This link will take you to ATPs website and the steps they recommend for success. You’ll notice they make reference to taking some or all of the FAA Knowledge exams. While not required, this really is the single best thing you can do before you begin to help you be successful. https://atpflightschool.com/faqs/bring/items_for_acpp.html
The only other thing I VERY STRONGLY need to suggest is do not attempt the Fast Track program while working. If you do then all I can do is wish you the best of luck because I seriously question your ability to successfully complete the training. ATP compresses what usually takes years of training into just 7mos. Many people find the program extremely challenging and there are some who are in fact unsuccessful. By trying to work while in the program you’re dramatically increasing your odds of failure. It’s a very bad idea but it’s your $90k to throw away.
If you’re unable to train without working you need to look into the Flex-Track program which was designed specifically for that purpose. Yes it takes considerably longer but it the longer time frame will allow you time for work and study.
The others did a fine job answering your questions and referring you to the appropriate links.
I would point out that while it is great to get ahead, I would in no way delay a start date for preparations, to include the written exams. If you have time to get ahead, that is great, but the program is designed for all of the necessary studying and the written exams to be completed while in the program.
I would strongly discourage working while in the program. You will be spending a lot of money on your flight training and you do not want to fail check rides because your time and energy is deployed elsewhere. The program is highly condensed, you will need all available time for studying, sleeping and flying.
This information is incredibly helpful! I appreciate the responses!
Doing some reading, another few questions has come up.
I know people 6’3 and up need to go through a evaluation to make sure they can fly the aircraft safely. Who is the tallest person you know who went through the program? (I will take this question for what it is, because it’s more anecdotal.)
Finally, I understand nothing is guaranteed in life. But assuming successful completion of the program, what is the percentage rate of job placement from the program?
To my knowledge, ATP doesn’t keep tabs on that info. I do know that ATP’s success rate is around 80%. But that’s their graduation rate. I don’t know what their job placement rate looks like, but I have confidence in their program and the caliber of pilots that they produce. They are among the best in the industry. So you should feel confident in knowing that, regardless of what the rate is.
Tallest? Not sure. That’s an Admissions question. I would call and ask during normal business hours.
Impossible to answer. Most pilots complete their training, say au revoir and go on their merry way.
What I can tell you is ATP has been training pilots for the airlines for over 35yrs, has 68 locations, has the largest fleet of training aircraft, and I’ve met ATP grads at virtually every airline in the country. I’m inclined to think if the program didn’t work they would’ve folded years ago.
Can’t tell you the tallest but I did know a student that was 6’7” that went though atp. Students taller than 6’3 do get an additional screening to make sure they can safely operate the flight controls during an intro flight but I wouldn’t worry too much about it. The seats are adjustable (up/down, fwd/back).
Are you talking placement rate from student to CFI? If you complete your program on time with zero checkride busts and a good recommendation from
Training support staff you have a very good chance of getting a job after program completion. It’s like a 7 month job interview and the outcome depends on how well you performed as a student.
I do not have statistics on applicants being hired as ATP instructors. What I can tell you is that if you do well in the program and are open to where you are willing to work, you will stand an excellent change of being hired on. The airlines have really resumed their hiring, this in turn increases hiring for flight instructors. Treat every day of the program like an interview and for that matter, every day of the rest of your career as one too.
Thank you. Ok, that’s what I was thinking. I wanted to get out of the real estate business, and I have always wanted to fly since I was little. My big worry is making sure I can get into a position to make money ASAP? What’s your advice it ATP the way to go? I am scheduled to do my FAA medical this month then check out ATP financial options.
Problem is everyone definition of “money” is different. When you’re building time as a flight instructor you’ll be getting paid by these days I surely don’t consider making from $20-30k “money”. Your first years at a Regional will get you into the $40ks but again still not great. Regional Capt pay is $80ish as is first year at most Majors. In either of those cases you should be planning on a minimum of either talking 5+yrs.
No, it is not all about the pay but you do need to be able to afford your mortgage and food on the table, and also and it is good to know that when you retire at 65 you will be set. Being 40 I am just planning.
Most majors actually have an automatic 15-16% 401k contribution. Nothing comes out of your paycheck towards your 401k unless you say so.
Medical, dental and vision are available at cost. At my airline we can choose between Premera HSA or FSA. My airline contributes funds to the HSA (I forget the exact amount). We can also elect to contribute tax free money to the HSA.
I think that it is great that you are planning now and taking a look at such things. Check out www.airlinepilotcentral.com as that site lists pay rates and retirement info for just about every US airline out there.
If you are successful in the program, meaning minimal checkride busts (2 or less), no accidents or incidents, your chances are very high. I can’t be any more specific, but we are entering one of the largest pilot shortages the industry has ever experienced. ATP has about an 80% success rate and airline placements are available to browse through on their website.
I can’t make any guarantees about an ORD base, but based on what I’ve heard it’s a relatively easy base to get if you want it.