Normally I don’t get preachy, but hear me out.
You are talking about something you can not control. All you can do is make
a decision, when it is time to cross that bridge, with the information
provided to you at that time. The more flexible you are, the better off you
When I became a CFI for ATP, I was allowed to provide my preferred
location, Sacramento, but if ATP didn’t need me there, I would be sent to
where I was needed. I got lucky. I got assigned to Sacramento. Great!..Not
so great, actually. I had zero students assigned to me for the first month.
I was able to pick up some flights from other instructors, but it wasn’t
enough. The excitement of being at my preferred location started to wear
An opportunity opened up to fill in for an instructor in Riverside. I took
it immediately. I knew it was only temporary, but the flight time is what
mattered. Two weeks later, I was no longer needed in Riverside. I had the
option to stay, but another opportunity opened up in Hayward (now
Livermore). So I went.
My student load was light, but at least I was able to have a student all to
myself and help them receive their PPL. Shortly after, I got ANOTHER call,
saying that Sacramento was desperate. FINALLY. Leaving my student in
Hayward was bittersweet, but I packed my stuff and relocated to Sac.
I’m done right? I’m in Sac with 3-4 students, flying 70
hours/month…Wrong. Some unexpected events occurred across several
different ATP locations that required ATP to temporarily change their
policies and procedures. ATP was in need of Designated Solo Evaluators. I
was hungry for extra flight time, and I felt like I would be a good
candidate. So, I jumped on it. As I assumed my new role, I started
commuting between Sacramento and Hayward on a weekly basis.
Do you see what I am getting at? Did I know that Sac was going to be slow
in the beginning? Did I know that Riverside was going to need help? Did I
know that I was going to be commuting 2.5 hours one way to help ATP
maintain a safe flight training environment? Absolutely not. But I
recognized the win/win situations that were presented to me as they came
I was lucky enough that I was in a position to capitalize on them. I know
that not everyone is in a situation to be able to do what I did, but for
you and everyone else reading, just something to think about. Your
preferences may change over time. Your main focus should be to provide
quality and safe instruction in the quickest time possible to launch you
into the career that you always wanted.