Airline Pilot Forums

Airline Pilot Forums was designed to be a community where working airline pilots can share ideas and information about the aviation field. In the forum you will find information about major and regional airline carriers, career training, interview and job seeker help, finance, and living the airline pilot lifestyle.




k1600gt
04-22-2015, 07:47 AM
I am 39 years old and looking to transition to a career in aviation. I'll be retired military soon. I have been leaning towards ATP Flight School mostly because they are the name I see most often and the airline partnerships. I have read many of the posts about them and see good and bad reviews but most of them are from several years ago.

I am particularly interested in recent graduates and current student's experience with ATP.

I am also very interested in the opinion of Captains who have flown with recent graduates and their opinion of the pilots that come out of ATP's training program.

I am considering the Long Beach CA location. Does anyone have experience with them?


thekid99
04-25-2015, 11:27 PM
Tracking this... I too am looking at ATP vs Mom/Pop. I'd be in Tampa. Hope you get some replies.

Toonces
04-26-2015, 06:58 AM
I've recently flown with two pilots who graduated and taught at ATP in Jacksonville. Sharp guys, no complaints.


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LTdan
04-26-2015, 04:39 PM
I would highly recommend NOT going to ATP. If you do go, you'll be trained by a 90 day zero to hero instructor, who was taught by another 90 day instructor. I was not a student there thankfully but in my experience with ATP, the experience and knowledge of the instructors is weak. They train for checkrides so don't expect any above and beyond knowledge. Also, they are not customer oriented. ATP cares about your money and that's it. They do not care about your training experience.

The airline partnerships are pointless, every regional in the country is clamoring for pilots. Any pilot with the hours and the certs can get a job. No one will be impressed because you have ATP on your resume. Just the opposite is more likely.

For retired military, look for a 141 school where you can use your benefits to pay for your training.

k1600gt
04-27-2015, 06:06 AM
I would highly recommend NOT going to ATP. If you do go, you'll be trained by a 90 day zero to hero instructor, who was taught by another 90 day instructor. I was not a student there thankfully but in my experience with ATP, the experience and knowledge of the instructors is weak. They train for checkrides so don't expect any above and beyond knowledge. Also, they are not customer oriented. ATP cares about your money and that's it. They do not care about your training experience.

The airline partnerships are pointless, every regional in the country is clamoring for pilots. Any pilot with the hours and the certs can get a job. No one will be impressed because you have ATP on your resume. Just the opposite is more likely.

For retired military, look for a 141 school where you can use your benefits to pay for your training.
Thank you for your assistance. I've read a few responses on other treads complaining about the quality of the "Teach to the test" or "copy of a copy training". As I'm new at this what's the best alternative to the so called "pilot mill" flight schools?

k1600gt
04-27-2015, 06:08 AM
I've recently flown with two pilots who graduated and taught at ATP in Jacksonville. Sharp guys, no complaints.


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Thanks for your reply Toonces. Do you attribute that to the training or culture at ATP or the personality and work ethic of thos pilots?

k1600gt
04-27-2015, 06:14 AM
Tracking this... I too am looking at ATP vs Mom/Pop. I'd be in Tampa. Hope you get some replies.
Seems like the more I learn about this, the more I realize how much I don't know. Good luck in search and thank you for the reply.

bedrock
04-27-2015, 07:48 AM
Get a PPL first, so you can judge your aptitude and desire to fly, before you plunk down serious change at ATP's. The biggest problem with ATP is in a fast paced program, you don't have time to internalize what you learned. How fast you internalize is the question. ATP dispatchers will treat you like dirt and customer service is bad. They have an attitude that you are the pilot, we are the company, so we tell you what to do---not you are the customer, how can we please you.

I only did their CAPT program in 2003 (35 hrs multi-IFR) after I was out of aviation for a while and applying for a job which required multi-engine currency and good IFR skills. I flew ATP's planes over half the country in mostly IFR. Dispatch had me running around last minute scrambling for enroute charts and approach plates as they kept changing my route, so i was delayed hrs trying to find an FBO on field that sold charts and which was open on Sunday evening. Keep in mind, this airport was big and I had no car, so it was miles of running on foot. Then they yelled at me on the phone, when I as late. They had good, well maintained planes and the other ATP student was a good pilot. But this was after I had 1200 hrs of experience. If you put the work into it, that means study, study, study AND you can keep up with the pace, I think it can work well. You get gobs of multi-time in a real world environment, flying their planes hundreds of miles in all weathers (not icing). No other school I know of gives you the opportunity to get that experience and confidence. Get the PPL elsewhere first, though.

k1600gt
04-27-2015, 08:53 AM
Get a PPL first, so you can judge your aptitude and desire to fly, before you plunk down serious change at ATP's. The biggest problem with ATP is in a fast paced program, you don't have time to internalize what you learned. How fast you internalize is the question. ATP dispatchers will treat you like dirt and customer service is bad. They have an attitude that you are the pilot, we are the company, so we tell you what to do---not you are the customer, how can we please you.

I only did their CAPT program in 2003 (35 hrs multi-IFR) after I was out of aviation for a while and applying for a job which required multi-engine currency and good IFR skills. I flew ATP's planes over half the country in mostly IFR. Dispatch had me running around last minute scrambling for enroute charts and approach plates as they kept changing my route, so i was delayed hrs trying to find an FBO on field that sold charts and which was open on Sunday evening. Keep in mind, this airport was big and I had no car, so it was miles of running on foot. Then they yelled at me on the phone, when I as late. They had good, well maintained planes and the other ATP student was a good pilot. But this was after I had 1200 hrs of experience. If you put the work into it, that means study, study, study AND you can keep up with the pace, I think it can work well. You get gobs of multi-time in a real world environment, flying their planes hundreds of miles in all weathers (not icing). No other school I know of gives you the opportunity to get that experience and confidence. Get the PPL elsewhere first, though.
Thank you for the advice. The more I have thought about it, the more I am leaning towards getting my PPL first. I'm trying to resist jumping on what looks like the fastest route instead of the best route, this is the career I want now that I'm winding down my first one. I want the beast quality training I can get, espescially since I'm shelling out so much money to get into a career that pays so low to start.

bedrock
04-27-2015, 10:24 AM
Thank you for the advice. The more I have thought about it, the more I am leaning towards getting my PPL first. I'm trying to resist jumping on what looks like the fastest route instead of the best route, this is the career I want now that I'm winding down my first one. I want the beast quality training I can get, espescially since I'm shelling out so much money to get into a career that pays so low to start.

As a sunset career, flying for the airlines, even regional, isn't bad. Since you aren't relying on the airline for income, it becomes a "hobby" if you will, and you can simply leave if it doesn't suit you. Also, the future now is much better than in 2003. Back then, training was cheaper, but you literally had to risk your life flying boxes around in the dead of night in many cases, just to build time--and the pay? 20K. And that was after 2 yrs of instructing for peanuts as well.

Now, you go into a regional which is MUCH safer. Especially if everyone needs 1500 hrs to get there. If you have the money I would recommend learning tailwheel and a few hrs of aerobatics or at least unusual attitude training. These will make you better than the average pilot mill graduate. The problem with the modern way of teaching pilots how to fly only to become airline pilots is that they become operators, not truly understanding what they are doing or understanding aerodynamics. Most don't know how to use a rudder properly either. Hopefully, the 1500 hr requirement will address that.

k1600gt
04-27-2015, 10:32 AM
As a sunset career, flying for the airlines, even regional, isn't bad. Since you aren't relying on the airline for income, it becomes a "hobby" if you will, and you can simply leave if it doesn't suit you. Also, the future now is much better than in 2003. Back then, training was cheaper, but you literally had to risk your life flying boxes around in the dead of night in many cases, just to build time--and the pay? 20K. And that was after 2 yrs of instructing for peanuts as well.

Now, you go into a regional which is MUCH safer. Especially if everyone needs 1500 hrs to get there. If you have the money I would recommend learning tailwheel and a few hrs of aerobatics or at least unusual attitude training. These will make you better than the average pilot mill graduate. The problem with the modern way of teaching pilots how to fly only to become airline pilots is that they become operators, not truly understanding what they are doing or understanding aerodynamics. Most don't know how to use a rudder properly either. Hopefully, the 1500 hr requirement will address that.
Thanks for the advice. I'm only 39 so I still have a long career ahead of me and I want to do it right. I have also been looking at other ways to build hours other than being a CFI at a pilot mill. Some of them look pretty uncoventional but also a lot of fun.

bedrock
04-27-2015, 10:47 AM
Thanks for the advice. I'm only 39 so I still have a long career ahead of me and I want to do it right. I have also been looking at other ways to build hours other than being a CFI at a pilot mill. Some of them look pretty uncoventional but also a lot of fun.


As an airline captain, I think being a CFI is essential for airline preparation, because it puts you in an environment of responsibility, decision making, and use of crew resource management--all necessary in the airline environment, that said doing OTHER things besides CFI is important too. I can tell you, that I know pretty quickly when I have flown with someone who has instructed before and someone who hasn't.

k1600gt
04-27-2015, 10:50 AM
As an airline captain, I think being a CFI is essential for airline preparation, because it puts you in an environment of responsibility, decision making, and use of crew resource management--all necessary in the airline environment, that said doing OTHER things besides CFI is important too. I can tell you, that I know pretty quickly when I have flown with someone who has instructed before and someone who hasn't.
I realize individual experiences vary but how long are most the new FO's your flying with taking to get from zero to ATP?

bedrock
04-27-2015, 11:03 AM
I realize individual experiences vary but how long are most the new FO's your flying with taking to get from zero to ATP?

