Blue Bird in Hot Water

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7ECA
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Blue Bird in Hot Water

Post by 7ECA »

Appears the rather infamous FTU from Chilliwack is back in hot water, again.

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british- ... content=V1
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mmm..bacon
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Re: Blue Bird in Hot Water

Post by mmm..bacon »

Moses Ajala, 18, also from Nigeria, says he completed his Private Pilot Licence (PPL) training with Blue Bird in August of 2019 for roughly $25,000.
$25k for a private? Holy $hit. Someone's getting completely hosed, methinks.
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Re: Blue Bird in Hot Water

Post by photofly »

What should it cost, these days?
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Re: Blue Bird in Hot Water

Post by kevind »

45 hours at 250 per hour, $11250
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photofly
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Re: Blue Bird in Hot Water

Post by photofly »

Average time to PPL in Canada is 71.8 hours. That means about half take longer. Maybe he was in the longer half?
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Re: Blue Bird in Hot Water

Post by fish4life »

photofly wrote: Fri Jul 31, 2020 1:52 pm Average time to PPL in Canada is 71.8 hours. That means about half take longer. Maybe he was in the longer half?
The fact 71.8 is average is scary, they should have a max hours if you don’t get it by X hours it’s probably not for you
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Re: Blue Bird in Hot Water

Post by digits_ »

Even if it took longer. With the information in this article, and other articles and post here, what would you deem more likely: that the 25k price tag is caused mainly by the student, or mainly by the school?

Would you recommend people attend Blue Bird with all the information out there?

I commend you for keeping an open mind and not bringing out the pitchforks, but at some point there will be so many red flags you can't even see their building anymore.
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Re: Blue Bird in Hot Water

Post by photofly »

digits_ wrote: Fri Jul 31, 2020 1:58 pm Even if it took longer. With the information in this article, and other articles and post here, what would you deem more likely: that the 25k price tag is caused mainly by the student, or mainly by the school?

Would you recommend people attend Blue Bird with all the information out there?

I commend you for keeping an open mind and not bringing out the pitchforks, but at some point there will be so many red flags you can't even see their building anymore.
I'm not defending this FTU. From the report, it sounds awful. But, at the back of your mind, you have to bear in mind that a CBC article about a slightly-bad FTU isn't very interesting. And the name Blluebird keeps cropping up in the context of financial mismanagement.
that the 25k price tag is caused mainly by the student, or mainly by the school?
It's an interesting question, but I don't think there's enough information to give a helpful answer, and anyway I'm not here to badmouth a student, even if there was something to badmouth them for. I suspect that the "average" price of getting a PPL in Canada is probably not much less than that, which is why I wondered what people thought was reasonable.
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Re: Blue Bird in Hot Water

Post by photofly »

fish4life wrote: Fri Jul 31, 2020 1:55 pm The fact 71.8 is average is scary, they should have a max hours if you don’t get it by X hours it’s probably not for you
How do you decide if it's the student, or the instruction?
What value would you set on X?
45 hours at 250 per hour, $11250
90% of customers just want the cheapest hourly rate, because it's an easy metric. But teaching people to fly isn't cheap, and if you're trying to quote the cheapest hourly rate, the things that suffer first are maintenance, and what you pay your instructors.

Next, look at the cost of airplanes. A 2008 DA40 costs more than CAD$300k. You can't get a DA20C1 for less than $160k. A 1970's era 172 in decent condition is more than $100k. And the people who put up the capital to set up the operation want (and are entitled to) a return, also.

You can't have cheap training, from good people, in well maintained airplanes. Nobody should pretend that you can.

Anyone want to guess what the instructors were being paid at this place? Enough to generate any kind of enthusiasm for doing a good job?
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Last edited by photofly on Fri Jul 31, 2020 2:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Blue Bird in Hot Water

Post by 172_Captain »

digits_ wrote: Fri Jul 31, 2020 1:58 pm Even if it took longer. With the information in this article, and other articles and post here, what would you deem more likely: that the 25k price tag is caused mainly by the student, or mainly by the school?

I’m going to say mainly the school. You have to remember, these students are highly vulnerable in the sense that their entire visa hinges on them staying in Canada to learn to fly. They’ll do anything and everything to not get sent back home. Doesn’t matter what’s fair, suck it up for the greater good. Many are also likely blissfully unaware of what constitutes as normalcy here in terms of business practice.

