ATP or not?

Is the student experiences only people that don’t complain? Been talking to a student that is in the program, recently started and with the weather minimum’s atp has, they cost him and all his co students unnecessary delays??? Everyone at his location is behind.
Weather bad at 10am so your flight gets canceled and then at 12 it’s good weather but no plane availability? I don’t understand why they advertise 7 months, 8 weeks of private if they cause so many delays; and then your supposed to have super resources but no plane availability sounds like lack of resources, sounds like he would of been better off at a mom an pop?


To address some of your concerns here, there are absolutely circumstances where weather could potentially cause delays with training. The weather is not something that ATP can control, but they do plan for weather delays in your program. They understand the weather is not going to be flyable every day. I would actually disagree and say that ATP’s weather minimums are pretty fair. 1000 ft ceilings and 3 SM visibility is pretty marginal VFR and I personally wouldn’t to be doing anything other than IFR flights in those conditions. And ATP, unlike most part 141 schools, lets the students and instructors make the go/no-go decisions providing the weather is above those minimums. I think potentially what you could be referring to is the solo minimums during the solo stage in private, but those are strict for the safety of the student (they should be, since you are solo, and you are also number 1 priority during that stage).

Now addressing the specific circumstance that you presented. You are missing the fact that often the planes are scheduled out for the entire day, every block time should be utilized in each aircraft. If you were cancelled in the 10 AM slot, is it fair that the student who has been scheduled in the 12 PM slot be moved? Now there are phases of the program where this could happen (ex: checkride prep or solo’s where you can take priority), but I think in the end it will balance out. There are times where you are that 10 AM cancellation for weather, and there are times where you are that 12 PM that continues ahead with the flight.

In terms of resources, you’ll struggle to find another flight school that has more resources than ATP. I don’t know which mom and pop school you could be referring to, but I doubt they have as many aircraft, instructors, or locations as ATP does. Every flight school will suffer from maintenance, weather, and DPE availability delays, those are not exclusive to ATP.

Hope this helps!




To address your points:

The “Student Experiences” section is not at al edited. People are able to post whatever they wish there and we in no way edit it.

ATP does have ore stringent weather minimums than some schools, this is strictly for the safety of students and instructors. ATP has one of the best safety records in the industry, having weather minimums is part of that.

ATP advertises seven months because that is the timeframe that the vast majority of students finish in. Oof course there are exceptions to this, but it is certainly not the norm. Without knowing your friend’s specific situation, it is difficult to comment.

I went to a mom and pop school, they had way less resources than ATP does. In my experience, most smaller schools are like that.


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As Chris said, none of the posts or threads are censored (in fact there was just a new thread posted by a former student who was raving about her new school).

Regardless I’ve got to ask you a question? Do you not think it’s odd that a new student (with minimal knowledge and experience) is taking issue with the largest flight school in the country’s (with over 35yrs of experience), safety practices? Do you not suppose maybe, just maybe, ATP knows a little more about safety, flying, weather, etc etc etc than this new student does? Further when ATP says 7mos, they’re taking into account pesky annoyances like bad weather. Know why? Because they’ve been doing this for 35yrs+ and that’s why they advertise it.

This reminds me of an very common issue I had when flying out of EWR many years ago. During the summer EWR often gets lines of thunderstorms to the west which delays many departures and arrivals. Inevitably a passenger would approach me and say “I just spoke to my spouse in Kansas City and they say the weather is fine! You folks are lying!”. I would smile and show them the radar and politely ask if they would like to fly through it.

While ignorance may be bliss, it does not replace knowledge or experience. That all said if you believe you can do better at a mom and pop, then by all means but I believe the 1200+ grads hired by airlines in the last 12mos alone would disagree.



On my visit to Waukesha, the flight instructor mentioned that it often takes about a year at that location because of our Wisconsin winters. He also mentioned that one could possibly do much of the training there and then move to one of the southern campuses when weather got too poor up here. He didn’t say it as a definite thing, but that he’d heard about some doing that in the past. Is this forbidden? Frowned upon?


While not completely prohibited, it is most definitely frowned upon (and may not be possible based on a number of factors). ATP isn’t a retail store where if something is out of stock you can simply go to another location. Instructors, airplanes, sims etc are all allocated based on student enrollment. If you’re concerned about the weather in Waukesha (I really wouldnt be based on one instructor’s experience after a particularly harsh winter) you can of course enroll at another location.

Keep in mind all areas of the country experience weather issues from time to time and forecasting weather 7mos+ from now is like trusting a groundhog to predict Spring.


Yeah, I figured it is probably a real headache.

I also figure, if you start at the right time…March, one should be able to knock it out by October or November.

But that’s why I’m building up savings, so when the timeline stretches out during training and flight instructing, we can survive.


If I were you I would get going asap when the seasons are favorable. The winter is probably the most delay-prone season so it’s in your best interest to get done with the program before that season arrives. However, if you don’t it’s not the end of the world. ATP would t have a location there if it couldn’t successfully get their students through in the allotted timeline. Some winters are harsher than others, you simply won’t be able to predict that.


Yup, my goal is early next year. Obviously, that’s ASAP.