I have been doing flight training on and off for 5 years now and my goal is to eventually fly for the airlines. I currently have my PPL and instrument rating and have all the requirements for commercial, just need practically a checkride to complete it and I do want to continue getting instructor certs after commercial. My wife wants me to finish up with ATP but when I called they said I was already too far ahead and they don’t have a flexibility for a pilot like myself. So am I better off just going a different route?
ATP has 2 points of entry, zero time and from your PPL. If you’ve got your IR and most of your CPL you can of course finish with ATP BUT you’ll be redoing your Instrument training and your CPL as well. Your call but you won’t get any credit or cost reduction for the program.
This is a tough predicament that you’re in, you have two options and either would work; finish your training where you’re at currently OR attend ATP and start back at instrument phase. Proficiency can be loss and if you are consistently training for your commercial, the last thing you want is to take an extensive break. This is one of the main reasons we constantly say “do your research” before you get “too far into your training.”
I would probably stick it out where you are and get your ratings that way, if its costs are reasonable. Unfortunately, none of us will be able to tell you exactly what to do. I didn’t start any IR training until I got to ATP because that is where I made my mind after acquiring my PPL outside of ATP.
Honestly having to redo the instrument phase and lose all your progress toward commercial is a big pill to swallow. Of course time is money and you could probably finish sooner starting credit private completing everything in 5 months time. Plus you get the opportunity to apply to tuition reimbursement and pathway programs. However, it comes at a hefty price tag.
Do some research in your area. See how much it would cost to complete comm SE, multi add on and a CFI. That’s the basics you’ll need to build time and check the prerequisites for an ATP certificate. It’s also important how frequently you can fly, if there are any local schools with CFi positions open, etc.
Sometimes it’s best to take two steps back in order to take 4 steps forward!
Find a school near you that will finish your ratings. There are other schools besides ATP that have Accelerated programs and pilot training loans.
Just do your research to find a good one that will work for your situation.
Best of luck,