Accelerated Timeline


I am looking to leave my currant career in August and peruse a new on in aviation. I am planning on attending ATP, but was curious about the 9 month time line from zero flight time to CFI. I will be attending ATP full time and am planning on not working, that will leave us on just my wife’s salary. Having said that I will want to achieve my CFI as quickly as possible so that I can assist with the finances. My question is, is it possible to get there faster than the 9 months quoted? I realize that learning to fly is something you do not want to rush, but I am very motivated. I know weather is a factor, especially in Chicago where I am looking to attend, but I wanted to know if anyone has had an accelerated experienced.


While I appreciate your desire to get back in the workforce quickly, the program is scheduled for nine months and you should plan on taking the full amount of time.


Hello Luke,

The program is set to be as fast as it can be, given the current climate of
examiner availability. The program used to be set to 6 months, but everyone
fell behind schedule. So, the program was adjusted to 9 months.


“I wanted to know if anyone has had an accelerated experienced.”


ATP takes you from ZERO flight time to earning your Private, Instrument, Multi, Commercial, CFI, MEI, and CFII in 9 mos. After that you’ll have a new student with ZERO experience (who was just like you) with their hands on the yoke and your job is to not only train them but keep you both safe. This isn’t just about checking boxes. Not sure if you’ve looked around the internet but most schools take 2,3 and 4 times the length of time and many students struggle with the pace. So to answer your question, EVERYONE who has successfully completed the program “has had an accelerated experience”.


Call me old fashioned, but I wouldn’t recommend letting your students crack eggs while flying an airplane!

A student whom I flew crew with went from zero to completion in a bit over seven months so it is possible to be ahead of schedule if student/instructor/aircraft/weather/DPE all sync up.


Good one about the egg :slight_smile:

Hopefully you understand there’s a BIG difference between the words possible and probable. If you read Luke’s post he’s concerned with supporting his family on a single income while he’s in training. He needs to understand (and more important plan) for the fact the program is set up for a 9mos footprint. Do you not think that ATP knows that some of their students finish it less time? Of course they do. Would it not be beneficial as a sales tool to advertise “you could be done in as little as 6-7 mos!”? Of course it would be but it would also be irresponsible. People have lives, concerns and commitments and those should not be based on what might or could happen if the stars align, the moon is at the right angle and the winds are just so.

Our own Chris made it from a Regional to a Major in just over a year but if you ask him he’ll say to expect 7. Hawaiian’s shortest flight is from LIH-HNL, it’s blocked at 22min. A few weeks back the winds were strong and ATC asked for best forward speed. I did it in 17min but I don’t expect the airline to change the block. My cousin won the lottery a few years back but I didn’t cash in my kids college funds to buy tickets. Sometimes were fortunate and we come out ahead but I always find it’s better to be pleasantly surprised and disappointed.