Time line to getting to regionals?

Based on my research does this sound about right>

10-14 months depending on each student to get full CPL including mulit engine. cost around 55- 60K ATP is way more $$ than most flight schools I have seen.

2 months to gt CFI $ 3,000 to $4000.

Get hired by a flight school as CFI for 1.5 to 2 years to get to 1,500 hours if no aviation degree. Pay anywhere from $22 to $27 an hour.

Get hired by regional airline to and work for regional for 3-5 years before moving up to the big g boys.

Or after 700 hours moving to caribbean ( i have a friend who did just this) and work there for a few years to build up to over 1,500 hours + and get back to US airlines.

Thoughts on this? Love to get your feed back and time lines and if this is realistic.

Thank you


Overall you’re on track except for a few points. The $55-60K you’re quoting at many flights is for the “min FAA requirements” (which you’ll see if you check the fine print). Since most people take approx. 50% more time to earn their ratings AND ATPs price is set and guaranteed using actual allotted flight times AND ATP includes ALL 2 CFIs you’ll see that in fact ATP is not “way more $$”. You’re also not taking into account that with ATP you will be done in 9mos, not maybe 10, not maybe 14, not maybe much longer than that.

3-5yrs at a Regional before moving to a Major may be somewhat optimistic. I’d say the average is closer to 5-7 but nothing is guaranteed. I know many pilot’s who’ve taken well over 10yrs and some who have never gotten the call. Not saying it won’t happen but you need to understand it’s not a given or something that just happens after X amount of time at a Regional.

As for the Caribbean thing sure. There are many ways to build time, chose the one you like and you can get.


Thanks Adam for getting back to me, but that is not True the 50-60K is based on over 200 hours and not the min as you mention.

I have looked at many flight schools and the min hours you talk about add to 47K as the min FAA : the 55K to 60k is average students who do finish in 10-14 months I have spoken to students at actual other flight schools and many are done around 57K to 62K so the 90K that ATP is asking for is outrageous. It is kind of shocking to see the price difference.


Ok not sure where you’re getting the $90k for ATP, the price is $76k (so “that is not true”) nor is it “outrageous”. Also the vast majority of flight schools advertise FAA mins because they will not guarantee you’ll be done in any fixed set number of hours. If you found one that does kudos but it doesn’t invalidate my statement.

That said ATP never claimed to be the cheapest nor are they trying to be. I’m also not a salesman nor do I receive anything whether you sign up or not. From my experience however there are some things cheaper is fine and others it’s not. We’re talking about an investment in your career and regardless of whether it’s $76k or $60k it’s still ALOT of money. ATP has been in business for over 30yrs, has the largest fleet of training aircraft in the country, were the ones who created Regional alliances (before they were commonplace and they meant something) and most important placed close to 600 pilots at the airlines in the last 12mos alone.

Again I’m not trying to sell you anything and if you can get where you need to be on the cheap have at it. All I’m saying is $60 (even $50k) is more money than I’d gamble with or base my future on. Your call and either way I wish you luck.


Sounds like you are a ATP spokesman to me… thanks for proving it.

Here are two major flight schools in the us and NO they are not using the min as you claiming.

|FAA Commercial Pilot Training (International) - 192 Hrs *|Hours||
|Phase I|Private Pilot License|55| 15,195.00| |Phase II|Instrument Rating|55| 15,070.00|
|Phase III|Pre Commercial|55| 11,345.00| |Phase IV|Commercial Pilot License|27| 10,470.00|
|Total Courses:||192|$52,080.00|
|Additional Expenses|
||Medical Exam||$125.00|
||Aircraft Deductible Insurance||$225.00|
||Head Set||$250.00|
||CFA Uniform (Shirt with epaulets, pants and shoes)||$150.00|
||Course Materials||$1,005.00|
||FAA Written Exam Fees x 3||$495.00|
||FAA Checkride Examiner Fees x 3||$2,250.00|
|Total Expenses|||$4,500.00|

another school has it listed for 250 hours for 68,000 still over 10K less than ATP!!!

our Flight Training Course Includes

  • Private Single Engine & Instrument Rating
  • Commercial Multi & Instrument Rating
  • Certified Flight Instructor (CFI) rating
  • 255 Hours Logged Flight Time
    • 90 Hours Single-Engine Instruction & Flight Checks
    • 20 Hours Multi-Engine Instruction & Flight Checks
    • 50 Hours Simulator (FTD)
    • 120 Commercial
  • 270 required hours for training with 255 hours logged flight time


Spokesman I’m not. But if you glance up and to the left you’ll clearly see the ATP logo on this forum. Further yes I am a former ATP student and instructor and I’m currently a Capt at a Major airline. Life is better than I ever dreamed and I honestly believe I wouldn’t be where I am now if I hadn’t trained with ATP. I earned my PPL at a local (well-respected) flight school and it cost me a fortune in time and money. I did my research and concluded that ATP was the right path for me. It was a great decision and one I’ve never regretted so YES I am a huge fan of the program. I offer my opinion and if that makes me a “spokesman” then ok I’m a spokesman. I also just happen to have the job you’re hoping to someday obtain soooooo :wink:


Ok so again rather here from someone not associated with ATP. Maybe some other people here can respond to me. Thanks for your time Adam. Happy flying.

