Side work

Hello all,

I’m new to all this, 35 years old and considering making the leap.
Obviously I have a lot of questions and concerns (mostly financial), but for now my question is in regard to working on the side while instructing with ATP.
I think it would be cool to fly skydivers or maybe even do short charters/tours.
Any thoughts or experience with this?




Welcome to the forums.

ATP expects their instructors to be available for their students at all times. Having commitments outside of ATP would make it very difficult for an instructor to maintain the flexibility that is needed for the job.

I think you will find that most companies will expect their pilots to be full time.


Thank you Chris,

I guess I just don’t understand how the scheduling works as a CFI.
Would there not be, say, a weekly schedule that’s adhered to, or are instructors expected to be on call 7 days a week?


The short answer is pretty much. The goal is to get your students done within the allotted time and that requires flexibility from both the student and the instructor. Weather can play a huge role in the process as well as the students needs.

So let’s say YOU’RE the ATP student. You’ve got you’re Instrument checkride coming up in 2 days and you’re just not understanding how to enter holding patterns. You say to your instructor “hey I know tomorrow’s Sunday and we’re not scheduled but I really need some help” and he responds sorry bud but I’ve got my other job". Or let’s say it’s something much more simple, you were supposed to fly in morning but the weather was lousy but it’s supposed to improve later, you figure you’re going flying but again your instructor said “sorry, I have my other job”. Would that be cool with you? I mean you only shelled out $80k and took 9 mos off from life but that’s not your instructor’s problem right?


Thank you Adam, that clears that up. And no, I would not be cool with that. I would expect my instructor to be available to assist me, which, if you don’t mind going down a rabbit hole, raises another question. Can a student request flying time at any point and have an instructor ready to go? Or, was that circumstance based on the upcoming checkride when students are allotted extra flying time?


For every segment of training students are allocated a specific amount of flight hours. Should someone require a little more in a specific segment it’s possible to “borrow” from another or the crewing portion (within reason). Additionally students have unlimited sim hours. Going over can happen and there can be additional charges but that’s not the norm.

You see that’s a huge part of the program. ATP was created by airline pilots to train airline pilots. The specific segment hours comes from airline training. When you start airline training your given a schedule and X amount of time for each phase and the checks are all ready scheduled. The idea is you need to bust your butt and make sure you’re ready. ATPs program prepares you for that environment. Make sense?


Yes. Thank you Adam.