Over our 80-year history, we have become known as the ‘Finish-Up Experts’. That’s not a surprise to us, as we have always, and will always continue to cater to the individual looking to complete their private, commercial or instructor license and/or instrument rating. What is a surprise is that not everyone knows about our American Flyers Airline Academy, which has been around for over 50-years.
American Flyers, known as A.T.E. at the time, got its start by creating a program for airline pilots that utilized simulators to enhance their proficiency. Since that time, we have developed and built the finest airline training program the industry has to offer. The proof is in our history. Over the past 50 years, we have partnered with airlines all over the world – Copa Aeroflot, British Airways, American Airlines and American Trans Air (to name a few), to create well prepared and professional pilots. In fact, at Aero Mexico, almost 33% of their pilots are American Flyers’ graduates.
You might be asking, how is American Flyers Airline Academy different from any other flight school? I’ll answer that in the form of a story. I was meeting a student and his family about his potential enrollment into our Airline Academy. At the end of our conversation, his father looked over and asked, ‘how much money does it take to become a commercial pilot?’ One of the managers at the school looked at the father and replied, ‘you’re not paying American Flyers to turn your son into a commercial pilot, you’re paying us to turn your son into a professional pilot’.
Our manager was right. Our program is designed to prepare anyone for a career as a professional pilot. From the minute you begin your training you are told, ‘this is your first day working as a professional pilot’. It’s not about how long your training takes or the cost of the program, it’s the quality of the instructors, the structure of the program, the experience of the school and staff and the standards you are taught and expected to maintain.
From day one, you are wearing a pilot’s uniform, expected to show up on time, clean-shaven and are treated just like an airline pilot. Our goal is to ensure that you understand what to expect when you reach the airlines. Instructors at the airlines will often tell me about pilot interviewees that arrive late, without a suit, not clean shaven and it’s obvious that they have not studied. They end up passing on the candidate and lamenting on the fact that they wish all candidates were American Flyers’ graduates.
American Flyers’ graduates have a wonderful reputation with the airlines. In fact, one of our regional airline partners recently said that over the past 3 years, 100% of American Flyers applicants have been hired and successfully completed their new-hire training. That’s something that doesn’t surprise me. We emphasize professionalism from day one and our training is the best in the industry.
There are a lot of things I love about my job, but what I love most is walking through an airport and seeing former students working as airline pilots. Remember the story about the student and the father I mentioned earlier? Well, about 2 years ago I ran into the student while walking through O’Hare Airport. He stopped me and said, ‘Andrew, I owe a lot to American Flyers. Out of 7 new hires, I was the only one that made it through training. Thanks to American Flyers, I have my dream job.’
There are a lot of airline training programs out there, don’t choose the cheapest or the quickest, choose the one that best prepares you for a successful career in aviation.
Andrew F. Henley