Category Archives: Uncategorized

Envoy Air Now Offers Industry Leading Pay for Pilots

New Hire Starting Pay Up 47% – Retention Bonuses Extended to All Pilots

Envoy Air, a subsidiary of American Airlines Group, will be nearly doubling the starting pay for new pilot hires! At about $38 per hour, a First Year Pilot can now make $58,000 or more, a dramatic increase to help bring in the next wave of Airline Pilots. Adding to the new incentive program is a First Officer Retention Bonus of $20,000 and a $5,000 bonus per pilot you refer.

Ric Wilson, the VP of Flight Operations summarized “Envoy’s new industry-leading starting pay – along with our up to $20,000 signing bonus, $20,000 First Officer retention bonus and guaranteed flow-through to American Airlines, without any further interview – means our pilots will be among the most highly compensated in the industry now and throughout their flying career.”

Over 120 Students Enrolled in ACT

Coast Flight’s Airline Career Training (ACT) Program has been rapidly growing in size since its inception in August 2014. The ACT program currently has 120 actively training students, and is excited to welcome another 15 who will start in late February. The program offers participants the opportunity to earn an accredited, FAA-approved Associate’s Degree from Indian Hills Community College. Indian Hills has been ranked in the top 10 percent of community colleges in the nation, and offers online courses for ACT students to take classes while flight training in beautiful San Diego, CA.

The degree in Aviation Pilot Training can be completed while students are building their hours for their next flight rating. Once students have completed the required flight ratings, they may work as a Commercial Pilot with one of our airline partners, and continue to finish their studies online from wherever their flights may take them.


ACT student Danny Perez shared, “This offer allows us the opportunity to gain a degree and flight train at the same time, which makes the process of obtaining a job in the airline industry much quicker. The online classes make it easy for me to keep my daily schedule and study around it. ACT has also made it easy to meet and fly with my peers. Indian Hills Community College is constantly ranked amongst the top community colleges in the nation, which lets me know I am getting a great education while I train.”

When the ACT program was first introduced, Coast was quick to make sure that they not only had a college partner to offer an online degree, but also airline partners who would help students make connections and jumpstart their careers in the airline industry. Coast has two partner airlines who allow students to join pipeline programs to becoming airline pilots. SkyWest Airlines has given all ACT students a conditional offer of employment prior to flight training in the ACT Program. Envoy Air, an American Airlines subsidiary, holds interviews with ACT students upon completion of their Instrument Rating certificate. If an ACT student is selected by Envoy, they will have a guaranteed position as a pilot at American Airlines.


Will Dryden founded Coast Flight in 2008 and shared, “When I started the company, I always knew that combining professionalism and fun would result in the best pilots. Our job was to encourage each student’s passion for aviation to surface while we molded the best professional aviators! The idea was Over 120 Students Enrolled in ACT always to help people realize their passion for flight and start exploring the sky. We now have partnerships with two of the largest regional airlines in the United States, who represent almost 6,000 pilots, and a top rated school, which I could not be more excited about.”

The ACT Program also offers incentives for veterans, accepting up to 100% coverage for the program costs from the Post-9/11 GI Bill after Private Pilot. If students don’t have military benefits, they can get up to 100% financing and have advisors to help figure out how to make their dreams a reality.

“The ACT Program is a truly unique opportunity for our students.” added Coast’s President, Bryan Simmons, “They can get a job offer before ever starting flight training. Students also have the ability to expedite their training and degree, and get to live in the best city for flight training. Sunny San Diego allows our students to train on a more regular basis, which helps get them their ratings faster. The ultimate goal is to help them reach a career as an airline pilot, and we are happy to see that this goal is being achieved with over 120 students now in the program and well on their way to professional pilot careers.”

Pictured: Coast CFI Kristen Verdi now flying for SkyWest Airlines!


Scott Miller: Overcoming Adversity to Follow Aviation Dream

United States Army Veteran Scott Miller’s story is a compelling and inspiring example of a man facing adversity yet refusing to give up on his dreams. On November 25, 2014, Scott completed his private pilot check ride and medical flight test at Coast Flight’s college partner, Indian Hills Community College in Ottumwa, Iowa. Becoming a certificated private pilot after serving in the National Guard is an impressive set of achievements on its own, but Miller’s circumstances make this feat all the more remarkable. Scott Miller lost the use of his legs after a motorcycle accident several years ago, but he didn’t let this impede his positive attitude and drive to succeed. Miller’s story serves as motivation for all future pilots and anyone who faces challenges on the road to success.

