Real Answers from Real Pilots

My Custom Program Experience

Hey y’all! I’m originally from N. GA but decided to head out to KAPA to join ATP and finish up my training. I came into ATP with my PPL/IR on August 5th and today I finally got my CFI!

Had a blast so far and honestly I’m so happy that I’ve chosen to come here rather than elsewhere… Crew has been a great learning experience along with flying at the foothills of the rockies… Moderate turbulence and LLWS ±5 into Fort Collins is just Saturday lol. That and x-wind landings GALORE :rofl:

Anyways if anybody has any questions or worries about joining the Custom program and jumping into the fast pace of ATP ask away! 0 failures so far and I plan to keep it that way… Hopefully I’ll be done with CFII, Comm Multi, and MEI before Xmas.


Sounds like you’re doing very well. Glad you’re enjoying the program (many lose sight of the fact is supposed to be fun).

Thank you for the report. You’re in the home stretch!


Oh it’s stressful, but the fun comes from seeing what you’ve done at the end of the day and always striving for more :slight_smile: Whether that’s more knowledge or better standards, always flying for more!


Congratulations on obtaining your CFI! That is a fantastic accomplishment. It sounds like you have had a good time in the program. What is next for you?


Congratulations @thefauxfox on the CFI!

When you say “Custom Program” what exactly did that mean for you? I am aware of the Flex track program, but as the name implies is the “Custom” program something different and completely individualized?

CFII up next… Hoping to knock that out before Thanksgiving but that’s really dependent on the training center’s ability to accomodate. I KNOW I can study hard enough this next week to get it, the question is can I fly/sim enough? :slight_smile:

Custom is basically for students coming in with MORE than their PPL alone. I came w/ my IR and PPL and I got credit for both and was able to begin with a weekish of simming to build AATD time (for Comm) and then going straight to crew assessment/crew before starting at that part of my training.
From what I understand it’s very new (started back in May/June) and I’m the first one @ APA w it.

So if the flex track is “work at your pace” the custom track is more “come as you are.”

Succinct way to put it, I like it.

Anybody down there doing the Flex yet? Last time I called they said no one at started on it.

I don’t know of anybody specifically at APA but I feel like it was mentioned once in the last few weeks… Or maybe that was me reading here on the forums haha :slight_smile:

1 Like

Got my CFII today! Was a bit of a wait for a DPE but I finally got one and got my ride done.

Gonna end up transferring to a GA location and live @ home for a bit to finish up the multi engine stuff. Something something Denver’s expensive something something :sweat_smile:

Loved APA and wish everybody back there the


That is fantastic! Congratulations! You will be all finished soon.


1 Like

Oooooh multi engine stuff!

Good times and nice job!


1 Like


Congrats on the CFII! How did you feel that checkride went compared to your CFI initial. :sweat_smile:

The multi-engine stuff is really fun, you’ll love that first take-off you do! It’s so thrilling! And the maneuvers, when you’re doing slow flight, you’ll have all the trim in the world and still feel the need to apply aft pressure, it’s crazy!!


1 Like

CFII add-on was a piece of cake. IMO 10x easier than my Instrument check ride but also IR was a scary time full of new jargon, this is basically just pt2 but you speak as you do stuff for lack of a better explanation.

Definitely excited for multi. I hear the hardest thing is just memorizing the new performance stats and V speeds and systems in the POH…

1 Like

The thing with the multi-engine is spend a night just reviewing these simple things before you start your first sim or flight session:

  1. Vr 75, Vy (and Vyse “blueline”) 88, positive rate and no runway remaining to land/gear up, above 500’ pitch that nose down to 110, at 1000’ AGL 24"MP/2500RPM.
  2. The in-flight engine emergency, think about maintaining control, initially you’ll have to pitch down to reach Vyse (blueline), your control box for power instruments, full fwd, then flaps up, gear up, slap your dead leg and close the inop engine.
  3. Also if you’re below 3,000’ don’t troubleshoot, I like to announce when I’m crossing 3,000’ because it reminds not only myself, but instructor if something happens we’re going to troubleshoot.
  4. Final thing, if you’re below 3,000’, announce feather (inop) prop, cutoff (inop) mixture.

I think you’ll find it to be a super easy transition! I spent numerous hours so far in the simulator just practicing the flows with another student and sat in on a few simulator sessions to the point where I spent 9 hours in the simulator the one weekend by myself going over flows and everything. It paid off my first flight, it was a breeze.

The only thing with landing is it’s not an Archer or Skyhawk, you come in more leveled and you don’t necessarily “flare,” you reduce power as you come closer to the ground…You’ll love it man, it is much more powerful than any single engine I’ve personally been in…it’s just a cool experience!

For tutorials on the systems, I was saving this to post in my update thread, but use these two resources (Pretty Fly For a CFI and PA-44 Training App - yes I know it’s $9.99, but I have seen it to help me a LOT).


Thanks for the update, Ryan and CONGRATS!


1 Like

Thanks a ton for the tips! Even more excited now if that’s possible…

I’ll take a look at the app. I paid $15 for the simionic PFD app before but that was super helpful for my G1000 learning back during my IR so I’m no stranger to “it’s stupid expensive for an app but worth it” lol

Thanks again!

1 Like

Congratulations! And thanks the APA follow up, excited to get started there this spring!

Blue skies and fair winds!


1 Like

Hell yea. Same back at ya

Passed my CMEL Add-On today here in KRYY. Winds were shifty and the clouds were pesky but with a little ingenuity (and a quick flight towards clear skies over by Lake Lanier) we got the full checkride done today.

MEI up next!