If you didn't chose ATP...why?

I got all the way into ATP through admissions and financial aid. But decided to go closer to home due to time, and money and schedule. Curious if anyone else went this route. I’d like to clarify. I didn’t see anything wrong with the school itself. Just had a closer and what I believe to be a similar opportunity. Fly Safe!!!

William,

Obviously you (and all) should do what’s best for you but I do have to ask? You say “similar opportunity”. While I have no idea what school you’re talking about, I’m willing to bet they haven’t been in business for 4 decades, haven’t placed over 1200 pilots at the airlines in the last 12mos nor do they have the resources (aircraft, sims, mx, etc) that ATP has. With that in mind, how do you consider the opportunity similar?

Adam

Sorry Adam. I didn’t mean to rub you wrong or make it sound like I was putting down ATP. I wasn’t. However, ATP isn’t the end all of finding a job with the airlines. Several instructors at our location are leaving in the near future for places like PSA, and corporate jobs. So though I appreciate the effort that ATP puts in. Not the only course or in my case the best course. With the commute it would have cost me much more beyond the the nearly 25000 dollar extra for the school cost. So being my smaller school isn’t ATP, it doesn’t appear as though finding a job after the certs are acquired that there is an issue. Good luck!

William,

You didn’t rub me the wrong way at all. You have to do what’s best for you and I never said ATP is only route, but I do believe it’s the best. The numbers don’t lie.

As for rubbing me the wrong way, I can’t lie. I do find you in uniform (albeit the CAP) and unshaven somewhat disturbing. You’re supposed to be setting an example for the cadets.

Adam

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I started at ATP and change schools after I got my private. I don’t regret it all. I am still in contact with 4 other students that started the same time I did at ATP. I finished before them and have double the hours they have. The school I changed to is an accelerated program and to be honest I don’t know any other program that finishes students as fast as we do. I instruct at the school now and last month I logged 174 hours. One reason we get students in and out fast is the owner of school is a DPE. It’s great fit for me, but maybe bad for others. The only days off I get is when the weather is bad. We fly students 7 days a week and try to fly them twice a day. It’s takes 2-3 weeks to get your private and 5-6 month to finish everything.

ATP is a good program. I look back at my time there fondly. I still keep contact with my instructor. He has became a mentor for me. Don’t be afraid to what’s best for you though. ATP is a great school but it’s not the only good program out there.

I’m sure someone will chime in with the negatives on your situation, but man I’m sure most of us would kill to have a dedicated DPE at our training center location.

Michele,

Glad you’ve found success outside of the program. Having a DPE in house is a great asset. However, I hope you don’t plan on flying 174 hours every month. In terms of the max dual given limit per day, you’ve got to be getting close. As well as the fatigue factor on your body. It’s not worth churning through hours if you have an accident or incident. It only takes a second.

Hannah

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Michele,

If this was a race you’d surely be winning but it’s not. As I always say, it’s about quality not quantity. At 174 in one month that’s 6hrs a day, 7 days a week.

If I were on your hiring panel I’d question your logbook and moreso your decision making as that’s simply unsafe but have at it and be careful.

Adam

I have never given more than 8 hours day. Typically, I stop at 7 hours. I have had a couple exactly 8 hours. Nothing I am doing is illegal. Every few days we get a weather day.

Adam,

Nothing about it is illegal and I am in the Midwest so we get quite a few weather days a month.

I have CJO from a regional and nothing has been questioned. All the regional care about is if your hours are legal anymore. I have never gone over my 8 hours limit. Times have change since you went through the hiring process.

You say that like it’s a good thing. It’s not. They’re also all experiencing the highest failure rates in history. Again not trying to argue, just asking you to be careful.

Adam

It seems like your trying to say since I logged 174 hours last month instructing that makes me a bad pilot and I will fail training. The majority of my students pass have passed their check rides on the first try. I have never given more than 8 hours a day. I have done everything by the book. I work really hard to provide a safe environment and quality instruction to my students. I don’t take unnecessary risk.

Michele,

I’ve said nothing of the kind and if that’s what you feel I’ve implied that was not my intent.

That said you keep saying “I’ve never gone over 8hrs or done anything illegal”. If/when you make it to an airline you will VERY quickly learn that legal doesn’t always equal safe or ideal. Now maybe you’re an exceptional instructor with above average stamina? If that’s the case kudos to you.

