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Arklight1

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Is there a such thing as a kind of "sponsorship" that an airline might do, to help you pay through flight school? I live in the US, and most of the airlines only hire former military pilots. If I can help it, I don't want to join the military. Also, say that British Airways or some other airline offered such a program. As a US citizen, could I fly for a foreign airline? Thanks!

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Nope. . . There are Loans that you can get from banks and what not that will help you pay for your schooling. Ofcourse youd have to pay them back.Id suggest you to do more research on various flight schools in the US that will take you from 0 time to a right seat with a regional airline. But as far as an airplane sponsering a pilot. . . you wont ever see that. Sorry, many more people out there that are 1)a better pilot, and 2) who dont need financial assitance. Might I suggest you check out Westwind School of Aeronatics (PHX - 35-40grand program), ComAir Academy (MCO - 40-45grand program), PanAm International (All over the US, based in South FL - 50-65grand).As for flying for a foriegn carrier, yes it is possible. And there are thousands of US Citizen pilots flying for foreign airlines. British Airways isnt one of the biggest who hire out of Country pilots. Air France is very rare aswell, especially due to the fact that the government still owns part of the airline. Cathay Pacific, and other asian airlines have the largest # of american pilots in staff. Its possible yes, but its gonna cost you much more to get the foreign lis that are the equivalent to the US lis.Best of luck

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In addition, the military now supplies less than half the pilots hired these days. The majority now come up through civilian programs.

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but still, the airforce still provides the best training you can EVER have, thats where im going and airlines are still more willing to hire a military pilot than a civilian one because of that training, if all else fails, find a good AFROTC course at a college, the one im soon to go to will pay for my college, when you finish the course in about four years, if you decide to join the airforce you will be put in as a 2nd lieutenant, for my case that is.

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Personally I would reccommend staying away from the military if possible. I spent quite a bit of time in ROTC (in fact I was cadet of the year) and flying billets are few and far between. Not to mention if you sign the Air Force contract (your Junior year of college I think it is) and don't get a billet for UPT then you are screwed becuase now you have to give the Airforce time out of your life that you could have been spending going through a civilian flight program and building hours. The military certainly isn't a bad idea in terms of patriotism and benifits but it is A LOT different then what you see on T.V. (Wierd hours, on call a lot of the time, tough on families, low pay, etc..). After spending time in AFROTC and finding out about the flight "slot" situation I left the program and concentrated on school. In fact, I actually ended up joining the U.S. Army and becoming a Ranger (want to talk about an interesting military life, WOW! lol). The military flight selection when I was trying to get a slot in the mid to late 90's was based on your G.P.A (grade point average) in college, extra curricular activities, reccomendation from your ROTC Commander, and your performance in the ROTC program. We had about 45 guys apply and 3 made it in. My friend was actually turned down because he only had a 3.5 G.P.A as a Mechanical Engineering major and the 3 guys that made it were also Engineering majors but all had at least 3.83 G.P.A's. Certainly a rigirous selection program! But that doesn't mean that if it is your dream to become a military pilot you shouldn't go for it!! However, don't try to become a military pilot because you want to be an Airline or Corporate pilot later....join the Armed Forces becasue you want to be in the MIlitary and you want to serve your country.To put it in perspective, military flight training is on average roughly 2 yrs in length (not counting WOFT in the U.S. Army). In 2 yrs time at a civilian flight trianing facility you could have finished all of your ratings to become a professional pilot and been employed as a flight instructor for around a year (depending on the length of the flight program). I'm not sure what the Air Force and Navy/Marine time contract lengths are for pilots now but I believe the Air Force is around 8-10 yrs (less for Navigators).Personally, this is what I would do...and am in fact doing as we speak! Find a flight school where you like the instructors and the training methods are conducive with your learning style. See if they have a program that is set up as a package where you sign up for ALL of your ratings (not including ATP :)I hope I helped you out a little!Shane

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>>$40,000 cash lying around,Is that how much it costs? It's alot of money, yes, but the military guys I was talking to were making me believe it was almost $100,000! In a way, that's a big relief. I guess I'll start saving as soon as I get a job again :). Thanks everyone!

