I’ve been reading around the forum for a few months now, waffling on the decision to take this career path plunge, and I finally took the first step and scheduled an intro flight with a local school here in Las Vegas. I’ve flown in small planes before, but as is constantly repeated here, I’ve never actually flown the plane. So how that intro flight goes will be when I really make my decision. I’m sure it’ll be fine given my other experiences with things that are inherently dangerous and can sometimes get out of control (race car driving, motorcycles, etc). I’m good at staying collected in intense situations, but you don’t know until you know.
I’m 29 with a BS in management with a “typical” desk job that is less than fulfilling and seeking a career change. The lifestyle available to pilots certainly appeals to me and it’s always been something I’ve thought of doing but thought it wasn’t realistic to attain. But with the current and continued forecasted pilot shortage, and some research showing its actually not as impossible as I thought, I decided it may be worthwhile to take the plunge.
My question is- I’m currently considering the standard ATP course vs the 100hr+ multi engine course. Is the extra $18k worth it? ATP advertises it as providing enhanced qualifications for future work, as well as it getting you much closer to typical minimum requirements for corporate flight jobs. But I wanted to ask you guys what you think of it since I wasn’t able to find an existing thread on it.
Thanks for your time.
Back when I did the course there only was the 100hr option and I thought it was fantastic. Back then the most of the airlines had multi time minimums of 100hrs and that allowed you to check that box immediately. The pilot shortage changed that and as long as you earn your 1500hrs and have 25 multi you’re good.
Back to your question is it worth it now? Personally I believe it is. First off the reason the airlines used to have the higher requirement was they wanted pilots with complex experience. Even though the FAA has changed what they consider complex there’s no question the twin qualifies and there’s value in that experience that makes you a better pilot. Further many people seek other avenues besides the airlines for their careers and multi time is often difficult to acquire so again it allows you to check the box sooner.
Ultimately it’s your call.
If your plan is to flight instruct at ATP, I would recommend doing the standard program. You should get all of the multi time necessary while being a CFI for ATP. If you do not wish to instruct for ATP, then there might be value to doing the 100 hour program as it will better position you to be hired at the regionals.
I’m more aligned with Chris on this one. ATP recently added the 100 hour program BACK to their syllabus. It used to be the only option. Then the regionals changed their multi engine requirement from 100 to 25 hours. So, ATP removed the 100 hour program. Due to popular demand ATP brought it back.
I would say that the 100 hour program is worth it if you simply want the 100 hours and/or if your goal is not to become a CFI. The 100 hrs of multi time will help you get a job somewhere else.
If you plan to instruct, the standard program is just fine.
Hey Chris and Tory not sure if this changes your thought on anything but per the ATP site the 100hr ME program guarantees you the MEI spot. So the standard may not get more than 25 hrs depending on the staffing at the TC. TTN for example just had the Lead and MEI change over with both at about 700 hrs so it will be some time before they finish and the MEI might be covered by a 100hr person at that time.
If airlines are the goal, there’s no need to do the 100 hour program. I am a product of that program myself and loved it, but it’s just not worth the money with the way the industry is right now. After doing hiring at a regional, I can tell you we had countless applicants coming in with the minimum 25 and it never affected their hiring. 50 is the required and most regionals will guarantee 25 in training through sims, so coming out with 25 is plenty. You also have an MEI should you choose to instruct somewhere else and build the multi time.
Now if you’re looking at going corporate or building your time via another path where more multi time would be advantageous - go for it. That’s the point of bringing the program back. But I’m with Chris on this one.
Airlines are the goal, and instructing certainly seems like the fastest time builder so instructing with ATP is the plan for that as well.
Definitely sounds like I’ll stick with the standard program. Thanks everyone for your input.
Jordan, Thanks. I know Chris and Adam always suggested the less and instruct to get more if needed a few yrs ago before ATP had just the 1 program of 25hrs so I wasn’t sure if their thought would change with the 100hr getting the MEI spot.
That’s good to know that CFIs that went through the standard program most likely won’t be doing any MEI instruction. If airlines are still the end goal, my view on the matter hasn’t changed.
Thanks for your response. Between you and Jordan it’s nice to see a recent regional pilot opinion!
Thank you! Btw…Jordan is at Southwest now
Oh I know but she’s still “recent” and was part of recruitment so I still consider her to be helpful when she shows up now and then! Lol
Yes, Jordan and Tory are more recent than us “old guys”