I fly out of Essex County Airport CDW. It is a towered airport located approximately 10mi north west of Teterboro TEB. It is under the outer ring of the New York class bravo airspace. There are two other nearby airports Lincoln Park N07 and Morristown MMU.
Despite having a tower it is a pretty quiet airport. On the weekends it does have its fair share of students doing pattern work. This is because there are three different flight schools located on the field. Recently a large FBO named MacDan went bankrupt so there is only one company that handles fuel and service. It also had a flight school that has been taken over by RGI Aviation.
It’s a damn shame — I learned to fly at Caldwell through MacDan Aviation which was an incredible facility that fell victim to the economy. As you mention, RGI took over the flight school. Sadly, RGI cant hold a candle to MacDan.
Recently I Flew from RGI for about 8 weeks. In that period of time aircraft were not available despite being scheduled three separate times. That doesnt mean the aircraft werent actually there, it just means that because of their financial situation the office cant be staffed regularly and the office manager forgot to leave the aircraft flight bag at the FBO — three times. the chief flight isntructor called it “an honest mistake.” apparently you can make three honest mistakes in a short time period. Nice work if you can get it. anyway, i was just about to start IFR training when two of the isntructors told me that i would be better off going elsewhere because they routinely didnt get paychecks on time. What bigger red flag do you need than that? So, that being said, if you are going to drop close to $10,000 on a SEL or IFR rating you might want to think about doing it somewhere more stable. dont make the mistake i did and blow a lot of money there before you realize it’s a bad scene.
That is a shame. I actually finished my private with RGI in Feb 2010 while they were awaiting a new office space. I haven’t been there since passing my checkride. I was hoping things would get better once that had that space but I guess it didn’t. Now I fly out of Morristown with a club called 150th Aero (150thaero.org), check it out, we have a few CFII’s that instruct.