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ATP Flight School  
User currently offlinecalibansa333 From United States of America, joined Sep 2009, 208 posts, RR: 0
Posted (1 year 6 months 3 weeks 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 10695 times:

Hello All,

Being an airline pilot has been a long time dream of mine. I came close to making this dream a reality a couple years ago but then chose to do something else instead because of a passion for what I was doing and advice from friends and family. My passion for that pursuit is starting to fade, and my passion for airliners still remains strong. I'm seriously looking into different options and one of the most appealing is ATP flight school: http://www.atpflightschool.com The fast track course looks good, but I have a few questions. Is there anyone in this forum who has personally been through that program? What did you think? Do you feel like the ATP program prepared you for the future and a career as an airline pilot? Was the transition from ATP into the flight deck of an airliner smooth? I'm curious about anyones experiences with this school! Please don't hesitate to post!

All the Best,
Nick

41 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineFlyer732 From Namibia, joined Nov 1999, 1359 posts, RR: 22
Reply 1, posted (1 year 6 months 3 weeks 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 10698 times:

I'm an ATP grad myself. You'll get lots of varied answers to your questions, however I enjoyed my time at ATP but a lot of it will come down to which training center you choose. I went to the Phoenix-Mesa location, which is a new facility and filled with great instructors.
I opted not to teach at ATP, at least for now. Currently at a local flight school teaching there.


The program is high paced, and when they say you'll be done with a rating on a certain day, you'll be done on that day. Some will say they just train you to pass a check ride, but I never once got that feeling.

Which location are you looking at?


User currently offlinecalibansa333 From United States of America, joined Sep 2009, 208 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (1 year 6 months 3 weeks 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 10564 times:

Quoting Flyer732 (Reply 1):
The program is high paced, and when they say you'll be done with a rating on a certain day, you'll be done on that day. Some will say they just train you to pass a check ride, but I never once got that feeling.

I know the program happens quite quickly, but did you find it too stressful or was it manageable?

Quoting Flyer732 (Reply 1):
Which location are you looking at?

I really haven't decided... maybe Ft. Lauderdale or Daytona?


User currently offlineF35 From United States of America, joined Dec 2008, 65 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (1 year 6 months 3 weeks 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 10546 times:

I did the CFI school at ATP. I would not recommend it. Definitely do not do JAX or DAB as those are essentially the hq for ATP and you will find the crappiest planes their. FXE has decent planes/instructors and I enjoyed my time their to a point...

User currently offlinevw From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 251 posts, RR: 1
Reply 4, posted (1 year 6 months 3 weeks 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 10476 times:

Take a look at this forum, as it has more answers than A.net will provide.
Best of luck!

http://www.airlinepilotforums.com/fl...s-training/64970-im-going-atp.html


User currently offlineB727FA From United States of America, joined Jun 2011, 712 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (1 year 6 months 3 weeks 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 10286 times:

Remember you're also required to work in the "call center" taking calls from people just like you. FLL is a decent campus. As F35 said, JAX (and DAB) are The Capital...and you think politics in Washington are ugly?

ATP is a machine and they churn out pilots and ratings. As long as you go in knowing that it's a process and you are a raw material and "become" a pilot, a cog in the wheel that is ATP, you'll be fine. Keep your head down, stay focused and get what you need: ratings and time and then get out.

Good luck!



My comments/opinions are my own and are not to be construed as the opinion(s) of my employer.
User currently offlineStarlionblue From Greenland, joined Feb 2004, 16908 posts, RR: 67
Reply 6, posted (1 year 6 months 3 weeks 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 10235 times:

An other option is a small school that has experience with accelerated flight training (by no means all of them do).

Look up "Sunstate Aviation" in Kissimmee, FL. http://www.sunstateaviation.com/. It is the polar opposite of the "big flight academy". They do everything from private to ATPL, and will tailor a course for you depending on what you want to get done. This includes hour building if you want. Just to compare, Sunstate can get you from zero to CPL in 13 weeks. It's doable but it is 7 days a week and you better do the "homework". It is very much a program for people who are self motivated. The instructors work hard but you have to make the effort as well.

Of course very different from a big school but one airliner recruiter told me the pilots that come out of the "mom and pop shops" have better flying skills in her experience. I heard exactly the same from a an FAA pilot examiner, who also added that "mom and pop shop" pilots tend to be more rounded.

Having said all that, what specific airlines look for vary. I suppose many might favor the academy type schools with uniforms and epaulets. You'll have to look at your target employers and ask them some questions.


EDIT: One note on small schools. To get the work done it helps a lot to gel with your instructor. If you don't enjoy the experience or your instructor doesn't "get you", you can still get it done but it will probably take longer and thus cost more. If you don't get along with your instructor or feel that your personalities don't mesh, immediately go to the chief flight instructor and see if you can change. It's your money after all!