I am working at a regional which hasn't been able to recruit many new FO's. From 0-1500 hrs I would expect 3 years, if you train straight through and work consistently. It took me 4 yrs to get almost 2000 hrs from 2000-2004, but there was almost no flying for months after 9/11 and after that it was spotty--I had to work a second job.

I wanted to add that in the PPL it is essential to fly 3x week until you get to the cross country portion of training. Also, make sure you get your third class medical early, because you need it for solo. Make sure you study well in advance and that your instructor is organized and knowledgeable. You are also going to have to flexible to build hours. You'll probably have to move a few times to find work, unless you live in Florida, AZ or southern CA.

Toonces
04-27-2015, 02:31 PM
Thanks for your reply Toonces. Do you attribute that to the training or culture at ATP or the personality and work ethic of thos pilots?


It was a little of both, but at least at my company we have been able to be selective about our applicants. We have an agreement with ATP (as do other companies) that recognizes the value in their training and will generally extend invites to qualified applicants, but of course it's the interview that counts. From my personal experience with ATP grads, they come to the show with the experience needed to perform well as an FO. Our training department takes care of the rest.


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k1600gt
04-28-2015, 05:27 AM
I am working at a regional which hasn't been able to recruit many new FO's. From 0-1500 hrs I would expect 3 years, if you train straight through and work consistently. It took me 4 yrs to get almost 2000 hrs from 2000-2004, but there was almost no flying for months after 9/11 and after that it was spotty--I had to work a second job.

I wanted to add that in the PPL it is essential to fly 3x week until you get to the cross country portion of training. Also, make sure you get your third class medical early, because you need it for solo. Make sure you study well in advance and that your instructor is organized and knowledgeable. You are also going to have to flexible to build hours. You'll probably have to move a few times to find work, unless you live in Florida, AZ or southern CA.
Thank you again for your advice. It's always good to get first hand experience from those doing the job you hope to get. Fortunately, at least for this reason, I already live in Southern California about 5 minutes from LGB and there are several schools there including ATP. Now I have to weed thru them and find the one that best works for me.

k1600gt
04-28-2015, 05:29 AM
It was a little of both, but at least at my company we have been able to be selective about our applicants. We have an agreement with ATP (as do other companies) that recognizes the value in their training and will generally extend invites to qualified applicants, but of course it's the interview that counts. From my personal experience with ATP grads, they come to the show with the experience needed to perform well as an FO. Our training department takes care of the rest.


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Thank you for your input on the quality of training you are seeing coming out of ATP.

SMACFUM
04-30-2015, 08:12 PM
As a current regional first officer, and a former student of ATP flight school, my advice is to stay far away from ATP. It still amazes me that people fall for their flashy marketing tactics, and it is exactly that. Lots of flashy show, no real substance.

Here are the biggest problems with ATP that I experienced and witnessed:
1) Once they have your money, and your enrolled in the program management treats you like absolute garbage. You are now at their whim, and they call the shots, not you (the paying customer). Being forced to fly in unsafe weather conditions, being forced into taking check-rides you are unprepared for are standard operating procedures at ATP. Threatening and coercion are the norm. If you don't like it tough, just quit and they'll keep a large chunk of your unused deposit. I am still amazed that people put up with that sort of treatment after laying out $70,000+ to the company. DO NOT under-estimate this point.

If this is how they treat their paying customers, you don't even want to know how they treat their employees. Their "guaranteed" flight instructor job is the biggest scam of all. Again, I am absolutely amazed that people are willing to put up with the sort of treatment that ATP management is known to dole out.

2) The pace of the training is ludicrous. Can it be done? Sure, of course. Is it the best way to learn? in my opinion, absolutely not. There is a lot of merit in a full immersion to any type of training including flight training. However, 0 hours to multi-engine commercial pilot and flight instructor in 120 days? That is just too short of a time frame to learn anything beyond just the absolute bare minimum need to pass your check-rides (if your lucky the 1st time).

There is a huge consequence to this style of training that nobody at ATP will tell you. Because the time-frame is so condensed, you need to be extremely self-motivated to have any shot in getting through the program unscathed by multiple check-ride failures (that will be on your FAA record for the remainder of your career). This goes back to the whole management tactic of coercing you into taking check-rides that, at best, you are prepared to pass at only the very minimum standard, or at worst, not prepared to take at all. Need extra ground instruction from your instructor? forget about it. They're too busy flying with other students, and they don't get paid to give ground lessons. Need an extra hour or two in the airplane to be ready for a check-ride? After you get berated by management, they're going to charge you an exorbitant fee for going over the allotted time.

3) The quality of instruction overall is very sub-par. There is only one goal of ATP's instruction - teach the absolute bare minimum to pass your check-rides, get your certificates, and get-out. The reason for this is 1) the time constraints as discussed above and 2) ATP hires back its own graduates to instruct. So, your you're being taught by a guy/gal that has only been flying for 120 days, who was taught by another guy/gal who learned in 120 days, etc. etc. The depth of experience of the instructors is extremely shallow. Also, although most of the instructors are good people, they are motivated by one thing, and one thing only, to fill THEIR log-book with hours and get out ASAP. Most are there to bide their time, and have little to no motivation or intensive to be "instructors" in the true spirit of that word.

To give some perspective, I enrolled in ATP after already accumulating about 200 hours and a private instrument rating. I also spent 2+ years working as a flight instructor at more than one independent flight school (not at ATP), so I feel pretty confident in saying that I am speaking from a pretty wide and diverse perspective within the flight training industry. I absolutely agree with the advice to get your private certificate first, before making any other decisions, ATP or otherwise. You will be in a much better position to make an informed decision on how to proceed from there.

ATP is not all entirely bad, if you already have some experience under your belt, and know what your getting into, they can be an effective means to an end. Just don't buy into all the flashy marketing and hype.

bedrock
04-30-2015, 09:40 PM
ATP's also has a self-paced program now, any input on that for readers? People are always asking me about this place; I went to the one in SAC in the dead of winter, so there was plenty of low IFR. What is ATP's training philosophy, teach you the minimum, BUT give you experience doing the multi-engine cross countries?

I only have experience with their CAPT program which was 35 hrs multi-IFR with another ATP grad. This other pilot seemed to be well trained and experienced, though I kind of ranthe show simply because I was at 1200 hrs, had a fair amt of multi-IFR and preparing to go into air freight.

I will say I was very impressed with maintenance and condition of the Seminoles back in 2003. Every light bulb in the panel worked!--which is more than I can say for the airline i work out now.

CFI Guy
05-05-2015, 08:33 PM
As a current regional first officer, and a former student of ATP flight school, my advice is to stay far away from ATP. It still amazes me that people fall for their flashy marketing tactics, and it is exactly that. Lots of flashy show, no real substance.

Here are the biggest problems with ATP that I experienced and witnessed:
1) Once they have your money, and your enrolled in the program management treats you like absolute garbage. You are now at their whim, and they call the shots, not you (the paying customer). Being forced to fly in unsafe weather conditions, being forced into taking check-rides you are unprepared for are standard operating procedures at ATP. Threatening and coercion are the norm. If you don't like it tough, just quit and they'll keep a large chunk of your unused deposit. I am still amazed that people put up with that sort of treatment after laying out $70,000+ to the company. DO NOT under-estimate this point.

If this is how they treat their paying customers, you don't even want to know how they treat their employees. Their "guaranteed" flight instructor job is the biggest scam of all. Again, I am absolutely amazed that people are willing to put up with the sort of treatment that ATP management is known to dole out.

2) The pace of the training is ludicrous. Can it be done? Sure, of course. Is it the best way to learn? in my opinion, absolutely not. There is a lot of merit in a full immersion to any type of training including flight training. However, 0 hours to multi-engine commercial pilot and flight instructor in 120 days? That is just too short of a time frame to learn anything beyond just the absolute bare minimum need to pass your check-rides (if your lucky the 1st time).

There is a huge consequence to this style of training that nobody at ATP will tell you. Because the time-frame is so condensed, you need to be extremely self-motivated to have any shot in getting through the program unscathed by multiple check-ride failures (that will be on your FAA record for the remainder of your career). This goes back to the whole management tactic of coercing you into taking check-rides that, at best, you are prepared to pass at only the very minimum standard, or at worst, not prepared to take at all. Need extra ground instruction from your instructor? forget about it. They're too busy flying with other students, and they don't get paid to give ground lessons. Need an extra hour or two in the airplane to be ready for a check-ride? After you get berated by management, they're going to charge you an exorbitant fee for going over the allotted time.

