• Report: #89125

Complaint Review: Westwind School Of Aeronautics

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  • Submitted: Tue, April 27, 2004
  • Updated: Wed, April 15, 2009

  • Reported By:85027 Arizona
Westwind School Of Aeronautics
732 W Deer Valley Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85027 Phoenix, Arizona U.S.A.

Westwind School Of Aeronautics CONSUMER FRAUD ALERT - , WESTWIND SCHOOL OF STEAL-NAUTICS Fraudulent Business & Flight School. Phoenix Arizona

*UPDATE Employee: Director, Westwind School of Aeronautics

*UPDATE Employee: Director, Westwind School of Aeronautics

*Consumer Comment: More than a gap

*Consumer Comment: Let me guess:

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The single worst so-called Flight School I have had dealings with. The schools Director and many of his Flight Instructors, prey on students in a number of ways.

First they impress you with friendliness and professionalism on initial contacts. The schools director comes from corporate America, where he was involved in sales and is only a private pilot, he is however a minority owner in the school and perspective students aka "victims" should use due caution while listening to the speech in his downstairs office.

His Speech includes his open door policy, his willingness to work with you, and the glory of making $400,000 a year at United Airlines, or perhaps flying a LearJet for executives on ski-trips or the high altitude chamber that students rent time in down by Williams.

This speech has many variables, but usually include a tour of the school, the hanger where Jet Aircraft rent space, sometimes he will open the door to small aircraft used by westwind and let you sit inside while asking you questions like "do you think you would enjoy flying around exotic places, getting paid to do something so exciting and fun, making great money and only having to work a few days a month? This is just one of many Traps he is setting.

Flight Instructors don't return phone calls, sometimes they don't even show up to flights previously planed.

Flight Instructors are paid around $15 per hour from what I have been told and only when instructing a student on the ground or in the air. They can easley work 12 hours or more per day and only get paid for the actual instruction time, so in-between time, which can be a lot, is unpaid time. This almost Forces the instructor to "Milk" the student when he does get time.

Milking the student happens two ways. First, they have extending the training, made delays or had a student repeat lesions. The second way they MILK the student is cleverer. They are allowed by the FAA, to log all hours of flight time, and because the amount of flight time you have is important to getting a job they basically allow the student to fly fly fly to drive there own hours up, most airlines want 1000 hours pilot in command time or more.

THE WORST PART! As the training progresses, the school will inflate training cost by saying "the student needs more work" on this area and that, and the cost is driven way up.

The cost of the program is shown in a blue packet that shows glamorous pictures of airline pilots wearing sunglasses while standing near jumbo jets

The school does NOT own many of the aircraft used, and in fact they lease many of them. Some of the Aircraft used by westwind have been involved in serious accidents. Although I don't believe a fatality has resulted, emergency landings are not as rare as I thought they would be. Contact the FAA & NTSB for this data.

Westwind used to use a very old fleet of Cessna 152's but has since gotten rid of many of them. The Aircraft they have now are very new, however I have heard that Westwind is operating in the "Red" in terms of finances and may be right now, this is my opinion and I don't have proof of this. In fact all this is my opinion from my experiences and the countless students who have been victims of this Christian owned company.

I would like to say that I have heard although I do not actually know, that the primary owners are unaware of the level of fraud happening hear.

Some students have spent #25,000 dollars or more on training just for a privates, some without having gotten it, and because they drag training out as much as they do, your cost of living debt can climb very high if your on a loan and not working.

I'm not saying not to go to Westwind, I'm just saying, research it very well, talk to students, not instructors, and visit other schools and talk to their students and do your homework.

Unknown
85027, Arizona
U.S.A.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 04/27/2004 05:43 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Westwind-School-Of-Aeronautics/Phoenix-Arizona-85027/Westwind-School-Of-Aeronautics-CONSUMER-FRAUD-ALERT-WESTWIND-SCHOOL-OF-STEAL-NAUTICS-F-89125. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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Updates & Rebuttals

#1 UPDATE Employee

Director, Westwind School of Aeronautics

AUTHOR: 40 Year Aviation Veteran - (U.S.A.)

I am the new Director of Westwind School of Aeronautics. Unfortunately the previous Director passed away unexpectedly and cannot defend himself.

I have been in aviation for 38 years and retired from the United States Air Force 18 years ago. In the past ten years I have been the Director of 3 World Class Aviation Schools. I have traveled from California to Florida, Chicago, Texas, Oregon, and Arizona doing 'Best Practice' visits to many flight schools.

