Hey there! I’m working full time with a family to help support. I just did my admissions flight the other day and the gentleman there told me that I would be a good option for the Flex Program. When I called ATP, they said they no longer offer this option. Although the CFI I flew with told me he has a student currently in it. What gives??? So I would have to completely quit my career job for 5 months of training?? Someone please help!
The Flex option, to my understanding, was recently discontinued. The experts here probably have a better answer as to when it happened, but no new students are able to do the flex track. Anyone who was grandfathered in is able to complete their flight training in the same method.
Welcome to the AirlinePilot community! I hope you find that it offers some of the best advice from pilots across the nation
The Flex Program at ATP unfortunately went away around April of this year in a quite like fashion, so not every CFI became privy to the information. I started in the Flex Program in March before transitioning to the Fast Track. Many of the CFIs in my center didn’t know it went away until they saw me transition out.
The best rationale that I got for why it went away was because of its lack of popularity. ATP places great pride on being a fast track program where they bring you from zero to hero in only 7 months or credit for private in 5 months.
Similar to you, I was a career Paramedic who had to make the same decision, however, I can promise you that its well worth it. Having a job with this program, flex or not, is incredibly difficult as it is a great deal of information in a short period of time. Flying requires constant skill building and if you space it out, you’ll definitely loose the skill. The program itself is also more expensive with less benefits than the fast track, so I would highly recommend it.
Like most EMS/Fire agencies, I would recommend talking to your command and seeing if you can enter into a per diem status (like I did) or take an extended LOA.
Ultimately, it just depends on what your future goals are and how much you’re willing to invest into it.
Feel free to reach out if you have any other questions!
The Flex Track program was discontinued last spring. There are probably a few students still finishing up, but new enrollments are not being accepted into the program.
Correct, you will not be able to work while in training. The program is an accelerated one that packs tons of information into just a few months. There are other schools that will allow you to work, but they will take much longer and probably end up costing more money in the long run.
At some point you will need to leave your career any way you cut it, being a pilot is a full time job that does not really leave time for outside employment, especially in the beginning.