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$40,000 is about what I have seen for most flight schools' Professional Flight Programs. Keep in mind that this IS NOT the amount for schools such as Comair Aviation Academy or Pan Am International Flight Training Academy. Comair is around $45,000 I believe not including a few things here and there (Headset, uniform etc..). The school I will be attending, Pan Am IFTA, is quite a bit more then the others but that is for various reasons. You don't have to go to the most expensive school to get quality training. These are a few of the things I looked for when I was choosing a flight school:1. Professionalism - Do the students wear uniforms? Is the curriculum (sp?) structured? Do the instructors have high expectations of the students or are they just there to build hours?2. Is the school FAR 61 or FAR 141 - FAR 141 requires Flight Instructor standardization, instructor checks, and I also believe requires standards on successful student completion ratios for flight programs (ie, the percentage of students that pass their flight checkrides and written exams).3. Aircraft fleet - Are the aircraft new (older aircraft have higher downtimes, higher downtimes = less avaialbe aircraft)? Are they equiped with the latest avioncs such as GPS, etc.. (most newer regional airlines and majors use "glass" cockpits, the sooner you start getting experience with advanced avionics the better).4. Flight times for the program - Are the prices quoted based on FAA minimums or are they based on what the average student completion time is (FAA minimum for a FAR 141 school is 40 hours (I believe) for your PPL, HOWEVER, the average student completion time is 50-65 hrs., etc...)? *Example* - Is the $40,000 dollar price tag going to turn into $50,000 because it is taking some extra time on a few subjects? *NOTE* - Averages are just that, averages, you could spend less time or more time learning certain subjects.5. Airline/Corporate Flight affiliation - Do certain airlines or corporate flying businesses look to the school as a reliable source for competent responsible dedicated pilots?6. Location - Where is the flight school? This deals directly with amount of flying days per year. If the flight school is in an area where it on average rains 6 months out of the year am I going to be able to even fly or are "we" going to be grounded due to extreme weather for most of the year?7. Cost - What makes this $40,000 flight school better then "the $40,000 flight school across the street"? Why are some flight schools $35,000 while others that offer the same certificates are $60,000....what does the $60,000 flight school have that the $35,000 flight school does not have?8. Living expenses (ext. of location) - What state is the flight school in? Am I going to have to move across the country to attend? What does it cost to move across the country? What is the "cost of living" in the state I will be moving too? If I move "there" am I going to basically double my living expenses? If so, how am I going to pay for it if I am enrolled in a full time flight program and don't have time OR am not allowed to work?The above is a basic run down of some of the questions I sought to answer when I made my decision. There are more but I can't rememeber all of them at the moment. Basically, the cost of the flight school is just the beginning. There MANY things to consider when choosing a flight school not just the monetary repurcusions (sp?) involved.The BIGGEST questions can only be answered by YOU:Do I have the dedication to complete a Professional Pilot Program once I start it? Am I free of social engagements that may interfere with my flight training and ground school? Am I willing to endure the countless hours of study required to take on an endeavor of this magnitude? Am I ready to complete college (If you haven't already. Most if not ALL airlines require a college degree to be hired) to become a professional pilot?Hope some of this helps you out :)Post back here if you have more questions :)Shane

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One more question: which ratings do you earn? Do you get PPL, Multi-engine, ATP, etc. Also, what kind of education do they require you to have to enter such a program? 2 years of college, 4 years etc. Thanks, you've been really helpful!

