Im just back after 6 weeks with these guys. Got my PPL with them.
Overall I was happy. The training was excellent, the instructors are fantastic.
However I would not recommend them for PPL training or hour building. They are too commercially/professionally orientated and you will not get priority if your going over for a PPL.
Also, the prices they quote on their web site are only there to get your interest. Add another 2000EURO onto what they say.
Thanks for the input. Got a few more questions;
Did you stay in the student accomadation? If so, what did you think of it.
Do you have any idea what the Instructor:Student ratio was?
If I was going over, it would be for the Airline Pilot Program. So, I am glad to hear that they are "commercially/professionally orientated".
All the best,
Now the instructor ratio was a bit poor I thought. The week after I finished my PPL 2 of the instructors resigned (difference of opinion with the CFI) and one returned to the UK. This left the remaining 2 instrutors with 2/3 students each. I believe EFT are doing their best to get more Instrutors.
For you doing the APP course I cant see any problems for you. You will be well looked after by Ben Wood, Trevor Brackston and Phil Smith. Highly professional gentlemen.
Always keep an eye on your flying account...the secretary, Charlotte, is prone to mistakes.
Trevor is a very nice guy and highly approachable if you have anything to say at all about anything. Ben too is a nice guy and Phil also.
The instructors are fantastic people. I had great fun flying with them.
At EFT there is NOT an "us and them" thing going on between instrutors and students. You can have a good laugh with them on the ground and sometimes in the air too (towards the end of your training)
Any other questions about EFT just ask.
I did take a visit to the school's accommodation. It is about a 30 minute drive form the school in a place called Vero Beach. The houses are basic but OK to live in...nothing fancy.
I did fall on my feet quiet nicely with living with one of the instrutors.
I had Xbox for 6 weeks! HAHA
Saw your query on OFT.
Last June I decided to try get my PPL after a fifteen year lapse. I was on hols in Orlando and visited OFT at Kissimmee. They assessed my needs and assigned me an instructor. Because I was not able to get a medical sorted in the time I was there I stuck with dual. However I got to refresh a lot of stuff starting on the 152 then on to the 172 and PA28 Cadets. I got in cross countries night flying and some instrument work. All in all I did 9 hours with them over two weeks of what was first and foremeost a family holiday.
While there I got to speak to a couple of the students over from the UK. They had two choices in accommodation - self catering about ten minutes walk and a three star Sheraton about 20/25 mins. With early starts and late finishes the walk was adding to the burden of the schedule. One guy I met had brought a bike from the UK. The addon costs had caught them out. This included the medicals (about 80/100usd), exam and flight test fees etc. They also had underbudgeted for basic costs such as food and entertainment (eg Disney, Universal etc). Some were trying to do PPL in 21 days and with summer thunderstorms they were falling behind.
I found them a very helpful group at OFT. Your instructor is available to help with ground study. Most of the instructors were either from the UK or from Scandanavia - all doing hours building. They run night classes. The students I met felt they should have had more of the ground school done before going out there. The facilities including computers, internet, study and social (weekly BBQ) all add to the quality of the set up.
One adverse comment is some of the equipment is very old, in particular some of the 152's and PA28 Cadets. I think we had to change aircraft twice in the week for tech faults.
Certainly next time I go back to Florida I'll be heading to OFT for some aircraft rental.
Hope you make the right decision and enjoy it. It is a fantastic place to fly - especially at night.
WEll EFT say fast track 3 week PPL. This is very rarely done. However it is possible...only if 1. plane never goes tech. 2. you dont take a day off. 3. you are on top of your game when it comes to the exams. 4. No bad weather. 5. you dont get sick 6. your instructor doesnt get sick 7. your plane doesnt get taken off you for someone on a check ride
Now, the plane will always go tech for something and no bad weather is a long shot. I had 10 days of sitting on the ground beccause of bad weather. This meant I had to stay longer or come home with nothing.
what kind of extra costs were there involved apart from the flying
OK you need accomodation......575dollars per month
you need car...........................100dollars a week (if EFT have a car available, not always the case)
you need food.........................60dollars a week (for me anyway)
Map of the Florida area.............18dollars
Road maps..............................20dollars (to and from school and medical center and site seeing if you have time!)
