Real Answers from Real Pilots

Minneapolis Location Questions

Hi! My name is Kim, and I am looking to start training in the Minneapolis location (from zero current experience) within the next few months. I don’t have a solid way to contact the CFI’s at the Minneapolis location so I thought I would try to ask my questions here in hopes that I can get in touch with someone here in Minnesota.

Minnesota winters really suck. It’s below freezing out now, and I know ATP likes to advertise that the fast track pilot program can be completed in 9 months. Is that realistic in Minnesota, or should I plan for something around 10 months with our weather here?

When I complete my program, how likely is it for me to land a CFI job with ATP in Minneapolis? My significant other is a part of the National Guard here, and as much as I know we could handle long distance while I accumulate my hours as a CFI in a different location in the US, it’s not exactly the most ideal situation for us.

A fair few people that I have spoken to like to emphasize that the southern locations are all around better because of the fleet size, favorable weather, and future opportunities through networking. Do you believe that Minnesota is still a solid choice with that in mind?

Finally, I would love to get in touch somehow if you are located in Minnesota to ask more questions. I am very excited to start this new career path in these next few months.

Hope you are all staying safe and healthy!
Kim Johnson

Kim,
I have reached out to the lead instructor at the Minneapolis location to get some very specific answers for you on the typical timeline they see there, so stay tuned!
I do know, Minneapolis is a small but rapidly growing location with a great team of instructors. With growth, come more instructor positions and more airplanes. Southern locations definitely have better weather contributing to faster completion rates but go with the location that is the most convenient right now for your life. There will come the time in your career where you won’t have as much flexibility so take advantage of it now and do your best to get through as fast as you can with the factors in your control.
As for the instructor position after you graduate, there are many factors that go in to it. They will look at your history as a student, checkride success rate, recommendations from your instructors, etc. Then if you are on the list for a position, you will be given options for a class date for a “first available” location or you can wait and risk holding out for the MN location. Getting a spot there depends on student load, instructor need and timing. If all the stars align, it could happen. But just think about your priority, if it’s staying in MN, you could always instruct outside of ATP. Or stay with atp but potentially have to move.
As for future opportunities and networking, you can meet the right person out on the ramp or at the FBO anywhere you go. You never know who you will run in to. I wouldn’t worry about that right now.

-Hannah

Kim,

Hannah has reached out so I’m sure she’ll get you more specific answers but let me say this. ATPs program (which has been around for over 35 yrs) is based on the 9mos footprint. While weather can obviously vary, if it were that much of an issue ATP would most likely discontinue that location.

As for the instructor position again as Hannah states there are many variables. Whether or not they’ll be a slot is anybody’s guess. What I can tell you when I requested NJ ATP was more than happy and able to accommodate me as everybody wanted to go south.

Adam

Kim,
I have an update for you! This is directly from Reilly, the lead instructor for the Minneapolis, MN ATP location:
“Even though it’s cold we are still training every day. We actually just got a 4th archer because we are growing. Our best friends are hand and feet warmers here during the winter lol. Instructors up here are scheduling 5 days a week to help make up for days where it snows. We actually have some people in the national guard as students here too and they are able to stay on time here. We are rapidly growing with 15 students already and keep hiring instructors. One great benefit to consider Minnesota would be that you get to train in ALL 4 seasons which locations in the south don’t experience much of and could potentially be a shock to them. I’m averaging 70-85 hours a month this winter which is more than I ever got down in AZ (where it is summer year round). Our planes are hangered in heated hangers too so it’s not too bad to preflight.”

Let us know if you have any more questions!

-Hannah

Wow! We never had any heated hangers in TTN! I’ve got the frostbite to prove it! :wink:

Adam

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Hi Kim,

I know that Hannah reached out to our Lead Instructor at the Minneapolis location, but if you decide you would like to visit and see the facility (as well as meet some of our students and instructors), please give admissions a call and we would be happy to set something up for you!

Addison

Adam,

The Seminole at least is in a heated hangar, with the big toys as well. :sunglasses:

Brady

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Brady,

I flew N256AT many times! It is great to see that she is looking good and staying warm inside. I remember spending some freezing mornings outside with that aircraft as the FBO blew hot air into the engines to preheat them before start-up.

Chris

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Hi Addison!

I actually have tried to call admissions to set up a tour, but I believe due to COVID they are not allowing it sadly. That’s why I figured my best opportunity to reach out would be with this messaging board.

Thanks!
Kim

Hi Hannah,

Thank you for passing the message on! That is extremely reassuring to me as I start getting all my ducks in a row to start the program hopefully soon.

Thank you again so much, this information really really helped calm some nerves. This is a massive step, and finally being able to talk to someone here in MN has been very beneficial.

Thank you again!
Kim

Adam,

Thank you so much for the reassurance. I am happy that ATP found that they could operate in Minnesota as it provides fantastic opportunities for individuals like me looking to stay close to home and pursue a dream career.

Kim

Kim,

ATP offers tours at select locations; however, I am happy to get something set up for you at that location so that you can meet some of our students and instructors. Give us a call when you have a chance if you’re interested!

Addison

Kim,
So glad to help! Keep us updated on your journey! Next step, schedule that intro flight and tour so you can meet the team there!

-Hannah

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