Hoping to switch to ATP

Currently enrolled in a smaller flight school with aspirations to become an airline pilot. Have student certificate and class 1 medical and only 5hrs but enough hours to know I love flying. My husband is also an Army helicopter pilot at Fort Hood. We just have so many questions. Not sure if its good to fit them all in here in one post or what, but here it goes.

How many people trained and graduated from Georgetown ATP?

How many planes do they have there?
How many simulators?

How many students do they have there vs instructors?

Do instructors teach groundschool very much at ATP in a classroom environment? Or am I expected to read / learn / prepare everything on my own? I don’t expect spoon feeding, but I can’t read this stuff and learn it 100% on my own without someone with experience teaching me its true application. Rote memorization is not a strong suit of mine. Am i pretty much on my own??

English is my 2nd language and sometimes my brain hurts after a long hard day of studying. I finished the Gold Seal PPL course online and it took me a long time to learn that stuff. I am worried about ATP being too fast paced for me. Started learning English 1.5yrs ago and learned very fast. Are there any international students here that are similar in language ability?

Im smart, but am insecure about my ability to read, comprehend, and study in English. I can read and write obviously, but it takes me a lot longer and have to work harder. I’ve seen the expected timeline charted. What if it takes me longer? What if I need 50-60hrs to feel comfortable and finish the PPL? What if this program takes me 12-15 months to finish? Im a very hard worker. We dont have kids, and this will be my only focus until complete. No one will every complain about a lack of effort from me. Just trying to get a feel for this program and if its right for me.

Aerogaurd across the street says they are geared for international students. They are more expensive but claim their program is a little on the slower side, with a lot of their effort placed on quality of student training. Should I choose them over ATP? My husband seems to think ATP is better based on research, but Aerogaurd doesnt seem like a bad choice. Thoughts?

Sorry for so many questions. My brain hurts now too thinking about all this.


Welcome to the forums.

I do not have a number of how many pilots have trained at ATP Georgetown, but most of the rest of your questions about the location can be answered here:


Keep in mind that whatever instructors are there now, will likely be gone in a few months as they move onto the airlines. The same should be true of any flight school. Also, the student to instructor ration should stay largely the same from one location to the next. The admissions department might be able to provide you with the specific numbers you are looking for. We are just pilots :slight_smile:

The ability to QUICKLY comprehend and speak English is very important to being an airline pilot. If you are as worried about your English skills as you say you are, I would recommend continuing at your local school until you either solo or get your PPL. By then you should have a much better idea as to if your English skills are sufficient or not.

As for Aeroguard, I do not know much about them. But, it does sound like they will be happy to charge you all the money they can and give you enough hours until you are comfortable, most flight schools operate that way. ATP will push you, just like the airlines will, but nobody is going to sign you off for a check ride if you are not ready as that affects the CFI’s record also.


Thank you. My english improves everyday. Hearing and understanding is much easier than reading comprehension. Is more studying that is harder. Classroom instruction is extremely important to me. Thanks for the link.


I am not sure that any flight school outside of a university setting will provide the large amount of classroom instruction that you desire. Most flight schools offer small group instruction and one-on-one with the students, but generally not large class room settings like in college.


My part 61 instruction so far is completely self taught. I am in self review of all the subjects from Gold Seal that I did myself. So, would you say students are mostly self taught? No initial training from the instructors? Do instructors are least brush over the subjects? Or you are on your own?

Atleast for me, during my PPl training, on days when my flights got cancelled, my instructor would do ground with me. Which was helpful especially during that phase. During my instrument training, besides doing stuff on sim with my instructor. Most of the other knowledge required for IFR and whatnot was self taught or with other students. Usually someone knew an answer and if we didn’t there was usually an instructor around to help if needed

I’m starting at Georgetown in April. I did my private certificate and most of an IFR at another school in Georgetown. I’ve flown there since before ATP was there (ATP is now in the location of my first flight school). Over time I’ve seen the ATP school grow in size, so while I can’t say what the student volume is, I can say that they’re definitely doing SOMETHING right.

Aeroguard is very new. I believe they’ve only been around for 2 years (they used to have a different name). Last time I looked they had 2 planes. I’m not sure what their instructor staff is. If they are still that small I question if they have enough resources to keep you flying enough.

As far as hours, ATP expects you to have 70+ hours going into IFR. More importantly, training for your private takes as long as it takes. 50-60 hours is average, but it’s more common to take longer. Worry about being safe, not about some random number.


Chris and the others answered your questions well but I do have a question for you? If you’re concerned about the pace of training and more important needing more hours to feel “comfortable”, what makes you believe you can successfully complete airline training?

You see ATP was created BY airline pilots to TRAIN airline pilots. They recognized the fact that the vast majority of flight schools do a really poor job of preparing students for the airlines. Sure your local flight school will allow you to take as long as you like (as long as you have the funds) until you feel all warm and fuzzy. The problem is when you show up for new hire training at an airline and there is no handholding or feeling comfortable. Day 1 you’re handed a schedule which already has all your checks and a very finite amount of training days. You will not feel comfy, there is no extra hours or extra time, but you’ll either be ready or you’ll be out. This is the reality.

I’m not trying to dissuade you or sound harsh but flight training while enjoyable is not easy if your goal is to be successful as an airline pilot and it’s not for everyone.