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As far as ratings go here is a rundown of them that you will more then likely earn in a professional pilot program:1. PPL2. Instrument Rating3. Multi Engine Rating4. Commercial Rating5. Certified Flight Instructor6. Certiflight Flight Instructor Instrument7. Certified Flight Instructor Multi Engine8. ATP - Can ONLY be taken when you have reached 1500hrs. total time. Your ATP doesn't come for quite a while. You need 1500hrs before you can take the flying portion of the ATP exam. You can do what is called a "Frozen ATP" which means you can take the ATP written exam and pass that before reaching the 1500hr requirement for the flight test. For entrance requirements into an actual Professional FLight Program the requirement is usually 18yrs of age and a Class 2 or Class 1 medical certificate. However, to be eligible for an airline job you must be 21yrs of age at date of hire. Some airline that I have researched however, have thier age requirements set a little bit higher...some 24 some 25. Other then that your TT (total time) and multi engine time is VERY important.To usually be hired by a Regional Airline the applicant must have at least some college (2 yrs, etc..). For Major Airlines the requirement is usually a 4yr degree. You can go check airline jobs online and almost all state, "college not required but preferred", take some advice....No college degree, no airline job.If you find a Flight School you like post the link here and I'll help you research it....I have researched just about ALL of the very good one :)Once again, post back here if you have more questions :)Shane

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The schools I've heard of are: Embry-Riddle (probably expensive), Comair, and Pan Am flight academy. There are some local ones offered at Western Washington University and I'll look into those more as well. Thanks!

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Embry-Riddle is a good school but it is very expensive and not a dedicated professional flight school. I would look into ones located near you, or Comair or one of the other ones you hear a lot about.Shane

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Ever since I can remember the only thing I wanted to do was fly. Naturally I wanted to be a pilot in the Royal Air Force.When I was in my final year at school the RAF careers officer (actually a retired Harrier pilot) paid a visit to my school. I told him I was interested in flying. He took one look at my grades and said I was eligable to apply for an RAF Flying Scholarship. I would have to attend the RAF's Officer and Aircrew Selection Centre (OASC) at RAF Cranwell. If I passed the tests the RAF would begin training me in light aircraft whilst I was still at school. As soon as I finished school I would be guaranteed a place in pilot training.The first hurdle was an interview at the local RAF Careers office which I passed without too many problems. Three months later I was at OASC. Interviews, medicals, flying aptitude tests... etc. LOTS of tests and exams.After the tests had finished all the candidates were called in one by one for a review with the senior officer (a Wing Commander).I was told that I "more than met the required standard" but my legs are 14mm too long for aircrew.I later found out that British Airways runs a pilot sponsorship programme. To be eligable you must be aged 18-26, with A-Levels (an non-compulsory higher academic qualification in the UK) at grade C or above in two core subjects (ie maths, physics etc). I figured that if I could pass the RAF tests then I should be able to pass the BA tests. Your average Boeing or Airbus doesn't have ejection seats so the length of my legs shouldn't be a problem.If you were successful in getting on to BA's programme they would pay for you to go to a BA approved flying school in order to work your way up to a UK Commericial Pilot's License. BA would also send you to a flying school in the southern US (or possibly Australia) during the UK's winter months.Once you had the CPL BA would make you a formal offer of employment. Once accepted you would be assigned as a first officer to either the 737-3/4/500 or Airbus A319/320 fleet. You would have to spend a year at BA's flying school, working through ground school and simulator, working up to your type rating. During this time you would also have the opportunity to ride the jump seat of BA's scheduled flights to get some "flight deck experience".Once you achieved your type rating you would finally get the chance to crew a real scheduled flight. You would be paired up with an experienced training captain, and on your first flights you would simply be an observer - watch, listen and learn. As time goes on the training captain would give you more and more responsibility until finally you would be a proper first officer.Of course, if at any point in the programme you failed to meet the required standards, dropped out, or refused BA's offer of employment, you would have to pay BA back all the money they had spent on you.I went to college for a year to get the qualifications I needed. Finally in September 2001 I was awarded 3 A-Levels: Pure Mathematics at grade C, Discrete Mathematics at grade C, and Physics at grade A.I'm sure I don't have to remind you of the other thing that happened in September 2001. BA suspended its sponsorship programme.That means that short of robbing a bank, there's no way I can afford to become a professional pilot :-(I'm currently planning to join the Royal Marines. I'll be starting at RM Commando Training Centre after Christmas.