During the past two years I visited Westwind School of Aeronautics on 4 occasions and each time I rated it as the best flight training facility with the best equipment and the best of flight instructors that I have observed. The ownership of the company are the most ethical, caring, and professional that I have ever observed. This company has no hidden prices nor policies. It is for these reasons when invited to participate in this company that I accepted the position of Director of Admissions.

The comments made by the contributor are so off base as to be invalid; however, I respect that everyone is entitled to their opinion. I discussed the flight training of many students over the past two years and never found a dissatisfied student and was shocked to see the contributors comments in contrast to my review of the school of the past two years.

Anyone who is determined to find the best quality and price in Professional Flight Training will find that Westwind School of Aeronautics is a most viable choice.

I invite anyone to have a no cost and no obligation tour of our school. Please call Bill at (623) 869-6973 or email me at bsmathers@westwindaviation.com or see our website at www.westwindaviation.com
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#2 UPDATE Employee

Director, Westwind School of Aeronautics

AUTHOR: 40 Year Aviation Veteran - (U.S.A.)

I am the new Director of Westwind School of Aeronautics. Unfortunately the previous Director passed away unexpectedly and cannot defend himself.

I have been in aviation for 38 years and retired from the United States Air Force 18 years ago. In the past ten years I have been the Director of 3 World Class Aviation Schools. I have traveled from California to Florida, Chicago, Texas, Oregon, and Arizona doing 'Best Practice' visits to many flight schools.

During the past two years I visited Westwind School of Aeronautics on 4 occasions and each time I rated it as the best flight training facility with the best equipment and the best of flight instructors that I have observed. The ownership of the company are the most ethical, caring, and professional that I have ever observed. This company has no hidden prices nor policies. It is for these reasons when invited to participate in this company that I accepted the position of Director of Admissions.

The comments made by the contributor are so off base as to be invalid; however, I respect that everyone is entitled to their opinion. I discussed the flight training of many students over the past two years and never found a dissatisfied student and was shocked to see the contributors comments in contrast to my review of the school of the past two years.

Anyone who is determined to find the best quality and price in Professional Flight Training will find that Westwind School of Aeronautics is a most viable choice.

I invite anyone to have a no cost and no obligation tour of our school. Please call Bill at (623) 869-6973 or email me at bsmathers@westwindaviation.com or see our website at www.westwindaviation.com
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#3 Consumer Comment

More than a gap

AUTHOR: Sadconsumer - (Canada)

I had the same experience in Toronto, Canada. I started in 2002 at Airline Training International, as an European student who got lured from major advertising and false promises. The company failed a year later in 2003, many people lost sums that topped 30,000 Canadian dollars. I then switched to next door to another flight school, where planes are property of the owner and not leased.

Although the company is solid in equipment and financially, episodes of unprofessional behavior happened. Freelancing instructors that didn't show up for flight booking or non returning calls, lack of material (manuals, books study aid, etc) to achieve your goal along the training and an unstable commitment from the owner in providing a regular length for the program you are involved.

Since training is very expensive, especially for international students who have to deal with the cost of renting a place to stay and food; a situation where your training double it's expenses and times is a serious problem.

The student also shall commit to it's best to achieve the goals required for the endorsements and licenses, but when you pay and you get half the service, someone MUST be accountable for the delays and troubles.

If you really want to bust this flight school, pinch them over regulations on safety and training organizations. In Canada we have the CARs, which are regulation to respect when conducting a flight or setting up a flight school or an air taxi operation.

I'm sure the FAA has rules very similar to the Canadian ones. This are costly and time consuming gaps that can and will affect the quality of your training, especially if you plan to make a career out of it.

Good luck, cheers!
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#4 Consumer Comment

Let me guess:

AUTHOR: Steve - (U.S.A.)

Is this also the *only* flight school you've attended, or had at the time? Sounds like pretty normal flight school operations, except for your unsubstantiated claims of unneccessary training. Many or most flight schools lease aircraft. You kwow what it costs to maintain and insure an airplane? Flight schools often can't afford it, and private owners lease the planes to schools to help pay for them. How does that matter for the student? It helps keep the cost of operation down, so if anything, it helps students.

Also, almost all students have to repeat lessons. Likewise, almost all instructors get paid for hours billed to students, and not for "in-between time." And yes, since the instructor is pilot-in-command during all dual flights, they log pilot time too. That's standard practice. You'll probably do it yourself if you keep flying. That's how you get the hours you need to land your first non-instructing job. What are you going to do, rent a plane for 1000+ hours at $75 per hour and up?

If the instructors really are requiring *unneccessary* extra lessons of students, that's bad, but just the fact that they require extra lessons is not. It's good. It produces better pilots. Sounds to me like the worst that happened is you fell for a slick sales pitch. (You believed the guy when he told you you could make a half million a year flying?)
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