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I need some advice about whether or not I should stay at the school I'm currently attending. I'm attending a 2 year community college that offers a professional pilot degree. I have 85 hours tt with about 20 hours instrument time. I'm running out of money and looking for a full time job. Should I transfer to a four year college and get my ratings at an FBO part 61 in the mean time? That would give me a couple extra years to let the economy come back. Any advice will be greatly appriciated since(as many of us students probably are) I'm getting frustrated, confused, and unsure about my future. Thanks for the feedback in advance.
First, a 4-year degree is better than a 2-year degree. But 2 years is halfway to 4. What do you really gain by transferrng at this point? And, perhaps more pertinent to your situation and budget, what do you lose? Often a person transferring to another school loses credits.
Second, Part 141 -- which certainly your current school is -- is no guarantee that you'll get good flight training. It merely guarantees that you'll have lots of paper to document that you got the training, good or bad. It also guarantees that you'll spend more for that training, because somebody's gotta pay for all that paperwork. I understand Part 141 allows completion of a program in fewer hours than 61; but would you rather pay your instructor for extra hours in the cockpit or extra hours at his desk? Either way, you pay, and paperwork does not improve your flyng skills.
There are some fine free-lance instructors out there flying Part 61, and most of'em spend more time with you in the cockpit than back at the office filling out forms.
But how do you know if they're good or not? Word of mouth is the best way: wander around the airport and ask people about people who teach.
The real benefit of a 141 school is that somebody's monitoring the instructors, and the feds are monitoring the monitors, so there is at least some accountability.
But, as Ceasar said to Brutus, "Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?"
(BTW, I've worked both part 61 and 141, worked as Chief Instructor under both rules, and prefer Part 61.)
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