About ATP, 61 and 141 differences?

As an airline pilot, was part 61 or part 141 flight school more beneficial?

What are the pros and cons?

Can you clarify if ATP part 61, and is that recommended?

Thank you. Kaytlyn Sandu.

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Hello Kaytlyn,

I’ve done my Private and Instrument through a Part 141 program and I must say it is very rigid. Yes you can achieve your ratings at a slightly lower hour requirement, but there is a great deal of government red tape on said programs. I’ll be attending ATP in just a week and already the instructor has been working with me to try and tailor the program to where I am at in my training. With Part 141 this would not be possible as you have to adhere to a vey strict syllabus. ATP is Part 61, but is highly structured compared to other Part 61 schools. It does however still offer that flexibility that Part 141 does not.

If someone is planning to get their R-ATP through an accredited university then Part 141 is what is necessary. However, four years just to get a Commercial license and a degree VS. two years and already building turbine PIC time at a regional while finishing a 4 year degree. The latter sounds like a better deal. The sooner one gets to the regionals the better.

Best Regards,


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Michael answered your questions really well but just to add a few things.

The only benefit for an airline pilot when it comes to Part 61 vs 141 is the flexibility a Part 61 school offers. ATPs program (which is Part 61) is highly accelerated which would not be possible with 141 program.

The only possible pro to a Part 141 program I can see is if someone has their heart set on going to an aviation university. Personally I’m not a fan. First aviation university programs are very expensive. Second while they can offer an R-ATP hour reduction that in no way will offset the expended period of training required. Lastly if for some reason aviation doesn’t work out for you there’s not much you can do with an aviation degree (you can be a pilot with an accounting degree, you can’t be an accountant with an aviation degree).


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Thank you to both, I appreciate your insight.

I do have another question that came up:
How can I make sure that ATP is an FAA accredited school? I tried looking on the FAA website but was unable to find that information.


Their search page is located here:

You can search and find them, they’re listed in Jacksonville, FL, as that is where the home office is located.

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Part 141 schools are “Far accredited”, part 61 schools are not required to go through an accreditation process. So you will not see any part 61 schools listed on the FAA’s website. However, all schools send their students to the same FAA examiners for checkrides.

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