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Posted: Tue Jan 08, 2008 4:00 pm
I realise that all the fully licensed and flying pilots here are blue in the face reading and replying to this type of forum.
Im currently look a the idea of travelling to florida this summer to complete my CPL. I have my Jar PPL and have close to 100hrs in my log!
Im looking at two schools in florida at the moment 'Bristow Academy'
and 'Ocean Helicopters' the both have the differences and advantages
Bristow is a well established school with a huge crew of helis and instrutors and a major plus is they a certified to do the JAR CPL. But im worried, for it is such a big school, im afraid i wont get the one on one attention in terms of my training. While i just be passed down the convayer belt until i pass everything?
Then Ocean is a smaller school it only has one Schweizer, and they on offer FAA CPL training, but it is irish run and has a smaller staff of 8-10 people, the offer their own accomadation to international students.
What is my best option?
or is there any other school in florida i havent picked up on
Please post any information or opinions you have?
p.s my preference is Schweizer 300cbi
Posted: Tue Jan 08, 2008 6:10 pm
hi there stringfellow im heading to ocean next tue to do my ppl.here is some info which may be of some use.i went over to florida back in nov and visited both bristow and ocean and have chosen ocean.firstly ocean are an english run family concern and have no irish instructors at present but there were 3 irish students there then, however i spoke to 2 of their cfi's who trained at bristow who told me that because bristow was such a large"factory school" i might only be flying 3 times a week whereas at ocean it would be twice a day.bristow could not fit me in til june and they dont train in robinsons and as i have 12 hrs done in a 22 and plan to fly 44's hopefully, i felt it was better to learn in a 22.hope i made the right choice time will tell.
Posted: Tue Jan 08, 2008 10:05 pm
Try ORLANDO Flight Training. I think they are based in Kissimmee.
Bristow Academy has become far too big and does not offer the unsponsored student the time and attention they need and deserve.
It would appear that the School has gone down hill since it's transition from H.A.I to Bristows...last April.
Best of Luck !!!
Posted: Wed Jan 09, 2008 12:16 am
Posted: Sat Jan 12, 2008 4:25 pm
Couple of good points mentioned by JFH for you to think about. Personally, I think you have to figure out what you want out of going to Florida.
Firstly you are aiming to get a CPL license. Are you gonna get married to an American, or do you have the ability to work and live in America, if you are thinking about getting the FAA CPL(H)? What good is it gonna do you coming back to Ireland with an FAA license? Now maybe you are well connected with someone who will offer you a job on a N reg machine, but that doesnt have a big future for you, being tied to one machine.
Secondly, you said your preference is to do your training in a 300CBi. So why are you gonna go to a school that has only one Schweizer? What are you gonna do when something happens to that Schweizer, whether its down for regualr or irregular maintenance. It woulld seem a more logical choice to go somewhere where there are more Schweizers available if thats what you want to fly.
Last point for now, is have you realistically looked at your time frame for all of this. You are giving yourself the summer for getting your CPL. Now if you go the FAA route, it could be done quickly enough, bearing in mind that everything goes perfectly well for you. Getting visas processed and the conversion to your FAA PPL(H) to allow you to fly the N reg machine and go solo for your CPL requirements. Don't ever assume things will go smoothly and be done in the times specified by schools. It can be very misleading. Now if you choose to do your JAA CPL(H), firstly Bristow Academy dont offer a JAA CPL(H)! They offer a frozen ATPL(H), which will take you at least 1 year to do with them. There goes your summer plans.
There is nowhere in the States at the moment that offers a JAA CPL(H), allowing you to only do the 9 exams. The only way to do that is by going to school somewhere in England or Ireland, or if you havent thought about it already, doing a JAA CPL distance learning course and then going to Florida to finish your flight training and doing your LST out there.
Anyway, thats my uhhh..... 10 cents worth. Good luck.