ATP, 100ME vs 40ME


My name is Tucker, im 19, have my ppl and just shy of 80 hours TT. I am currently in college and plan to go on to ATP in the spring of 2018. Looking at their options I am wondering if there is a benifit to taking the 100ME course if I plan on instructing with them before moving on to a regional. Some input on this would be awesome!

Hello Tucker and Welcome!

Really good question! As you point out, the primary reason for the 40hr option is to give the student the opportunity to save few dollars IF they plan on instructing for ATP. Back in the day this option wasn’t offered because there was no 1500 hr Rule. Before the rule change you simply needed your Commercial license and as little as 500hrs total but there was (and still remains) a requirement for 100hr multi time to get hired at a Regional. Instructors were only teaching a few months so having the 100hrs enabled them to check that box immediately. Since the rule change Instructors at ATP will be there a minimum of 1.5 yrs working towards the 1500hrs and since much of the training at ATP is done in the twin, getting the 100hrs multi isn’t really a concern. Makes sense yes?

So is there any other reason to go for the 100hrs? I believe there is. As I’ve mentioned in other posts, most pilots simply see instructing as the means to an end (which I understand, I did too), but instructing can be very challenging and sometimes even a little scary. The fact is more pilots find themselves having a REALLY bad day in a twin that loses one engine than in a single that loses it’s ONLY engine. Now this should sound counter intuitive since in the twin you still have one good engine and you can essentially keep flying. Problem is when that engine first goes out some funky stuff happens initially and if you’re not on it rather quickly it could be a problem (that btw is the primary focus of your multi training). Now with the 100hr option you’ll do your Instrument training (arguably the toughest rating) in the twin (a complex airplane) which gives you a fair amount of practice multi tasking in the multi engine. You’ll also get to do your cross-country flights in the twin which (because of it’s range and speed) will allow you to travel farther and see variety of flight conditions (weather, terrain, etc) that you wouldn’t otherwise. This gives you tremendous confidence and comfort in the twin (aka a complex airplane). What this means is the first time your student does something incredibly foolish, seemingly trying to end both your lives, I believe, you’ll be that much more prepared.

Now let’s be honest, $10k is alot of cash to get the warm fuzzies and truth be told if the 40hr option were available back when I signed up I probably would have grabbed it. I’m also not saying the pilots who take the option are lessor qualified or inferior pilots. What I am saying is, knowing what I know AND having been through the program and flight instructing, if I had the money to do the 100hrs I think it’s a worthwhile investment.



So the main benifit of going for the 100 hour course is that you get much more experiance in a more complex plane?

That and it allows you to satisfy the 100 multi requirement of most Regionals should you decide to not instruct for ATP.


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Thank you for your viewpoint on this. I would love to hear from more about what they think about 100vs40. It seems like a big choice, I want all the information I can get!

Just to chime in here…another benefit of the 100 hour (as Adam indicated) is that you do your instrument training in the twin. Most twins at ATP have the standard “six pack” gauges and not the Garmin G500. So by doing your instrument training in the twin, it makes it easier once you’re an instructor and need to teach six pack instrument topics/approaches. You also get to do instrument time build in the single engine Archer (between your Private rating and starting of the instrument phase) so I got the best of both worlds (familiarity with instrument flying with both the Garmin G500 and traditional six-pack). Hope this helps!


Thanks for chiming in and giving your perspective on this!



I’m considering making the leap to an airline pilot career via the ATP fast-track student & instructor program. Currently I have a bachelor’s in electrical engineering, a private pilot license with 150 total hours; 20 of which are single-engine simulated instrument. The plane is an old Piper Tri Pacer, with the traditional six-pack of instruments, therefore my dozens of instrument approaches have been made with these, to quite a bit of success! After reading the above, and considering the $10,000 difference between the 40-hour multi class track, and the 100-hour multi; I’d like an insider’s opinion on which option might be best for someone with my experience. I do plan on instructing with ATP after I finish class and making my way to 1500 hours, and ultimately a major airline that way. I was also wondering, aside from the complexity of the twin engine airplane, is there any other distinction between single-engine and multi-engine instrument ratings?

