Real Answers from Real Pilots

Flex Track

Hi All,

When I was looking to apply, I didn’t find many/any threads on the new Flex program. I decided to jump in relatively blind and see what happens. So, for the sake of others, I will give a little info on what I’ve found so far…

I started 9/28 with my PPL and was approved through Sallie Mae with a co-signer (my wife). I currently work full time and I was not going to give my job up quite yet, so this seemed like a good path. I am currently flying 3-4 days a week. The nice part is you can set your availability on the Student Extranet, so if you need to block out certain days/times, its user friendly to do so.

However, no one is familiar with the program so we are kind of working through any kinks as they arise. I’ve had a few scheduling conflicts come up that were quickly remedied by letting the training staff know. Although the minimum is 15 flight hours a month, I am around 35-40 so far. So the minimum is extremely easy to achieve. There is nothing different so far amongst the actual training environment being a Flex student.

The other unknown right now is how Crew and CFI will fit into the schedule. I know on the ATP website it says with an instructor, but no one at the training center knows how it will work out. Especially if you can only fly certain days. I will update that when we get more info.

If for some reason you want time off, you don’t have to worry about getting it “approved”, just block the time out and you’re good to go. I have a new baby on the way so the chance to slow down in the new few weeks will be nice to split training and family time.

If you have any questions, feel free to reach out.

-Rick

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Thank you Rick!

I know many perspective students have questions about the Flex program but since it’s new there aren’t too many real world answers. As with any new programs there are bound to be some creases to iron out but it sounds like ATP (in typical fashion) is taking care of them as they present themselves.

Thank you again for sharing. I’m sure you’re busy so it’s greatly appreciated.

Adam

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Rick,

Thank you for the detailed post, I am sure this will be much appreciated by those who are considering the Flex Track. Please continue to update us as you go through the program.

How is the flying itself going?

Chris

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Hi Rick,

Do you know if the Flex program is offered at all ATP locations?

It sounds like a good option and I remember years ago calling the ATP school in New Jersey and asking if they had something like this and back then it was the full time trainee program only. This was maybe around 2014.
Fast forward to 2020 and here it is! So not everything has been negative this year :slight_smile:

Randy,

The Flex Track program is offered at all ATP locations.

Chris

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Awesome!

Thank you Chris!

Chris,

The flying is going well, but man…instrument is no joke! It’s definitely a lot of information but I’m managing to keep moving forward. My progress eval is Thursday so I guess that will be a good gauge of where I’m at VS where I should be.

Rick

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Rick please let us know how it goes.

Adam

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Same boat as you. Totally a lot of info to know!

Any other strong feelings or first-person knowledge about the Flex program? Planning to give it a go next year at APA and (like everyone on this thread) just gobbling up as much info as possible. Went and visited the location abut 5 weeks ago, was impressed with the professionalism of the operation, though they didn’t have much info on the Flex quite yet.

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I know nothing about flex but enjoy APA! Lots of great instructors out here and hardworking staff/Mx. Some of the best learning experiences I’ve had I had out here dealing w/ the altitude and mtns.

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Hi Rick, hope the course is going well for you.

You say you have been flying 3-4 days a week, on these days you commit to training, do you do a full day, half day, or can you pick just a few hours? Or is it completely up to what you make available on you schedule?

Thanks and good luck with rest of course!

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Sorry I’ve been away for awhile. The days I go, it is up to me essentially. The bare minimum is a flight and/or a flight and sim. I typically leave after that, but you can also hang around and study with the group and use the sim when it’s free. You give ATP your availability whether by the hour or a full day.

hey Rick, I am a current college student and wanting to pursue ATP. But I am also a college athlete and have a very busy schedule. during season I will probably only be able to go twice a week three max, is that enough to meet the 15 hr a month? also I have a 2 hr commute if I did do this, what are you thoughts on that? also do you believe the debt is worth it? I really want to pursue airline but I have to make sure it is doable for me in college and being an athlete and working a schedule around that. please give me your thoughts.

I was going to do a mom and pops school around my area but I am in college and don’t have that about of money laying around to pay for the flight school around me nor can I pay a monthly loan right now it doesn’t seam practical to do as a college student. so it seams ATP might be my only choice if I want to pursue this right now but the good thing is I am only 20 and hopefully get Into airlines work by the minimum age of 23, just debating weather the 2hr commute and the money will be worth it and if they are flexible enough. Thanks

Austin,

As a former college athlete and a former ATP student I can tell you that no one should attempt to do all three simultaneously. I recommend finishing out college first. Focus on getting good grades and excelling in sports. And of course enjoy it while it lasts.

Tory

did you do all three simultaneously? or did you start ATP after college?

I did ATP after college.

Would it have been better if you started it younger or does it not make much of a difference to get into the airlines younger?

Also, Even with the new flex track you would still recommend doing it after college?