3) The quality of instruction overall is very sub-par. There is only one goal of ATP's instruction - teach the absolute bare minimum to pass your check-rides, get your certificates, and get-out. The reason for this is 1) the time constraints as discussed above and 2) ATP hires back its own graduates to instruct. So, your you're being taught by a guy/gal that has only been flying for 120 days, who was taught by another guy/gal who learned in 120 days, etc. etc. The depth of experience of the instructors is extremely shallow. Also, although most of the instructors are good people, they are motivated by one thing, and one thing only, to fill THEIR log-book with hours and get out ASAP. Most are there to bide their time, and have little to no motivation or intensive to be "instructors" in the true spirit of that word.

To give some perspective, I enrolled in ATP after already accumulating about 200 hours and a private instrument rating. I also spent 2+ years working as a flight instructor at more than one independent flight school (not at ATP), so I feel pretty confident in saying that I am speaking from a pretty wide and diverse perspective within the flight training industry. I absolutely agree with the advice to get your private certificate first, before making any other decisions, ATP or otherwise. You will be in a much better position to make an informed decision on how to proceed from there.

ATP is not all entirely bad, if you already have some experience under your belt, and know what your getting into, they can be an effective means to an end. Just don't buy into all the flashy marketing and hype.

I agree with this 100%. Anyone who says differently is full of it. It's a huge crap shoot. During my time there I witnessed several people leave on not so good terms. I was personally intimidated by management on more than one occasion.

My suggestion is get at least your private at a smaller school and never hand someone a huge chunk of money upfront. One of my selling points to new students is pay-as-you-go.

SMACFUM
05-06-2015, 07:33 PM
My suggestion is get at least your private at a smaller school and never hand someone a huge chunk of money upfront. One of my selling points to new students is pay-as-you-go.

^^^ This. Sooo much This. X1000

threeighteen
05-07-2015, 04:42 AM
As a current regional first officer, and a former student of ATP flight school, my advice is to stay far away from ATP. It still amazes me that people fall for their flashy marketing tactics, and it is exactly that. Lots of flashy show, no real substance.

Here are the biggest problems with ATP that I experienced and witnessed:
1) Once they have your money, and your enrolled in the program management treats you like absolute garbage. You are now at their whim, and they call the shots, not you (the paying customer). Being forced to fly in unsafe weather conditions, being forced into taking check-rides you are unprepared for are standard operating procedures at ATP. Threatening and coercion are the norm. If you don't like it tough, just quit and they'll keep a large chunk of your unused deposit. I am still amazed that people put up with that sort of treatment after laying out $70,000+ to the company. DO NOT under-estimate this point.

If this is how they treat their paying customers, you don't even want to know how they treat their employees. Their "guaranteed" flight instructor job is the biggest scam of all. Again, I am absolutely amazed that people are willing to put up with the sort of treatment that ATP management is known to dole out.

2) The pace of the training is ludicrous. Can it be done? Sure, of course. Is it the best way to learn? in my opinion, absolutely not. There is a lot of merit in a full immersion to any type of training including flight training. However, 0 hours to multi-engine commercial pilot and flight instructor in 120 days? That is just too short of a time frame to learn anything beyond just the absolute bare minimum need to pass your check-rides (if your lucky the 1st time).

There is a huge consequence to this style of training that nobody at ATP will tell you. Because the time-frame is so condensed, you need to be extremely self-motivated to have any shot in getting through the program unscathed by multiple check-ride failures (that will be on your FAA record for the remainder of your career). This goes back to the whole management tactic of coercing you into taking check-rides that, at best, you are prepared to pass at only the very minimum standard, or at worst, not prepared to take at all. Need extra ground instruction from your instructor? forget about it. They're too busy flying with other students, and they don't get paid to give ground lessons. Need an extra hour or two in the airplane to be ready for a check-ride? After you get berated by management, they're going to charge you an exorbitant fee for going over the allotted time.

3) The quality of instruction overall is very sub-par. There is only one goal of ATP's instruction - teach the absolute bare minimum to pass your check-rides, get your certificates, and get-out. The reason for this is 1) the time constraints as discussed above and 2) ATP hires back its own graduates to instruct. So, your you're being taught by a guy/gal that has only been flying for 120 days, who was taught by another guy/gal who learned in 120 days, etc. etc. The depth of experience of the instructors is extremely shallow. Also, although most of the instructors are good people, they are motivated by one thing, and one thing only, to fill THEIR log-book with hours and get out ASAP. Most are there to bide their time, and have little to no motivation or intensive to be "instructors" in the true spirit of that word.

To give some perspective, I enrolled in ATP after already accumulating about 200 hours and a private instrument rating. I also spent 2+ years working as a flight instructor at more than one independent flight school (not at ATP), so I feel pretty confident in saying that I am speaking from a pretty wide and diverse perspective within the flight training industry. I absolutely agree with the advice to get your private certificate first, before making any other decisions, ATP or otherwise. You will be in a much better position to make an informed decision on how to proceed from there.

ATP is not all entirely bad, if you already have some experience under your belt, and know what your getting into, they can be an effective means to an end. Just don't buy into all the flashy marketing and hype.


Agreed with this 100%.

Go with a local, smaller school. Or go with American Flyers if you really want the big name school. Never hand over more than $1000 at a time if you can avoid it.

Bpflyerone
05-07-2015, 07:22 AM
ATP was a good deal for me, but, as the other guy said, I was forced into taking 2 checkrides I wasn't prepared for with Ernie in CRG, busted them both, and their accelerated program was ALOT slower than advertised. 90 instead of 60 for private, much slower for everything else


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threeighteen
05-07-2015, 12:25 PM
ATP was a good deal for me, but, as the other guy said, I was forced into taking 2 checkrides I wasn't prepared for with Ernie in CRG, busted them both, and their accelerated program was ALOT slower than advertised. 90 instead of 60 for private, much slower for everything else


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Yep, you will be sent up for the rides when they tell you to go, ready or not. And my 100 day program ended up turning into a 180 day program. :eek:

SMACFUM
05-09-2015, 03:56 AM
ATP was a good deal for me, but, as the other guy said, I was forced into taking 2 checkrides I wasn't prepared for with Ernie in CRG, busted them both, and their accelerated program was ALOT slower than advertised. 90 instead of 60 for private, much slower for everything else


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Ughhhh. I cringe when I hear things like that. How long ago was this? Is Erine still up to his old ways of terrorizing applicants during his check rides?

CFI Guy
05-11-2015, 11:05 PM
Ughhhh. I cringe when I hear things like that. How long ago was this? Is Erine still up to his old ways of terrorizing applicants during his check rides?

Oh Ernie.. The only person I've ever known to iron creases down the front of his jeans.

The only person worse was the inventor of aviation himself (Rich Tillery) AKA George Bush look-a-like.

AlexBlakeCFI
05-12-2015, 04:04 AM
ATP was a good deal for me, but, as the other guy said, I was forced into taking 2 checkrides I wasn't prepared for with Ernie in CRG, busted them both, and their accelerated program was ALOT slower than advertised. 90 instead of 60 for private, much slower for everything else


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Quoting this and adding on my own experience.

I've just "finished" the ATP program. I really have no complaints about the school at all and no animosity towards them. They sent me to Stands without my CFII and wanted me to take it up there with Ernie. Unfortunately I was already signed off by my instructor where I trained, so nearly immediately they wanted me to take my checkride.

I took my checkride with Ernie and realized the instructor that signed me off (who was just 3 or 4 weeks out of stands himself) had not prepared me nearly well enough for a checkride with Ernie. Needless to say, I failed.

So I told them I was not going to take that checkride until i was 100% positive that I was going to pass. 3 weeks passed and I still didn't feel 100% on my knowledge or flying (cause itd been a while since id flown now) but my instructors were so adamant that I was ready and I was definitely going to pass. I didn't feel comfortable at all. I felt like they were forcing me. Because of this, I had to resign my position as a CFI with the company and I went home without my CFII.

This was about 2 weeks ago. Part of the reason I didn't feel comfortable going into the checkride was because it was with Ernie. The way he treats you and talk to you in the oral is part of the reason I failed. He made me second guess and question everything to the point where I completely went blank. And despite how much I knew, I didn't feel comfortable rechecking with him because I know when people yell at me or pressure me I completely lose everything that was once floating around up in my head.

kingsnake2
05-12-2015, 05:12 AM
Alex Blake - if you are looking for employment as a CFI, you might consider US Aviation Academy (http://www.usaviationacademy.com/careers). I can give you the recruiter's contact info if you want.

TheWeatherman
05-12-2015, 06:16 AM
I am 39 years old and looking to transition to a career in aviation. I'll be retired military soon. I have been leaning towards ATP Flight School mostly because they are the name I see most often and the airline partnerships. I have read many of the posts about them and see good and bad reviews but most of them are from several years ago.

I am particularly interested in recent graduates and current student's experience with ATP.

I am also very interested in the opinion of Captains who have flown with recent graduates and their opinion of the pilots that come out of ATP's training program.

I am considering the Long Beach CA location. Does anyone have experience with them?
Are you still eligible for the GI Bill, or have you used it up? If not and you still have it, going to ATP is a bad idea because you can't use your GI Bill to pay for flight training there. It has to be a VA approved Part 141 Flight School, and ATP is not one of those.

You can still go to a fast track program and use your GI Bill if you still have the Montgomery, there are plenty of VA approved ones out there. If you converted to Post 9/11, your best bet is to get your ratings with a 2-year degree, that way everything is 100% paid for.

