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.