How long does it take form 0 to hero?

ATP advertises 7 months from 0 to hero, but I’ve heard from many forums and places, that you can typically expect between 9-12 months. ATP alumni, how long did it take you to finish the program, and to attain your airline minimum 1,500 hours.

ATP does advertise 7 months as a sort of approximate timeline, but just from my own experience at my location, I’m now going on 5 months and am waiting on my PPL checkride. Weather, plane maintenance, instructor availability (illness, too many new students), very few DPEs, and other factors out of our control have set us us all back. Most of us (approximately 50 students now at our location in Detroit!) didn’t fly the entire month of December other than TOLs flights, due to the extremely low ceiling. It’s all part of aviation: dealing with delays, unforeseen events, and using the extra time constructively is a valuable lesson. Plus, it’s still fast compared to a lot of other training options.

Obviously other people here will have different stories from different locations.

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While there obviously can be extenuating circumstances, the majority of ATP students compete the program within the 7mos timeframe. You need 1500hrs to get to a Regional. You’ll complete the course with approx 250hrs so that leaves a balance of 1250. The average instructor logs about 75hrs a month so 1250/75=17mos+7mos training puts you at an airline in approx 24mos or 2yrs.


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ATP advertises the 7 month as an approximate timeline because there are students who finish before those 7 months (Zero Time entry) and some take a little longer. There are a lot of external factors that ATP has no control over: weather, DPE availability, planes suddenly go down for a day because of a flat tire…it happens.

I would say the average takes about 2 - 2 1/2 years to make it to the 1,500 HR minimum. Some can do it within 2 years, it just depends on how much work you’re willing to put in.



I sure wish flat tires only took planes out for a day. Just a few weeks ago we had a plane with a flat tire that took a week to fix, then the tire went flat again and it took another week! :wink:

I’m curious about the difference between the ‘zero to hero’ 7 month program and the 11 month Airline Career Program.

Can a student start out with the 7 month program and effectively move into the Airline Career Program?

After all, isn’t the overall goal to produce more airline pilots?

Also, I’m really interested in joining Horizon Air as a regional. Per the responses above, the projected timeframe to qualify with regionals is 2 years via the ‘zero to hero’ route. But is it any quicker to start off with the Airline Career Program off the bat?


The seven month “Airline Career Pilot Program” and the eleven month “Airline Direct Track” are separate and distinct programs. All ATP students enter the Airline Career Pilot Program to earn their licenses. From there, a student can either become a flight instructor or join the Airline Direct Track to pay to build hours, which is another 11 months and another $169,995. In theory this could save you about six months, but I would recommend going the instructor route and getting paid to fly, instead of paying to fly.

I would recommend spending some time on ATP’s website and familiarizing yourself a bit more with the programs that are offered.