Been looking at ATP for a bit. Finishing up my private pilot in Joplin, Mo. How was your experience at ATP? Is there a location that is better than others?
Ok, because you asked nice. The BEST ATP location is…(drumroll)… ready?.. the best location is the one that works best for YOU! ATP strives to deliver the same quality and level of instruction throughout their entire network. Think McDonald’s. You can order a Big Mac anywhere in the country and you’re pretty much guaranteed to get the same burger. Same goes with ATP. Choose a location near your home or half way across the country. Go where you like and know you’ll be getting the best regardless. The one variable is you.
As for experiences this forum is full of posts that discuss that so simply do some searching. Also all the mentors on the forum are former students who are now airline pilots. Needless to say we’re all pretty happy with our experience at ATP.
ATP strives very hard to standardize the student experience across all of its locations. Students go through the exact same program, regardless of which location they train at. There really is not one location that stands out any more than any other. I would simply pick the one that is most convenient for you and not give it any further thought.
Focus on finishing up that Private Pilot with satisfactory results, temporary airmen certificate in hand! That should be your biggest focus right now. Locations are all the same, except maybe the temperatures - I wish it was warmer in the Northeast. ATP really has developed the perfect gameplan to maximum student’s success and training center operations across the nation. Regardless to the ATP location you go you will find the same standardization and program nationwide; the only difference may be the single-engine aircraft you primarily fly; i.e., Skyhawk versus Archer.
There are tons of student experiences throughout the forum, when I first came to the forum that is where I looked other than the FAQ section. I wanted to see what current student and alumni had to say and then visit a training center nearest to me for first-hand experience.
I wholeheartedly agree that the best location is the one that works best for you. However, being a little biased here, I think the Las Vegas location has a great start. Seeing that its a newer operation, its still getting its grounding which is quite the interesting experience. Plus the hustle and bustle of Las Vegas! Unless you’re going to stay local, I would pick a location that fits the type of plane you want to fly (Piper vs. Cessna) and the environment you wish to have. Each location has its own pros and cons as to their location, airspace, and surrounding airports!
Best of luck!
Thanks for contributing here! We’re so glad to hear you’re loving your time at the Las Vegas location. I’m sure you got to experience the hustle and bustle surrounding the KLAS airspace throughout your instrument training.
I’ll admit, Vegas is quite the challenge for instrument training. The airspace isn’t super supportive towards it, but with a little grit, you can get it done. To be honest, I feel like it’ll help in the long run dealing with last minute ATC changes!
You’ll find many airspaces have a unique culture. Some are very relaxed and friendly, others are strictly business.
Vegas is unique. I did my MEI there. Rest assured, there are numerous flight schools in the area. They wouldn’t be there if the airspace wasn’t conducive. ATP mindfully chooses where and where not to establish a training center.
I met a handful of students that avoided what they thought was complex. While everyone has their preferences, I did notice a difference between the students that were accustomed to the complexity vs those who were not.
As pilots advance in their careers, they’ll have to adapt to the challenges they face eventually. Complex operations are inevitable. For me, I would rather be exposed to the complexity as a student rather than wait until I am forced to later down the road when I have a plane full of passengers on board.
The Flight Instructors at each location know the ins and outs of each training center and are fully capable of getting their students up to speed on how to operate within the surrounding airspace.
I say this in case there are any prospective students out there that are contemplating which training center to attend.
Airspace and aircraft type should really have no bearing on one’s decision. I know it’s easy to get wrapped up in the details. It’s a big investment which leads many to believe that every little detail matters more than it really does.
Thank you everyone for your answers. As soon as the weather cooperates I should have my private pilot knocked out. My CFI took a job and I will have to finish out with another. Will be looking into one of the 100 hr multi engine schools when the time comes.
Why the drive to do the 100 hour multi program? Is there a certain reason compelling you to do this?
The deal with my fiancé is I do this all debt free. No loans. Cash flowed all of my PPL and have been saving like crazy. She may or may not take another job and we are down sizing on our house either way (which will put me mostly there). I really want the time and instruction. My end goal is cargo or private commercial like my CFI did. Would you recommend against the 100 hr?
Not sure what you mean by “private commercial” unless you’re talking about corporate? If that’s the case then yes, the 100hr might be beneficial. As far as cargo goes if you’re talking about heavy cargo like FedEx or UPS then those are actually Major airlines and the route would be the same as every other Major.
Yes sir. Corporate.
We recommend the 100 Hr multi program for people who want to go the 135 route either cargo or corporate. That extra multi engine time is really valuable when applying for competitive jobs. If you’re simply going the tradition 121 route, flight instructing to the regionals, you’d only need the minimum 25 hours in a multi engine aircraft. That’s why we don’t recommend the program to everyone. Depends on your goals and where you want to end up.
I have to ask, why the desire to do it debt free? I understand that sounds good on paper, but the time it will take to save that money could cost you years of seniority at the airlines. That time and seniority could in turn cost you several hundreds of thousands of dollars in earnings.
We have been out of debt for a few years. It gave me two viewpoints. Nothing is guaranteed and people tend to have a microwave mentality. I work at a job that pays decent. Now, I don’t like my job but it is a means to an end. If it takes me 6 more months or a year then I’m okay with that. Don’t get me wrong taking a loan crossed my mind (microwave mentality). I feel I will be setting myself up better in the long run.
Totally your call and everyone should do whatever they feel comfortable with. That said if you’re looking at the economics of this you should consider the effect delaying 6mos to a year will have on your career.
First, you may have read that seniority is everything at the airlines and it’s true. A friend of mine just got hired at SWA and by this time next year will have close to 2,000 pilots below them. That means better schedules, faster upgrades, vacation etc etc etc. More important should the industry turn it means protection in the event of furloughs and downgrades.
On the economic side pilots have a finite amount of years they can fly. Every year you delay means a year off the top not making your top salary, not to mention the yearly losses to your retirement.
Just some food for thought.