I am planning on attending flight school at the beginning of 2018 but I am having a tough choice deciding on where I want to go. I have been debating on whether I should attend ATP or Phoenix East Aviation in Daytona. Both of them seem to have pros and cons of attending each. Does anyone have any opinions on which one is a better school or has better benefits to attending them?

Any help is appreciated,



First off I want to say I’m a fan of ATP’s. It’s where I trained, where I instructed and I honestly do not believe I’d have been as successful as I am if I hadn’t gone with them so I admittedly am biased. I hate picking other schools apart because I believe it’s up to everyone to make their own decision BUT you did ask so here goes.

Now I’m honestly not that familiar with PEA and that right off that bat concerns me. I’ve been doing this a while and I know ALOT of pilots. I know many ATP students, Riddle students, Kent State, the military and a handful from other schools but I honestly have not met a single pilot from PEA? On their website they say how many pilots have graduated and they list the airlines some have made it to but there are no actual or recent “Joe Shmoe was hired at XYZ Airline Jan bla bla bla”. Why not? Be proud of your students. ATP has placed over 300 pilots at Regional Airlines in the last 12 mos alone.

As far as I can see the most comparable programs between the 2 are ATP’s Career Pilot (without PPL) vs PEA’s Professional Pilot Program III. PEA’s Professional Pilot Program III costs $63,042 vs ATP’s which is $52,995. ATP’s is $10,000 less AND you get more time. (137 vs 145 PLUS ATP offers unlimited sim time free).

Finally while PEA says it’s hiring instructors ATP has a GUARANTEED Instructor position for it’s students. That’s something you can’t put a price on. After you earn your licenses and ratings you will need to build time. That can be the hard part. With ATP it’s not a problem.

Factor in locations across the country and for me it’s an easy decision I made years ago and never regretted once. Ultimately it’s up to you?




I am curious to see what kind of responses this post will produce. I
honestly don’t know anything about PEA. I visited their website and at a
glance it looks very similar to ATP; fast-paced, zero to CFII/MEI,
financing available, student housing, glass cockpits, jobs available after
graduation…the one thing I didn’t see on PEA’s website was anything about
tuition reimbursement. That’s one thing that ATP has that PEA doesn’t. All
I saw on PEA was something about “preferred interviews.”

For starters, check out Chris’ post titled Questions For Any Prospective
Flight School in the Flying the Line section of this forum. He lists some
good questions that you can use to decide which school is right for you.

And really that’s what it boils down to. Finding a school that is right for
YOU. Only you know the answer to that question. I wouldn’t put all of your
attention on “the best” school either. That’s important, but not as
important as finding the best school for YOU. Everyone learns at different
paces, and values different qualities about a flight school. Scheduling an
in-person tour and/or taking an intro flight is a good way to help you make
up your mind. You can only learn so much about a school from internet-based



I have heard and read a lot of good things about ATP. I have met a couple of people that have been to ERAU but they said they wish they would have taken the ATP route and then took other classes to reach their bachelors. While I would love to enroll at ATP, I do not have my associates degree yet so I have been looking around at different options. ATP has so many benefits like you listed which makes it hard to pass up. Would their be a benefit of attending a certain location such as Tampa vs. Daytona Beach? Also, thank you for replying and weighing your input!



That is what worries me most is that their website makes it seem like they are a great choice for a flight school and that they are college accredited to help with your degree. I keep talking to people and asking their opinions and no one seems to know anything about PEA. I will definitely read Chris’s post that you mentioned. I agree with you about choosing the right school for me but I would like to make sure that I will have some benefits and perks of attending a certain one especially if I will be taking out a significant loan! Thank you for giving me your input!



ATP works really hard to standardize all of their locations and instructors, that way they can offer the same, consistent training to all of their students. I would pick the location that is most convenient to you and not think twice about it.



As far as location, as Chris said the choice is yours but they’re honestly all good. It’s which location works best for you.

ATP does require a 2yr degree (60 credits) OR a Private Pilot license (as does PEA) OR “equivalent” work experience. You don’t mention your age but if you’re a little older you may have the work experience and if you’re younger you should probably consider getting your degree first. To advance in this industry you will need a degree.