Yeah so anyone else who attends any other of the great flight school in the US is screwed and will never get to where you are right Adam? … but since Adam tells us his ATP training was the right one for him and he got messed up in his PPL at one random flight school, the rest of us are supposed to drink the Kool aid. I toured a ATP school and the sales people were awful. I felt like I was being sold $$ shoes at Nordys. And your answers and style proved exactly what I was thinking.


Seriously you seem angry for some reason? As I said if you found a better deal then go for it. I would recommend you put the list you posted next to ATPs and compare apples to apples.

Btw “CFA Uniform (Shirt with epaulets, pants and shoes)||$150.00|” Really? For students? Your first uniform should be earned not purchased.


Shoes are supposed to be earned? Really and Pants too. You sure you don’t moon light at nordys at night? The only thing you earn are your stripes. Talk about this school giving the student a realistic budget. I thought you said the other schools only give you the min and have tons of hidden fees?

Not angry at all. Just hoping for some real answers not some guy moonlighting as a ATP sarah sanders lol It’s kind of comical.


Finally we agree, this is comical.

Good luck


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FYI this flight school blows ATP out of the water and its cheaper.


In reference to your post about the two flight schools’ training outlines, their prices per hour average to $270/hr, which made me more curious because that seems high for single engine training. So, I looked closer at their training outlines.

For the commercial licenses, are they including both commercial single and commercial multi? Or just one of them?

And for CFI, are they including CFI single and multi and instrument?

If I’m right, that could be why their prices are lower than ATP. Their prices are based equivalent total time, but fewer total ratings.

BTW, I want you to go to whichever school you think is best for you, and I think Adam does too. We just have different ways of expressing it. I’m just proposing an apples to apples argument with my questions.


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LOL Phoenix East… Good luck!

Nah…sorry, I should have said they are a great choice! You should definitely go there since you have done really thorough research!


Hey Bobby,

As someone who just went through the arduous process of researching flight schools and ended up selecting ATP (Start date in Feb), let me see if I can shed some light on the overall process and comparisons that I’ve seen and what you’ve presented. I’ll also see if I can dive into timeline questions as well.

Most of the flight schools that I’ve seen that offer professional pilot programs including the one that you gave with cost breakdown and Phoenix East Aviation example only offer them once you have acquired your PPL, which based off research as well as the example you gave of pricing for the PPL in one of the programs makes it come out to about 12-15k. Using PEA above as an example, add that 15k onto the 52k of their professional program and you’re sitting at 67k, which is 9k below ATP. ATP does offer the 6 month program as well if you start with your PPL and 78 hours TT, and that is $58k, so only 6k more than PEA. The hours included differ though. ATP’s program sans PPL is 175 hours or so (based on the current curriculum I’m looking at for ATP in the intranet). PEA’s is 136 hours. That can certainly account for the cost differential. Now looking at PEA’s individual course offerings they list each of them with the minimum number of hours vs ATP which explicitly factors in extra time that is needed more often than not for people to successfully complete their ratings. That is one thing to definitely take into account, because they may charge more than the “rate” you got through your initial program if you go over those minimum hours.

Now there was a $90k figure you threw out earlier in the thread I want to address as there is some validity to it. When completing my breakdown for financing purposes I took account of the other costs that would be incurred while going through the program. These include all living expenses and all checkride fees (which account for over $5k by themselves). When ringing it all up, yes you will reach a total of 90k at least. However this was not something that was a hidden fee incursion as ATP explicitly stated this would be full time school and you would need to plan accordingly.

What really sets most of this apart for me has to do with not just the timeline, but with how well structured it is and location. Can’t beat 38 nationwide locations. I looked at many professional programs and some had varying timelines and prices, but none quite had as much detail and foundational structure to their programs as ATP did. I know even with delays I will almost certainly make the 9 month timeline. I know other programs may be a little bit cheaper and a little bit longer, but for someone in my position time is of the essence. ATP isn’t the cheapest, but I would say they at least have competitive pricing. Any difference is made up for in every interaction I’ve had with ATP staff and students over the phone and on physical locations as I prepped and continue to prep for my start date. This has been about as seamless as possible and when I considered the pairing they also had with financial institutions it made the decision pretty easy once I saw that the total cost and interest rates were not going to differ. Plus I will be in a location I am excited about since it will be minutes from family in several directions.

As has been stated I see this as an investment in myself, and I don’t necessarily want to cut costs at every corner if it means leaving anything up to a question in quality.

Feel free to ask more specific questions as I’m sure I missed something.



Bobby, ATP is definitely not the only way and not the cheapest, but I’ve lived in Daytona my whole life and attend flight school in the area and PEA is one of the worst. I advise you to keep looking and stay away from phoenix, seriously. whether you choose ATP or not please don’t choose pea

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Aaron, I think PEA is a fine choice for him! I mean, he did his online research. They are a perfect fit!


I think it’s “comical” that you, in your infinite wisdom and amount of research, came to an ATP forum and are shocked that the mentors and forum members are defending ATP.

I also find it odd that in the depth of your research, you didn’t notice that ATP’s price includes all 3 of your instructor ratings. CFI. MEI. CFII. What you copied and pasted above only includes the initial.

Seems pretty comparable in price, and if that’s the case, ATP’s reputation in the professional aviation community and the built in networking opportunities, tuition reimbursement, etc… make it a no brainer when compared to programs like Phoenix East.