FlightSafety International

www.flightsafety.com
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FlightSafety International Reviews

Updated June 7, 2015
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2.7
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FlightSafety International President and CEO Bruce N. Whitman
Bruce N. Whitman
44 Ratings

Pros
  • If you want to pretend you'rein aviation and be at home every night (in 3 reviews)

  • Nice place to work, great people to work with (in 4 reviews)

Cons
  • I was told by both program and center management that one could expect to work, on average, about 4 days on and have 3 days off (in 3 reviews)

  • Promotions and pay raises come very rarely (in 4 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

82 Employee Reviews

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  1. Corporate decision makers made poor choices.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at FlightSafety International full-time (More than 10 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Good pay, nice people, excellent benefits. It used to be a good place to work, they used to value their employees.

    Cons

    They forced the top guy in to retirement and replaced him by someone with no managerial or people skills.

    Advice to Management

    You made a few good people throw away their careers when you seemed to have lost your focus on what the company was about, training. Instead, it was more paperwork and upset employees. Thankfully you fired that specific center manager before someone either killed themselves or him. I personally enjoyed working there, until then.


  2. Excellent work environment and plenty of opportunities for transfer

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Simulator Technician I in DFW, TX
    Current Employee - Simulator Technician I in DFW, TX

    I have been working at FlightSafety International full-time (Less than a year)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Everything about this company is a pro. Every little thing, from the actual work to the free Starbucks machine in the break area. I love working on the sims every night and the night shift is a blast with excellent, friendly coworkers that help you learn everything in a timely manner. The pay is excellent for what I used to make at my old job as well. Also, after 6 months, you can transfer to another location if you'd like to move.

    Cons

    The only downside is the lack of uniform assistance, especially for the sim techs. They get you some shirts, but with the computers running 24/7, they obviously keep it cold. It would be nice if they got us a jacket or at least gave us a better discount from the store to buy one.

    Advice to Management

    Not really anything. This company is excellent and I see me being here for quite some time. Maybe issue a jacket or give us a discount on it.


  3. Helpful (3)

    Instructor

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Instructor in Saint Louis, MO
    Current Employee - Instructor in Saint Louis, MO

    I have been working at FlightSafety International full-time (More than 5 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    - FlightSafety currently provides stable and consistent employment.
    - Working with clients can be enjoyable
    - Most of the instructor core are good people
    - Their competition has yet to provide a better service (that's a matter of time)
    - You can go part-time and still be insured through your spouse or through the AHC Act.

    Cons

    - FlightSafety suffers from the downfalls of a bureaucracy. Nothing is clear and nothing gets improved without a loss in overall efficiency. Normally clients suffer because of bureaucratic failures, but that can't happen at FlightSafety. Therefore, instructors and other service providing employees suffer.

    -IT. Extremely outdated processes and procedures. Good luck finding a file you need.

    -Supervisory management. They are smart people, but they are incapable of managing people. They just don't get it. FlightSafety is struggling to hire people. They are starting to wear down the older generation of instructors which has resulted in retirements and full-time to part-time. I'm sure soon they will begin to stress and overwork the rest of their employees to cover the client load. This stress will lead to resignations. I don't think they even think about this. Also, the PM's are incapable of making mid-month schedule adjustments (after cancellations) that would allow for the fairest schedule among the employees. Basically, current supervisory management which includes everyone up to but not including the asst center manager are limited in overall capability. This will make things worse as staffing levels decrease.

    -Pay. Not even a question. Employees are not adequately paid. FlightSafety applies band-aid raises to certain centers that are seriously struggling. However, these band-aids are small fixes and don't amount to much.

    -Quality of Life. At one time FlightSafety offered a very good QOL. However, QOL has decreased below that offered by alternatives.

    -Executive management. Somebody has to take responsibility for whats going on at these centers. Maybe strictly focusing on revenue and income, but disregarding the negative effects of stressed service providers (instructors, csr, techs, PMs, etc.). Executive managers and middle managers need to appreciate this phrase, " For most service-based businesses, their best assets walk out the door every night." Humans can only hide so much emotion. Eventually, the clients will see that their providers are stressed, if not already.

    -Internal processes -such as performance reviews - are a joke. These procedures were developed with good intention, but then wasted because of poor appreciation of their benefits. For example, no one receives their performance review ahead of time even though its required. All instructors get reviewed by managers that truly have no idea if they do a good job instructing. Therefore, your review is based off employee comments, and whether or not the PM "thinks" you've done a good job (which means you haven't called in sick or have done something that would get them called in by their superiors).

    -There's more, but until they fix the above issues what's the point.

