My experience with ATP has been nothing short of exceptional. From start to finish I felt that I had everyone in my corner and they all wanted the very best for me. From my two great instructors in Norwood, to my Training Support Specialist who was always willing to answer any and all questions I had, everyone wanted me to succeed.
I got my private outside of ATP at a 141 school and just decided that is wasn’t for me and that I wanted to look elsewhere. Being only 19, I was a little nervous I was too young, but it all worked out in the end.
Before I even started, I began by doing research. I stumbled upon this thread and found great first hand experiences of other students who went through the program. The number one thing that I read again and again was to get as many written tests done before you start. I came in with 3 of the 5 needed done. This was probably was one of the biggest contributors to my success in the program. Instead of spending time studying for the monotonous written tests, I could use that time by studying more important checkride material. DO AS MANY WRITTENS BEFORE YOU START
September 18 - IR Passed
Jumping into the instrument rating right off took some getting used to, but once you get it, you get it and it is actually a lot of fun. I really enjoyed the procedural part of it once I began to understand what was going to happen next. In the middle of my instrument training, a new instructor started and I began flying with him. It made me a better pilot because a different set of eyes always helps. No two instructors are exactly the same.
October 23- Commercial ASEL Passed
After crew I did not miss a beat and jumped right into commercial training. One thing that worked very well for me in preparation for CFI school was to learn everything in Commercial well enough to teach it. This paid off down the road because I was able to focus on more how to teach and not relearn any material.
September 25- CFI Initial Passed
The CFI Initial is overwhelming in the beginning. You can literally be tested on anything.(My examiner asked me about holding patterns on my initial.) It starts with 2 weeks of online ground school. The 2 weeks are not meant to teach you the material, but teach you how to teach. My ground school instructor was VERY knowledgable and helpful and was willing to help if anyone needed extra help. Once I got to CFI Flight in GKY, it went by very quick. It is a completely different mindset that you have to show up with. You are the PIC. My CSI, Spin Instructor, and Endorsing Instructor all wanted me to succeed and helped me out along the way.
December 3- CFII Passed
After CFI Initial any checkride in the world would have been easier. CFII is not too bad, as you already know the information. I really just spent a little time refreshing myself on some of the things that I hadn’t though about since instrument training. For me I practiced teaching to a few students that were just starting their programs (Under the watchful eye of their instructor.)
December 23- Commercial AMEL Passed
The Seminole is so much fun. It is like a sports car. It has so much power and a lot of fun to fly. It is very nice the way ATP structures the program, so you do not have to hop between airplanes. There are a lot of similarities between the Archer and the Seminole which only helps with the transition. I was actually my instructors first multi student and the first in Boston, which was a lot of fun. As I knew that everything for MEI was the same as Commercial Multi, I practiced teaching my instructor all of the ground knowledge areas. If you know it well enough to teach it, you know it good.
January 14- MEI Passed
MEI was a lot of fun. There is almost nothing new from Commercial Multi, other than learning it from the right seat. We did get to do some night flying, which was a nice change of pace.
I can not say enough good things about my instructors I had in Norwood. They were both very knowledgable and professional.
The way that I approached the program was “You get out what you put in.” It isn’t suppose to be easy. If being a pilot was easy, everyone would be a pilot. If you put in the hard work day in and day out, I can assure you at the end you look back and say that it was worth it. Showing up early and prepared everyday with questions showed my instructors that I was putting in the effort, so they matched that. They didn’t mind staying after and helping me with something I was struggling with.
I hope some of the tips I have left that worked for me can help you succeed in the program.