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My $0.02.Spending $40-$50g to get your ratings is a BIG waste of money in today's environment. You can spend $15-20g at a local flying school and get the SAME ratings as you would at Comair, PanAm etc. The regionals are just now starting to hire again (ASA, ACA, etc.) and they do not care where these ratings come from (no matter what Comair or PanAm tells you). Comair and PanAm amaze you with their placement statistics, but if you look closely they're the ones hiring their own students back as instructors (this is Comair's magic 95% placement number).You need around 1200 hours of total time, of which 200 needs to be multi-engine time. The cheapest way might be to buy a used Seminole, Seneca, or Baron and fly the crap out of it. Sell it when you are done (if you buy a 20yr old twin it should not depreciate that much if you put 500hrs on it - provided the engine was low time to being with).Get a job flying as quickly as possible to build up hours - instructing, hauling checks, towing banners. One advantage of the Comairs/Panams is they have placement people who look at these for you. The best way is to hang out a busy local airport and meet people. It's who you know in this business.

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Actually Chickenhawk there is quite a bit of difference between flying at a local flying club and going to a professional flight school.1. Newer aircraft/Updated avionics - Haven't seen many little flying clubs equipping there aircraft with GPS, have you ;)2. Part 141 (inst. standardization, flight checks, etc..)Some even use a combo. of 141 and 61.3. Dedicated maintenance facilities (lower down times for aircraft)4. Most of the schools have contracts with regional airlines to make getting interviews a little bit easier.5. Classes in CRM ;)Shane

