Student Recap

I’m not even sure where to begin with this recap as looking back the last 6 months has been a blur. It was filled with trying times and fun times. Sorry for the long post but just trying to answer as much as I can that I have seen over the years.

ATP Overall: Promise fulfilled of Private to Comm SE/ME, CFI,CFII in 6 months (I think it was 4 days over). I opted out of MEI for my own reasons (if you really want to know you can probably find it posted on another thread). From the time I put down my deposit to the time I completed the program there were times where I didn’t feel like I was a customer but more like an inconvenience. I just kept working my way up the line to make sure what had to be corrected was and to advocate for myself. I did make a contact very high up in the company who was an absolutely amazing person to deal with. He showed empathy when needed, customer service when it called for and understanding when a problem arose. He is one of the main reason I stayed with ATP after my issue putting down my deposit.

ATP Training Center (TC): Fantastic! All of the instructors really care about you and your training and not just getting their hours in. I had a lot of fun between hanging out with other students and the instructors. The same was seen across all the TC’s I visited during crew.

“Normal day”: For those that always ask the question or new users that are curious. While there is no real normal day a typical one you will be at the TC for 5+ hours a day on average between working with other students learning together, to having your daily paperwork filled out, to preflighting the airplane, flying and debriefing. Your normal flight time will be around 2 hours a day unless you have something special like your Instrument 250 nm xc, Comm 300 NM, TAA or Crew. Expect to be at the TC for up to 8 hours and up to 6 days a week. Even if the weather is bad you will find other things to accomplish so don’t automatically expect a day off.

Private: I don’t have any firsthand knowledge with ATP but from what I observed while in other phases the Instructors conduct some group grounds to keep people moving, but A LOT of self study. ATP also does a lot of things different from Mom and Pop school but its all safety minded and you will find that come up a lot.

Instrument: You learn to miss looking outside lol. It has its challenges but I really enjoyed it and still flying in IMC. Its really a whole new world and I will admit I froze up a little flying into my first cloud after 105hrs of VFR flying and staying away from clouds.

Crew: Love it or hate it. I have found people on both sides but I really enjoyed my Crew time. Expect to be gone for a couple days but up to 7 days (they sent another student down to Georgia for a week) My partner and I always filed “low” and traveled up and down the Mid Atlantic at 3,000-5,000ft. It really let the Pilot monitoring to enjoy the freedom of flying. Just remember you are PIC or atleast the other part of a crew and if you feel it’s unsafe to go don’t push it or let someone force you to go.

Commerical SE: I had the devastation of busting my first checkride and put me in a point of questioning my skills but I bounced back and concentrated on my recheck.

CFI School: Long days and nights preparing, cramming, studying, meeting up in groups, and learning to fly in the right seat. It seemed like it dragged on and on but it was a nice experience through its little hiccups.

Commerical ME: It feels like a real plane when flying the “cinnamon roll” (inside joke of Todd from CFI school). You really have to have your checklists down and ready at any second.



Thank you for sharing this post and for all of the other posts you have made while in the program. Please continue to check in with us as you advance through your career. Good luck out there!


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Tom that’s a one helpful post speacially for someone like me who trying to have an idea ahead of the time however I do have one question what happened after your graduation did you get a job as an instructor with ATP or not and why (if you don’t mind) or if you chose a different route why ?


Absolutely awesome. Wish more students would do things like this.

Congratulations Tom! If you chose to stay with ATP as an instructor, if you’re based in TTN still, I’ll see you in the summer. If not, stop back and visit at any time since you’re somewhat local if you get a hot minute.



I am looking at both right now. I finished at a weird time right before holiday break so I am expecting a call this week with what locations are available. I have also put my resume out there as the closest ATP location to me was my TC which is an hour drive without traffic and almost $10 in tolls.

But I will update with what happens.

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Yea but unfortunately most aren’t on here. If you have any specific question TC related i’d be happy to try and go a little more in detail.

Thank You! If I don’t instruct there I will probably swing in from time to time as my home airport is 50.1NM from Trenton so its perfect for XC trips.

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To give you an update I was given the only 2 open locations right now which are Oakland, CA and Portland, OR so I unfortunately will not be instructing for ATP as I was willing for Richmond,Va to Hartford, Ct just as a foot in the door but can’t leave the East Coast with a house, wife and 2 kids.


How many students are usually in the ground classes ? Thanks


It depends on the subject. Some are full TC students and instructors, some are phase specific. At Trenton where I trained an example would be: group ground with the subject “Airspace and Sectional Charts. All Private Pilot students must attend, others encouraged”. 9 out of 10 times you’re already there studying so it’s not out of the way and others would join in to refresh themselves or like at the end of my time I would sit in to observe how the instructor taught it.

Tom- hate to hear about the instructor locations being so far away. What are the prospects for finding a CFI gig where you are at? I am in ATL and have hunted around online and rarely see CFI jobs being advertised near me.


Tom is reporting as to the CURRENT openings available RIGHT NOW. What that situation will be when you complete your training (have you started?) is literally anyone’s guess. The situation is dynamic and changes weekly.



That’s right now for ATP availability. It can change in a month or even tomorrow. As far as other flight schools I’ve found most don’t post the CFI position on job boards but take applications and set up interviews. Being in Atlanta you have a lot more ATP locations by you so the odds I’m sure are normally higher for you than in the northeast where I am at. Also while down there I noticed a lot of local airports in the Atlanta area so that’s a plus for you as well!

As far as my prospects I have an interview on Monday and a meeting with a flight school owner in the coming weeks with a few others that I’m waiting a response from.

It’s life you face the challenge and make yourself more appealing to the prospective company.

Just to give you an example of how fast it can change in my 6 month course we had a Lead and 4 instructors, then Lead and 5 instructors, after CFI school we had a Lead and 1instructor and when I left we had a Lead and 2 instructors.

Understood. Thanks Adam. Orientation flight next week. Financing secured. Like Tom, I have the wife and children scenario and was looking at next steps in case there was nothing open in the SE with ATP once I get through the program.

Will need to get back to earning as soon as I can after the 9 months. I was looking for CFI jobs on Indeed and a few of the more traditional corporate HR sites in an effort to layout a backup plan and was not seeing much posted. Tom’s insight was helpful as well. Appreciate all you do to support this board. I have learned a good bit over the last month.

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