I for instance already had a Bachelors degree before entering the service but I still signed up for the GI bill when I entered, while in I was fortunate enough to get sent to school to get my Masters. I took early retirement (TERA) and converted to post 9/11 to get my ratings along with a 2-year degree (even though I don't need another degree) because the deal was just too good to pass up.

That would be my advice, that is if you are still eligible.

Future Cpt Kirk
05-13-2015, 02:22 PM
From someone who has trained with and now instructs at a great local flight school and who has also trained with ATP, here is my two cents:

If time is critical to you... i.e., getting into the cockpit of an RJ as fast as you can, then ATP is probably your best bet. The climate is good for up and coming pilots right now. For someone looking to make a career in the airlines, I would say do what you need to do to get in the right seat as quick as you can so that you can ride the front of the hiring wave and be protected from furloughs in the future.

That being said, there is no right or wrong answer as to which route you should take. Is ATP expensive? Absolutely. Can you do it for less? Absolutely. But that isn't what the company model is about and you need to know that going in. You are paying for the speed of the program and the fact that they will hire you and you will instruct for them, gain a lot of multi-time, and get to the regionals fast. If it is worth it to get there faster, then go for it.... If not, then go the FBO route.

In terms of the quality of training, don't listen to people that haven't attented the program (or even some that have but didn't put the effort in and failed as a result). Training is fully dependant on two things: Your own work ethic and the effort of your instructor. There are bad instructors everywhere.... local FBO's and ATP included. That doesn't mean every ATP instructor only cares about getting to 1500 and as a result provides poor instruction. I have read all the horror stories about ATP... "they only train to pass a checkride; you'll get no ground instruction etc etc etc..." I attended ATP at the Richmond, VA location and finished the career program in 10/2013 (self-paced). I honestly believe I couldn't have received better instruction. My instructor went way out of his way to provide a lot of ground instruction, both individual and in a class settings. The other two instructors at the RIC location do the same. I have a full blog detailing my experience on JC if you want a day-to-day (New ATP Student KRIC/Running Experience... | Jetcareers (http://forums.jetcareers.com/threads/new-atp-student-kric-running-experience.167724/)). If you want insight into the program, it would be a good resource. The instructor I had for my private in 2010 at my local FBO is also very good... But I believe the instruction I received at ATP was better. As a result, I had zero checkride failures. Also, take into consideration that I did my CFI initial with an FAA Inspector, not a DPE. CFI Initials with the FAA run about a 70-80% failure rate. I was prepared because of my hard work ethic and because I had a great instructor.

Will this be the case with all ATP instructors? Of course not. There are instructors within ATP who won't do as good of a job. But remember, you are the customer. If you are having a issue with the instruction you are receiving, immediately request a change in instructors. You're paying a lot of money for this (either way you do it). If its not working, fix it. Same goes for any FBO/small flight school.

I'm not cheerleading for ATP... I do not instruct for them. I instruct for a large flight school in Northern Virginia and make pretty good money here. It is a great 141 school with several university programs. Instructing for ATP after you complete the program will get you hours at a good rate (depending on your assigned location), but you will make poverty wages. I would look for a company that has high volume business but pays a decent wage once you have your CFI ratings. If you can't find one that works for you, then you have ATP (if you choose to go through ATP).

Bottom line is that you have to figure out what is best for you. But don't let anyone talk you into or out of either scenario. Neither are wrong. You have to decide which is better for you. Hopefully this helps a bit. Either way... DO IT if its your dream. I'm two months away from the airlines and can't wait! Good Luck.

Mike

flynhighaf23
06-23-2015, 09:26 PM
Lots of good responses here...my 2 cents is don't go to ATP unless you absolutely have no other options. I chose to go there simply because I wanted to get my ratings as fast as I possibly could so that I could get out and go work somewhere else. I'd say get your private then re-evaluate. If you're still wanting to start a second career in aviation as a pilot and want to get ratings quickly then ATP is an option, but don't expect any CFI to help you out along the way. Expect to have a newbie CFI who doesn't know left from right teaching you how to fly and pass check rides. Treat ground school like a 9-5 job and teach yourself and you'll do okay. Just keep in mind that there's a LOT of other schools out there who can give you the same ratings for less money, but they just might take longer if you're not motivated to get done quickly. Hope that helps!

krudawg
07-01-2015, 05:46 AM
Lots of good responses here...my 2 cents is don't go to ATP unless you absolutely have no other options. I chose to go there simply because I wanted to get my ratings as fast as I possibly could so that I could get out and go work somewhere else. I'd say get your private then re-evaluate. If you're still wanting to start a second career in aviation as a pilot and want to get ratings quickly then ATP is an option, but don't expect any CFI to help you out along the way. Expect to have a newbie CFI who doesn't know left from right teaching you how to fly and pass check rides. Treat ground school like a 9-5 job and teach yourself and you'll do okay. Just keep in mind that there's a LOT of other schools out there who can give you the same ratings for less money, but they just might take longer if you're not motivated to get done quickly. Hope that helps!

>>>> I chose to go there simply because I wanted to get my ratings as fast as I possibly could so that I could get out and go work somewhere else<<<<
That sir, is exactly why people consider going to ATP. They have financing sources lined up and pipelines to regionals. A one stop shopping kind of place. My son will be going there soon - on his own dime (I put him thru college). From my perspective, it's a well-thought out decision.

Whale Driver
07-01-2015, 11:23 AM
ATP's Fast Track Airline Career Pilot Program is not for everyone. However, for a young kid that is highly self motivated, smart, and has at least decent athletic ability (hand/eye coordination) it is by far the best choice out there combined with a college education in anything except aviation.

Most that have problems at the fast track ATP program are missing at least 1 of the 4.

JDSir
07-04-2015, 02:35 PM
Well I read through the thread and from what I got the main pointers are that the school is what it is a fast track program that needs your full dedication.
Second it is pricey but the program is what it is in price terms considering its the fastest way to set in a cockpit. And thirdly you are the customer if you don't like your instructor request a change.


Now I'm currently 17 graduated early but my next step is to go to ATP as soon as I'm 18. Any other pointers anyone might have? I'm in SoCal near LAX if that would make any difference planning on going to the ATP school in Long Beach

bedrock
07-04-2015, 03:00 PM
Well I read through the thread and from what I got the main pointers are that the school is what it is a fast track program that needs your full dedication.
Second it is pricey but the program is what it is in price terms considering its the fastest way to set in a cockpit. And thirdly you are the customer if you don't like your instructor request a change.


Now I'm currently 17 graduated early but my next step is to go to ATP as soon as I'm 18. Any other pointers anyone might have? I'm in SoCal near LAX if that would make any difference planning on going to the ATP school in Long Beach

What you should also get from this thread is to get your pvt elsewhere first so as to gauge your learning ability. If you have never had a flight lesson, you are making a big mistake, because overruns at ATP are VERY expensive. With a PPL under your belt you will be able to ask informed questions and evaluate the program with more understanding. Are you intending to get a college degree? I would say with a CFI you could instruct part time while in college. You might also see if a community college in your area offers private pilot ground school and if you could get college credit for it.

In the end, your pilot aptitude is something you don't know until you try. Don't commit to any multi-rating program until you know your own limitations.

LTdan
07-08-2015, 07:24 AM
And thirdly you are the customer if you don't like your instructor request a change.


HA! Just request a change! Brilliant!

What you need to know about ATP: they don't give a $hit if you don't like your instructor, don't like your schedule, don't like flying a particular aircraft, don't want to fly in stormy weather, ect, ect, ect.

In their eyes you already agreed to let them bend you over any which way they want when you signed on the dotted line on the first day. Your wants and perceived needs interrupts their business cycle, and they won't be having any of that.

As a student at ATP you won't be given awesome customer satisfaction, this isn't like a store at the mall. They will give you exactly what you agreed to get on day 1, no more, and probably less.

Definitely second the idea of getting your ppl somewhere else before making the decision to go to ATP. if you don't even have a ppl, you don't have a good gauge on whether or not flying is for you (I don't care how many times you rode with pops in the 172, you haven't even taken a checkride yet).

In the end, if you think it's smart to dump 60k or more into ATP for something you've never tried, and to try to learn it on their fast track system, good luck, but buyer beware.

flynhighaf23
07-08-2015, 08:00 AM
What you should also get from this thread is to get your pvt elsewhere first so as to gauge your learning ability. If you have never had a flight lesson, you are making a big mistake, because overruns at ATP are VERY expensive. With a PPL under your belt you will be able to ask informed questions and evaluate the program with more understanding. Are you intending to get a college degree? I would say with a CFI you could instruct part time while in college. You might also see if a community college in your area offers private pilot ground school and if you could get college credit for it.

In the end, your pilot aptitude is something you don't know until you try. Don't commit to any multi-rating program until you know your own limitations.

I totally agree... Just getting the private alone through ATP is double what it should be. You can get a private at 40 hours, they give theirs at 80-90 (roughly). When I was in the program I saw multiple people fail out because they couldn't pass the private check ride. One guy tried three times for private and couldn't pass so he quit. He has almost 100 hours, spent some $15k from his $80k loan and has nothing to show for it but debt to pay off. I'd highly recommend getting a private elsewhere and don't spend over $7k or go over 50 hours trying to get it.