Overcoming Adversity scott

Many people would have given up and accepted defeat after losing the use of their legs, but not Scott Miller. The National Guard soldier fractured two vertebrae during a motorcycle accident following a drill weekend in Des Moines, Iowa several years back, which left him paraplegic. He was headed towards his home in the neighboring town of Albia that day when he hit a pothole and landed on railroad tracks near by. But instead of giving up on or settling for a lesser dream, Scott started flight training at Indian Hills Community College in late 2012.

Scott’s Path to an Aviation Career

After learning the basics in the college’s Redbird simulator, Miller began the required training and flight hours to prepare for his pilot check ride and medical flight test at Indian Hills Community College. He was able to complete all the required flight training to become a certificated private pilot. In large part, Miller’s success can be attributed to a Union hand control specially designed by a local aviation expert for the Cessna 172 he used during his private pilot training. Miller passed both tests with flying colors on November 25, 2014. His next goal is to complete the college’s advanced flight training, notes Indian Hills Chief Flight Instructor Darren Graham. “A group like this who believes in you and encourages you is what makes me have the drive to keep going,” Miller said during a recent interview The Ottumwa Courier. “Anyone can do it,” he later added.

After completing his advanced flight training, Scott’s next goal is to purchase his own airplane that he can use for charter flights, crop dusting, banner towing, firefighting or flight instruction. At that time he will be legally qualified to fly any private type of plane, excluding jets and airlines.

Proud College Partners

Coast flight is proud to call Indian Hills Community College a partner, enabling new opportunities for pilots-in-training to earn an accredited, online associate’s degree in Aviation Pilot Training while undergoing flight training at Coast’s San Diego campus. After completing the required flight ratings, students can even begin working as a commercial pilot as soon as they finish the online degree. See Scott’s experience at

Contact Coast Flight today to learn more.

Airline Pilot’s Return on Investment

Pilot's Return on Investment InfographicThere are many reasons why people become pilots. These reasons are often rooted in some childhood dream, or an innate desire to travel, or the sheer joy of taking flight, or a desire to lead and take care of others. Training to become a professional pilot is certainly one of the most respected, challenging, action-packed and fulfilling career paths a person can take. There are other considerations you need to make before choosing a career and investing in your education, though. Most people must also factor in the cost of their education and the potential salary they could earn once they enter their career field. Fortunately for pilots, the return on investment is excellent compared to other industries. Just consider how the ROI for professional pilots’ education and training matches up to that of other esteemed professionals including teachers, doctor and lawyers.

Total Cost of Education

In order to enter a revered profession such as teaching, legal counsel, medicine or aviation, you must first complete a high level of postsecondary education. The length of time that students must spend in an accredited university and/or training program, and the cost of doing so, inevitably varies depending on the professional career they are preparing for. While all of these professions require about the same level of undergraduate education, that is where the similarities end. Just consider the national averages for the cost of required education to become a teacher, pilot, lawyer and doctor:


• average undergraduate cost = $87,032
• average specialty education cost = N/A


• average undergraduate cost = $87,032
• average specialty education cost = $51,900


• average undergraduate cost = $87,032
• average specialty education cost = $55,416


• average undergraduate cost = $87,032
• average specialty education cost = $232,564

Median Annual Salary

Of the four honorable professions under the spotlight, it’s easy to see that teachers spend the least on their postsecondary education. This is because many teaching jobs in elementary, middle or high schools only require a bachelor’s degree (although some K-12 teaching jobs require a master’s degree, and all postsecondary teaching jobs require at least a master’s degree). And with an average total education cost of $87,032 for teachers, $138,932 for pilots, $142,488 for lawyers and $319,596 for doctors, it’s clear that doctors spend the most (by a landslide). What really matters, though, is the potential returns for this initial investment in education and training. Consider the median annual salaries for teachers, pilots, lawyers and doctors in the United States:


• median annual salary = $49,140


• median annual salary = $111,680


• median annual salary = $110,590


• median annual salary = $186,044

Return on Investment

What this all means is that of these four career paths, pilots enjoy the greatest return on investment. It’s important to consider that teachers typically have 43 career earning years, pilots typically have 42, lawyers typically have 40, and doctors typically have 34. So if you figure the return on investment for each career, which is ((annual salary × years in career) – education costs), and divide that by the education costs, you will find the following:

• Teachers earn $23 for every $1 invested in education
• Pilots earn $33 for every $1 invested in education
• Lawyers earn $30 for every $1 invested in education
• Doctors earn $19 for every $1 invested in education

In addition to the great return on investment in the aviation field, the high median annual salary for aviation graduates allows them to pay off their education costs more quickly than these other skilled professionals as they move up in their careers. This economic freedom enables pilots to enjoy the things they love about their careers, from adventure and travel to responsibility and respect, without as much worry.

