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Aviation => Pilot/Controller Forum => Topic started by: Brewdison on March 10, 2010, 05:28:09 PM

Title: Student pilot, where to go to school..
Post by: Brewdison on March 10, 2010, 05:28:09 PM
I'm a student pilot and my senior year of high school is coming to a close, so I'm looking at schools. My plan for now is 2 years at Schenectady County Community College for instrument and commercial rating, and then I want to get into training for ATC but I need some help. I don't really know how the process works, and I'm wondering if I should be going to a different school.

From what I understand, there is a test that I will take, and depending on the score the FAA will offer training and so on. I have been doing some reading online but it's all a bit confusing and each source seems to contradict the others. I read on source that the FAA is only hiring from a list of 14 different schools. SCCC, where I planned to go, (because it's close, cheep and I want to at least get my commercial rating) is not on that list which worries me. Should I be going to a different school and majoring in ATC, and not just aviation?

Right now I attend a school called Questar III in New York. It's a two year program that pays for me in a 152 to get my private certificate, which is a great opportunity that I'm taking advantage of.

Thank you for any help and advice I can get.
Title: Re: Student pilot, where to go to school..
Post by: otto_pilot on March 10, 2010, 10:12:46 PM
I myself am a pro pilot major at CCBC.

The Community College of Beaver County, in western Pa. That said CCBC one of the best ATC programs, it is known throughout the industry for ATC. As a student you work on realistic brand new sims. Also you for 2 semester get to work really working traffic in beaver tower (KBVI). Its a tower run by the school for the purpose of ATC training. So its like a semester and a half on the sims and 2 in the tower. The reason I know all this is because my roomate is an ATC Kid. The program dose not offer housing but there are many housing options close to the aviation center and airport, and someone from the program always needs a roomate. My nextdoor neighbor came from chicago, some from south like Georgia and Virgina.  

All that said on the pro pilot side, the flying is pretty cheap for out of state kids, and even cheaper if you can get them to think you live in Pa. Pa residents get a 40% discount on flying, I'm from Pa so its sweet. Also there are 3 flight schools that work with CCBC. Moore Aviation offers the most complete training, as the have a twin and a complex. The other big school Aces aviation is new and growing fast they only fly Diamonds. The are a bit cheaper but no twin or complex. The last and smallest school is Quantum Aviation, they have one plane a 172 and one instructor and like six students. Personally I believe Moore is the best, as they make you feel at home. I cant say enough about the teachers on the pilot side either at the college. Ursula the Pilot Coordinator is great in helping pilots (even though she tells some very untrue stories), Bob Campbell is great with teaching engines, Sandy K. the Commercial ground instructor is pretty good ( she is also a tower supervisor).  

All in all a great very well known program ( especially for ATC). I'm very happy with my choice to move away from home to go there.

Any other questions just send me a message
Title: Re: Student pilot, where to go to school..
Post by: Brewdison on March 14, 2010, 02:35:13 PM
Actually, let me rephrase my question, because I was unclear:

I know I don't have to go to college for ATC, but should I?

And thank you for that information, that does sound really interesting. I would like to be able to go to college for aviation, and get instrument rated and my commercial certificate, but doing ATC sounds like fun.
Title: Re: Student pilot, where to go to school..
Post by: sykocus on March 14, 2010, 11:59:09 PM
I don't know if you seen this link yet but it outlines the 3 ways you get a job as a controller with the FAA.

Each one has it's own pro's and con's.

Sounds like you are trying to chose between trying to get hired off the street (OTS) or via CTI school.

OTS is faster and you don't have to pay for 2-4 years of tuition, books, etc. However it seems there are fewer job openings. Also the learning curve is slightly steeper then the CTI route. The FAA teaches you everything they want you to know the before starting an ATC course in a 5 week basics class. This is the same information (and more) that you'll learn in 2-4 years at a CTI school. Also with the CTI school option you come away with a degree you can always fall back on should things not work out with the FAA.

Title: Re: Student pilot, where to go to school..
Post by: NAplaya16-ATC on March 23, 2010, 11:50:25 PM
Just to add a lil on what he said up above me, I am a graduate from CCBC ATC program, and I thought it was great!  However, if that does become your plan in the future!  I do HIGHLY RECOMMEND that you get your private pilots license before you go there.  From what I read, it sounds like you are already gettin training for that, so this prolly wont apply to you, but if you go to CCBC, get your private, b/c tryin to fly there is hell!!!   Plus, you will save alot of money on classes that you wont have to take since you will have all your ground school and flight theory stuff completed. 

Now bout the actual ATC program.  I thought it was awesome!  The class sizes are relatively small and the teachers are cool as hell.    If you go there, you will meet Jimmy Scott, who is the whole ATC program coordinator, and who is probably one of the nicest and coolest people you will ever meet.  Plus you have, there is nothin wrong with her, but just be prepared to hear a bunch of B.S. stories of her flyings days, plus hearing her say, "You know what I mean!" at least 200 times per class.   

Seriously, if you have any questions, just ask away and ill help ya with anything you would like to know!

Title: Re: Student pilot, where to go to school..
Post by: kitvan on March 24, 2010, 02:24:41 PM
I got extremely lucky in this department. I was browsing Craigslist and happened to find an independent instructor with a plane located about an hour away from my house. He chooses not to charge for his instruction, as he is trying to build hours like me.

Financially, it's been amazingly beneficial having a private instructor as opposed to going through a school. Until a recent cross-country we flew together, my hourly average was around $115. After the trip, it's around $90!! (we split the hourly operating cost)

Anyways, do your best to find a private instructor if at all possible. If you do, it's likely that you'll save money and get to fly a better aircraft than you would at a flight school.

(I was flying '80s Cessnas, now flying an '03 Warrior III)

Title: Re: Student pilot, where to go to school..
Post by: Robin Rebhan on April 04, 2010, 11:05:53 PM
     I fly out of KSCH and am working on my commercial. I am a student at Richmor which SCCC uses for planes & CFII's. It is a good program, inexpensive and credits are transferable. The price is right, the college and flight school both are good. I can recommend both. I know personally students who have gone on from SCCC to other schools and saved money in the process.
     Having been around the block a few times I can say that far more important than the school you choose is you . The ability to demonstrate and make good solid sound aeronautical decisions, in a consistent mature manner.
     Best of luck!
     Robin Rebhan
Title: Re: Student pilot, where to go to school..
Post by: Brewdison on April 25, 2010, 11:19:19 AM
Thank you very much for all the replies. I've gotten my acceptance letter from SCCC and have plans to go there with a friend. What I think I'll do is go with my original plans to go to SCCC, and then I'll look into CCBC for a graduate school since everyone so raves about it  :-D

Close to getting private now, scored an 88 on the written.

Thanks again for the input. I'm looking forward to everything in the next few years.
Title: Re: Student pilot, where to go to school..
Post by: KHAOS on April 25, 2010, 05:58:18 PM
Congrats, and good luck!  :)
Title: Re: Student pilot, where to go to school..
Post by: Brewdison on April 26, 2010, 08:57:21 AM
Thanks :)

Also forgot to mention that while it would be good to be able to get the ratings and certificates I want while working, I think it would be better for me to do it first in college where I can get a good ammount of financial aid. My parrents don't make a lot of money, so I can get a good ammount of help.

Anyway, thanks for all the advice and input.