Another note is some of these flight schools aren’t in the flight training business so much as the extortion business. Again, give us your money or we’ll send you back home.

Finally, I used to instruct at an outfit similar, and the things the students could get charged for is insane. $1,000 for forgetting to turn off the master for example...one...thousand...dollars...for the master left on! $500 for a new battery. $50 for a no show, when often times it was the school who would book the student in without informing them. Now thankfully, I never observed a student actually get charged for this, however the outfit I was briefly apart of proudly displayed all their surcharges like a restaurant menu at the dispatch desk.
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Re: Blue Bird in Hot Water

Post by photofly »

172_Captain wrote: Fri Jul 31, 2020 2:33 pmNow thankfully, I never observed a student actually get charged for this,
I'm going to award that one to the FTU: in that position I'd happily fine a student $1000 for leaving the master on if it took a training airplane off the line for a battery change. And it clearly worked, because as you point out, you never observed a student get charged.
$50 for a no show,
Again, I'm with the FTU. Not informing the student is obviously wrong, but $50 for a no show is actually pretty cheap when you look at the revenue lost by the FTU.

If you chase the cheapest hourly rate, then you're going to end up with flight training like RyanAir. The training is rock-bottom price, and the money gets made on the extras. When you call round six schools and pick the cheapest, what do you think you're going to get?
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Re: Blue Bird in Hot Water

Post by 172_Captain »

photofly wrote: Fri Jul 31, 2020 2:38 pm
172_Captain wrote: Fri Jul 31, 2020 2:33 pmNow thankfully, I never observed a student actually get charged for this,
I'm going to award that one to the FTU: in that position I'd happily fine a student $1000 for leaving the master on if it took a training airplane off the line for a battery change. And it clearly worked, because as you point out, you never observed a student get charged.
$50 for a no show,
Again, I'm with the FTU. Not informing the student is obviously wrong, but $50 for a no show is actually pretty cheap when you look at the revenue lost by the FTU.

If you chase the cheapest hourly rate, then you're going to end up with flight training like RyanAir. The training is rock-bottom price, and the money gets made on the extras. When you call round six schools and pick the cheapest, what do you think you're going to get?
I think you have a few things confused here. First, the reason I never saw anyone charged these ridiculous rates was because 1.) I only worked there for 2-2.5 months, and more importantly, 2.) students were made to put huge upfront deposits on account. Who’s to say the student weren’t being charged these fees and just having them debited out of their account. Again, from my experience the name of the game here is to get students to put down as much money as possible, and in return give them as little as possible while debiting their account for dubious albeit legitimate looking charges so the school can have plausible deniability when the accusations start flying (no pun intended).

Also, a no show fee is fair, that I agree. However, when no show fees are becoming viewed as a sizeable secondary revenue source, you have other stuff going on
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Re: Blue Bird in Hot Water

Post by photofly »

172_Captain wrote: Fri Jul 31, 2020 3:01 pm Who’s to say the student weren’t being charged these fees and just having them debited out of their account.
Equally, who's to say the students *were* being charged these fees? You don't know, and you shouldn't pretend that you do.
Besides, nobody makes the student leave the master switch on. If the price is posted, and you still do it...
Also, a no show fee is fair, that I agree. However, when no show fees are becoming viewed as a sizeable secondary revenue source, you have other stuff going on
I agree, if missed lesson fees become a significant source of revenue then what is going on is a lot of disrespectful students who aren't turning up for their lessons. $50 is very small compared to the opportunity cost lost by a $400 flight that doesn't happen because the student didn't show up.
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Re: Blue Bird in Hot Water

Post by 172_Captain »

photofly wrote: Fri Jul 31, 2020 3:08 pm
172_Captain wrote: Fri Jul 31, 2020 3:01 pm Who’s to say the student weren’t being charged these fees and just having them debited out of their account.
Equally, who's to say the students *were* being charged these fees? You don't know, and you shouldn't pretend that you do.
Besides, nobody makes the student leave the master switch on. If the price is posted, and you still do it...
Also, a no show fee is fair, that I agree. However, when no show fees are becoming viewed as a sizeable secondary revenue source, you have other stuff going on
I agree, if missed lesson fees become a significant source of revenue then what is going on is a lot of disrespectful students who aren't turning up for their lessons. $50 is very small compared to the opportunity cost lost by a $400 flight that doesn't happen because the student didn't show up.
Clearly we don’t see eye to eye here, which is fine. Although your view on the students does remind of a funny Simpson’s moment.
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Re: Blue Bird in Hot Water

