Selecting a training center

Any suggestions on what to ask or what would be important in picking a Flight School?


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The article Adam posted is an amazing resource and should answer your question at length. Let us know if you have any other questions. We’re here to help.

Although, this is an ATP sponsored forum and all the mentors are ATP grads so we won’t be able to really speak much on other flight schools in your area. But we certainly can help guide you in getting started in this career!



One thing to add about picking a training center if you choose to go with ATP, find one that fits your needs. If your needs is to stay closer to home (if you can commute an hour, do so - it can help cut down expenses) - or if you want to go to a new location, travel, meet new friends and people. The aviation industry is a small community, networking is key. Only you will be able to determine the best location for you, I am linking a fellow member of forum who opted out of ATP for a “better flight school program” and found out the hard way:


Thanks for the questions. I had started a list already and this is a great addition.

I am stuck between 2 centers. ATP is definitely one of them.

Would you be able to answer the questions posed for prior students?

  1. Did you pay the price you were quoted?
  2. Will they give you an exact quote on pricing, or will they only quote a ballpark price?
  3. Did you finish in the time frame you were quoted?
  4. What was the quality of the instruction you received?
  5. What was the quality of the aircraft, were they often broken?
  6. Did you have to wait for aircraft to be fixed for longer time frames?
  7. Where did you fly to on your cross countries?


  1. To the penny. In fact I kept waiting for the “by the way…” but it never came.

  2. ATP displays the EXACT price of their programs right on the website. This is not a ballpark this is the price and more important it uses realistic hours for each phase vs FAA minimums which most schools do (and no one accomplishes).

  3. I actually finished early. Obviously things link weather and examiner availability can effect the timeline. That said ATP has been training pilots for the airlines, using this program, for over 35yrs and the quoted timeline is realistic.

  4. ATP has had over 1,100 pilots hired by the airlines in the last 12mos alone and tens of thousands over their time training pilots. Their pioneered the airline partnerships and long before the pilot shortage, ATP grads were offered preferential hiring at lower minimums. The results speak for themselves.

  5. ATP has the largest training fleet in the world and also one of the newest. Most of their planes are new models and they also have their own maintenance bases. That was one of the factors that attracted me to ATP.

  6. I never had to wait for an airplane. Not once.

  7. Back when I did the program the 100hr Multi was the only option. Since the twin is faster and has a greater range I traveled from NJ to FL, and as far west as TX and North to IL. The standard program generally won’t take you as far but you will get solid cross-country experience.


Man that is awesome to hear. I’ll be scheduling a tour of ATP at GTU at the end of June. I think I may be pleasantly surprised! Thanks again.

If ya happen to have a direct contact that would be great. I sent a contact message a couple of weeks ago, but had not heard anything yet.


Maybe I’m a bit misunderstanding, you sent a “contact message” to whom, ATP through the request more information or email? They have a phone number to contact for Admissions, you can reach them 904-595-7950 (Monday through Friday, 8am-9pm ET).

Please keep us posted how your tour and admissions flight go, Adam answered your questions spot on.



Just want to be sure you went through the proper channels. Call the ATP Admissions number. It will direct you to headquarters in Jacksonville Beach where someone will help schedule you for your intro flight at the location of your choosing. If you tried contacting the ATP location directly, that may explain the lack of correspondence.



Good questions.

  1. I paid the exact amount, not a penny more.

  2. The price is an exact quote, provided you do not need additional training. Most pilots do not, but some do.

  3. I finished on time, to the day.

  4. I received excellent instruction from many different instructors. All had different approaches, some better than others (as in life in general), but I learned something from everybody and passed all of. my FAA check rides on the first attempt.

  5. ATP has the best training fleet in the country. The airplanes are maintained with an airline like precision and the vast majority of work is done by on staff mechanics, not outsourced. I had very few maintenance delays.

  6. Never. We always either had the issue addressed quickly, or a replacement aircraft was sent in very quickly.

  7. I did my training out of Manassas, VA. For my cross countries I basically flew a large box west to Chicago, south down to Dallas, over to Jacksonville, and then back up to Manassas, with stops in-between. It was great experience and in many ways, felt like flying for an airline.

Please let us know how the tour goes. I would encourage you to schedule an Admissions Flight, it really is the best way to see and experience what flying and ATP is like.


It was through the portal on the ATP site. Perhaps I just presumed that someone was going to follow up via email. I’ll try the phone number. Thanks!


Not a problem, sometimes it’s easier to call and schedule something if you have not heard back from an email. :slight_smile:


Absolutely, I want to do the discovery/admission flight the same day of the tour. Thanks for the response! :slight_smile:

I my advice is to pick something that is cheap enough that you aren’t too much in debt and also pick something that you like. Don’t take out too many loans, but when you do pay them back ASAP