Flight Time at ATP Flight School


I had a couple of questions relating to flight time built during ATP flight school as well as the overall timeline to the airlines.

A bit about me. I am currently a rotor pilot for the national guard with about 320 hours total time (between the TH-67 and UH-60M). I am also starting a local private pilot class this September. My current plan was to complete my private pilot license and begin logging fixed wing PIC time on my own while also continuing to build total time with the guard.

I think I would like to go the ATP flight school route to finish my ratings but am struggling to decide when to make the jump. How much time (total time/PIC time/night) does the average pilot graduate ATP with? With my current time plus the time I acquire earning my private pilot, how long do you think I’d need to work as a CFI for before reaching my required minimums (750 hrs. total time/250 hrs. PIC time)? Do most ATP graduates/current CFIs find themselves short of their minimums on the Total Time front, or the PIC time front? Does ATP offer CFI jobs to recent graduates?

I know one answer might be “go now, airline seniority is everything” and while I understand that (and would love to drop everything and start tomorrow), I need to ensure I plan accordingly so that I can afford to make it through ATP training and time building as CFI without the income my current full-time job provides. ATP training is also not available in my state (IA), so I’d need to conduct the training in MN which makes things a bit more difficult…

Any insight or suggestions would be greatly appreciated!



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  1. With credit for your PPL you’ll earn approx 170hrs during ATPs Airline Career Pilot program. Since the program includes your Commercial Pilot license you’ll have all those requirements checked (Electronic Code of Federal Regulations (eCFR)) which will also check a few boxes on your list.

  2. Since we have no idea how much flying you do in the Guard nor how long you’re planning on staying and building time that’s impossible to answer. The average ATP instructor build approx 70hrs a month.

  3. Neither, the majority of ATPs instructors instruct until they build the required time. Those who don’t it’s incumbent on them to build the time they need.

  4. ATP offers successful grads instructor positions however there’s no guarantee the offer will be at a location of your choosing or close to your home.

Bradley to be perfectly honest the military rotor wing transition is not something I’m too familiar with. You might want to contact one of the Regional airline recruiters to see exactly what they’re looking for as you may be able to check some of the boxes in the sim during training.

You also might want to consider the 100hr Multi Option which does the majority of your training in the twin. It’s not simply a matter of checking the boxes and getting hired, you also want to successfully complete airline newhire training which requires you to be a very competent complex fixed wing pilot. By training in the twin you’ll get greater experience in that area.


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