I have had to restructure my planning several times to date on my approach to obtaining my PPL, IR and CPL in a timely manner whilst also saving. I want to attend ATP and fast track however I don’t believe I would have enough saved to pay out of pocket until July 2025. This leads me to believe my best approach will be to continue to save and pay out of pocket for my PPL, IR and CPL certs at our local pilot training program here at LEX until the July 2025 time window. With which I would have plenty saved and also be able to begin looking for ways to build post completion flight hours. My question is, if I did choose to go this route would I be able to attend ATP’s CFI Academy and then become a CFI with ATP even without having gotten the other certs and ratings from ATP? I would love to go this route if doable, as it was my ultimate aspiration to begin with. However I don’t want to “tread water” over the next two and a half years when I could be proactive and complete all of the above stated certs and ratings in the meantime. And come out ready to Instruct. Thank you so much for the input and greatly appreciate your all’s time!
Unfortunately that would not be possible. ATP has 2 program entry points. One with no experience and one from PPL on. Further ATPs CFI jobs are reserved for ATP grads, which is one of the many benefits of doing your training with ATP.
Can you not get approval for a loan? If you started ATP by July of this year using a loan you would be flying for a Regional by July of 2025 (Obviously if everything went according to planned and you interviewed well with a regional.)
You want to want be a part of the ATP ecosystem, finish up your PPL and work on getting approved for the loan so that you could start credit private. That is the last entry point to the program. If not you’ll have to find other ways to complete all your training and find time building opportunities.
I am with Hannah here, work on your PPL and then reconsider ATP. You will want to make sure that the flight school you choose has a solid structure. Some problems you may run into a flight school outside of ATP is low instructor availability and planes (especially if there’s only 2 or 3). When I did my PPL outside of ATP, it was a 13-month journey… and I ended up spending more money because I started having to commute and hour each way, but I was fully committed.
Once you get your PPL attempt to get approval and go from there. There is still time, who knows what 6 months down the road holds for loans and interest rates. ATP only has two entry points, Zero Time and Credit Private. You must go through either one of ATP’s entry points to go through ATP’s CFI Academy.
Hey Raffaele! I was able to get approved for a loan, however after advising my finances it didn’t make sense long term to have the burden of the debt. The current interest rates and $120k price tag on the loan would have had me paying back very large lump sums for quite some time (even after bonus incentives with regional airlines). I have decided to forego the loan and pay out of pocket so that when schooling and flight hours are completed I can roll in to a regional airline with a little less hanging over my head.
Thanks for getting back Adam!
Thank you very much for the insight! I will start my PPL and see where the road takes me from there.
Really appreciate this Brady! At this point I am 100% going to at least complete my PPL at the local airport and go from there. I just have this strong ambition to pay for all of the program out of pocket as the loan route doesn’t look entirely appealing. I understand the loan would get me where I want to be quicker but am having a difficult time justifying the extra financial burden. I will continue to save and work towards the PPL in the meantime. Thanks again!
Don’t let the loan be a fear, most students need to take the loan for flight training. My loan interest rate was much higher than I ever imagine when I started; I hence have refinanced and got a lower interest rate, not long after being hired by a regional airline. There are tuition reimbursement and sign-on bonuses that have never been seen before until recently, those are opportunities to help offset the costs. Many have taken the leap of faith!
Just curious how long you think it’ll take you to get you PPL on your own and raise the money you’ll need for the program?
I’m asking because you say “am having a difficult time justifying the extra financial burden”. If you’re route takes you just 1 extra year, and since pilots have a finite about of time they can fly, that’s one year less of top salary (currently $450k) at the end. Throw in compounding 401k money and seniority (which is priceless) and I’m thinking I could easily justify the interest.
Then again I justify having 2 dozen canoe paddles, 2 cars, a truck and a motorcycle, so I might be the wrong person to ask
I love the perspective Adam! This is why I post and read through these message boards. The different takes on this whole career path are priceless in that everyone goes about it in a different way and are successful none the less. So really appreciate the response.
So I’m currently in the med device sales industry and have the freedom to be done with work whenever I see fit Mon-Fri. I’m thinking I could schedule flight time every Mon-Fri at 3PM. And weekends whenever needed as I do not have work obligations. With our weather patterns here in KY I see myself probably only getting up 50% of that time. So would be thinking the entire PPL program would take me between 5-6 months with expenses coming out of pocket. All in all, this route would take me longer. Especially if I choose to knock out the IR and CPL at the local academy. I believe the program in its entirety would take me roughly a year to a year and a half but would allow not having to take out a loan. And going in to hour building where pay isn’t outstanding, it would allow me to have a healthy amount of savings to assist in cost of living.
Haha I love it. It’s hard not justifying the toys for when you aren’t working, I’m with ya!