I’ve posted on here a few times over the last week, mostly because I’m just trying to get my ducks in a row before jumping into this program! I’ve been doing quite a bit of research, and I’m finding a lot of great reviews for ATP and a lot of not-so-great reviews. I guess my question is, how credible are these negative reviews? I REALLY want ATP to be “my” school. I just have a feeling about this program. However, I see more than a few people saying negative things about “being left out to dry”, unreliable instructors, inability to get flight time or check-rides, etc. I am a very motivated “self-starter”, so I’m not at all worried about my ability to stay the course. I am worried about doing all I can on my part to be met with minimal effort on the part of the program. Can any of you share your opinions on these reviews, how accurate they are, or if you’ve experienced any of these things?
I talked with an Ex-CFI , yesterday about training myself, it seem im beeter of going the privet lessons, due to i still need to work my day job to make it. but am doing my first flight on Friday 2/28/20.
he stated unless you get into the CFI program it still may take you 2 yrs to get your 1500 hrs need for next level.
From my research prior to enrollment I was in the same boat months ago. I came in and this forum helped me gather the true, honest answers that I was looking for. There was once a thread about a guy getting kicked out of the program because he crossed a runway when he was informed to hold short - I think there was more to that story then he was posting. I even believe he posted that as a review on the ATP Facebook page. A lot of the problems is those individuals that don’t have the self-drive and end up leaving or ‘failing’ out of the program tend to have negative views and try to persuasive others to avoid the program because they weren’t able to succeed. But you also have to look at amount of success the program has, their statistics is unbelievable! https://atpflightschool.com/facts/
Like Adam, Chris, Tory and all the graduates will say - the program isn’t meant for everyone and it’s not meant to be easy. Right now I know I’ve spent countless hours studying for all the writtens prior to my initial course date which is July…I gave myself a huge time spacing so I can prepare the best I can so that way I don’t fall behind or feel overwhelmed trying to do everything at once. I want to say this forum that you’re active on is one of your best sources to experiences and honest reviews from previous to current students.
I personally didn’t look at the reviews because no one has anything good to say in any of the reviews because the people that do, don’t post reviews in the first place, and more than likely the people who say negative stuff, didn’t put in the amount of effort required, or expect flying/ATP to be a walk in the park, which it isn’t, but as long as you go in with the mindset that this will be hard work, and will require immense effort and some long days of studying/flying, you should be alright.
This subject comes up from time to time. Rather than focus on the naysayers I’d encourage you to look at the facts. ATP has been in business for over 30yrs and has placed almost 700 pilots with airlines in the last 12mos alone. Even before there was a pilot shortage ATP students were getting hired with reduced hours and preferential interviews when others were not.
So why the bad reviews. There’s a pilot shortage going on and many people are hearing that “ANYBODY can be an airline pilot”. Well the reality is that’s simply not true. Flying isn’t rocket science but it’s not basket weaving either. It requires a fair amount of intelligence and coordination. Now given enough time and training, many people can manage to get their licenses and ratings and that’s great. Problem is, can they get through airtime training? The airlines will not let you take your time, you will not be spoon fed and if you can’t keep up you’re gone. The Regionals while hiring like mad are also experiencing the highest washout rates they’ve ever seen. ATP was created by airline pilots to train airline pilots and they do their best to replicate the type of training environment and pace you’ll encounter at the airlines to prepare you for the airlines. Again not everyone can or should be an airline pilot. It’s a tough pill to swallow when you discover you don’t have the goods and it’s alot easier to blame ATP then accept the fact you’re not going to be an airline pilot.
There are people on the internet that say ATPs training is bad but there are also people on the internet who say the world is flat. The facts and numbers don’t support either.
Inability to get flight time is like 99% weather, not something ATP can change. A lot of that is based on your decision for the location you choose. I chose the Pacific Northwest as my location, what happens a lot in the PNW? It rains, and rains, aaaaand rains. I knew that in advanced so knew finishing the program on schedule was unlikely.
Unable to get checkrides - there’s an examiner shortage nationwide. No matter where you go there’ll be difficulties getting checkrides. ATP has a great reputation with examiners so it’s not as difficult for our school to get it done.