Increasing Shortage of Domestic Pilots Hits the U.S. Airlines

If you’ve flown recently in the United States or abroad, you may have noticed some cuts in service. You may also notice a few changes around the U.S. airline industry if you plan on flying soon. There is a growing shortage of qualified domestic pilots in the U.S. according to figures from major airlines, and this shortage is only expected to grow as the demand for new pilots continues to increase while the number of existing pilots diminishes. It is an international problem, in fact, as airlines from Japan to Latin America are seeing the effects. In the United States, the facts about this domestic airline pilot shortage should speak for themselves.

Understanding the Domestic Pilot Shortage

This shortage of pilots in the U.S. and abroad isn’t exactly a surprise, as the International Civil Aviation Organization (the UN’s aviation agency) began warning about a shortage of qualified pilots across the globe two years ago. The shortage is hitting the U.S. sooner and harder than anticipated, though, leaving some airlines with no choice but to cut services. There are several reasons for this shortage, adding up to an unanticipated demand for new pilots:

• Many of the most experienced and esteemed pilots in the industry have recently retired or are expecting to retire, for starters.
• The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has also increased the training requirements for new pilots, deterring some students and keeping those who do want to be pilots in school a bit longer.
• New industry standards have increased the required amount of rest pilots must have before returning to their next shift.

These are good rules, of course, that add to the safety of the airlines. Adhering to them does present some initial challenges, though. It has been particularly troublesome for regional airlines, who are not able to offer the same pay as major carriers. Of course, existing pilots will inevitably snap up higher paying jobs as soon as they can. With many pilots from the major carriers retiring or scheduled to retire in the near future, regional airlines are losing pilots faster than they can think about replacing them. The result, for now, is cancelled flights and reduced services. But there are solutions on the horizon.

U.S. Airline Industry Hurries to Find Solutions

While flights are being cancelled and services are being cut, airlines are also hurrying to hire new pilots and flight training institutions are working diligently to recruit new students. Delta Airlines has recalled all of the pilots who were furloughed during tougher times, and has been working to hire an additional 20-50 pilots a month throughout the year. United Airlines has also reported that it plans to recall hundreds of its furloughed pilots. The union that represents American Airlines Group expects to lose as many as half of its 8,800 pilots as they retire or leave the company in the next decade, and anticipates the need to hire as many as 100 pilots a month to keep up with the demands.

So, while there may be some inconveniences for U.S. passengers for the time being, the aviation industry is working hard to solve it. For example, Coast Flight is addressing the shortage issue. For budding pilots, this is a great time to enter the industry, as there are many jobs currently available and many more to open up soon.
with its Aviation Career Training (ACT) program. It removes the post-training stress of finding a job by offering employment prior to the beginning of training, allowing future pilots the freedom of mind to focus on getting through the program and into the career path of their dreams. So if you are a budding pilot, now is an excellent time to start your career.

ACT Program Interviews


Paul Hardy

ACT Fall ’14

Q: Why did you choose to become a pilot?

A: It has been a dream since Elementary school to become a pilot. This dream orginally saw a hurrdle with my vision problems,
I began looking into solution and Lasik came on the map and helped me overcome and realize dream. I have always had an underlying love for aviation and flying.

Q: What was the biggest reason you chose the ACT program?

A: To be able to use the GI Bill to cover flight training 100%. The security of having a conditional offer of employment from SkyWest Airlines to have a clear path to a job made it an easy decision.

Q: What was the hardest part of the screening?

A: Being nervous to take the test and interviews. Wonder “Am i good enough?” “Is this something I can overcome?” But after the process and succeeding I was filled with pride.

Q: What did you most enjoy about the screening?

A: The environment at Coast felt so welcoming, it felt like a family and it is full of happy people. By having that support along with the training makes every sessions enjoyable.

Q: Who was the first person you called, and why, when you found out you had been accepted to the ACT Program and had a conditional offer of employment from SkyWest Airlines?

A: My wife because of her endless encouragement through my life and the screening and interview process for this program. It just made me ecstatic to tell her the great news about my career future.

Q: Since you have started your college and flight training, what do you enjoy the most?

A: Being in the air, flying the planes and connecting with the instructors by feeding from their energy and excitement. Also, there is no better feeling than taking off in an airplane.


Tyler Kubota

ACT Fall ’14

Q: Why did you choose to become a pilot?

A: The simple answer is that flying is the most incredible feeling and to get the opportunity to fly airplanes is a dream come true.
I also saw it as an opportunity to work alongside likeminded people with a passion for their work,
and being around the other ACT students and Coast Flight staff who are so passionate about flying makes me even more excited to be a pilot.

Q: What was the biggest reason you chose the ACT program?

