Changing CFIs

Is it wrong to ask to change a CFI if we are not meshing? I have found that the interaction between instructor and pilot is paramount to success, but am very concerned that even asking for a new CFI will lead to being blacklisted. ATP is very expensive, but not sure if requesting a change is the right thing to do, actually puts me in a worse place with other CFIs, and would be frowned on by ATP management. Would really like everyone’s thoughts/experiences.


First and foremost you’re the customer. While we speak a great deal about working hard and doing your part, you’ve invested a considerable amount of money into this and you deserve to be comfortable. You’re right meshing is important and while some might say you better get used to flying with a variety of personalities, (some you’ll like, some you won’t) that’s not where you are at this stage. If you’re not happy you need to let someone know (first the location mgr).

You don’t say what the issue is (or how bad it is) so I don’t know if it’s something that can be resolved or not? When I began my training at ATP me and my instructor did not hit it off at all and I was not happy. Without boring you with too many details I felt he was a little to “lax” and seemed a little lazy. I said I wanted a new instructor and they suggested we talk it out first and if I still wasn’t satisfied yes they would switch instructors. We sat down and I explained my point and view and the instructor actually thanked me. He wasn’t aware of how he was presenting himself and asked for the opportunity to continue. Long short he was a terrific instructor, we’re both airline Capts and friends to this day.

That said again you’re the customer and you should have zero concerns about repercussions or being blacklisted. ATP wants you to be successful and if the relationship is bad it needs to be resolved sooner than later. Trust me, after 35yrs and thousands of students, you’re not the first one who’s had this issue. I’d have a chat with the mgr or admin asap.


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I would talk with the instructor first, then perhaps the Training Center Manager. If those fail, I see absolutely nothing wrong with asking for a new CFI. You are the customer, you are spending a fair amount of money at ATP and they want you to be successful. I would not worry about management looking at you differently, they know that not everybody meshes well and sometimes a change is required. Trust me, they would much rather have you ask for a new CFI and be a pleased customer than not ask for a new one and sit there and stew on it, leaving in six months as an unhappy customer.

When I was getting my PPL at a local school, I changed CFIs. It was a bit awkward in the hallway when we passed, but I sure got my PPL a lot sooner than I would have with my original CFI.