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>Actually Chickenhawk there is quite a bit of difference >between flying at a local flying club and going to a >professional flight school. >>1. Newer aircraft/Updated avionics - Haven't seen many >little flying clubs equipping there aircraft with GPS, have >you ;) A private pilot should not know what GPS is until they get their license, imo.>2. Part 141 (inst. standardization, flight checks, >etc..)Some even use a combo. of 141 and 61. If you like rigid, structured instruction then 141 is the right way.>3. Dedicated maintenance facilities (lower down times for >aircraft) You got me here, however a local school will probably have a "fleet" of 172's.>4. Most of the schools have contracts with regional airlines >to make getting interviews a little bit easier. Don't matter. They're not hiring right now.>5. Classes in CRM <---Most likely not in little flying clubs Buy a $20 book to learn about CRM. Find another flying buddy and work on it for free, it isn't rocket science.>6. Pan Am for instance has a full motion CRJ >simulator.....sorry, can't see a little flying club having >one of those. Your going to pay $30g extra so you can have 3 hours in a CRJ simulator? I know a bunch of ER grads who just went into the ACA internship and had the "full motion 777 sim" 3 hours @ ER. They started asking them systems questions about the 777 and the feedback was to not even put it on your resume. Hanging out at a local airport though, you can meet actual pilots from a major who can then "sneak" you into their simulators. I know a couple who got time in the US Airways A-310 here in Charlotte.>7. Graduation from one of these dedicated schools usually >ends with the student having more total hours and ME hours >then these little flying clubs. Completely, positively false. For $25g i got the same hours I would have had spending $60g at Comair (Private to CFI). In fact, you get a lot of free time being at the local airport and meeting people (I've gotten close to 50hrs). I don't know if that can happen at a 141 school.>8. Level of professionalism - Most of these dedicated >schools require little things like uniforms, being at school >on time and not being able to just reschedual whenever you >want, and not to mention constant performance checks. Epulets (sp?) don't fly an airplane. Sometimes this is a turnoff for students. If you take lessons at a 61 school you will have "phase" checks also. Again, is it worth the additional $30g?>9. Flat out dedication - Constant studying and a lot of >flying are required to pass. At a little flying club I can >come in whenever I want (except for ground school).....how >is that going to prepare me for an airline or corporate >career? Going through a 61 school from Private to CFI is pure dedication. You're studying the material yourself and learning (ground school can only go so far). Not all 61 schools are local flying clubs, the one I work at has 15 aircraft and 9 CFI's (note most of the CFI's came from 141 schools - ER, Comair, North American, and PanAm).>10. CFI hiring - Most of these schools hire out their own >student pool so becoming an instructor is a little bit >easier then at some "mom and pop" organization. IE more >positions available. Be prepared for office politics. 141 schools are notorious for "bidding" instructors and back-stabbing (actually it happens at 61 schools also, but I've heard some 141 horror stories). If you spend $20+g at a local flying school they tend to look out for you, and hire their own CFI's and use you for ferry flights, etc.>I'm sorry chickenhawk but I have taken lessons at little >flying clubs and although the instruction was adequate it >just was NOT up to par with some of these other schools. To >say it is the same is just plain ridiculous. If you had done >some research you would see that professional flight >programs like those the likes of a Comair, Pan Am etc.. >offer MANY things that just aren't possible at little local >flying clubs. Not to mention suggesting that somebody get >thier ratings and then purchase a used Multi-engine aircraft >to build hours....uhhhhhhh...how about the price of the >aircraft, price of the fuel, price of the aircraft >insurance, price of maintenance? What about all those >things? The aircraft with these things alone can FAR exceed >any training cost at a professional flight school. You need to learn about the concept of equity (most planes will have a value associated with them and you CAN sell them when you're done). Also, please realize I was merely suggesting a 61 school versus a 141 school not a "mom and pop".>I'm not saying that going to a little flight school at your >local airport is a bad thing, in fact, for many it suits >them perfectly. But if somebody truley dreams of flying >ragional, major, or corporate someday these larger >professional flight schools best prepare the applicant for >these endeavors. Rigorous, regimented, and professional, >just like flying for an airline. Many of these professional >flight schools have one thing in mind, "Our students want >soemday to be professional airline or corporate pilots". >Most of these little flight schools are around because "Joe" >up the street wants to earn his pilots liscense or >Instrument rating and it is the cheapest way possible. You're in fairy land. Many of these professional flight schools have one thing in mind: To make money. The market is so tight now that the airlines could give a rats ##### about a 141/61 school. They want multi-time and in a lot of cases 121/135 experience or turbine time (things you will not get at a 141 or 61 school).>If you were a high school student and had a chance to go to >a little college but also had the chance to go to Harvard >which would you choose? Even though Harvard costs more which >one do you think would better prepare you for "corporate >life"? And what if Harvard came out cheaper because you >didn't have to buy your own classroom? Would you still >choose the little college? Wrong. You have to apply and get into Harvard. The only application question for a 141 school is "Can you pay us our money?" This is witnessed by the 141 schools training all of the 9/11 terrorists.>In the long run the cheapest way is to become an Instructor >and get paid to fly. Not to mention nothing teaches you more >about a subject then having to teach it. 100% Agree. You have to put the time in. Please take the 141 schools up on the free tours and talk to recent graduates. Also, look at local 61 schools and see about what they have to offer. Sometimes it works out to get your Private, Instr, Commerical at a 61 school and then goto a 141 school to get the instructor ratings.One other thing. Before you spend $60g at a 141 school, goto a local airport and take a $49 intro flight in a 172 to see if you even like being in a small airplane.Better yet, take up crack cocaine. It's cheaper and less addicting than flying. ;-)