    Advice to Management

    Become increasingly proactive. It doesn't take a genius to see that qualified pilots (I'm talking pilots that have the minimums) are becoming scarcer as a result of industry changes. Take charge and secure your company's future by investing in your employees. Reduce the bureaucratic mess you've made. Ponder the idea of changing leadership to those that can relate to the current economic environment. Most of all, listen to what is said on places like this. Instead of getting angry, relax, and start re-investing in your work force.


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  5. Helpful (2)

    Saga about the Two Year Training Agreement

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Pilot Instructor in Saint Louis, MO
    Former Employee - Pilot Instructor in Saint Louis, MO

    I worked at FlightSafety International full-time (More than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Since all the other instructors, particularly at the St. Louis Center, are all looking to leave FSI in a mass exodus, I thought I would share my story of leaving before the two year training agreement was completed.

    Sadly, aside from working with some very nice fellow instructors, I can't recommend working at FSI until conditions change and the two year training agreement is done away with all together. To me, FSI will always be the company that withheld my last paycheck with a three week old baby at home....see below for an explanation.

    Cons

    They are serious about the two year training agreement. I found myself in a predicament with a new baby on the way. My wife worked full time 12 hour night shifts as a nurse at one of local hospitals. We determined that there was not a conceivable way for my wife to continue working (even part time) with our new baby especially with my erratic schedule as a FSI instructor and her working night shifts. Being part of the student loan debt generation, we also couldn't afford to get by on only the salary that FSI pays.

    Therefore, I made contacts with a large corporate operator that trains at FSI and was able to secure a pilot position that would allow my wife to be a stay at home mom to our newborn. When I turned in my resignation, management completely flipped out. They couldn't believe that someone was leaving before the two year training contract was completed. Well, I certainly wasn't going to let a job that pays almost three times what FSI pays walk away from me because I was supposed to work two years at FSI.

    Management demanded their $38,700 training agreement be paid in full on my last day. If I had that amount of money sitting around, I wouldn't have needed to leave FSI in the first place but that is a side issue. So, I offered FSI the prorated amount which would have been about $9500. They checked with New York and they said they wanted to stick with terms of the agreement and demanded the full amount. Since I couldn't pay them in full on my last day, they took my last paycheck minus a small amount they had to give me due to minimum wage laws (around $500).

    I was eventually able to negotiate 12 month payback terms which equated to a little over $3000 per month but they still took my last paycheck anyways. So, when you see that image of Warren Buffett with an ice cream cone, remember that he had no problem taking away the last paycheck of someone who worked hard as a FSI instructor for 18 out of 24 months that had a newborn baby at home.

    I was extremely fortunate, however, that the corporate operator I now work for offered to pay off the training contract. I did not know that they were going to do that before I started the job and it was a huge relief to me when I found out. I would suggest that guys in my similar situation attempt to negotiate this as part of their offer before accepting a new position. I wish I had done it that way to avoid all the stress. Nevertheless, I will never forgive FSI for the amount of stress that they put me and my family through regarding how I was treated and because of that I discourage every pilot I know from ever working there.

    Unless you are going to lose your home or your kids are going to go hungry, do not accept a job at FSI as an instructor unless the two year training agreement is gone. The two year training agreement is what permits FSI to pay so far below industry average for this job. It creates an artificial supply of instructors because many of them would leave if it wasn't for the two year agreement. This allows FSI to not have to compete for talented instructors by increasing pay to retain instructors.

    A message for the "young" guys/gals: You are being underpaid because of the "old" retired airline and/or military guys working at the training centers who have military and/or airline pensions/retirements coming to them each month along with social security. This isn't a knock at those "old" guys...I wish I had the level of income they get each month. But the reality is that this beats working as a big box store greeter and FSI is their "hobby" money (i.e. fancy cars and boats) each month and they get to pretend to still be pilots. Since there are so many of the "old" guys willing to work for the salary that is offered without a real improvement in the pay or conditions because they already have a large influx of cash coming in each month, things will never get better. And with the massive number of retirements coming up at all the airlines, expect this situation to continue for the foreseeable future with droves of retired airline pilots looking for supplemental income as FSI instructors.

    A message for those looking to go back to active flying after FSI: This job has been referred to as a flying career "kiss of death" because you will no longer have any active flying currency in transport category aircraft. The center will not permit any outside commercial flying activity whatsoever. Your only hope for a decent job immediately following FSI is to get a job with a good corporate operator that doesn't mind the currency issue. I was fortunate to find myself in that category. Want to go to a major airline? Forget it...not until you first go to one of the many terrible regional airlines to get 121 current again...all for $21,000 a year and most likely a commute involved. No major airlines will look at you under the normal hiring processes unless you have actual currency and since they all have computerized applications now your application will never be seen.

    This was the first and last time I will ever sign a training agreement. It is used as a way to underpay and force retention when the job and conditions are such that everyone wants to leave. Like others that will surely read what I have rambled on about, I took the job because I didn't have any other options at the time. It has worked out for me in the long run, but, sadly, for every one of me, there are ten other guys and gals that are forced with the reality of staying at FSI or going back to a regional airline to get current again and then hoping to get picked up by one of the major airlines or decent corporate operators.