Ruler, pens, protractor.............30dollars
Headset..................................330dollars (for the David Clark, there is cheaper)
Thats all I can think off at the minute.
I've just stumbled onto this site, very interesting! Nice alternative to prune.
I too did my PPL last summer at EFT.
I would echo a lot of what AndyMax has said.
From a purely instructing viewpoint, I found EFT to be excellent. The PPL syllabus is trained to CPL standards. For example, the Navigation techinque used is above the requirement for PPL. You are graded on each lesson and given a thorough debrief.
The instructors are excellent, very proffesional but also nice guys and always approachable. One senior instructor (CPL/IR side of things) could tend to be a bit hot-headed and argumentative whilst instucting, which is not the most pleasant environment to be in at 5000'. Other students had similar experiences with this one instructor; then again other students had absolutely no problems with him, however he was definitely the exception rather than the rule.
From an administration point of view, there were plenty of glitches. First of all I had some hassle getting my M-class visa form the US embassy because EFT put the wrong date on the I-95 form they sent me. This delayed my arrival at EFT by over a week. I had to stay in the Super 8 motel (Complete Hole) for the first few nights because the student accomodation was full- Despite me reserving it weeks in advance.
I also had trouble from CAA beacause the forms submitted for Licence issue were not filled out correctly by EFT.
I was delayed significantly in my training. Primarily because of weather, afternoon thunder storms are plentiful in summer. I also experienced the odd cancellation of a lesson due to an aircraft going tech, one 172 seemed to be constantly inop, though all in all the 172's are well maintained albeit quite old. I also had to repeat a couple of lessons, pfl's to name one. This all added up to about 6 to 7 weeks as opposed to the 3 advertised. I also went about 2 to 3 grand over budget. The prices advertised for the PPL are for the MINIMUM Dual time allowed with the rest made up with solo, whereas in actual fact the majority of PPL students did the minimum solo time, 10 hrs, with the rest of the TT requirement made up of dual. This raised the costs.
I'd try to do the groundshool before you leave. Its all left up to you anyway.
The cars available to rent tended not to be the most reliable and Aviator students tended to get preference for these as well as for accomodation. Aviator handles FAA side of things and leases aircraft, building etc to EFT
Remember that Fort Pierce is quite boring, with not much to do in your spare time, but I suppose you're not there for a holiday.
All in all I would recommend EFT for the level of training and instructing.
PS AndyMax, I'd be interested to hear what instructors resigned etc, perhaps you might PM me.
Since i was over there with Andy i have to agree with what he said and also add to following...
The RT Exam is $250
The final flight test is $250 + Hire of the plane ... approx. 2.5 hrs
There is a certain amount of briefing lessons in the course but when you go over this tiome you will get charged. All in all the PPL cost me 9-10 grand. (Euros). That involved living, buying headsets, flights, etc!!
Good Luck with it!
I am still waiting for money owed to me.
Constant arguing about account, as already been stated, the lady (Charlotte) in charge of accounts needs to be constantly monitored as errors were a DAILY occourance.
Dissillousioned instructors and motivated by long briefings and extra flights from students so they could get enough to pay their rent, I became good friends and still am with two instructors and they are good guys.
I will also testify to major overrun of cost's predicted by the school,
IE. $575 for accomodation for one month, this only applies if you occupy the accommodation on the 1st of the month, if you start for example the 2nd (as I did) you get charged the weekly rate, even if you stay for 6 weeks (as i did).
$50 to send Visa form's swiftmail, even though they were sent 6 weeks before i needed them,
On the flip side, the student accommodation in Vero Beach is fine, aircraft (when available) are good, and yes Trevor and Ben are nice chaps but if either become your instructor expect to become second priorty to admin.
I gained the rating i set out to achieve, even if it took me two weeks and $2000 extra, yet flew the exact amount of hours for rating and recieved little or no ground school.
When i was there, the PPL students were relatively happy, as there were two instructors to three students, as you may have guessed i was not doing my PPL and felt the level of professionalism was not good enough, the classroom (singular) was shared between 10-12 students.
Overall could not recommend EFT.
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