Having a blast in Crew so far. I’m from the Hillsboro campus, ATP flew me down to IWA to start Crew. Flew from IWA to CRQ, to BFL and RAL. Tomorrow we’re scheduled to go to FAT, SAC and back to RAL.
CRQ to BFL was awesome cuz we flew through LAX’s bravo space and got to watch all the big guys come in on their approaches beneath us. Got to see a private float plane community out in the middle of the desert (google Paradise Lakes Airport). BFL had a really nice FBO.
My partner in crime is awesome. Good pilot and copilot. We’re having a blast.
For those that have gone through crew what were some of your experiences?
Crew XC was the best. I remember I got to fly with three different pilots up and down the west coast. One trip to VGT. I fly to a lot of the same airports even now. Always brings me back.
Crew was by far my favorite part of the ATP training. I was actually paired with 4 different pilots. In addition to it being a fantastic and confidence building experience it also gave me insight to the wide range of skill and personality types I’d be flying with throughout my career. Some better than others. Again great experience and perspective.
Crew was of course my favorite part of the program as well. I flew a big box around the right half of the country, from Washington DC, over to Chicago, down to Dallas, over to Jacksonville, and back up to Washington DC. It was really neat flying to all of those different places and it really felt like flying for an airline.
As with most things, YMMV.
Absolutely my worst experience at ATP so far. I did about 12 hours of crew, was stuck on the road for 10 days, and opted out at soon as I could. Many others at my location did the same and found it to not be worth the hassle.
On a side note, of those that opted out, we all came in with credit for PPL. It seems that most of the folks who started at ATP from zero time had to complete most (if not all) of crew in order to meet the minimum time requirements for the Commercial phase.
Ok I’ll bite, what was the problem that made it the “worst”?
For my experience it was a combination of maintenance issues/broken aircraft, weather causing delays, (neither of which, of course, is ATP’s fault), but also extreme disorganization and inability to get flights schedule on the part of Flight Ops. There was a lot of ping-ponging back and forth between two particular locations without any flying being accomplished, including one where we were airlined from location A to location B, for the sole purpose of getting a flight in on said particular day, only to arrive at location B and having flight ops tell us there was not enough daylight hours left to complete such flight (2 hour flight max with 3+ hours of daylight remaining.) We then got stuck in location B due to weather, when, had we stayed in location A we would have gotten out the next morning.
There’s also the fact that crews seem to be placed at the bottom of the proverbial totem pole. There was more than one occasion when we were ready to go only to have the aircraft taken from us for another flight at the last minute (including one where we were literally in the aircraft, reaching over to close the door and reaching up to hit the engine start button when other students came over and said they were taking our aircraft.)
Again, I’ve heard of others having a decent crew experience, but in my case it was anything but. Others at my location had a similar experience and there were 5 others that quickly followed suit just after me and also opted out.
I was very happy to be able to opt out as soon as I did. I was able to then roll the extra hours I had left in the Commercial phase, and I found those extra hours were much better spent as extra time used to polish off the commercial maneuvers than spending them during the crew phase.
I’m very glad that the OP had a pleasant experience, but since he asked for what others’ experiences were, I figured I’d add my two cents to show some contrast.
I was one of the lucky ones to have a fun crew experience myself. I was in the same airplane with the same crew partner the entire time. Started in TIW and made it all the way down the west coast to IWA via MFR, SAC, BFL, CRQ, CMA, NYL. Then we went BACK to TIW via an almost perfectly reversed course: NYL, RAL, BFL, SAC, MFR. Easily some of the coolest flying I’ve ever had the opportunity to do.
It sounds like there may have some logistical errors or challenges. I’m not going to challenge you other than to say there are 2 sides to every story. It’s unfortunate you found your experience less than great. As I said mine was fantastic and I think many people share that sentiment.
My only other comment, and I appreciate you’re the customer in this scenario, but you should probably start thinking about becoming more accepting of schedule changes, weather and logistical issues if you choose to fly for asb l an airline. If not you’ll be one grumpy pilot.
Kyle, what time of the year did you do that trip? I’m a week away from crew here at HIO and so far most of the crew flights have been to Redding and back.
It was in April of 2018. We sat around in TIW for a couple days because of weather before we actually got out, but once we did get out, we just asked flight ops to keep sending us south to stay in good weather and prevent further delays.
That’s always my biggest tip of advice to anyone about to start crew is to ask flight ops if you have any particular request as far as an airport you’d like to go to or a general direction you’d like to go. They can say no, but it doesn’t hurt to ask.
Good to know. Thanks for the tip!
Glad to hear crew is fun. I thoroughly enjoyed mine. I had 2 crew partners 1 from my TC and 1 from a neighboring one. Both had their ways that I may have not agreed with how they did things but felt they were still doing it in a safe manner so to each his own (I’m sure I did things they thought weren’t the most efficient or best).
I flew out of TTN(my home TC) or MMU and flew to ILG(1), RIC(5-6), RDU(2), ISP(2), PSM(3).
Greatest decision ever was on my last Crew overnight and that was to just rent a car as with the discount i had was the same as UBER to/from the airport and to/from dinner but I had it when I wanted for what ever reason.
Great tip! I should have asked them for an ATP airport I hoped to visit on crew as my friend is a tower controller there.
It did make for a less than desirable crew experience, but as you mentioned, things happen in the aviation world that are beyond our control and one must roll with the punches and continue onward.
As mentioned I was more than happy to roll the time into the commercial phase and have that extra time to practice the maneuvers…which, speaking of, it appeared to pay off, as I passed my Commercial SE checkride yesterday morning!
Time to get ready for CFI Academy on 12/3!
I had an awesome crew experience as well! I did my training in JAX and during crew I flew 70 hours in about 10 days. I had 2 different partners and made it all the way up to Chicago and back. Dallas and back. Charlotte and back. And of course a few triangles around the state of FL with “chicken killer” (CRG-PIE-FXE-CRG). Seems like the process has changed a bit because back in 2013, you didn’t know where you were headed until you landed at the next destination. So we always had to bring bags, not knowing where you’d end up for the night. I kind of enjoyed the spontaneity of it to be honest.
@Pilotduck503 I’m from HIO doing Crew now. I’m flying all over Cali, started in IWA. Maybe you’ll get sent down here too. I asked flight ops to be sent elsewhere cuz I sat around Hillsboro for almost a week just chillin. They sent me to IWA the next day and started flying the day after that.
Besides not getting that amount of time (I remember you said your program was PPL and IR in one so I get the 70hrs on crew) the white board will say where you are going but that doesn’t mean you will be at any set place by the end of the day. One trip I was supposed to go south and overnight at RDU and after the first flight we changed direction and went north for the night.
Besides that you can kind of get an idea of where you will be going and guess their next move if there is weather in a certain area.