a variety of simulators in-house and fully cater to our student’s training needs,” said Dave Hensely, AeroStar’s Training Center Manager. 

Red Bird FMX Sim Features:

• 50 Degree Total Pitch Movement

• 60 Degree Total Yaw Movement

• 40 Degree Total Roll Movement

• Electric Motion & Wrap Around Visuals

• FAA Approved

Red Bird Simulator

Red Bird

AeroStar Announces Part 141 Certificate

KISSIMMEE, August 22, 2018 — AeroStar is pleased to announce that we have obtained our Part 141 certificate. The Part 141 program enables students to secure a private pilot certificate in 35 hours instead of 40, and for an instrument rating, 30 hours instead of 40, as is required from a Part 61 school. This reduction in hours can save students greatly on training costs and time. Having this certificate also allows us to add our training curriculum to the list of SEVIS-approved flight schools, allowing international students to train here on an M1 visa.

While both Part 61 and Part 141 training programs follow the same policies set forth by the FAA, Part 141 training establishments are often geared towards career-minded students and use a more professional-oriented curriculum. Becoming a Part 141 training school is the perfect fit for AeroStar because we help students from their first time in the cockpit to securing an ATP certificate and other advanced training courses including type ratings on A320 and B737.

AeroStar’s Part 141 certificate is valid for our Private Pilot and Instrument Rating programs. AeroStar has held its Part 142 certificate since 2008. Contact us to learn more about our training programs at (407) 888-9011.

Part 141 Certificate

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.

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.

 

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