End of one journey and the beginning of A New

Greetings all,

After months of research, conversation, doubt and attempted flights in my state (Michigan), I finally reached a decision and secured a spot in the Airline Career Pilot program 50 ME Fast Track (Credit Private). My start date is May 21nd, 2018 at SDL (Scottsdale, AZ). I am incredibly excited to continue my journey in Aviation, only this time as a Pilot.

My over 10 yrs in the military as an electronic mechanic has been exhilarating at times, sad, educational, incredibly busy or down right boring at others. And I will never forget it but it’s time for a solid career as a Pilot. I truly believe that this is where I should be for the rest of my working days.

I’ll make sure to keep everyone posted with my career progression and if anyone has any questions about my journey or anything else feel free and ask and I will give you my honest opinion.

Thank you! (pilots of the airlinepilotlife pool) for all your honest and prompt answers and help. You are all awesome, truly.



Congratulations on taking the next step and securing your spot in the program. You are really entering the aviation field at a great time. Thank you for your kind words and for the update.

I am looking forward to reading your future posts as you go through the program.


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Greetings all,

I have not been on here in a while so I figured I’d jump in for a quick update.

May 21st, 2018 : Started the Airline Career Pilot program 50 ME Fast Track (Credit Private) at the KSDL (Scottsdale, AZ) location

As of Oct 5th, 2018 : Single and Multiengine Commercial Pilot with Instrument rating

Monday Oct 22, 2018 : Finishing MEI Ground school for CFI initial in Jacksonville, FL

Oct 24th, 2018 : Will start the flying portion at KIWA (Mesa, AZ) location

I do not have a date yet for the Checkride but I am hoping to be done with my last 3 here in the next month and a half. Hoping anyway, DPE availability is quite the issue.

It will be great to be done, especially since my fiancee is still back in Michigan and about to give birth to our second daughter. Good times:)

Hope everyone is well.

Very Respectfully,

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Thanks for the update. Let us know when you are all finished up, please.


What is DPE availability?

DPE= Designated Pilot Examiner, essentially somebody that is authorized by the FAA to conduct exams and issue pilot’s licenses. Recently, the FAA has not qualified enough people to be DPEs, so there have been delays nationwide in scheduling checkrides.

Thanks for the info Chris, much appreciated!

With this thread getting action again it is the perfect segway. Emanuel do you have to use a DPE designated for ATP or if you chose say you still talk with you DPE from Michigan could you have flown them out west for your check rides? I feel like a DPE is a DPE but we are talking about the government being involved which can get messy or backwards.

Only reason I ask is i’m currently finishing up my Private and the DPE for my home airport (MQS) seems to be very responsive to our students here and was wondering when I start ATP at ILG (Wilmington) would I be able to use that DPE or if I’m mandated the DPE for ILG?


You’d have to check with ATP admin. I’m thinking since they coordinate the checkrides in advance with the DPE’s if you wanted to use your “own” you’d be taking on all the responsibility that entails including getting the aircraft (and your instructor) to that location, being responsible if there was a cancellation, if there was a bust the logistics of that etc. Personally I’d leave it up to ATP to do what they do and should you find yourself in a delayed situation possibly suggesting it then but it can’t hurt to ask.


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Thanks Adam. Yea I wasnt thinking of having to move much if it was an “outside DPE” as there are about 20 different DPEs between Harrisburg, Allentown and PHL FSDOs.

Thanks for the insight and ill keep that ace up the sleeve for a later time if needed.


You will need to use the DPEs that ATP uses. To begin with, DPEs are limited to conducting checkrides in the geographical area that they are assigned to. Secondly, no DPE is going to fly across the country to give a checkride, it just doesn’t work that way. Thirdly, you will be trained to pass an FAA checkride, not trained to some specific examiner’s personal standards. It shouldn’t matter who administers the checkride, the standards are the same.


Hi Tom, my name is Tom & am starting ATP Wilmington on December 3rd. Was curious if you already started or when your start your training?

I have not. I was not in a position to start until later this year so I was working on my private first but am just getting to the end of that.

I had started this thread a while back to see if there was anyone here from Wilmington but found it was just myself and Don. How it looks is you will be starting first, I’m hoping to be going before the end of the year since finances and everything else is already set up.

No I have not started yet. I was an Aviation Science major for a while in Texas about 13 years ago. Got accepted into the EMS Academy in Austin and so continued with the EMS route for the past 18 years. I am currently in Afghanistan as a DOD Contractor doing EMS out here. I came here to save money to get back into commercial pilot training once I go home. Should be going back home in Feb/March and want to kick it off. There is an ATP in Austin and if the price is right and things work out I will be looking at going there once I get home. I am basically starting from scratch all over. All my certs are long expired. I’m just worried that starting in the industry at 36 years old might be to late.




Thanks for the link to the thread. I was just in Wilmington a few weeks ago for my intro & it is very quiet which I think is a good thing. There are only 3 instructors & 12 students right now & I think that should work to our advantage. I am also changing careers right now out of the Casino Buisness & I was thinking wow what a coincidence when I saw your post, that you too are changing from casino career to pilot career.

Insane that (as long as I get accepted to ILG) there will be 2 Tom’s transitioning from the Casino industry. I sent you a connection on Linkedin.

You guys should see if you can get a 2 for Tom discount :wink:



Hello all,

Note to self…Come on here more often!

So since I was last on here not much has changed actually:

From day one of MEI ground school to having my CFI initial ME in my hand: 14 weeks not counting the one week off for Christmas. Oct 8, 2018- Jan 17,2019

Three days of studying later took the CFI SE Add-On (today)

Last one, CFII Add-On set for Jan 30,2019

Hope everyone had a great MLK day!

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Not as good as yours!



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