Hi Robert and welcome,

Sounds like you’re ready to go which is great. Your 40 vs 100 hr questions is one that comes up fairly often. First off a little background, you see before 2013 there was no 1500 hr requirement to fly for an airline. You only needed your Commercial license and most Regionals only required 5-700 hrs and 100 ME (multi). ATP only offered the 100 hr Program to ensure that you met that 100 hr minimum. After they implemented the 1500 hr Rule pilots now found themselves instructing for 1-2 yrs vs months. Those pilots that instructed for ATP found themselves with hundreds of hours of ME time and far exceeded the requirement. Based on that ATP determined they could offer a lower cost option for those pilots who would definitely be instructing for ATP. If you wouldn’t be for any reason (instructing elsewhere, flying SE cargo, banner tow etc) they still have the 100hr course to meet the mins. Now to be honest If they offered the 40 hr Program back when I did my training I pretty certain I would have grabbed it. BUT, having gone through the 100hr Program myself I def feel there are some benefits (all things being equal). The following is from a post I wrote a while ago:

Proficiency: Most people are obviously very anxious to jump into training, flight instruct and get hired. For most of us it’s the means to an end. BUT glossing over that flight instructing part is easier said than done. The first time you find yourself sitting next to a student who knows NOTHING and seemingly for some reason is hell bent on trying to kill you both can be rather daunting. Now there’s a fun fact most non-pilots don’t know, more people have REALLY BAD DAYS flying in an twin engine airplane that loses one engine then people flying in a single who lose their ONLY engine. Now this should sound odd to you since in a single you’re now a glider pilot. The reality is when a twin loses one of it’s engine’s some funky stuff happens initially which needs to be addressed quickly and if it isn’t bad things happen (this btw is the focus of your multi-engine training). The first time I found myself doing a Vmc demo (THE scary maneuver?) with a new student I was very happy I’d done the majority of my training in the twin. I’m not saying this to alarm you or convince you to drop another $10k. Nor am I saying you won’t be skilled, trained or prepared with 40 hrs. What I am saying is more experience is never a bad thing.

Longer Cross-countries: This was actually one of the factors that attracted me to ATP in the first place. At ATP you’ll earn your Private and then your Multi and Instrument ratings. Next comes your Commercial license but there’s a problem, you won’t have the 250hrs you need for it. So what ATP does is they pair you up with another pilot and send you flying for 2-3 weeks to build that time. Pretty cool. Now if you’re going for the 100hrs you’ll be building that time in the twin and that means, due to it’s longer range and greater speed, they’ll send you farther, potentially much farther. I did my training in Virginia but my cross-countries took me south to Florida, west to Texas and north to Chicago! Now you may be thinking that’s cool but I’m not spending more money so I can sight see. It’s not about the distance or the locations, it’s about the flight conditions you encounter. I crossed the Appalachians (mountainous terrain) going west, dodged monster thunderstorms going south and picked up some nasty ice going north. When all was said and done I finished with a tremendous amount of confidence in my knowledge and abilities. I really was a pilot!

Now of course all things aren’t equal and $10k is a lot of money. I’m just saying if money weren’t an issue, I do believe that’s the way to go.

The only difference between the SE and ME Instrument rating is when you do the ME you’re required to do a SE (Engine out) approach on the checkride. So if you got your IR in the twin you’re good, If however you get it in the single, when you go for your ME checkride, you’ve got to do a SE approach on that checkride. Make sense?


Thank you for your quick response and insight, Adam! I can’t argue with your statement that more experience is never a bad thing, and your statements about ice and “funky stuff happening when one of two engines fails” makes me curious what you’ve encountered - can you tell me briefly? I’d heard about adverse yaw that you have to account for in a one-engine out for example, but what else is there; and how’d you deal with the ice? With my flying experience being in the mountains of northern Utah, I have that confidence behind me but at the same time a healthy aversion to flying in icing conditions! I’m just deciding how well spent the extra $10k would be with all things considered, particularly when my wife is along for the ride.