[Edited 2012-09-28 14:18:07]

[Edited 2012-09-28 14:18:43]

[Edited 2012-09-28 14:19:37]


"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots."
User currently offlineFlyer732 From Namibia, joined Nov 1999, 1359 posts, RR: 22
Reply 7, posted (1 year 6 months 3 weeks 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 10189 times:

Quoting calibansa333 (Reply 2):
I know the program happens quite quickly, but did you find it too stressful or was it manageable?

Its manageable but its has to be your life 7 days a week, and thats no joke. The benefit is 95% of the instructors went to ATP as well and they understand how it works.

Ft Lauderdale wasn't bad, I did my CFI initial check ride there, however it wasn't near the top of locations that I visited during my time.

It is true, the east coast schools get the older planes because there are more maintenance facilities around, whereas the west coast gets the newer 172's and Seminoles.

You'll hear a lot of people say that you have to buy more time because they say you're never ready, while it does happen from time to time, if you study and don't play around during your down time you'll do fine. When I finished my last training flight before my final checkride, I actually got to do a few laps in the pattern for fun just to burn off the remainder of the flight time I'd purchased in my package.


User currently offlineStarlionblue From Greenland, joined Feb 2004, 16908 posts, RR: 67
Reply 8, posted (1 year 6 months 3 weeks 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 10169 times:

Quoting Flyer732 (Reply 7):
When I finished my last training flight before my final checkride, I actually got to do a few laps in the pattern for fun just to burn off the remainder of the flight time I'd purchased in my package.

Did they make you pay the whole fee or big parts up front? This is normally a big warning sign.

[Edited 2012-09-28 18:47:45]


"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots."
User currently offlineFlyer732 From Namibia, joined Nov 1999, 1359 posts, RR: 22
Reply 9, posted (1 year 6 months 3 weeks 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 10172 times:

Quoting Starlionblue (Reply 8):
Did they make you pay the whole fee or big parts up front? This is normally a big warning sign. At Sunstate it is strictly pay-as-you-go. If you haven't used up the money on your account you get it back.

It varies by your payment method. I had a student loan, so on scheduled days my loan company would pay ATP. The people who paid cash worked the same way as far as I know. However if you opted out of training, then you would be refunded.


User currently offlineStarlionblue From Greenland, joined Feb 2004, 16908 posts, RR: 67
Reply 10, posted (1 year 6 months 3 weeks 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 10162 times:

Quoting Flyer732 (Reply 9):
It varies by your payment method. I had a student loan, so on scheduled days my loan company would pay ATP. The people who paid cash worked the same way as far as I know. However if you opted out of training, then you would be refunded.

Sounds good. I've heard horror stories of schools who ask for tens of thousands up front, even non-refundable.



"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots."
User currently offlineTWA772LR From United States of America, joined Nov 2011, 1150 posts, RR: 1
Reply 11, posted (1 year 6 months 3 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 10126 times:

I also am looking for flight schools, but in the Houston area. I talked to the ATP guy at DWH over the summer and they seemed pretty good. If money is an issue, they offer Sally Mae financing, which is really making me consider them. Or you can go to a college that offers aviation as a major That maybe easy if you already have a degree and have all of the basics out of the way.

By the way, if anyone knows of any relatively cheap (and good) private instructors or schools in Houston, preferably DWH, (or even the Dallas area, preferably GKY (Arlington Mun.)) please inbox me. Thanks in advance!



Я говорю по-русский. :)
User currently offlinejetblueguy22 From United States of America, joined Nov 2007, 2649 posts, RR: 4
Reply 12, posted (1 year 6 months 3 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 10111 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
FORUM MODERATOR

If you are looking for a college degree along with it take a look at the University of North Dakota. I'm currently studying there and love it. A lot of people say it isn't smart getting a degree with a focus just on aviation but I couldn't see myself doing anything else. My major specifically is Commercial Aviation. The campus is very nice, especially the aviation buildings. If you are on the flight schedule you fly 3 times a week. But you can do more based on your schedule and your CFI's. The estimated flight fees are 60,000 over 4 years. Though there is tuition on top of that. It is very easy to get in state tuition. When you graduate you will have your Private, Instrument, CFI, CFII, Multi Engine, and Commercial ratings. Plus they hire a lot of students for instructing so you can build up time and earn a paycheck. They do have an MEI course if you want to go the extra mile though.
Sorry if I rambled. Just had to plug my school! Good luck with where ever you decide!
Blue



You push down on that yoke, the houses get bigger, you pull back on the yoke, the houses get bigger- Ken Foltz
User currently onlineMir From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 21092 posts, RR: 56
Reply 13, posted (1 year 6 months 3 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 10102 times:

Quoting jetblueguy22 (Reply 12):
A lot of people say it isn't smart getting a degree with a focus just on aviation

They're right.

