Real Answers from Real Pilots

CFI Locations

I heard a rumor that ATP now allows graduates to pick the location they will work as a CFI after course completion. Is this true?

I expect to commute as a FO for a regional but commuting as a CFI (low pay) would be tough. I’m a 40 year old with a mortgage and kids. Commuting out of state for five days every week at CFI pay would be really tough.

Life would suck a lot less if, after completion of the course (I hope to start in March), I could remain in Denver.

I have read on some posts that there had been a delay after graduation to posting as a CFI of up to four months, is that true too?

Greg,

CFIs are now able to select their preferred base. That is not a rumor.
That’s a fact.

I have not heard of anyone who was delayed up to 4 months after graduation.
So, I can’t say if that’s a myth or fact. Can you provide us with more
information on how you came to this conclusion?

Tory

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No, I think I came across that on a pilot blog site but that posting was a couple of years ago. Nothing recent.

I have not read the post. So, without any context I can’t comment on their
experience.

I’m not saying that this is what happened, but it is worth mentioning. A
few years ago, all ATP CFIs had to go through Standardization in
Jacksonville. During “Stands” you had to pass a series of tests before you
were assigned to a base. Stands still exists, but a few years ago, so did
the Call Center. CFIs in Stands would receive training to pass their tests
AND work the call center. They answered general questions about the
program. There were some rare cases when the last CFI to finish Stands got
stuck in the call center until the next round of CFIs arrived to relieve
the “straggler.” I should note that CFIs were receiving compensation during
this time.

Or, you could have simply come across one the blogs written by a former ATP
student that would rather complain about their problems online instead of
address it with management.

Bottom line, if any issues arise during training as a student or CFI, just
speak up, and your concerns will be addressed accordingly.

Tory

I suspect it was an unhappy student from some years back.

Can you describe to me the ‘stands’ now?

Sure. There a two, maybe three, Stands locations now. Mesa and Jacksonville
I know of for sure. It takes about two weeks to complete. Housing is and
airfare to/from Stands is provided. It may be different from when I went
through, which was 2015, but I will tell you everything I can remember.

We had to complete a sim packet and then a sim eval. I think they’ve done
away with the sim portion of Stands. We also had to pass a written test.
Then we had one or two training flights in each aircraft, followed by an
eval. If all evals received a satisfactory remark, we were outbriefed and
assigned to a Training Center.

Tory

Greg,

Just to chime in, in the past ATP would allow instructors to select the location of their choice however they never want to overload any location. To resolve any conflict, again you could pick any location but you sometimes had to wait for that location to have an open slot (in fact instructors were given the option to wait for their preference or take something available immediately). ATP did away with the first choice for a while but due to popular demand it’s been brought back. I don’t have all the details but I do suspect there may be some waiting involved so as not to dilute the instructors hours.

Adam

Okay, that makes some sense

  • Greg

I would point out that while ATP will now allow you to pick your location, they cannot guarantee that there will be students there, this is the tradeoff from the old model of sending CFIs to where they were most needed.

Ugh. Nothing is ever easy.

I could take a five day a week job out of state, away from my family OR stay in-state and potentially, not get the hours I need to secure a regional…

Greg,

While being an ATP CFI is five days per week, most instructors work weekends to help build their time faster. The choice will be yours.

Chris

I’ve already decided I will work as much as I can during the instructor phase to build hours as quickly as possible. That won’t be a problem.

Do you have a better solution?

Adam

Nope. Just trying to minimize my time away from family during training.

Either way, it will work out and it would only be a temporary situation while I gain hours.

Not too worried about it.

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I just finished CFI School and Stands. There was a huge backup at CFI School (Vegas) when I started in Sept (I know they’re trying things out to speed it up). It took my two months to get through CFI a school (which is atrocious) and 4 days at Stands (Phoenix). I trained in So Cal and when I went to pick my location they told me nothing in California was available (I know they just changed the policy regarding placedments).

I was like you and didn’t mind working harder/longer to get through quicker, but sometimes it doesn’t always go according to plan with stuff like weather and student loads. A CFI friend in Portland got 12 hours one month. Not saying ATP is not a great school, would totally do it again, just be prepared for everything.

Jason,

Out of curiosity, how long did your total program take? When did you start? When did you finish? And did you come in with credit for private or zero hours?

Chris

Started March 20th at LGB location from zero time (Single Engine).
Private: 5/29 (slight delay on solo because of weather)
Instrument: 6/29
Crew: 7/3-7/11
Private ME: 7/25
Comm ME: 8/16
Come SE: 8/18

Started CFI school in Vegas on 9/5 and was moved around with a group of students to Sacramento, Seattle, Vegas again.
MEI: 11/9
CFI: 11/21
CFII: 11/25
Stands: 11/26-11/30.

All total it was around 8 months, but I got through the training in 5.5 months and was shifted around a lot during CFI school. No additional training required.

Side note: lived in Virginia Beach for 7 years :grin:

Jason Green

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So just to clarify, ATP promised you all of your ratings in nine months. You passed every checkride in eight months and you are complaining that the scheduling of your CFI school was “atrocious”?

It sounds like you finished a month early to me, I do not see the issue.

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Actually, I signed up for a 6 month program, which coincidentally was changed to 9 months a few days prior to my start date. There are also a number of events that happened during CFI School that a few executives have apologized for. Not trying to pick a fight, just trying to provide some perspective from someone who just went through it. Everyone wants maximum hours to get to the regionals it is just not always that cut and dry.

Jason Green

I don’t want to pick a fight either but there are people who want more than just to build hours. Just saying.

Adam

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