Although I was told I couldn’t get credit for an instrument rating before entering ATP’s multi engine program, would the 20 hours of instrument flight time help at all? I understand you need 40 for the rating, and from what you said at least part of that would be a one-engine-out-multi-plane-approach.

Thanks again!



If it were up to me, I would opt for the 40 hours of multi option. While the long cross countries are great and flying a twin is certainly more fun, both programs get you to the same place, that is having all of your licenses. $10,000 is not a small amount of money, I would save it, the 40 hour program will get you to where you need to go just fine.

Your instrument time will certainly help you with your instrument training, but it will not change your course or the cost of your program, it will just die you a head start and make your life easier :slight_smile:



What I mean by “funky” is precisely that adverse yaw you’ve heard about. The first thing you do when you lose and engine is push up the throttles to get max power (and see if maybe you inadvertently retarted the engine in question). Problem is if in fact one engine is out you’ve just introduced a whole lot of power, torque and yes adverse yaw to one side of your airplane. If you’re not ready for it with that rudder at best a wing is going over and you’re spinning, at worse the wing doesn’t go over and you’re in a flat spin (think Top Gun crash scene) and that’s really no bueno! Learning to recognize and react appropriately is really what your ME training is about. One day I was teaching a new student a required maneuver for the ME rating, the Vmc Demo (Vmc being min SE control speed in a twin). In the maneuver you’re looking for a the first indication of a “problem” which is the loss of directional control (the nose slipping and you being unable to hold it with rudder) and you recover by lowering the nose and actually reducing power in the good engine. Well my student got confused and basically did the opposite by going max power and yanking nose up. Fortunately I was on it, took control and recovered quickly (that and the Seminole is very forgiving) BUT, if I hadn’t well we might not be having this conversation right now (or at the least I would’ve had to change my underwear).

As for ice most GA aircraft don’t provide a whole lot of ice protection (maybe carb and pitot only). The key here is good preparation. Knowing where the ice is, avoiding it and should you encounter it getting out fast!

Honestly as I said I’m sure if they had the 40 hr option back in the day that’s the route I would’ve chosen and I’m also confident you’ll be well prepared and equipped with the 40 hrs as well. All I was saying again more when it comes to experience is never a bad thing.

For ATP to sign you off and more important for you to be one of their instructors you’re required to go through ALL the training for ALL the ratings above your Private. The 40 hrs Instrument will simply make your training much easier. That and of course it puts you that much closer to the magic 1500hr number.


On ATPs website they advertise that the 100 hrs will allow you to instruct in MEs right away. Does that mean the 40 won’t allow you to instruct in the MEs? If so, how do you build ME time as a CFI if you’re not instructing in one?


Not sure where you saw that but I believe what that’s referring to is that you can instruct at flight schools OTHER than ATP with the 100hr program (as many local flight schools have a 100hr insurance requirement). You can and will instruct at ATP with the 40.


Adam is absolutely correct here. ATP does not make any distinction between CFIs that did the 100 or 40 hours of multi engine time.

I saw it on the website:

It’s in the first paragraph. But I wasn’t sure what they meant by it. Thanks

You are correct it does but they mean elsewhere.


Ok, thanks.

Thank you for the insight, Adam! It’s fascinating and makes me more excited to begin training!

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Hello everyone.

I have almost 300 hours under my belt from training at my local mom and pop flight school in New Jersey. I obtained my private and instrument ratings there, but I wasn’t very happy with the quality of instruction I received. I did most of my training part-time and I feel that I need a highly-structured 5-day a week training program. That’s why I’m interested in what ATP has to offer. I’m very interested in training at either Mesa or Scottsdale airports. Money isn’t a big issue for me, but it never hurts to save a little. I’ve only flown Cherokees, Archers, and one Arrow. No multi time. So my first question is: would ATP allow me to sign up for the Airline Career Program even though I already have an instrument rating? I don’t see why they wouldn’t. And my second question is: would the 100ME option be a better choice for me since I have so much single-engine time?