Post by digits_ »

photofly wrote: Fri Jul 31, 2020 3:08 pm Besides, nobody makes the student leave the master switch on. If the price is posted, and you still do it...
Should instructors get charged the same then if they forget it on dual flights?
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Re: Blue Bird in Hot Water

Post by photofly »

digits_ wrote: Fri Jul 31, 2020 3:20 pm
photofly wrote: Fri Jul 31, 2020 3:08 pm Besides, nobody makes the student leave the master switch on. If the price is posted, and you still do it...
Should instructors get charged the same then if they forget it on dual flights?
The usual arrangement is that the instructor gets paid for the flight and the student is the one that pays.

But if instructors leaving the master on and draining the battery is a significant problem then a change of instructors might be worth considering.
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Re: Blue Bird in Hot Water

Post by photofly »

172_Captain wrote: Fri Jul 31, 2020 3:16 pm Clearly we don’t see eye to eye here, which is fine. Although your view on the students does remind of a funny Simpson’s moment.
Like I said, if your business model is to be the Ryan Air of flight training, then you don’t have a lot left over to spend on being generous when your students screw up. You might also ask yourself which passengers are attracted to Ryan Air flights.

I thought you only wanted cheap, good quality and reliable. Now you’re asking for cheap, good quality, reliable and generous.
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Re: Blue Bird in Hot Water

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fish4life wrote: Fri Jul 31, 2020 1:55 pm
photofly wrote: Fri Jul 31, 2020 1:52 pm Average time to PPL in Canada is 71.8 hours. That means about half take longer. Maybe he was in the longer half?
The fact 71.8 is average is scary, they should have a max hours if you don’t get it by X hours it’s probably not for you
What I hate to see is flight schools give out quotes for the TC minimum and lead the prospective student to believe they can get the PPL right at 45 hours easily. At my FTU typical licence times are around 50-65 ish. So we actually give a quote that shows a realistic number and make it crystal clear there tons of factors effecting that number. That way they aren't complaining when they got a quote for 45 hrs and there at 55-60hr. Not to say you cant do it really close to 45hrs its just for most students that doesn't happen. Bookings 5-6 days a week and good luck with weather, sure 45 is not impossible. I took 70 for my PPL but that was due to issues on my end and a bit on constant instructor change. My parents only let me book twice a week so I was staying on top of school so it took forever. Any cancellations set me back big time. Flight Training in Canada is far from ideal sometimes when it comes to weather delays. Up here in Edmonton we can easily have a week axed due to stupid cold weather. That sets back their timeline for a license.
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Re: Blue Bird in Hot Water

Post by iflyforpie »

I like it.

The low price convinced me to fly even though I couldn’t really afford it at the time. If I knew the true cost, I probably wouldn’t be a pilot today.

And since I made it to CPL with a seaplane rating and Group 1 IFR at exactly 200TT.. I can’t really say I got hosed in the end.
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Re: Blue Bird in Hot Water

Post by 455tt »

iflyforpie wrote: Fri Jul 31, 2020 8:31 pm I like it.

The low price convinced me to fly even though I couldn’t really afford it at the time. If I knew the true cost, I probably wouldn’t be a pilot today.

And since I made it to CPL with a seaplane rating and Group 1 IFR at exactly 200TT.. I can’t really say I got hosed in the end.
I remember a statistic that said roughly 80% of those that sign up for PPL training abandon it before finishing their licence. If you ask those that quit, why they have given up, you get a wide variety of reasons. It seems to me that we have to be impressed with the 20% that made it through, for having put up with alot of irritating things like weather/maintenance cancellations, changing instructors, higher than promised costs etc.

So those that have stuck it through all the way to CPL with IFR and Multi ratings have a certain toughness and determination after having put up with even more. I wonder if the whole process of flight training is some kind of filter that sorts out for a certain kind of individual that can handle and persevere over the nonsense that occurs in flight training. Would it be absurd to suggest that flight training is a form of Darwinism that selects for the best pilots?
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