Good Afternoon,
I will be retiring from the Air Force effective 1 Dec 2023, has anyone utilized skillbridge at the ATP school? I’m looking to transition to Raleigh, NC.


To my knowledge ATP does not participate in the Skillbridge program.

For more info on how to become a pilot through ATP, visit: Pilot Career Guide / ATP Flight School



You can use your GI Bill benefits with ATP to be reimbursed for the FAA examiner fees (around $8,000-$9,000), but unfortunately not the cost of the program. Really the only way to utilize more of the Bill is to be dual enrolled in a college degree program that has flight training attached to it, which will take you 4-5 years to complete and runs from $175,000 - $225,000. The VA will cover about $80,000, leaving you with about $100,000 to cover out of pocket.

At ATP, you can apply for a loan to get your entire course price covered upfront, allowing you to train full time – you will complete our Airline Career Pilot Program in just 7 months.

Hope this helped.


I transferred my gi bill to my son while he was in college. He’s now in the Air Force. So I have to figure out other means for funding


The vast majority of students finance their flight training. Check out this link:


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I had a similar question, but I’m not sure these responses really answer. Skillbridge isn’t a program that pays for flight training. It’s a program where the military member is sort of released from their normal duties for six months right before their retirement. During he six months they continue getting their normal pay and benefits, and in the case of a job, would work for a company at no cost to the company.

In the case of ATP, the person would do flight training (paying for it in the normal way anyone would) so that when they actually retire they are done or nearly done with flight training and ready to start making a little money as a CFI.

All that said, based on the responses I am guessing the answer to the question is no, no one has used the Skillbridge program to complete their flight training.

ATP is not linked to skillbridge… I would be my entire paycheck the military would be all in. I would have liked to be able to participate but I’m still going tdy to support the current work load.

I have started talking to a company (SkyBridge) and it seems they are able to work with the DOD the requirements of Skillbridge and they refer customers to a flight training center. They said they’d love to get partnered with ATP because clearly ATP has lots of capacity. This company.says they operate at no cost to theveteran, so my guess is they’d be looking for some sort of referral fee from the flight training center…that is probably the only cost to ATP.

Anyone in or went through ATP who has a suggestion for someone (management) to suggest this to?


ATP does not work with SkyBridge, they are well aware of the program but it is not compatible with what ATP offers. Their website does not mention pilot training.



Not sure what site you looked at, but this is their page: I agree it could be more specific, but they say “we have industry partners who will train you in a new skill as a pilot…”. That sounds like “pilot training” to me. In my first call to them, they referred me to a flight training center that is a direct competitor to ATP, so why specifically do you say it’s not compatible?

Dave Castor


ATP conducts all training under FAR Part 61, some schools, particularly ones that work with GI Benefits, train under part 141. 141 is basically a highly structured syllabus that the FAA prescribes to flight schools to follow, it is not conducive to flexibility in training in any way and it is why ATP does not follow part 141 and instead trains under part 61.


I am familiar with part 61 vs 141…the Skillbridge program doesn’t care at all what rule a pilot is trained under. In fact, the program is used for many fields. A friend just completed the program and her field is dentistry. They also don’t really care if the pilot completes the program, they just require the program affirm that the pilot is learning skills towards civilian employment, and that they continue with the program at least until the end of the scheduled time. Employment after can be with the company training them, but doesn’t have to be. I’ve herd of folks who did the program and were told there was no position they could be hired into permanently…not a big proem, they transferred the skills learned to a new employer.

The big difference with skillbridge is that they aren’t paying for the training per se, they are still on the books of their military service. So the military continues paying their salary for up to 6 months, what the member does with that salary is up to them. Thats why the restrictions associated with the GI Bill or other similar program don’t apply to Skillbridge.



At this time it does not seem like ATP is interested in working with Skillbridge. I will pass your recommendation along to the appropriate people.


I had a phone call with Skybridge today as well. They’d happily work with ATP and do all the paperwork to get ATP approved. I’ve been trying to find the right person to talk to at ATP. Skybridge has agreements with several other flight schools in different locations.

Somehow we have a miscommunication about what skillbridge is and why GI Bill paying or not paying doesn’t matter. That’s why I think the right person at ATP talking to someone at Skybridge would help clear it up and determine whether it really is feasible.

I’m sure there are lots of military members who would do ATP (me, too) if ATP would give a POC to Skybridge to explain what they do for you. I don’t mean to be a pain. Just trying to help.