Good Afternoon! First time long time. I have read through many different posts put thought I would take a shot at asking my own questions as they are a bit different than I’ve seen so far.
I’m in my early-mid 20’s and have been aspiring to be an airline pilot for years (like most here). A year ago I graduated with a bachelors degree (non-aviation related), and spent 2 months right after obtaining my PPL through a part 141 program. I decided to take a year and work the ole desk job to save some money with plans on jumping into an accelerated program after a year or so of working. I’m coming up on that time, and would like to begin training in August or September of 2020.
I had originally decided against ATP due to comments I heard about it being a “drink from the fire-hose” type of program with a decently high dropout/failure rate. I have since been considering AeroGuard and the new American Airlines Cadet Program (I have already completed the admissions/acceptance process for both). These programs take a bit longer (around 9-10 months), but seem to work you at a bit of a more relaxed pace.
I thought I would reach out and ask for advice on ATP’s new Minneapolis location as if I went there I could stay with a relative and not have to pay for housing. Is anyone familiar?
Secondly, does anyone have any first hand knowledge on the dropout/failure rate of ATP students? I’m quite the motivated individual and would have nothing else on my plate besides focusing on flight training, but sometimes it takes me a little extra time to wrap my head around concepts. I enjoy being able to have a flight instructor handy to be able to ask questions/talk to about certain concepts. With ATP’s ground school being online as well as the quick pace of the program, I feel like if I even got slightly behind or struggled with one concept I would be, well, screwed.
Lastly, does ATP have any kind of acclimation period? Since I already have my PPL but have only been flying once every month or two, I feel as though I would need a few lessons to get my PPL skills back to top notch, and even learn the G500 equipment.
Thanks SO much for any advice!
This subject comes up fairly often and it always prompts the same response. If you don’t believe you’re capable of keeping up with the “firehose” and accelerated nature of ATPs program, what makes you believe you can survive and be successful at an airline?
I (like many people) found the program very challenging but frankly it was nothing compared to newhire training at the airlines. I think there’s this misconception that ATP pace is to try and simply get you done abs l and out of their hair quickly or even to torture you. Neither could be further from the truth. ATP was created by airline pilots to train airline pilots and the accelerated pace was an integral part of that design. It’s one thing to get hired but getting through training and onto the line is something else. Back one the airlines had the ability to reduce their hiring minimums there was a significant reduction given to ATP students. It was because the airlines knew that someone who successfully completed the program had the ability to get through the rigors of newhire training. While I appreciate your concern, wouldn’t you rather be well prepared than have the illusion you are? That was one of the reasons I chose ATP and it served me well.
As to washout rates ATP doesn’t publish them but last I heard it was in the high teen %?
Finally if you start the program with credit for your PPL you’re expected to be a current, qualified and competent Private Pilot. There really is no acclimation period. That said if you’re uncertain and want a few extra hours before you start ATP does have the option for you to purchase a few hours before the program starts. Also know to get credit for your PPL you need at least 78hrs of flight time.
Adam beat me to it. I was just going to say that no, there is no acclimation period. And guess what? There isn’t one at the airlines either. That’s the point. ATP designed the program that way intentionally. Train students how airlines train new hires.
I don’t know the exact number of students that don’t complete the program, but I’ve heard it’s around 20%.
You are bound to struggle. I don’t know a single pilot that hasn’t. No one expects perfection, only proficiency within the standards.
The best and really only thing you can do is work as hard as you can, hold yourself accountable and use all available resources to ensure your success in the program. The ones that don’t take the program seriously or blame others for their shortcomings are the ones most likely to drop out.