Hello, I’ve been reading articles on here for a few days and I’d like to ask an important question…
For someone who is only interested in money (hypothetically… I love flying), would part 61 or part 141 training be best? I am enrolled in a Part 141 program at ASU but on my mock Check-ride, my examiner mentioned that part 61 training may be a faster and more profitable option!
After a long ground discussion on this with her, I cannot determine which training plan is better. Important factors I have considered are earning income (CFI…) as soon as possible, long-term salary growth (career outlook), and risk (falling behind, losing motivation, or financial risk).
- Part 141 training requires 500 hours less total time to get to the airlines (Est. 5 mo. time saved 141)
- Part 61 training does NOT require stage exams. I am worried that the way the 141 program is structured, I may not be able to get past a stage for some time. (Less potential delays; Est. 1-6 mo. time saved 61)
- Part 141 training requires ~60 less hours to earn a commercial pilot’s license: 197 ASU minimum vs. 250 Part 61 minimum. (Est. 1-2 mo. time saved 141)
- Part 61 requirements are much more flexible than 141 and may be completed out of order. This method is much more time efficient than 141 (Est. 1-2 mo. saved 61)
- Part 61 allows for flight training to be conducted at other training facilities. There are “dead” times at ASU that limit instructor and plane availability during break. (Est. 1-6 mo. time saved 61)
What really blew my mind was that some Part 61 students here actually finish 1500 hours FASTER than Part 141 students who are only required to fly 1000 hours to get to the airlines. I am worried that the expense, stress, and prestige of a 141 pathway may not be worth it.
This debate has gone on (and will continue to) forever. Personally I think it’s more about the school then the program. A bad school can mess things up regardless of 61 or 141 and the reverse is true as well. Not sure why your “mind was blown”? Part 61 offers more flexibility and allows capable students to advance faster. I’m also curious why you’re concerned about stage checks? Do you think checkrides are any easier? How about when you get to the airlines? Do you think those checkrides are?
Regardless if time is your #1 priority, ATPs accelerated program is without question the fastest route. Not simply because it’s Part 61, it’s because of the quality and platform the school uses.
Wow, so cool to get a response from you so quickly!
My concern about stage checks is that they cannot be completed out of order if I struggle with a certain concept. The possibility that I may understand it better after studying or practicing something else is an advantage of the part 61 plan. (The stage exams in ASU’s program are actually much harder than the check-rides! We have a %100 check-ride pass rate for instrument and commercial check-rides because the mock check rides and stage exams are so difficult to pass prior to check-rides!)
Having multiple checks between check-rides is a concern because it presents a larger financial risk for my training. There is much more opportunity for failure with the addition to stage checks in part 141 vs. only having check-rides as mandatory evaluations for part 61. I feel confident in my school’s program and my personal ability to pass each one the first time, but I’m still more likely to be set back for (potentially) months and lose $1,000’s in part 141 vs. 61. My roommate has actually been stuck in instrument training part 141 training for over 1 year.
Definitely a lot of pros and cons on both sides! And an interesting predicament, given you are currently receiving ATP instruction. I was a student of ATP (having earned my 4 year degree just prior) but I also instructed for both the Part 61 and 141 (ASU) programs at IWA. The stage checks and rigidness of the layout of 141 can definitely cause it to take much longer and cost significantly more. I remember getting stuck on lessons with students because of a single approach being unavailable (usually the LOC BC since we were banned from CGZ for a bit) and it would throw wrenches in every so often. A flight being 0.1 short of the requirement, etc (<<< so many etcs haha). That being said, it can be beneficial to do college along with flight training to help the ground knowledge sink in. Although I do remember many of my students saying that the classes did not line up with their training very well. We would be working on their instrument training and they had taken the course a year prior and didn’t remember a thing.
If I were you, first thing I would recommend is to speak with your instructor and even Josh Klein. He’s a fantastic resource for you all down there.
Now if it were me? I believe the only 2 ratings that are completed under 141 at ASU are instrument and commercial. That being said, I would finish up your private ASAP. I’d start credit for private with ATP and take off one semester. They have a great setup to allow ASU students to be part-time instructors so they can work on hours while still in school. Finish your degree while building the 1500 hours and when you graduate at 22 you will qualify for the R-ATP (due to age) and will come out with both hours and a degree.
It’s not a terrible idea to continue along in the 141 program though. You still receive the perks of being an “ATP student” for the most part. You’ll come out with the degree and R-ATP for 1000 hours but probably send a nice chunk of change more given the extra you will pay along the way for ground school and a few extra hours of flight time.
Edit: Forgot to mention in my time there I did see a few students opt out of doing those 2 ratings as 141. They swapped to a 61 “ATP” style setup and continued with school as normal. My info may be outdated so definitely ask about options.
Tough one there but like I said, definitely go in and chat with your resources there at the school. They know you and your situation better than anyone here. Good luck!
Checkrides don’t usually get completed out of order either. Further while stage checks may be more frequent and potentially more challenging as your school performs them, I’m sorry but I believe both me and the people who’ll be putting their families on the airplanes you’ll be flying would feel much better if you were successful at either or both. I keep hearing about your financial concerns, what about becoming a skilled and capable pilot? You say you “feel confident in your school’s program and your personal ability to pass” so what’s the problem? That you could be set back money and time? If the above re your confidence in the school and your abilities are correct it shouldn’t be a concern being successful. If you’re not then the money and time should be the least of your concerns.
I don’t know you’re friend but if they’re stuck in Instrument training for over a year there’s only 2 possible reasons. Either the school is milking him (which I don’t believe ASU would do as they have a solid reputation) or perhaps he shouldn’t be flying airplanes. Now maybe if he’d have gone Part 61 and passed an “easier” checkride (which I don’t agree is the case) he’d be more far along, but sooner or later his lack of abilities would catch up with him. Hopefully long before he had any passengers sitting behind him.
Wow! So awesome that you’ve been through the same program as me… It’s so great to hear a personal experience about the program and I appreciate your response! Working at ATP there sounds like a great option and my check-ride examiner also mentioned the benefits of being enrolled in ASU/working part time.
It’s hilarious how you said “(so many etc.s)”, … my roommate would definitely relate because of his lengthy experience. I suppose continuing along in the 141 could be ideal if I get lucky with availability of planes, services, equipment, etc. That is a great point.
I have yet to talk to Josh Klein despite having already completed my Private Pilot license. (I got absolutely lit up by one of them for not wearing my ATP shirt…) He definitely would be a great resource and he could probably point to some important factors impacting the 141 program.
This website has been so helpful. Thank you so much. Part 61 or 141 depends on too many factors to be regarded “in general” and I believe it is tailored to each individual’s situation. I plan to see what the outlook is on my particular 141 program and go from there.