We're all smart here, spending a fraction of the money to try something only to find out you can't hang, don't like it, or just aren't good at it is much better than going balls deep and putting yourself head over heels in debt to pursue a dream that may or may not pan out.

TheWeatherman
07-08-2015, 02:10 PM
Very few people get their private in 40 hours. National average is somewhere around 70 I belive.

Selfmade92
07-16-2015, 09:37 PM
I just finished my Private, looking to continue on my Instrument. Looking through schools in NYC area is annoying as all are expensive. ATP is actually one of the more affordable ones.

Having the PPL done and continuing Instrument to CFI Multi would be 49,999 according to ATP, how many actually make it with 50k? They say it's more than minimum advertised.

I'm just trying to see if there are any tricks by them I should be aware of.

One catch which turned me off is that I need to have 80h, kind of discouraging since I finished my Private with 45h. :o

Also how does the Fast Track Programme work? How many days per week do you have to go? I can spare 3 days per week, the others I'm in school and work.

I like the fact that I can get ATP done within the year while I still have 2 years left in college. Meaning I could already start building hours as a CFI and as soon as I graduate college I could be done and ready to go.

TheWeatherman
07-17-2015, 08:05 AM
I just finished my Private, looking to continue on my Instrument. Looking through schools in NYC area is annoying as all are expensive. ATP is actually one of the more affordable ones.

Having the PPL done and continuing Instrument to CFI Multi would be 49,999 according to ATP, how many actually make it with 50k? They say it's more than minimum advertised.

I'm just trying to see if there are any tricks by them I should be aware of.

One catch which turned me off is that I need to have 80h, kind of discouraging since I finished my Private with 45h. :o

Also how does the Fast Track Programme work? How many days per week do you have to go? I can spare 3 days per week, the others I'm in school and work.

I like the fact that I can get ATP done within the year while I still have 2 years left in college. Meaning I could already start building hours as a CFI and as soon as I graduate college I could be done and ready to go.
Fast track program is 6 to 7 days a week, at least two lessons a day. Expect devote at least 12 hours a day flying and studying.

Selfmade92
07-18-2015, 07:33 AM
Alright that settles that. :D

TheWeatherman
07-18-2015, 09:37 AM
Alright that settles that. :D
Yeah, it's one of those things that if you are going to do it you need to block everything out of your life for the 120 days or whatever the program is and devote almost every waking hour of the day to it. Otherwise it is just not possible to get 2 years worth of work done in that time period.

gdpballin
07-19-2015, 07:33 PM
Well I read through the thread and from what I got the main pointers are that the school is what it is a fast track program that needs your full dedication.
Second it is pricey but the program is what it is in price terms considering its the fastest way to set in a cockpit. And thirdly you are the customer if you don't like your instructor request a change.


Now I'm currently 17 graduated early but my next step is to go to ATP as soon as I'm 18. Any other pointers anyone might have? I'm in SoCal near LAX if that would make any difference planning on going to the ATP school in Long Beach


Is it worth it? Yes. Who fails out the most? kids straight out of high school. Never lived on their own so they are trying to figure that out. Haven't ever really studied (very dependent on the student going home and studying on their own) besides in high school, which the effort there isn't comparable to atp.

On the flip side, I had a student who was 18 and did phenomenal throughout the program.

Yes you can switch instructors. Go to a location with more than one instructor and give them a chance. If you constantly complain about stuff and **** your instructor off, you probably wont get far.

You can get your ratings done elsewhere, yes. chances are you'll stop about half way through one of your ratings/certs and then come back later, spending more money over the long term.

Id suggest you get your private before you go.

Id also suggest getting a degree before entering this industry (not an aviation related degree).

you can be successful and be a good pilot going through that program. you just need to be prepared for what is going to happen.

Flyboyxc91
07-20-2015, 02:12 AM
I'll chime in for everyone here "is ATP worth it?"... NO. I just got out of there about three months ago. I decided after I graduated college it would be the fastest way to get the rest of my certificates (I had PPL) and bought into the flashy cool stuff... THERE IS NO AIRLINE INTERVIEW, GROUND SCHOOL IS ALMOST NONEXISTENT, A lot of disrespect as well from many management people and I mean it. Having said all that I only busted one check ride and it was a flight instructor add on so in that regard I did pretty great but let me tell you I studied my tail off and I was way more knowledgeable going into the program than most since I grew up in aviation and had been flying for a few years already. IF YOU DO ATP MAKE SURE YOU ARE LIKE THAT IN EXPERIENCE AT THE VERY LEAST. If you don't have to hurry then DONT... It's not worth the money there and trust me everyone almost says that looking back at it.. Just read the forums and reviews...

Some will come back and say all this about "disgruntled blah blah" but guess what.. I know what I went through.. I know how I was treated, and I know that nobody even helped me when I complained and in fact gave me more disrespect for trying to get help... I've never been in trouble with the law, have a four year degree, all my flight ratings now and work for a very good Flight Training School that is much better I have seen firsthand already than what I did with ATP.. If I had known about this place I would have come here or at the very least NOT DONE ATP.. I would have bought my airplane and did it myself most likely guys... And I'm just being honest and up front with anyone about to seriously be disappointed they got emotion kicked into going to ATP, DONT DO IT... You'll fly on some disgruntled employees schedule that will change hour to hour throughout the day, then after your lesson your logbook will be signed with no debrief.. Oh you don't get a pre brief either. I'm done talking about my past 12 month interval of life now, if anyone wants to ask specific questions on locations etc I had these problems I'll be happy to answer them before you kick yourself really hard looking in the mirror a few months from now... Yes, that was me a while.

Safe Flying Guys!

Myfingershurt
07-21-2015, 06:19 PM
As a current regional first officer, and a former student of ATP flight school, my advice is to stay far away from ATP. It still amazes me that people fall for their flashy marketing tactics, and it is exactly that. Lots of flashy show, no real substance.

Here are the biggest problems with ATP that I experienced and witnessed:
1) Once they have your money, and your enrolled in the program management treats you like absolute garbage. You are now at their whim, and they call the shots, not you (the paying customer). Being forced to fly in unsafe weather conditions, being forced into taking check-rides you are unprepared for are standard operating procedures at ATP. Threatening and coercion are the norm. If you don't like it tough, just quit and they'll keep a large chunk of your unused deposit. I am still amazed that people put up with that sort of treatment after laying out $70,000+ to the company. DO NOT under-estimate this point.

If this is how they treat their paying customers, you don't even want to know how they treat their employees. Their "guaranteed" flight instructor job is the biggest scam of all. Again, I am absolutely amazed that people are willing to put up with the sort of treatment that ATP management is known to dole out.

2) The pace of the training is ludicrous. Can it be done? Sure, of course. Is it the best way to learn? in my opinion, absolutely not. There is a lot of merit in a full immersion to any type of training including flight training. However, 0 hours to multi-engine commercial pilot and flight instructor in 120 days? That is just too short of a time frame to learn anything beyond just the absolute bare minimum need to pass your check-rides (if your lucky the 1st time).

There is a huge consequence to this style of training that nobody at ATP will tell you. Because the time-frame is so condensed, you need to be extremely self-motivated to have any shot in getting through the program unscathed by multiple check-ride failures (that will be on your FAA record for the remainder of your career). This goes back to the whole management tactic of coercing you into taking check-rides that, at best, you are prepared to pass at only the very minimum standard, or at worst, not prepared to take at all. Need extra ground instruction from your instructor? forget about it. They're too busy flying with other students, and they don't get paid to give ground lessons. Need an extra hour or two in the airplane to be ready for a check-ride? After you get berated by management, they're going to charge you an exorbitant fee for going over the allotted time.

3) The quality of instruction overall is very sub-par. There is only one goal of ATP's instruction - teach the absolute bare minimum to pass your check-rides, get your certificates, and get-out. The reason for this is 1) the time constraints as discussed above and 2) ATP hires back its own graduates to instruct. So, your you're being taught by a guy/gal that has only been flying for 120 days, who was taught by another guy/gal who learned in 120 days, etc. etc. The depth of experience of the instructors is extremely shallow. Also, although most of the instructors are good people, they are motivated by one thing, and one thing only, to fill THEIR log-book with hours and get out ASAP. Most are there to bide their time, and have little to no motivation or intensive to be "instructors" in the true spirit of that word.

To give some perspective, I enrolled in ATP after already accumulating about 200 hours and a private instrument rating. I also spent 2+ years working as a flight instructor at more than one independent flight school (not at ATP), so I feel pretty confident in saying that I am speaking from a pretty wide and diverse perspective within the flight training industry. I absolutely agree with the advice to get your private certificate first, before making any other decisions, ATP or otherwise. You will be in a much better position to make an informed decision on how to proceed from there.

ATP is not all entirely bad, if you already have some experience under your belt, and know what your getting into, they can be an effective means to an end. Just don't buy into all the flashy marketing and hype.

