Looking at joining ATP

I am wondering for those who completed ATP what a typical day was like during your training. I am trying to decide on a flight school path, I am currently training at a local FBO and it just feels as if it is dragging on and taking forever, so I am looking at other options. I would be coming into the program with a PPL credit.


There really is no such thing as a typical day at ATP, but there is a really good breakdown of the training timeline here: https://atpflightschool.com/airline-career-pilot-program/flight-training-timeline.html

Be sure to click on the “Explore this Stage” buttons.



Chris is right. There isn’t really a typical day. ATP tries to illustrate a typical day on their website, but it can vary. When I was teaching, I would post my students’ schedules no later than the night before. I would schedule my flights and sims according to the forecast for optimum flying/sim time. Ground lessons would either be scheduled immediately after a flight or whenever it was most convenient. My ground lessons were mostly one-on-one. If a ground overlapped, I would schedule two or three or more students together.

Most students would show up for their flight or sim, jump right into their ground session or study until then. Those that studied better at the training center would stay. Those that studied better at home would leave for the day. Occasionally I had some students that showed up at 6am every day no matter what.



Do all instructors at ATP have scheduled ground lessons with their students?

I have taken some flight lessons locally and usually the instructor briefly goes over a certain concept before or after a flight. Is it something more than that and is there a clear direction of what you are supposed to study?

Thanks a lot!



That was my style. I taught in SAC and HWD and that was how most of us did ground. I heard rumors that some of the larger locations taught in more of a classroom style setting. I’ve also heard of CFIs doing a little pre-brief and post-brief and that’s it.

There’s flexibility being an instructor for ATP. The program is mostly self-study anyway. I chose to do what I did because I thought it was the most effective. It wasn’t efficient, but I enjoyed teaching and it was important to me that my students really understood what they were saying and weren’t just repeating everything I told them.


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How many people are in a typical class? And what is the studying material like?

How do you get PPL credits.

At the location I’m attending (PAE) most instructors do ground lessons on an individual one on one and help their students first, and if you wanted to sit in on a ground and they weren’t your instructor you were still more than welcome too. Before a student has a checkride they would do ground mock oral and any students in the same phase could sit in on them as a big group. As mentioned above, it is mostly self study. A lot of the students here in the same phase would group up together and have study groups coordinated among each other.


Is the material difficult? I took a few practice test but I’m not sure if it’s the same material. What’s the oral presentation about? I’m just asking to get a better idea.

In my opinion, it seems like you just have to know certain parts of the aircraft, how to test gauges, and landing maneuvers. Is that accurate?


There’s only so much you can glean from books and the internet. To learn to fly you must actually get in an airplane.


What are the most difficult maneuvers during flying? I know landing is one, but what are some others.

For example, I just got my commercial permit and the most difficult part was docking and parallel parking. I found that out the hard way, that’s why I am asking so I don’t get caught off guard again

They aren’t really that hard but like with anything the more you practice the better and easier they get. For me, the power on stall was probably the hardest just because I was nervous at first


You’ll have a better idea of what’s most difficult once you start training. Everyone is a little different and flying is a diminishing skill. What was once easy may become the bane of your existence. I’ve seen it happen to even the best students.