I am currently a full-time math instructor at the college and high school level, but have always had a dream of becoming a pilot. NEEDLESS to say, this year in secondary education was enough for me to be ready to actually follow my dream (teaching at the college level which I will miss dearly though).
I was just approved for a loan with Sallie Mae and have scheduled both my First Class Medical and Introductory Flight for the week of April 10th. I will completing the intro flight at TTN, but I have mainly been looking at schools in FL, TX and AZ. More specifically, the top schools I have been looking at are Tampa, Daytona Beach, Fort Myers, Houston and Phoenix.
I came up with a mix of smaller and larger locations, with different weather conditions, costs of living compared to where I am currently in Philadelphia, and just general geographic regions. I am not a picky person, but am pretty practical in that I know what my goals are for the program. I realize that at the end of the day, the best location is where I say it is, but I have some gaps in program knowledge and general insights that can get me to that conclusion. I bulleted most of my questions below and appreciate any insight that you all may have:
- Is there an ease of scheduling at smaller locations? More stringent timeslots at larger locations?
- Does being at a maintenance center mean more aircraft? Or even if it means more aircraft, are less useable? Is the location being a maintenance center negligible?
- Is it generally that the smaller the location, the more individualized you could make the program, whereas larger programs there is potential to just feel like a number? I don’t necessarily care about how individualized it is, merely that I am going to have consistency if that makes sense.
- Does the amount of simulators at a location matter? I see that some have only 1 simulator where others have 2 or 4.
- Does your location’s airport necessarily mean that the airspace you are working in is easier or harder to handle? Just general insight on this would help as I don’t think that necessarily will matter for me, but it has been a thought process of mine.
- How badly does weather affect the program timeline? I narrowed down locations that aren’t typically bad weather cities, but some I guess have their seasons…
- If you have any specific comments about the locations I am narrowed down to would be awesome too
I don’t want to overload with questions, but I want to get as much out there as I can upfront! Any and all of your insights are appreciated!