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Thread: What's a guy to do? Can't find Sport Pilot training anywhere close

  1. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Switzer View Post
    It makes perfect sense to make sure a potential member has the means to pay their debts.
    Yes, it's called due diligence. Kinda like a lender doing a credit check before the buyer purchases something on terms.

  2. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Switzer View Post
    Step back & think about it for a minute. Say a new student flies 10 hours in the first month leaving him with a bill of $1000 owed to the club. If it is a person that has a history of not being able to make their monthly rent payment do you think the club is going to get paid? No, the club is out $1000. It makes perfect sense to make sure a potential member has the means to pay their debts.
    Ummm.....how about no flights on credit? The two flight schools I went to wouldn't just let you run up a bill. You either had enough money to cover the flight in your account or you didn't fly.
    Hy-Tek Hurricane 103



  3. #23
    Mike Switzer's Avatar
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    Clubs generally have a flat fee up front to join then send out a monthly bill for dues & hourly rental. Clubs do not operate like a for profit flight school.

  4. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by martymayes View Post
    Yes, it's called due diligence. Kinda like a lender doing a credit check before the buyer purchases something on terms.
    Credit check, fine. Bank statements, no way.

  5. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by pacerpilot View Post
    Credit check, fine. Bank statements, no way.
    They could have wanted to check my credit all day long, and I wouldn't have had the first bit of trouble with it. I've never been late on any payment, and I only have one credit card, and the last $1200 of my graduate student loan to pay off. (it was over $14K when I finished my degree, by the way...) I have perfect credit. Credit isn't the problem. And I'd be perfectly fine with paying as I went. I fly 6 hours last month, I pay for six hours, plus my share of the maintenance fund. No problem. The issue was, they wanted to find out my economic status before they even wanted to talk to me!

    I think all these guys rushing to defend them missed the point. If they wouldn't even talk to me (and they wouldn't) without knowing "what you have in your bank account" (a direct quote) the problem is not "we want to see if you can pay your bills" it is "you have to be wealthy enough to hobnob with us, or you're riff-raff we don't want to associate with"...

    Big difference.

    And I could tell it was the latter, by the disapproving look down the nose I got, when I walked into the guy's office (He was a banker, by the way...)

    I could clearly see the attitude. Instead of being "hey, wow! I am so glad you're interested, what can I do to welcome you and help you find out if aviation and this club is right for you" he was "if you're not the type of person I want to hang out with, I don't want to waste any of my valuable time talking to a peon..."

    If people can't see that attitude, then they have it. If people can't see that economic elitism is the problem, then they're not only part of the problem, they're definitely not going to be willing to admit there is such a problem, much less find a way to solve it. As I said, this is the attitude that will nail the last few nails (or punch the last few rivets) into the coffin of GA.

  6. #26
    I went through the same problem when I got my sport pilot out of 3 schools that had a plane to instruct in, one didn't have an instructor to fly with, one the plane a challenger was just too small for our combined weight, the third had an ercoupe and a small instructor who was also a DER I did most of my instruction in a 172, it was cheaper to pay ahead and I was fine with it, then when I was getting close to soloing we switched over to the Ercoupe, Now it is time for my Biannual and I am almost done with my homebuilt, A wittman Buttercup, I tried the community college to pick up my taildragger endorsement and BFR I had to sign up and register just like a student and then it got to be 2 months between lessons when I had a balance at the school, I flew a sport cub and feel like I could handle landing one in the conditions that I would fly in, but the instructors want more time before they are willing to sign me off for tailwheel, and I have been trying for the better part of 2 months to get a BFR done but I can't get the instructors to even do it, I am told wait auntil next week or next month and I will fit you in, and that week or month passes and I am told to wait longer. At this rate I will have 2 planes built and have no endorsements to fly either. By the way I drove 150 miles each way for lessons and flew in 20 knot crosswinds to get experience, Lucky for me I had weekdays available because no one in northwest Iowa teaches on the weekend have they got things backwards or what?

  7. #27
    MADean's Avatar
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    TM,

    Unfortunately there are snobs and dirt-bags in all segments of society. Aviation is no exception. Sadly, there seems to be more than your fair share in your neck of the woods. With that fact in mnd, maybe what you need to do is start your own club. I'm willing to bet there are others, in your area, who have run into the exact same thing you have. And have given up. Figure out a way to gather them all together.