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LOL crack probably is less expensive!Actually as far as total hours go...at the end of Pan Am a student has almost 370hrs PIC time and almost 170 hrs ME time, that is quite a bit more time then the other flight schools I had gone to offered. And no, that doesn't include any time you get from being an instructor. Go to most other schools and ask them how many ME hours will you have at graduation or how many total hours for that matter.The school is full time for 14 months and having a job is prohibited.ME time being very important, every little bit helps.As far as the CRJ thing goes. The cost is around S11,000 and it is 4 weeks long, not 3 hours. And if you don't have a job within 6 months of elegibility you get a complete refund of the $11,000 ACE (CRJ) course. That sounds like a pretty good deal to me. And as far as applying goes, yes, you do have to apply to Pan AM. I have to have a first Class medical, I had to give them a copy of my High School Transripts, and a breakdown of my work history over the past 5 years. Not to mention when I called them the gentleman with whom I spoke to spent a solid hour explaining to me the programs and what is expected while at the same time asking me about my goals work experience, technical background, etc... The "Harvard thing" was an example not to be taken literally.When regards to finding a job with a regional airline and having contracts with certain airlines does it matter? Yes, it does. Why? Because I'm not going to be applying for a job within the next few months, I'm going to be applying in the middle of 2004. What is the airline job forcast for 2004? Do you know? I sure don't. But when regionals do start hiring I want to be best prepared. And IMO this is the best way. Like I said before, I have taken lessons at a 61 school. Did I not like it? Heck yeah I liked it, it was a blast! But I am looking more towards a career in aviation and although I had a blast at my flight school I wasn't getting the in depth training I need and desire. So I moved on. I have to agree with your comments about the politics as well. I actually had a class in college called, "Corporate Culture, or the lack ther of".I also have to agree with you somewhat about waiting on your instructor ratings till you can find a good 141 school and taking your other ratings at a 61. For many, the $35,000-$60,000 price tag is WAAAYYYY to expensive to contend with for many people, not to mention the time required to attend one of these schools. Many also don't like the regimented "military" style of instruction and prefer to go about it at thier own pace, I however, am one who thrives on discipline and order. My wife thinks i'm silly, but what does she know she was never "squared away" LOL.Hope I make sense, typing never was my "forte". lolShane

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Shane,totally agreed with you. I decided to go with Comair, even though I also took a look at Pan Am. I think they're both good schools and just as you say, we're in it for the future.The instructors I see here in Sanford, FL are still leaving the academy for (usually Cincinnati, OH) a right seat position on a CRJ. After roughly a year of instructing they get their chance to interview with 5 regionals.Going the "local part 61" way, I don't know if that is wise in todays environment. Guys from Pan Am, Comair, Westwind, etc. will most likely be hired first. The programs are tough and I found them still very personalized even though those schools are in it for the money...but aren't we all?It all comes down to our goal and our attitude, yes they do want our money but only if we're succesfull the school will be able to live up to its reputation, so they do care. As far as the cost goes, yep it's anywere between $40,000 and $65,000 but I'm still confident in the airline industry and what the future holds and I believe in my dedication (and you'll need tons of it ;-) ) and education I get here.I'm pretty sure that Pan Am isn't any different and offers excellent equipment and know how to their students.Cheers (with Coke of course, not beer ;-) )Petehttp://members.aol.com/pzsoulman/myhomepage/logo.gifAthlonXP2000,AbitKX7-333(latest4in1),512MB/2700SDRAM,WinXP,DirectX8.1,Geforce3TI200(128MB)(Det.30.82),SBlive(WDM5.1.2601.0)

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Good luck at Comair Peter :)Pan Am and Comair were my top 2 choices when I was searching. According to those I have spoken with Comair and Pan Am are VERY similar in training styles and academics, not to mention how the academics are conveyed. In fact when I called over to Comair I asked them about flying in the western U.S. and the referred me to Pan Am and when I asked Pan Am about East coast flying schools they referred me to Comair and Pan Am in Ft. Lucia, LOL. My main reasons for going with Pan Am are I lived on the west coast my whole life and my wife is finishing her degree in Interior Design at the Academy of Art there.I do know at Pan Am we take trips to Florida so maybe sometime we can go get a ....soda (not beer). ;)Good luck at Comair!!!! Fly safe!!Shane

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Very interesting discussion here.Perhaps some of you could take a look at this here: http://www.intercockpit.com (there is also a link to the English version).I just started to deal with the thought of becoming an airline pilot, thus still need to gather much more information about how to become one.With that limited knowledge, their offer sound quite good, it is just very expensive (75.000 Euro).If anyone could have a look and give me a more qualified opinion then my own one, I would greatly appreciate it. :)Regards,Robert

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I'd love to help you out Robert but the site is in German and I can't read it, lol.Is there an English version somewhere?Shane

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