On the this forum we like to offer advice for the masses and what’s best for most pilots. I’ve had days instructing that were near 8hrs and I can tell you I found them VERY fatiguing as do most others. If the FAA says 8hrs and 1min is illegal do you really believe 7:59 is perfectly fine? That’s the reason the FAA sets 8hrs as an absolute limit (not a goal). Because they too make rules for the average person, not the exception.

As for your success I don’t know you, I’ve never flown with you and have no idea what you’re skills are but by your own admission, the airlines don’t care about anything other than you having the required hours. Getting hired is ridiculously easy these days, getting through training is not and that’s all I was saying.

Adam

Michele,

Congrats on the success at ATP, we love to hear the experiences that students have during their attendance at ATP. Regardless of where you instruct, the main priority of instructing is safety-focused decision making and integrity with the students’ investment. I’m glad you are able to connect with your former instructor and receive mentorship, that is a huge bonus of ATP’s network; wait until you get to your airline training and meet former ATP graduates, I had three in my hiring class, one of which completed ATP’s program back in 2010 decade - he didn’t rush into airline post-graduation.

Having an in-house DPE is a good advantage; however, if that DPE becomes ill or injured and cannot exercise their privileges, there may be a delay in checkrides. Where I was instructor then lead instructor, we used one primary DPE and had two others that we could fill in any availability - especially where we had an abundance of checkride applicants. ATP does a really good job at making sure students receive checkrides on time.

Even though we see headlines all over “Pilot Shortage,” airlines still expect the skill and professionalism to enter their training facility. I have individuals in my class who did not attend a school like ATP and when it came time to “keeping up with the pace,” for every 2 steps forward, we would have to take 1 step back. I’ve worked closely in my class with students who need extra help, they all have a common factor - their experience and how they got to where they are. Yes, we all want to get the quickest number of hours and scurry to the airlines, but sometimes we need to step back and look at the bigger picture of safety and student integrity. Even though you can get hired with the minimum 1,500 hours, did you just fly VFR XC all day long or hang around your local airport’s practice area…are you exercising the use of crew resource management or IFR skills which is heavily focused on during your airline flying; these are the things that can make skills enhanced or degrade.

Brady

Brady,

I respectfully disagree with you. Just because they went to ATP doesn’t mean they’re more prepared for training. I flew survey before instructing. Some of the worse survey pilots I flew with were ATP pilots. One of them couldn’t understand how drags works. It was very basic things that they lacked compared to other pilots. ATP has limitations on weather and flying solo. Their crosswind landing were bad, because ATP didn’t allow them to fly with more than 5 knot crosswind. A lot of ATP pilots would be scared to fly solo for first time since they only flew 10 hours of solo flying in training.

My ATP instructor was great. I was just talking to him last night. He was an exception tho. He told me he broke a lot of ATP rules to show expose us to different flying conditions. He never got fired from ATP and was an amazing instructor.

There other programs that are just as good or better than ATP. ATP has good qualities but I glad I left and finish my training at another school. I love school I teach at. Working for a DPE and somewhat of legend in Aviation has been an amazing experience.

Michele,

No way am I disrespecting or putting down a smaller-scale school here. I have referred many individuals to another school if they weren’t fit or sure if ATP was right for them, keeping their best interest and integrity - maybe they needed a slower pace. I was a product of a “mom and pop” school doing my private pilot license and I can say I developed bad habits before attending ATP. I had to them break those bad habits when I attended ATP, more importantly the standardization of training to be an airline pilot.

ATP has limitations to encourage safety-focused decision making while keeping the students’ investment at priority. I feel there is a time and place where you can enhance skills and raise one’s minimums. Deviation from limitations can cause hazardous attitudes however which may come back one day to bite, hopefully it never happens to us - unfortunately incidents/accidents do happen. At ATP you will not find a student soloing after their regulation time has met FAA requirements of 61.109(a)(5); after the Private stage, you go into Instrument and still have an instructor. Furthermore, when it comes time to cross-country crew experiences, limitations are a bit higher than a 5-knot crosswind.

I was speaking on my observations in my airline training class of how someone that trains in a standardized program at an accelerated pace is compared to someone that maybe trained elsewhere. Everyone learns at a different pace and that is okay. And as Adam said, we don’t know you or your flying ability. I read and compose postings to hopefully assist or help future pilots become airline pilots (or go where their dream is).

Brady

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Michele,

Everybody has their stories. I can tell you that some of the worst pilots I have ever flown with were those who built their time primarily by VFR flying, such as survey work.

While you may have flown survey work with former ATP students, I have flown airliners with many ATP graduates, all of whom have performed very well in the cockpit.

We understand your position and you are welcome to it. I think further debating it is a waste of all of our time.

Chris