A: The ACT program stood out because of its relationship Coast Flight has with SkyWest Airlines.
The program offers an unparalleled level of peace of mind and guidance with the conditional offer of employment from the airlines.
Once I actually heard from some individuals from SkyWest, it became clear that SkyWest values a positive attitude and pilots who love to go to work,
two things that I really love about SkyWest.

Q: What was the hardest part of the screening?

A: The interviews were challenging, partly because I was so nervous. However the whole screening process felt unique and really forces the applicant to think like a pilot, which was pretty fun.

Q: What did you most enjoy about the screening?

A: The simulator evaluation was definitely my favorite part. Just being in the cockpit and flying a plane was a lot of fun, even if it was a simulation.

Q: Who was the first person you called, and why, when you found out you had been accepted to the ACT Program and had a conditional offer of employment from SkyWest Airlines?

A: I told my girlfriend and my parents, simply because they’ve both been so supportive of me and my decision to pursue an aviation career. I feel very lucky to have them around.

Q: Since you have started your college and flight training, what do you enjoy the most?

A: I’m just enjoying the whole experience of learning how to be a pilot. I feel really fortunate to be in the program so I’m doing my best to work hard to be the best pilot I can be.

Japan Airline Pilot Shortage Grounds Two Airlines

Recent reports show there is a shortage of trained and qualified aviation graduates, with an estimated shortfall of more than 70,000 U.S. air transport pilots. This trend is certainly not limited to the United States, though. In fact, two of the biggest budget carriers in Japan are planning to cancel hundreds of flights this summer due to a shortage of available pilots. This goes to show that the problem with pilot shortages is an international problem, and that it may be an ideal time for students to get the required training and enter the exciting field of aviation.

Vanilla Air to Cancel Flights in June

The Japanese budget airline Vanilla Air recently reported that there are not enough pilots to fly all of the scheduled flights this month, and attempts to secure enough pilots have not been successful in time to meet current demands. Additionally, some crewmembers have also recently moved on, leaving Vanilla Air between a rock and a hard place. All Nippon Airways (ANA), the owner and operator of Vanilla Air, says that it will have no choice but to cancel one third of the flights it has scheduled for June. That amounts to a total of 154 flights, which may affect as many as 2,500 scheduled passengers. Passengers with reservations for these 154 cancelled flights will be guaranteed seats on other airlines, according to ANA president, Tomonori Ishii. The carrier, which is the product of a recent joint venture with a Malaysian airline, says it is working to hire recently graduated pilots and borrow some from other airlines in order to resume full operations in July.
Japan Airline Jet Pilot Shortage Image

Peach Aviation May Cancel Flights Until Fall

One of Vanilla Air’s competitors, Peach Aviation, is facing similar problems. In fact, Peach Aviation Ltd. predicts that it may have to cancel more than 2,000 flights between now and October because it doesn’t have enough qualified pilots. Peach is also fairly new to the scene, operating since 2012, but its low-cost flights quickly attracted a high number of passengers. While the carrier was meeting the demand for flights at first, a recent shortage of pilots due to illness and other reasons has left Peach unable to satisfy the increasing number of passengers looking to fly. According to Peach CEO, Shinichi Inoue, more than 15% of their pilots are unavailable to fly due to health reasons, and they have been unable to recruit a sufficient number of new pilots and crewmembers, or promote from within. This series of cancellations could affect as many as 2,088 flights which would have carried approximately 26,000 passengers.
Japan Airline Jet
The United Nations specialized aviation agency, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), began warning about pilot shortages two years ago, and the problem is expected to reach a critical mass in Asia, Latin America and Africa by 2030. For those interested in pursuing a career in aviation, whether in Asia or any other part of the world, it might just be the ideal time to begin the education and training to fulfill this demand.

Emergency Procedures Course Review

Over the last couple of years I have taken both Coast Flight Academy’s Emergency Procedures Course and Instrument Refresher Course. If you own / fly a SR22, and don’t get in nearly as many hours as you’d like, use your instrument rating primarily to file IFR to VFR on top when the marine layer hanging around, shoot the same approaches all the time to keep current, ever wonder about turning back to the airport on a engine failure on take off, and when should I be using the CAPS system, then I highly recommend both courses. The courses include presentation material with questions and answers followed by several hours in the Coast Fight Redbird simulator. On the simulator you will experience, practice, and learn things that are not possible in the real plane. For example, with an engine failure on take off, you can practice turning back to the airport or pulling the CAPS handle so that the reactions to these emergencies become automatic. You can fly an instrument approach into any airport under any conditions and have system failures along the way. Both courses are great for maintaining important skills and knowledge. They build confidence in your decision making process which adequately prepare you for real emergency situations.

–Tom Brotherton