    One Last Comment: I want you to remember that those responsible for instituting the two year training agreement never had to sign it themselves or face the kind of financial repercussions if they had to change jobs for more money because of a family situation (like me). This fact alone should infuriate you enough to not sign it or not work at FSI. On one of my last days, one of the "old" instructors asked me about it because he didn't know anything about it since he didn't have to sign it when he started 10 years ago.

    Advice to Management

    You severely undervalue the contributions of your instructors. Without instructors, all you have are a bunch of dry-lease simulators. I am fairly certain I know which side of the business generates the most money and it isn't dry lease. You need to seriously consider the implications of your actions and treatment towards your greatest asset: the knowledgeable, professional instructor.


  6. Helpful (1)

    Working conditions

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at FlightSafety International full-time (More than 10 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    Pros

    You get a paycheck, and you will work with some great instructors.

    Cons

    Management of not heard that slavery was abolished.

    Advice to Management

    Get in touch with reality.


  7. Helpful (3)

    Only about the bottom line...not the "Teammates"

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Assistant Director of Programs in Saint Louis, MO
    Former Employee - Assistant Director of Programs in Saint Louis, MO

    I worked at FlightSafety International full-time (More than 5 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    I was promoted fast and often, and had some great opportunities to travel to South America for work. The people I interacted with on a daily basis were great and I loved coming to work everyday. Benefits are very good.

    Cons

    Upper management is detached from reality. Pay is below average. To get promoted you usually have to preform the job for 6 mo to a year before it becomes official. Raises are below 3% on average.

    Advice to Management

    Stop being afraid of innovation.


  8. Helpful (2)

    Perpetual Reactive Method of Operation

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at FlightSafety International full-time (More than 8 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    The company demonstrates some of the best hiring practices for acquiring its pilot instructors. FlightSafety has also improved the salaries of the helicopter pilot instructors by as much as 35%. Starting pay for select programs is over 150 euro. Any rating provided pertain to helicopter programes only.

    Cons

    FlightSafety does not appear to operate as if it has a 5 year, 10 year or any form of long range plan. Some of this is likely caused by the frequent and unanticipated changes in the regulatory aspect of what it does. However, much of the reactive nature of the way this company operates is self inflicted and completely unnecessary. As a result, decisions are not made, or delayed. Among other things, this has resulted in the prime competitor being able to move unmolested into several prime markets that would have been perfect locations for FlightSafety training centres. This move by the competitor has effectively shut down one helicopter program and is threatening substantially reduce another. All of this places the long term plans of employees in limbo and has many considering leaving before it's too late. FlightSafety also seems to hire management and senior executive based less on qualification and more on how well they enhance the appearance of the organization. As a result, a number of over educated, under-experienced members have been appointed to management and the executive staff. They have little to contribute to the day to day operations of the centre's but they look very good on paper.

    Advice to Management

    Tell it like it is to the CEO and CFO. Continue to operate in an environment of "The Emperors New Clothes" will prolong the flat prospects of growth and perpetuate the fear that many employee's have about their long term relationship with the organization. Stop courting the largest customer and start looking at capturing the largest number of customers. Start actually delivering the quality of simulation, especially visuals, that you tout at the professional trade shows. Customers are tired of not seeing in the simulator what we brag about at the shows.


  9. Instructor Pilot

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Instructor Pilot in Houston, TX
    Current Employee - Instructor Pilot in Houston, TX

    I have been working at FlightSafety International full-time (More than 8 years)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    Great culture and environment. Wonderful support from management. Superb benefits including paid vacation, personal days, and insurance coverage.

    Cons

    Schedule can be erratic and unpredictable. Sims run 20 hours/day so sometimes it's early or late show times.


  10. Mediocre to good place to work

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Broken Arrow, OK
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Broken Arrow, OK

    I have been working at FlightSafety International full-time (More than 10 years)

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    Pros

    Many opportunities, low to moderate stress environment.

    Cons

    Difficult to advance if you are good at your job.


  11. Helpful (2)

    Great benefits, Friendly environment.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at FlightSafety International full-time (More than 3 years)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    They offer great medical benefits, 401K matching is superb, they allow you to apply for different open positions within the company at any location, and they provide plenty of extra training at no cost online.

    Cons

    Management needs training on interpersonal skills. Training is inadequate for employees placed in management positions. Nit picky about certain things... ie how to erase the board, what color shoes to wear, etc.

    Advice to Management

    If the employees you are managing do not see you as approachable or fair, they will not develop a good work relationship with you. It is of dire necessity to have a solid relationship with your workers so that they do not all turn on you, and so that you can be proficient as a manager.



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