First of all ATP is a flight SCHOOL. You're a student to them, not a customer. When you give then your money it's like paying tuition to a college, a place where they also treat you like dirt, don't care if you learn the info they're firing at you at a rapid pace, and also won't give you a refund if you flunk out. Now if you go to ATP with that mentality an not like an entitled millennial, you'll have a fine experience. I went to ATP in 2004 with no ratings. I'm starting at a legacy carrier next month. If you have a decent head on your shoulders ATP will get you where you want to be faster than anyone. But they don't spoon feed you every little detail like a 141 school does. There's a lot of independent study required. But it's not as bad as some make it out to be. I did just fine and still had time to enjoy jax beach several nights a week.

acachi
07-22-2015, 10:40 PM
If you want to enjoy your training go to mom and pops, if you go ATP the planes are great but I wish you good luck picking a good instructor. Piece of advise, if you can pay as you go other wise be careful with every fee and simulator time because they always books for two hours and you will be getting one at the most




manTracking this... I too am looking at ATP vs Mom/Pop. I'd be in Tampa. Hope you get some replies.

acachi
07-22-2015, 10:52 PM
I did all the side study, even taught others on the theory and passed all my written exams but my practical busted because I didn't get the right instruction, I did my part and I got cut from the program because some rookie instructor and other abusive of my time and money..


Is it worth it? Yes. Who fails out the most? kids straight out of high school. Never lived on their own so they are trying to figure that out. Haven't ever really studied (very dependent on the student going home and studying on their own) besides in high school, which the effort there isn't comparable to atp.

On the flip side, I had a student who was 18 and did phenomenal throughout the program.

Yes you can switch instructors. Go to a location with more than one instructor and give them a chance. If you constantly complain about stuff and **** your instructor off, you probably wont get far.

You can get your ratings done elsewhere, yes. chances are you'll stop about half way through one of your ratings/certs and then come back later, spending more money over the long term.

Id suggest you get your private before you go.

Id also suggest getting a degree before entering this industry (not an aviation related degree).

you can be successful and be a good pilot going through that program. you just need to be prepared for what is going to happen.

acachi
07-22-2015, 10:56 PM
Just pay as you go and it will be just fine. Watch the double hour simulator charge at all times $150 an hour , they will always charge you for two and you'll never get more than one



I did all the side study, even taught others on the theory and passed all my written exams but my practical busted because I didn't get the right instruction, I did my part and I got cut from the program because some rookie instructor and other abusive of my time and money..

Garbear
07-26-2015, 09:38 PM
Ask yourself what kind of learner are you? Do you want one on one? Forget it. Can you take the PHAK, AFI and FAR/AIM go home and read it all? Then you should be able to do it. The only real benefit to ATP is the time. So again ask yourself if you need it by the end of the year? If not then go somewhere else. ATP isn't bad in my opinion. Just get ready for full immersion. If you can't do that then you will struggle. Only guys I saw fail were the ones who partied instead of studied for their written. Or kept missing their flights.
If you choose ATP, here is some advice. Choose somewhere with a suitable climate. Florida, Georgia, California, etc. Up north the ice will keep your grounded in the winter. In the desert you will have 5 am flights to beat the heat so just think about that. I'd also say go to a base that has a maintenance facility. I've heard a lot of people being grounded for simple things like a flat tire. That airline interview and the guaranteed CFI position has a lot of fine print to it so don't count on it. Most importantly remember that you are a customer, if something isn't right with a plane or instructor ask for a new one. There's my 2 cents.

krudawg
07-27-2015, 05:22 AM
First of all ATP is a flight SCHOOL. You're a student to them, not a customer. When you give then your money it's like paying tuition to a college, a place where they also treat you like dirt, don't care if you learn the info they're firing at you at a rapid pace, and also won't give you a refund if you flunk out. Now if you go to ATP with that mentality an not like an entitled millennial, you'll have a fine experience. I went to ATP in 2004 with no ratings. I'm starting at a legacy carrier next month. If you have a decent head on your shoulders ATP will get you where you want to be faster than anyone. But they don't spoon feed you every little detail like a 141 school does. There's a lot of independent study required. But it's not as bad as some make it out to be. I did just fine and still had time to enjoy jax beach several nights a week.

And just to add to your comment.......Aviation eats their young. Some of the biggest tools I ever worked for were in aviation. Maybe ATP is a good preparation for real-world aviation. In the beginning, you will endure over-bearing chief pilots, work schedules that are long and pay that qualifies you for government assistance. There is an old saying in aviation "those toes you are stepping on while you are on the way up, may be connected to the arse you are kissing on the way down. But, there is light at the end of the tunnel for those that persevere.

gdpballin
07-27-2015, 07:31 AM
I did all the side study, even taught others on the theory and passed all my written exams but my practical busted because I didn't get the right instruction, I did my part and I got cut from the program because some rookie instructor and other abusive of my time and money..

Sorry it didn't work out. The program isn't for everyone and i'm the first person to tell you that. Shop around and find whats right for you.

About charging 'double' sim time -- i'm fairly surprised about this. I'm assuming you didn't make it during the instrument phase. The sim is open to practice on without being charged to do so, did you take advantage of this?

To add, I have seen plenty of students struggle (not making the timeline ATP has) and the instructor and management worked with these students to get them through the program. Plenty of success stories on the flip side too.

texavia
08-16-2015, 01:10 PM
ATP - someone said "90 day wonder, teaching 90 day wonder" I'd say blind leading the blind. That's what I saw at Grand Prairie some years back, when I went poking around there years ago to help an acquaintance out that had gotten mixed up with them; I couldn't believe the place and with some difficulty he got his money back and went to another school where there was a fair amount of "unlearning" to be done.

Back then they didn't offer PPL, because I figure, they weren't up to it. I'd really have to dislike someone to send them to ATP.

On top of all that, being an airline pilot, sure as hell ain't what it used to be, find another career path.

criticalaoa
08-16-2015, 02:09 PM
Hey everyone I was wondering how is the CFI academy compared to american flyers I have mixed reviews and so far I might pull the trigger and do it. ATP offers financing were American flyers does not.

texavia
08-16-2015, 02:31 PM
Hey everyone I was wondering how is the CFI academy compared to american flyers I have mixed reviews and so far I might pull the trigger and do it. ATP offers financing were American flyers does not.

Don't know CFI Academy but spouse did commercial/multi (no PMEL) at American Flyers, FTW, (now located ADS) and gives very high marks for customer service and thinks most of their instructors to be good. Can't really say about all the instructors, only had one that was retired Air Force pilot, flew B-52's and was T-37 (and IIRC T-38) instructor at Vance AFB, Enid, OK, needless to say was real good.

This was quite a while back, but they had high standards then and I have no reason to think they've lowered them now.

CFI Guy
09-01-2015, 05:20 PM
First of all ATP is a flight SCHOOL. You're a student to them, not a customer. When you give then your money it's like paying tuition to a college, a place where they also treat you like dirt, don't care if you learn the info they're firing at you at a rapid pace, and also won't give you a refund if you flunk out. Now if you go to ATP with that mentality an not like an entitled millennial, you'll have a fine experience. I went to ATP in 2004 with no ratings. I'm starting at a legacy carrier next month. If you have a decent head on your shoulders ATP will get you where you want to be faster than anyone. But they don't spoon feed you every little detail like a 141 school does. There's a lot of independent study required. But it's not as bad as some make it out to be. I did just fine and still had time to enjoy jax beach several nights a week.

No, you are a customer. ATP is a for profit business. It isn't Harvard and not the military. The only prerequisite is cash.

I just got a new type last month at CAE. They treat you well because you (or your company) handed them a lot of money. If they **** you off then maybe you'll go to the competition next time.

ATP is nice to you until your funds clear their bank account. Make any waves and you can kiss that "guaranteed" CFI job goodbye.

Dan64456
09-05-2015, 07:27 AM
My latest opinion is nope not worth it. Find an FBO with good planes/CFIs and a Twin.. Knock out your time build hours with a safety pilot splitting the cost.. Joining a flying club is a great option too and you can make the rental worth it (keep the plane for a weekend getaway etc. They are more flexible than schools). Get the Jepp books and study on your down time.. No need to make this more expensive than it already is. Also fly at night and make every flight a Cross Country.. Then you can have most of the ATP R requirements met before you even start working as a CFI (then you can fly for the needs of your students and not yourself). Practice stalls all the way to an airport 50 NM away, land there, then fly back.. Do a few steep turns etc on the way (avoid doing this near VORs etc.) Log the XC time. (Do this stuff during the day of course but straight and level on the nights)

You can probably nail this for under 35 grand.
Work a day job and ENJOY your training.. Don't make it stressful.. Come out debt free and only accept flying jobs that pay at least an OK amount.

Now you also have the benefit of a backup career..

Dan64456
09-05-2015, 07:36 AM
ATP - someone said "90 day wonder, teaching 90 day wonder" I'd say blind leading the blind. That's what I saw at Grand Prairie some years back, when I went poking around there years ago to help an acquaintance out that had gotten mixed up with them; I couldn't believe the place and with some difficulty he got his money back and went to another school where there was a fair amount of "unlearning" to be done.

Back then they didn't offer PPL, because I figure, they weren't up to it. I'd really have to dislike someone to send them to ATP.

On top of all that, being an airline pilot, sure as hell ain't what it used to be, find another career path.
You shouldn't dissuade the career.. Just the path some people take to get there.. If you come out without debt you can make it work and not take abuse from crap jobs. I think it's still a good opportunity and in 5 years it should be even better.

