Drinking out of a fire hose

So, as I sit here contemplating about ATP and all that it has and will offer me through out my time there and after I keep hearing the phrase,“like drinking out a fire hose” I completely understand that it’s an accelerated course but can someone shed some light with examples on why and how it’s like, “drinking out a fire hose.” Thanks mentors for your time and answers.



The term comes from the fact that there is a lot of information to be learned in a very short amount of time. The same expression is often heard at the airlines. I personally can’t stand the expression, it implies that something is impossible to do when in fact it is very possible. I have gone through airline training on four different jets, I have heard that expression every time, yet somehow managed to pass every checkride. Same thing with ATP, I heard the expression the whole way through, yet did well in the program and passed everything.

For some reason it is an expression that has taken hold, but it is not representative of what really happens in airline (or ATP) training. Sure there is a lot of information to digest, but it is doled out in appropriate sized amounts in a manner that has worked for decades. I personally think we need a new expression.


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@Chris thanks so much for the explanation on this “phrase.” I have no issues with learning the material that’s going to be delivered and I agree that ANYONE, CAN do ANYTHING they put their mind to if they whole heartedly give it their all,also that term needs to be forgotten about for in a sense it could be misleading and steer good candidates away from learning a beautiful career and fufilling a dream. I guess you just have to roll the sleeves up and do the work regardless of the termanogly that’s been dubbed at these training facilities and in the field and also have confidence in yourself and never stop believing that YOU can do this. Chris thank you for breaking that down I really appreciate that, have pleasant evening sir.

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As Chris said the saying refers to the VOLUME of information and the speed it comes at you. As I said recently in another post, while I found ATP challenging, it was definitely doable and I mostly attribute that my work ethic. Show up prepared, with a good attitude and ready to work and you’ll be fine.

What I will say is psychologically there were a few things that messed with my head. I started already having my PPL, that took me 2 yrs to earn at my local flight school (albeit training somewhat irregularly). I show up at ATP and they tell me my Multi-engine checkride is scheduled for 7 days from now and I’ve never sat in a twin. Obviously it all worked out fine but the initial concept takes some getting used to until you begin to trust the system.


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@Adam I believe that we are like cammileons and can adapt to a lot not all but a lot and and if you, like you say show up and have a great attitude and willing to work you should be ok. Oh and my apologies for repeating this subject matter.

Hey @stugots39! I am a current student and it is exactly as the mentors have stated. It is a lot of information which you are expected to study on your own before showing up for your ground or flight session. I too struggled with the “drinking from the firehose” concept but have easily adapted to the fast paced structure as I’m sure you will too. Always study, and demonstrate willingness to learn! Don’t worry if things don’t make sense at first as it will suddenly “click”. Best of luck!!!


@ajcv75 thanks for the insite all info is greatly appreciated, thanks again.