Full disclosure: I also got a degree in aviation. But now that I'm a few years removed from college, I see the error of my ways.

-Mir



7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
User currently offlinejetblueguy22 From United States of America, joined Nov 2007, 2649 posts, RR: 4
Reply 14, posted (1 year 6 months 3 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 10096 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
FORUM MODERATOR

Quoting Mir (Reply 13):
Full disclosure: I also got a degree in aviation. But now that I'm a few years removed from college, I see the error of my ways.

Can you explain why? Don't want to overstep any boundaries, just curious!
Blue



You push down on that yoke, the houses get bigger, you pull back on the yoke, the houses get bigger- Ken Foltz
User currently offlinespudsmac From United States of America, joined Feb 2008, 293 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (1 year 6 months 3 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 10097 times:

Transpac Aviation Academy in Phoenix, AZ. I used to teach there. I have nothing bad to say about them. If I had to do it over again, I would look there.

User currently offlineFlyer732 From Namibia, joined Nov 1999, 1359 posts, RR: 22
Reply 16, posted (1 year 6 months 3 weeks 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 10060 times:

Quoting spudsmac (Reply 15):

Transpac Aviation Academy in Phoenix, AZ. I used to teach there. I have nothing bad to say about them. If I had to do it over again, I would look there.

Transpac is almost exclusively foreign students now days, I don't think I've heard one native english speaking voice on the radio from them except for the instructors.

Quoting jetblueguy22 (Reply 12):
The estimated flight fees are 60,000 over 4 years. Though there is tuition on top of that. It is very easy to get in state tuition. When you graduate you will have your Private, Instrument, CFI, CFII, Multi Engine, and Commercial ratings.

Same as ATP, except you get an MEI at ATP included at that price, and you come out with 100-110 multi time.


User currently offlineJRadier From Netherlands, joined Sep 2004, 4650 posts, RR: 50
Reply 17, posted (1 year 6 months 3 weeks 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 10041 times:

Quoting jetblueguy22 (Reply 14):

Can you explain why? Don't want to overstep any boundaries, just curious!
Blue

Take for example my friend and me. We both did the same masters, both had internship and job experience in aviation, but we had different bachelors. He did his in Aviation Engineering, I did mine in logistics. We both talked to the same recruiter about a job in shipping, me because I wanted to establish a connection with the recruiter, him because he really can't find a job. While he needed the job, he wasn't offered the job because his resume was 'too aviation focussed', while I had to explain them that I really didn't want a job now. So basically we are quite the same, but he can't get the jobs outside aviation when he needs it because he only did aviation related studies and jobs.



For once you have tasted flight you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards, for there you have been and ther
User currently onlineMir From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 21092 posts, RR: 56
Reply 18, posted (1 year 6 months 3 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 10030 times:

Quoting jetblueguy22 (Reply 14):
Can you explain why? Don't want to overstep any boundaries, just curious!

Because flying as a career is too uncertain. There's the issue of furloughs and layoffs, sure. But there's also the issue of passing a medical every year (or, eventually, every six months). I'm going to guess that you're about 20, so that's going to be 70 medical exams you'll have to pass between now and when you're forced to retire - fail one, and depending on the reason you might be looking at a need to switch careers, for no fault of your own. It would help to have some other education to fall back on should that happen, especially if it happens later on in life.

And while you might think you can't see yourself doing anything else, if you think about it long enough you'll come up with something. You probably have some hobbies that interest you enough that studying them would be both useful and rewarding.

-Mir



7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
User currently offlineN353SK From United States of America, joined Jun 2006, 792 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (1 year 6 months 3 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 10028 times:

The biggest benefit of learning at ATP is that they'll (hopefully) hire you on as an instructor when you're done. Their instructors get a ton of flight time and a fair share of it is multi-engine time, which is extremely difficult to get unless you teach at an academy type place. If you are considering ATP, take a look at how badly they're looking for CFIs. If you don't think you'll be able to (or want to) work for ATP after you finish, it might be wise to find someplace else.

User currently offlinecalibansa333 From United States of America, joined Sep 2009, 208 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (1 year 6 months 3 weeks 23 hours ago) and read 9999 times:

Wow, lots of great insight and info here guys! Thanks for all of the replies. I have a lot to think about!

User currently offlineSXDFC From United States of America, joined Dec 2007, 2226 posts, RR: 19
Reply 21, posted (1 year 6 months 2 weeks 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 9763 times:

Speaking of those who are interested in flying, I have heard from many that if one goes through the Air National Guard, they could pay for your college education and perhaps end up getting a flying slot at a local base.. Has anyone else done this or perhaps know more about this?


ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
User currently offlineDashTrash From United States of America, joined Aug 2006, 1439 posts, RR: 2
Reply 22, posted (1 year 6 months 2 weeks 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 9749 times:

Quoting Mir (Reply 13):
Quoting jetblueguy22 (Reply 12):
A lot of people say it isn't smart getting a degree with a focus just on aviation

They're right.

Full disclosure: I also got a degree in aviation. But now that I'm a few years removed from college, I see the error of my ways.

-Mir

Bingo. If I were doing this again I'd have stayed at Auburn and finish my MBA. UND is too damn cold, and Riddle is.... well...... Riddle.....


User currently onlineMir From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 21092 posts, RR: 56
Reply 23, posted (1 year 6 months 2 weeks 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 9633 times:

Quoting DashTrash (Reply 22):
If I were doing this again I'd have stayed at Auburn and finish my MBA.

If I were doing this again I'd have gone to Illinois and done their human factors degree (which has an aviation component) along with something else. Of course, they're closing that program down now....   

Quoting DashTrash (Reply 22):
UND is too damn cold

Screw the cold - I can handle that. UND's problem is that it's too damn far away from everything else in the world.

-Mir



7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
User currently offlinepilotpip From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 3139 posts, RR: 11
Reply 24, posted (1 year 6 months 2 weeks 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 9562 times:

Quoting TWA772LR (Reply 11):
they offer Sally Mae financing

Ask yourself if you can afford this while making next to nothing as a CFI/Regional FO. Many of my coworkers are losing their houses, marriages and everything else because they financed their training. Personally, I had to work 2-3 jobs through most of my 20s and 4 years of being a regional pilot because of those great loans and mine are much more manageable than many of my coworkers.

Try to pay as much of it as you can out of pocket, take your time, get a degree in something OTHER than aviation. You will get furloughed at some point. My aviation degree has been completely worthless outside of flying airplanes. Do your homework and you will find that you can get all the ratings for less (if you put in the time and effort on your own) by going to a local school two to three days a week. Get your ratings through CFI in about 2-3 years and instruct part time while you finish your degree.

The fast track program is great if you want to learn how to program an airplane, but not if you want to learn how to fly an airplane.



DMI
25 pilotpip : I wanted to add more to my previous post but the edit time has lapsed. Like Mir, I also have an aviation degree. Like Mir, I also see the error in my
26 Starlionblue : If you want to at least make a living within the first few years you might not want to look in the US. Airlines like Emirates, Cathay, Dragonair, JetS
27 777ord : Lots of great points here!!! Can anyone comment on the iPad APP ATP has? I'm really interested in their CFI program, but am more interested in how the
28 pilotpip : If you are capable of getting into their cadet training programs, yes. These programs, however are rarely open to expats. The people that I know whom
29 Flyer732 : I'm fairly sure you won't get access to the app for just CFI school. They have the videos and quizzes online, and the non-ATP full time students in m
30 Starlionblue : Fair point. However Cathay does hire low hour (but not zero hour) expats. Pretty sure Emirates does as well. The pool of native candidates just isn't
31 pilotpip : It's not, but there are tons of experienced pilots from other countries that are looking for better pay and the chance to fly the heavy stuff. Experi
32 Starlionblue : Fair. However CX is only hiring second officers and has been for a while. That means 4+ years in the back seat before being considered for JFO. Not fo
33 TWA772LR : What rating, I'd imagine commercial, would you need and what ballpark figure of hours would you need for these programs?
34 Starlionblue : If you dig a bit on the CX website it shows 250 hours and a CPL for the accelerated program or 1500 hours and an ATPL for the 3 month program (I forg
35 Post contains images TWA772LR : Thanks for the info!
36 Post contains images Starlionblue : Sure. Note that these are the minimum requirements for application. CX can afford to be very selective and just having hours and ratings (or even exc
37 Post contains images TWA772LR : The cadet program says you don't even need a CPL and just "low" hours. Can you expand on this please? I'm looking for flight schools to get ratings a
38 Starlionblue : The 14 month "cadet program" is indeed available for zero hour pilots. The catch is that you need a Permanent HKID (7 years residence in HK to be eli
39 TWA772LR : Are there any other airlines that offer a cadet program like that? Do they have loser citizenship requirements and also at least near-0 required hours
40 Starlionblue : There are a couple I think but not many. There was a thread about this a while ago. Regardless, you will always have a leg up with at least some flig
41 TWA772LR : I always commit to whatever it is I do. I'd be going for my PPL right now if I had the money. I am just looking at my options for me and my brother.
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