Pilotqwert7
09-22-2015, 11:39 AM
ATP looks great on paper. They're marketing and advertising are excellent. However, once you start, you will quickly see their incompetence and greed! My loans were poorly mismanaged by ATP, which cost me hundreds, thousands? They were unapologetic and and would not reimburse me. Dispersement payments (from my loans, held by ATP) were never sent to me on time and I was angrily told that I would not be reimbursed for cost of living expenses incurred due to delays on the part of ATP. Sure, you can fight this, but it take A LOT of energy and time that needs to be put toward flying/studying. They understand this.

THERE ARE HIDDEN COSTS: Extra time needed for profiency. Extra time can be pulled from other parts of the program is you need, but that could hurt you in the long run. Otherwise you have to pay out of pocket. Examiner fees are out of pocket...$5000. Training bundle is out of pocket...$450. An iPad (with data plan) and software is out of pocket...$800. Also, don't expect to finish in prescribed time frame b/c no instructor or planes available at times, no examiner available at times, and weather...especially weather. ATP does NOT build in any time for these setbacks. ATP will say they build time in. They absolutely do not. They will unapologetically tell you it is your responsibility to make up the time (i.e. fly twice a day). If you get too far off schedule, they will discontinue you. At the end of the day I would not at all recommend ATP. They really just want your money and are not good people. The instructors are miserably overworked and underpayed but do care. The admin and those above just care about their bottom line.

I left ATP after getting commercial b/c I did not want to spend one more day or dollar with them. I got a job with a small airline in six weeks after leaving and without my CFI! The market is good and rapidly getting better! In my job search employers asked my about ATP. When I vaguely spoke of my experience with ATP, every employer, almost on cue, shook their heads and smirked saying that they were all too familiar with ATP's insufficiencies.

Hope this helps and GOOD LUCK!

yeksene
09-25-2015, 06:05 PM
ATP is a great school, currently at the Tampa location. The program does require a lot of self study and determination. For someone with a driven track in mind to the airlines, it will be very attainable... Not for a lazy student. Instructors all show they care and want students to succeed, many instructors work 7 days a week to ensure this. ATP has a top notch "student extranet" with so many resources to aid in learning.

Any questions feel free to ask or DM me.

AKcharger
09-26-2015, 05:45 AM
I did my ATP with them in Mesa a while ago, I thought they were OK

JamesNoBrakes
09-26-2015, 07:55 AM
ATP is a great school...many instructors work 7 days a week

Would it be an even better school if they worked 24hrs a day?

Fozzy
09-26-2015, 08:29 AM
They work 7 days a week because they don't have much of a choice.
Or at least that is how it used to be. Doubt much has changed.


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tall guy
09-26-2015, 02:25 PM
My route was I worked at a large well known FBO and worked my way from private, instrument, and commercial and added the multi commercial. It took a long time but I trained during what they called the lost decade of aviation after 9-11. I paid out of packet and I have no debt in student loans. Basically if I had the money I flew and if I didn't I stayed on the ground. It was hard but I made it through and earned my CFI and CFII from American flyers using their 30 day academy. The academy was well worth it and you will get signed off in 30 days but it may take over 2-3 weeks for a checkride maybe longer. There is no fast way to get ratings. You have to study and work hard but in the end its worth it. Don't worry about the cost because its expensive everywhere.

Alisito
06-01-2016, 01:26 PM
Seems like the more I learn about this, the more I realize how much I don't know. Good luck in search and thank you for the reply.

Sameeeeeee im currently in 11th grade and I've dropped the Erau choice (~200k) and I'm think eighter ATP or faapilottraining at Miami <- is anyone familiar with this one?

Broncofan
06-07-2016, 03:08 PM
Here is my thoughts on ATP. If your in high school or college I think it's best to go to a credible flight school at your local airport (I lived in the Denver area and went to flights-inc.) it's cheaper and you can obtain your CSI and work your way through. And for gods sake if your debating getting your licenses first before college DONT! Do it at the same time or wait until after college or you'll be stuck at a regional and be one of those guys on the forum complaining why they aren't at a regional yet. However if your done with college or making a career change and you have a little extra income, ATP is a good way to go I think because you will get what you need quicker. In either case mom and pop shops are not a bad choice but requires a bit more self disipline on your part.

Broncofan
06-07-2016, 03:20 PM
First of all ATP is a flight SCHOOL. You're a student to them, not a customer. When you give then your money it's like paying tuition to a college, a place where they also treat you like dirt, don't care if you learn the info they're firing at you at a rapid pace, and also won't give you a refund if you flunk out. Now if 50you go to ATP with that mentality an not like an entitled millennial, you'll have a fine experience. I went to ATP in 2004 with no ratings. I'm starting at a legacy carrier next month. If you have a decent head on your shoulders ATP will get you where you want to be faster than anyone. But they don't spoon feed you every little detail like a 141 school does. There's a lot of independent study required. But it's not as bad as some make it out to be. I did just fine and still had time to enjoy jax beach several nights a week.

On one hand I agree with you about going in it with a certain attitude. On the other hand you can **** off with the whole entitled millinial thing. The 5% of guys that I can't stand flying with at my major are 50+ who have no idea what CRM is or SOP.

WesternSkies
06-07-2016, 06:54 PM
You have time to decide, your future instructor hasn't finished his own training yet. We'll let you know when he is ready to impart his knowledge upon you.

yeksene
06-08-2016, 04:08 PM
They work 7 days a week because they don't have much of a choice.
Or at least that is how it used to be. Doubt much has changed.


iPhone using Tapatalk

Much has changed :)

All instructors make their own schedules, so if they are working 7 days its their choice to do so.

I typically work "7 days", with this said, my Saturday and Sunday may just include one morning flight or one late afternoon flight... allowing me basically the whole day off. I do this because I may have been rained out on one of my students flights earlier in the week, so I will make it up on the weekend to keep them on pace.

Weekends are given off actually, so I will make up a flight on the weekend only if the student wants to.. trust me most are eager to fly and will surely come in for a weekend flight.

adspilot
07-15-2016, 07:18 PM
Here is my thoughts on ATP. If your in high school or college I think it's best to go to a credible flight school at your local airport (I lived in the Denver area and went to flights-inc.) it's cheaper and you can obtain your CSI and work your way through. And for gods sake if your debating getting your licenses first before college DONT! Do it at the same time or wait until after college or you'll be stuck at a regional and be one of those guys on the forum complaining why they aren't at a regional yet. However if your done with college or making a career change and you have a little extra income, ATP is a good way to go I think because you will get what you need quicker. In either case mom and pop shops are not a bad choice but requires a bit more self disipline on your part.

I agree. ATP makes more sense for someone who is older going for a career change.

adspilot
07-15-2016, 07:22 PM
Much has changed :)

All instructors make their own schedules, so if they are working 7 days its their choice to do so.

I typically work "7 days", with this said, my Saturday and Sunday may just include one morning flight or one late afternoon flight... allowing me basically the whole day off. I do this because I may have been rained out on one of my students flights earlier in the week, so I will make it up on the weekend to keep them on pace.

Weekends are given off actually, so I will make up a flight on the weekend only if the student wants to.. trust me most are eager to fly and will surely come in for a weekend flight.

You must be at a small school. I would bet the larger schools have someone coordinating the schedules.

SkychaserJeff
07-31-2016, 09:39 AM
This post is probably too late to save you from spending more than you should on flight training. If you don't mind going part 61, you can get your private for around $5-6k in 45-55 hours. Check out 82J Ferguson aviation academy in Pensacola, Fl. Ferguson Airport | your western gate to the sunshine state. I spent about $36,000 over the course of three years to obtain a commercial rating with 250 hours. The most challenging part was building time after private rating. I highly recommend getting on board with a local flying club and splitting costs with other pilots to keep your expenses at the range I was able to. Let me know if I can help in any way. 8 years experience over 2200 hours TT.

iDonkyPunch
08-01-2016, 05:04 AM
This post is probably too late to save you from spending more than you should on flight training. If you don't mind going part 61, you can get your private for around $5-6k in 45-55 hours. Check out 82J Ferguson aviation academy in Pensacola, Fl. Ferguson Airport | your western gate to the sunshine state. I spent about $36,000 over the course of three years to obtain a commercial rating with 250 hours. The most challenging part was building time after private rating. I highly recommend getting on board with a local flying club and splitting costs with other pilots to keep your expenses at the range I was able to. Let me know if I can help in any way. 8 years experience over 2200 hours TT.

This is exactly what I am doing right now in Michigan to get my Private-Commercial. I am about 1600$ for 13 hours plane with instructor. Maybe 1700. Either way I am flying 2 times a week on average.

I looked into other ways, didn't fit the budget.

Brandons72vette
08-18-2016, 09:33 AM
I would highly recommend NOT going to ATP. If you do go, you'll be trained by a 90 day zero to hero instructor, who was taught by another 90 day instructor. I was not a student there thankfully but in my experience with ATP, the experience and knowledge of the instructors is weak. They train for checkrides so don't expect any above and beyond knowledge. Also, they are not customer oriented. ATP cares about your money and that's it. They do not care about your training experience.