ATP isn’t perfect, there are things they can do better. But you’re not gonna find a flight school that has better aircraft, aircraft availability, maintenance anywhere else.
Hey Savannah! I am a pilot wife. My husband is at ATP Daytona & just passed his Commercial Rating and is at aprox 250 flight hours (he is too busy studying to be on this forum) but as the others said listen to those who have made it in the industry. I was so impressed by how many women are attending ATP and succeeding in their passion for flying.
May 2019 my husband spent the month preparing for his start date doing the online content ATP will ask of you. Modules/Study etc
June 1st 2019 Started School “Fast Track” program
Private Pilot, Instrument Rating,
Crew Flying (they shipped him off to Cali / Arizona) so he would not fall behind, no other students were at his level in Daytona/Jacksonville
Commercial Rating 2/25/2020 at aprox 250hrs Next is CFI training & Multi - Engine*
Some delays/but short as the other’s stated (1) weather (2) availability of examiners
Study and do the online content they ask you to do (before your start date). My husband could not work at all during this program due to the fast pace, he quit a high paying job he hated to do this it’s a lot of work for the “fast track” program but he has ZERO regrets!
I like that the financial disburses as you proceed, so if you cannot finish you only owe what they taught you. 2 of the pilot’s in my husband class did not make it past private pilot (failed 2 check rides) and this could be (1) they did not put 100% focus/study (2) not everyone has the skill/mindset needed to fly, one was constantly nervous in the plane. This is not reflection on ATP. My husband has access to his old instructors as well as the students ahead of him to work of any issue on upcoming exams and he assists those coming behind him.
LOVE that the regional airlines pop in for presentations so students know about the various cadet programs and flow into First Officer slots once they reach minimums. I went with him to the Envoy presentations and learned a lot. Go to an ATP open house you do not need to be a student yet to sit thru those =) GOOD LUCK
One common theme that you’ll find with the negative reviews is that none of the authors take responsibility for the outcome of their training. That alone, in my opinion, makes the authors’ credibility unreliable. They claim that nothing is ever their fault. They never reflect on what they could have done better. These outliers represent only the smallest fraction of students that have attended ATP. They would make horrible pilots. Pilots with mindsets that nothing is their fault have no business operating an airplane. Those kinds of pilots tend to think that the airplane happened to them instead of they happened to the airplane. This kind of thinking is is dangerous.
Lastly, during the last three years as a mentor on this forum, I have actually seen some students come forward about their instructor’s behavior, or a charge that they felt was unfair, and @Chris was able to bring these issues to management’s attention. Every student that I’ve seen come forward on this forum have all been please with the outcome.
Thank you for your detailed response. It was extremely helpful. If I may ask, what tools are you using to begin studying for your written tests? I went ahead and ordered the FAA Pilot’s Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge and the FAA Airplane Flying Handbook (I know they give students these anyways, but I wanted to get ahead). I’m planning to study those extremely closely. However, I was under the impression that I could not start studying actual ATP program info, or using their sources, until I was officially registered for a training date, which I likely won’t be until June-ish. Is this true? Do you mind sharing with me what you are studying or what I can be studying prior to my enrollment? Thanks so much!
When you enroll with ATP they give you instant access to tons of material, King’s School and Sheppard Air. They’ll give you a whole package of goodies, a box that weighs like 28 pounds! (Linking a previous thread which includes a picture! Dreams Do Come True (Thread)). If you don’t have your private pilot I know the mentors have published books they like to recommend reading, but Tory once said he read two chapters and gave up because he had no context, which I totally understand, hands on is the best way to learn for some people.
I enrolled into the program with my private pilot certificate already being I did it at my local airport while graduating college and working full-time at my current employer (whom I am leaving in June to attend ATP). So during this time I’ve been studying since November for my writtens. My IRA took roughly two months and that is only because I wanted to watch the King’s School Ground videos prior to even attempting the Sheppard Air test prep so I had an understanding…it worked for me, it may not for someone else. The other writtens fall suit just one after another and there are tons of tips on when to take certain ones. Like the IRA and FII fall together with the similar test bank, PAR and CAX I think were the two similar, and the FIA and FOI I believe if I don’t have to go back and cross-check have the similar test banks! Currently I have left to take the FIA and FOI.