    Sure, you'd be starting from square one. Not airport. No airplanes. Heck, noteven any licensed pilots. But you have a group of people with a common interest. With all those heads working together, you'll probably come up with some ideas on how to accomplish your goals right quick. And, later, you can move over to one of those uncontrolled, public use airports. You might still have to put up with the crabs & blowhards, from time to time. But once people start to see you and yours having fun... others will be drawn in. And, before you know it, the crabs & blowhards will either take off (looking for darker pastures) or surrender and start having fun themselves.

    We have a local airport that was fairly "dead", socially speaking, until an new, young pilot rented one of the hangers a couple years ago. Now it's THEE place to hang out on weekends. It's become a fun, friendly place. Mostly because he is a fun, friendly kind of guy, who's attitude is contagious. You go out to the airport, almost any day now, and you'll find open hangars, with happy people eager to share their hobby. And it all started with one person.

    It might be a lot of work, but you could just be the spark that ignites a fire. Good luck.

    Oh, by the way... I earned my SP license a little over two years ago, in an Ercoupe. (I'm disabled and have limited use of my legs.) That CFI that said it's a worthless ticket... is a first class CNS (certified numbskull). And you can tell him I said that. I can fly a 2 seat airplane, pretty much anywhere I want, during daylight hours, in VFR conditions. Now, unless you fly professionally, that's probably 90-95% of the type of flying that even those with a PPL do.
    Last edited by MADean; 10-18-2013 at 05:04 AM.

  8. #28

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    It is really disappointing to hear about the treatment you received. Believe me, it is not like that everywhere. Don't give up. As far as the credit checks and bank statements, I have personally never run into anything like this. Wow! Believe me, all of us existing aviators are NOT rich, many having to sacrifice in other areas just to support or hobby. There are a lot of people who frequent this site, scattered all over the country. Let everyone know where you are and maybe someone can make a recommendation that would help. Nobody is going to come bother you.
    Last edited by somorris; 10-18-2013 at 05:19 AM.

  9. #29
    Without letting us know where you are a question like this can't be answered, I already have a fridge of drinks, I plan on hauling the BBQ grill up to the hangar and am working towards my sportPilot Certificate, all I need to do is wait until I finish putting my wife through nursing school and I plan on starting a small school devoted just to Sport Pilots, If I buy one or 2 cheap planes and have them to rent I think I can break even,

  10. #30

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    As for as I can see, being a CFI is a tough road economically, it's hard to make enough to live on. Go out to the parking lot and look at the cars they are driving. Now, this is much the same situation for many airline people. I know a United pilot who is about to retire at 65 and his pension is 1/3 of what it would have been years ago and he is selling his T-6. Now when you go on an airline the stews aren't having as much fun as they did back when Southwest started. Even highly educated doctors are not making as much money as they once did. Medicare and ins reimbursments are much tighter now; maybe they bill $300 for a visit and actually net $125. Some people may love teaching or flying or medicine so much that they can overcome this and still be happy and keep a good face in relating to others. But not everyone is that good. Just look at all the petty bitching on this forum about the price of water at EAA or a kid's ferris wheel or a couple of chalets. None of this had any meaningful direct effect on most of us, but reading this forum was like waking up a small dog, lot's of shrill barking.
    So CFIs, like other people are human, and if they are not prospering, if they are frustrated because the haven't gotten that top paying charter job, etc. they may let their negative attitudes out on others. Now, if I was the owner or manager of a flight school, I'd make sure that customer service was at the top, and if we could not accomadate a student and make money, then I'd at least say no in a nice way.
    But what are you going to do, let the negative ones ruin it for you? I played football from the time I can even remember all through high school. Other than being slow, not too big, and having bad hands, I was great. So coaches weren't exactly beating down my door begging me to come make them famous. I never remember having a coach that was anything to admire, even at a 4 A school my senior year that had won the state championship. But I never let them stop me and I got to be a small part of a bigger thing. I actually got much better reception from coaches when I moved to Colorado and started learning to ski race. If you have even seen a Texan trying to ski, it is much like a politician trying to tell the truth; more likely in theory than practice.

    So what I am trying to say is this rambling bit, is don't let a CFI or anyone else determine if you are going to be a pilot or not, and have fun doing it. But be realistic, they are trying to run a for profit business and it is hard to do at the lower end. You can be your own teacher on many things, it doesn't cost anything to sit at the airport and watch pilots landing, and there is a lot of aviation you can enjoy cheaply, if not actually flying. Good luck.
    Last edited by Bill Greenwood; 10-19-2013 at 09:20 AM.

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