The airline partnerships are pointless, every regional in the country is clamoring for pilots. Any pilot with the hours and the certs can get a job. No one will be impressed because you have ATP on your resume. Just the opposite is more likely.

For retired military, look for a 141 school where you can use your benefits to pay for your training.

I flew with ATP, and I agree with what you have said. You will fly nice airplanes (most are all glass cockpits with dual G430's, G500's/G1000's, TIS, RAIM, WAAS, and nice leather interiors) and you will enjoy the flying part; most of the time. The part about baby instructor instructing baby students is right on. My little sister went to ATP too. I don't want to throw names out there, but if anyone wants to know more details send me a PM. The CFI's for the most part DONT CARE ABOUT YOU, just your hours. They will tell you to your face, "YOU'RE JUST HOURS TO ME!" Naturally, but I mean the customer pays a lot for the course and the least you can do is actually care about their success Now, there are some really great CFI's at ATP, and usually those are the ones who are ending their time at ATP as a CFI.

I have seen some really low things take place at ATP, and I have friends who were done the same way. Cant say every location or CFI is the same way, but what I can tell you is that they are money oriented. They will be your buddy until your last payment (4 or 5 payments of like $12,500 or $15,000 or something like that) is made, and then you better walk the straight and narrow like your life depends upon it. They will look at everything to try and kick you out to make room for the next contestant.

Overall it was fun, I enjoyed a good bit of it, but it's hard when you get re assigned CFI's frequently and they all teach differently (even though they went to "stands" or AKA standardization school) and so you deal with little things like that.

I enjoyed ATP aside from the BS that comes with the CFI's who think they know it all as they now have a CFI and you don't. Don't trust anyone up there, as they will backstab you in a heartbeat if it will help them. When they say jump, you better jump. When they say do something, you better do it. They will charge you a late a fee or this fee and that fee as the CFI's get money out of it.

I really mean I liked ATP, I was proud to be with ATP....right up to the point where they backstabbed a few of my friends as well as my sibling and I. They don't mess around, and they bark out orders and expect it to be done. You have online videos and quizzes to do, you have to memorize their training supplements to a T, and you have to complete the sims. LIKE COLLEGE, YOU DONT NEED TO PAY MONEY TO PARTY. YOU WANT TO PARTY, DO SO WITHOUT TAKING ON A HUGE FINICAL OBLIGATION. With that said, have fun, and good luck!

One of the CFI's I had got hired at Envoy with 300 hours TT, which is way ahead of when most CFI's at ATP go in for an interview of around 500 hours TT. I am not sure if it was because he was an ATP CFI or not, but take it for what it is. Other CFI's I had would get calls from all types of regionals wanting them to interview. So you do get called, which is cool. Anyways, I will share more specific incidences if anyone wants to know more, just PM me.


Hope this helps.

Brandons72vette
08-18-2016, 11:51 AM
Get a PPL first, so you can judge your aptitude and desire to fly, before you plunk down serious change at ATP's. The biggest problem with ATP is in a fast paced program, you don't have time to internalize what you learned. How fast you internalize is the question. ATP dispatchers will treat you like dirt and customer service is bad. They have an attitude that you are the pilot, we are the company, so we tell you what to do---not you are the customer, how can we please you.

I only did their CAPT program in 2003 (35 hrs multi-IFR) after I was out of aviation for a while and applying for a job which required multi-engine currency and good IFR skills. I flew ATP's planes over half the country in mostly IFR. Dispatch had me running around last minute scrambling for enroute charts and approach plates as they kept changing my route, so i was delayed hrs trying to find an FBO on field that sold charts and which was open on Sunday evening. Keep in mind, this airport was big and I had no car, so it was miles of running on foot. Then they yelled at me on the phone, when I as late. They had good, well maintained planes and the other ATP student was a good pilot. But this was after I had 1200 hrs of experience. If you put the work into it, that means study, study, study AND you can keep up with the pace, I think it can work well. You get gobs of multi-time in a real world environment, flying their planes hundreds of miles in all weathers (not icing). No other school I know of gives you the opportunity to get that experience and confidence. Get the PPL elsewhere first, though.

I agree, I had my PPL before I went to ATP. That also lets you judge the quality of flight instruction a you have something to base things on. Their crew cross country phase is awesome! But I agree, flight ops is a DA operation. The fast track program has your time at ATP all planned out. IF you get behind, and you will; each day puts you closer to the chopping block that you get behind. That's regardless of the cause for the delay. For example, CCC at ATP should have you flying multiple airplanes around the US and each leg you should be changing flight crews. It is set up to work like an airline environment would work.

My CCC went like this:

I was assigned a crew partner I knew from my school, which was cool, but the base we were assigned to depart from was not our base and was an hour-hour and half drive one way in good traffic. Flight ops wants you to check in at 6am and be ready to go. Well it was windy and the minimums are like 20 knots on the winds, if ATIS reports 21 then you can't go. They will hold you until it hits 20. That meant that for 3 days we sat at an airport 1-1.5 hours away from where we were based at to only have to drive home 1-1.5 hours to turn around and get up early again to repeat the BS. Finally the weather was good, and we get on our way. Well, I never changed partners but we did change airplanes. So what that entailed was getting stuck with someone for about 2-3 weeks that on day one was "tolerable" but I was looking to get away from him. He thought he was better than everyone and especially me. This guy would file below the MEA, listen to a WX briefer but not LISTEN to what it said, he would not follow ATP CCC SOPs, he was lazy, careless, and wouldn't listen to me. When he was getting slow, I would call out, "airspeed!" and as the stall horn went off as we approached the IAF; he did nothing. The stall horn is an action horn! When it came to making radio calls, he sucked yet he was a former ATC. He just sucked the more I flew with him. There was an active rocket/missile launch going on in a MOA and the DA that he is filed for an altitude that would have sent us through the hot zone. I told him to change that once I saw it, and he blew it off. We get there and ARTCC informed us to climb. He didn't want to climb. He was afraid to climb. He liked 5,000 and below. Partially had to fight guy to climb above it. Anytime we landed, we were to complete an instrument approach. He would do the visual, and log it as an instrument approach, that was until I put my foot down after a few times of noticing that. Coming out of Houston going back to the Dallas area I filed for 10,000 feet. I had never flown to 10,000, but had been to 9,000. He was certain the airplane would fall out of the sky, and I knew that was silly. Once I proved to him that 10,000 feet was not much different than 9,000, he kind of relaxed. Then we went to one airport, it was to be our last flight together essentially. It was his leg out and mine coming home. The weather had been IFR with weeks of hard rain. It did not look good for us going and coming home. Despite telling flight ops that, we departed. We were flying to Louisiana and had filed for like 7,000 feet. We were up just after 7 am and had leveled off at 7,000 about 10 minutes into the flight, when my crew partner looked at me and asked me to request 11,000 feet. I thought I was hearing things, but he was serious. We got 11,000 and 5 minutes later were level at 11,000 feet. Well we land and he did a balked landing and it was rough. Weather was not in favor of a flight westbound anytime soon with fast storms approaching and so I was the PIC now as it was MY leg. I was the shot caller. I said we were staying, but nope my DA crew partner decided call flight ops and tell them that we were ready to go. Like I knew it, we weren't going to Dallas due to weather, so I suggested flying to Houston to dump their airplane and airline us to Dallas. That was too hard, and they were CERTAIN that the weather was going to be perfectly VFR despite what the forecasts were depicting. That's pretty stupid if you ask me. We get notified that we were flying to a small town in East Texas, which sounds like no problem considering I live in East Texas, however I knew all about that airport and knew what was forecasted. That was not the place to be considering what the weather was going to do; ground us. I told flight ops and my CP but listening to me was too hard. We get there, its pilot controlled, and busy as storms were coming and people were getting in before they couldn't. He made 2 radio calls (his job is the radio/navigation, gear snatcher,etc) the entire time once we changed other CTAF from Houston Approach. Two. It was hazy, sunset, and of course MVFR. My CP is a city guy, and never really spent much time out in a small town environment or airport, and trying to explain to him he needed to be more aggressive on position reports when trying to fly the approach was not team work. It ****ed me off that he cared so little considering the factors involved. Well we land, and flight ops thinks that small-town USA is like NYC, DFW, ATL, LAX,etc. I told them there was going to be NOTHING but they just knew it all, and I was once again ****ed off. No rentals, no taxi services, nothing. Airport was outside of town and required borrowing an airport work truck. Hotel was actually nice, which made the next 5 days better, but still sucked. Every morning per flight ops, we would be up at 6 am talking to them and despite telling them it was LIFR/IFR and we weren't getting out of there that day; they made us check out and sit at the airport. We repeated this for 4 days and had to check back into another room. YAY ME! This airport has a really small waiting area and sitting there for 5 days sucked. Turns out on the 5th day flight ops called to say the weather was bad and we were getting a rental to drive back to Dallas. REALLY!? It took them FIVE days to agree with me!? So point is that ATP flight ops is just as clueless as a brand new CFI. I might be a student pilot to them, but I am pilot and I am a human. Just because flight ops thinks they know more than I do, does not mean they can be stupid or rude.

Anyways that is a short version of what to expect from flight ops.