Real Answers from Real Pilots

Doordash during Fast Track Program?

Hi all,

I am considering attending ATP’s Flight School next fall after I finish my college degree. The biggest hurdle for me, like many others, is the cost and financing.

I saw a few posts regarding part time jobs during the fast track program and that they were not very feasible. However, I am curious if anyone has any experience/thoughts on working for something like Doordash during the program? Wondering if this may be doable since you control your own hours working for them.

Thanks!

Dylan,
Seven months seems like a long time. You can imagine having time here and there for other things right? Well unfortunately you don’t quite know what’s coming. I don’t mean to be harsh at all, it’s just many students post here wanting to work while in training. If you read posts from those who are in the program or completed it, there’s a whole different perspective. The program used to be nine months. If you do it right, you hardly have enough free time to get proper rest, stay ahead for what’s to come and spend some time with friends and family occasionally. Now that the program is cut down by two months, the timeline is even faster meaning less down time than even before. I can’t quite explain just how busy your life will be. All I can say is just trust the word of those who have been through it. All your time needs to be focused on training. If finances are a concern, add extra to your loan to help you get by temporarily. That’s what most people do.
-Hannah

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Dylan,

Here’s the deal. This is America and you can do as you like. The rub is ATPs program is highly accelerated and most people find it extremely challenging. While you may have some light days there will be far more when you feel there aren’t enough hours in a day for all you have to do and get some rest. It’s a huge investment and adding work into the mix could be just enough to wreck it. Failing checkrides could negatively impact your entire career. This is why most people take are advice and don’t work.

Ultimately the choice is yours and should you mess up while you can repeat a checkride the failure stays in your record forever. Your call.

Adam

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Dylan,

You could probably get away with doing something like DoorDash, but it is strictly against ATP’s policies and for good reason. The program is highly condensed. You will need every spare minute for sleeping and studying. Working a job will most certainly have an adverse impact on your performance in the program, which could in turn affect your later career in the airlines.

Many students take out an additional loan amount to help cover expenses whilst in the program. I recommend calling ATP Admin and talking to Kirk, he can explain this in far better detail than I can.

Chris

Dylan,

The program went from 9months when I went through it in 2017, to now 7months. From talking to some current instructors it sounds like they added more online coursework and lectures to make the faster timeline.

My old advice was some people (mature & organized) can do flexible part time work, but ATP comes first. My advice now is it is probably not a good idea to juggle working with ATP fast track.

In the old program my flying did suffer because I sometimes was working when I should have been studying. Or I’d be tired because I wouldn’t get much sleep juggling it all. I’m sure it’s more challenging now

Good luck,
Chris F

Dylan,

I want to echo what the others have said, this program is designed to take what a four-year degree or Aeronautical Academy teaches in a four year span in 7 months from “Zero to Hero.” Working on the side is not attractive in ATP’s eyes, the program is a fulltime commitment. You will be busy everyday studying material from ATP’s provided course King Ground School, ATP Self Guided Independent Modules, Flying, Simming (where applicable) and the new Zoom Elevate Virtual Classrooms.

You don’t want to mess up a checkride or evaluation flight because you got stuck in traffic due to an accident or construction and lose sleep trying to earn a quick dollar. I thought of running DoorDash and Uber Eats when I was a student last year during the 9 MO. Program until I realized it was not worth the chance busting a checkride and having it on my permanent pilot record, I couldn’t imagine trying to do it in a 7 MO. program.

Brady

All,

Thank you for the advice. It was all very helpful!

Dylan