Real Answers from Real Pilots

Getting started, have questions!

Hi everyone

So I’m finally listening to that little voice I’ve had telling me I need to go into aviation. I grew up around aviation — my dad is a Captain and has flown nearly 30 years now for American. I’ve talked to him about becoming a pilot, and he’s understandably excited.

I’ve tried to do as much due diligence about ATP as I can. It seems like there’s a lot of variables that can determine how the experience goes and adjusts the timeline when someone is starting from 0 hours to start day at a regional. So I wanted to ask some questions!

First, about me: I am 30 years old, and I’m currently living in Indianapolis. Married for two years, and we welcomed a daughter in June. I also have a stepdaughter from my wife’s previous marriage. Because my dad is excited about me having a serious interest in this industry, I’m extremely fortunate that financing schooling won’t be an issue.

Here are my questions:

  1. The IND location seems fairly new, and small? I saw someone on here say there’s only one plane, and it looks like I would have to get my MEI, Instrument rating and other certifications at a different location? I expected that with the CFI, but just wanting to make sure I’d have to get the others at other locations?

  2. My dad lives in Jacksonville — what’s the likelihood I can do training at the ATP there? I know from reading other posts it’s impossible to know if I could do CFI there after the program, but I want to make sure I could see JAX as an option. If it is, could I do the intro flight here in IND and then school in JAX?

  3. I didn’t see anything about ATP offering housing in IND, which makes me believe doing CFI there is impossible? With one plane anyway I think would make it incredibly difficult. Would Louisville or Cincinnati be viable options if JAX also doesn’t pan out?

  4. This is the big one — I’m potentially spending 2 1/2 years away from my family. It’s a huge commitment. My wife is 100% in support because she knows big picture what this career could do for me and the family. She’s a saint. Any advice on basically how to just manage being apart from my family would be greatly appreciated.

Sorry for the novel, but I appreciate any answers or insight.


Welcome Matt,

Good questions so let’s dive in:

  1. Yes IND is fairly new but that’s fine and one of the great things about ATPs network. They can add resources (planes, instructors, etc) as needed and very quickly. Most students need to go elsewhere for CFI and often ME training. You would not for Instrument.

  2. You’re correct. There are no guarantees for instructor locations but for training you can choose whichever location works best for you. The only caveat might be an available start date. That’s why it’s always a good idea to start the process and choose a location/start date sooner that later. Yes you can do your Intro wherever is convenient.

  3. Again, if (we’d have to check) IND only has one plane that’s today and based on the need today at that location. If it’s needed there can literally be another plane there tomorrow. Often ATP will not have housing available at newer locations until they build up. Also again very few locations offer CFI training. You should plan on being away for the CFI and Crew portions of the training and housing will be provided for those. Try not to focus to much on the logistics of the program. That’s ATPs concern.

  4. I’m really not sure why you’re planning to be away for this period of time? If you choose a location away from home to train, that’s 7mos away which isn’t terrible. As for time building that’s entirely up to you. You may luck out and get the location you want to train at. If not you can always look for an instructor position closer to home which many people do. Personally I wouldn’t be away from my family (especially with a new baby) for that long and would work hard to not. That of course is your decision.



Thanks for the responses. I didn’t realize how quickly ATP can have planes at other locations. That would be a huge help if IND could get more if they indeed only have one. I’m a 35 minute drive from the airport so that would be ideal.

I expected to have to do CFI and ME at other locations, so having to do that wouldn’t be an issue. I’d probably hope to do that in Jacksonville since my dad is there and could save housing costs.

As for the time away, I think I’m looking at a “worst case” scenario where I’m doing schooling in JAX and then instructing at another location near IND like Cincinnati or Louisville. But if IND will have most of what I need, that would be great.


Again, ATP provides housing anytime you’re away during training.


Does ATP work with FAA?


Is the housing ATP provide at no cost when it’s for CFI, ME training? I saw for the actual instructing there’s a weekly rate.



Keep in mind that we will place more aircraft and instructors to a location based on demand. Just because there is one airplane does not mean that we lack aircraft availability for the students training at that location. ATP will place more to match demand.

If you are training in the Fast Track, we provide transportation and lodging when you are away from your home facility (crew style flight experience, CFI academy, etc.)

ATP housing is exclusively reserved for students in the program.

Hope this helps,



Could you be more specific? ATP is a flight school. All US-based flight schools work with the FAA, in a way. Is there something specific about ATP or the FAA that you are wondering about?



This is great info I didn’t know existed so I appreciate it! Definitely puts my mind at ease a little.


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