I joined Harvs Air in 2004 to do my ME-IFR and Instructor rating, before that I had trained in Quebec and visited dozens of schools all across Canada. The main reason I joined was the cost: if you consider the training cost, taxes that vary from one province to the other plus all the “hidden” fees, a full CPL-ME-IFR was almost 10,000 $ cheaper at Harvs than training offered on the west coast or in Toronto and Montreal.
The good weather in the prairies combined with the school’s tolerant weather restriction (that makes a huge difference in training cost at the end of the day) I finished my training very quickly and landed a flight instructor job the day I finished the rating.
The real benefit of training and working here occurred to me in 2009 when I was able to get a dream job for a national carrier in the middle-east thanks to one of the overseas student I had met at the school 5 years before: meeting that guy was like winning the lottery!
So, the real benefit was not saving a few bucks here and there but rather built a powerful network of people that will work all over the world going straight from a C-152 to a B-737 (something that doesn’t happen in Canada).
The whole training is the easy and fun part in your aviation career, the real challenge is to find a job, this takes massive efforts in networking and meeting people from day one at your flying school.
On a more emotional level, flying the taildragger into freshly cut hay fields for a pic-nic with a student or visit some remote farmer’s field for a nice chat are some of the highlights of my career in aviation…
My daily routine now is to program a highly computerized aircraft were my biggest challenge, as soon as we are airborne, is: “will I go for the chicken, the beef or the lobster today?”