Real Answers from Real Pilots

ATP’s accelerated vs Others

Hi everyone,

So I am still doing thorough research on which flight school I want to go to, since after all, it is a lot of money. Recently, I came across another flight school called Blue Line Aviation in the RDU area. They have an accelerated program similar to ATPs for about 70-80k and up to 250 hours. This also includes all your ratings. Their program is 5 1/2 months compared to 9 months. So my question is, what makes ATPs accelerated program better than others, particularly Blue Line Aviation, if they are providing the same type of service?

Thanks in advance!

I was a student at ATP in 2017 when they changed from 6month to 9month program. I Instructed at ATP and also at Wayman aviation (also an accelerated program to commercial). I have not seen or worked at Blue Line.

Based off their website they seem legit. Website, Aircraft and Professionalism look good.

I think 5.5 months 0 to hero is going to be a firehose of information set at full blast. Some of the … senior Mentors went through ATP when it was 6months and can give more insite on that timeline. Obviously it is doable though.

Best bet is to go the the school, ask to see the aircraft and MX hanger (if allowed) and talk to some students.


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Thanks Chris for the insight, will definitely do that!


Here’s my take. First they say “in as little as 5 1/2 months”. If the weather, examiners etc all cooperate you’ll finish ATP in less than 9mos. Personally I’d like to have a realistic time-frame rather than a best case scenario but that’s me. Yes they have a nice website but anyone can go to Go Daddy and set one up in a few hours so that doesn’t impress me either.

Now if you put the 2 programs side by side they do appear somewhat similar so why ATP? There’s one thing that stands out dramatically. Jonte at the very beginning of your post you stated a very simple but important fact, flight training is expensive. While BL might be less expensive it certainly ain’t cheap. My problem is if your go to their website “graduates” page there’s one airline pilot and he only did his CFI training there. They state they only accept 175 students per year, ATP places over 500 pilots a year with the airlines. So the question becomes is it really worth saving $4,000 and maybe a few months to try your luck at some school that clearly modeled themselves after ATP and has not one airline success story OR do you go with a program that has proven itself over 35yrs with literally thousands of graduates becoming airline pilots? I’m not a gambler but to take that risk I’d need something more compelling.




I would encourage you to do a Google search for Blue Line and see how they treat their flight instructors. Part of going to a school is considering what it would be like to be an instructor there. Frankly, I would not want to even be a student there after they way they came at their employees during Covid. Do some Googling.

Beyond that, you are right, flight training is expensive. I see the temptation to try and save a few dollars, but you have to remember that quality is important as well. An airline will look very closely at how many check ride failures you have had, I would want to go to a school with a great reputation for producing pilots.

Do your research. Also check out a thread I have in the FAQ section called: “Questions For Any Prospective Flight School”, it will help you know what to ask.


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We can not say whether or not Blue Line has a good program or not, as well haven’t experienced ourselves. That research will have to come from you. However, all of us here can vouch for ATP. Our timeline is realistic, but many students have completed the program much faster. If you want to be one of those students, push the pacing with your instructor and all of admin will support and cheer you on. 9 months is a minimum, realistic goal but we will always support a faster pace. As for the price tag, that pays for top of the line, safe, airplanes. It pays for committed ground time and mentorship. It also pays for the affiliation with ATP. If you decide to instruct elsewhere, or after completion of your 1500 hours companies know who atp is and what it takes to get through the program. That will help you in the interview. Plus ATP alumni is a huge network and growing by the day. That will also help you in the long run because many times, knowing someone at a company can help get your resume on the desk. Seems like a lot to lose for a few thousand dollars.


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I recently graduated the program and beginning my instructor position this coming month for ATP, I highly recommend taking a quick scroll through the forums to see other students experiences. There is a ton of good insights from students and fellow graduates that explains their experiences. ATP has a huge network from locations to post schooling partnerships which can help you the rest of your career. The planes are maintenance by ATP maintenance centers scattered across the country (the only time they might use outside work is if the plane is stuck at a “third-party” airport).

I can say, ATP is a very standardized program, no matter where you go, no matter what plane you’re flying, you’re going to get the same education and flight time as another student. Take an introductory flight, check out the training center and keep an open-mind; see in person what it is like to be an ATP student.

The ATP family is great, I’ve come across many pilots at my hometown FBO and other small airport FBO’s that have heard or met a previous pilot from ATP.