Real Answers from Real Pilots

Week One Done

Wow what a week! Started Monday the 27th and within one hour of being on the training center property, I was on an IFR flight to Idaho Falls that included 2 hours simulated and .5 actual. 5 days, several sims, 13.5 hours cross country under the hood including 6.5 hours today, and a ton of coffee…I’m having the time of my life!

My instructor is a great dude and I’m glad to see he is absolutely by the book like myself. I’ve found a few really sharp students who I plan to stick by as mentors. I’m really looking forward to the weeks to come and all the learning that lies ahead.

Trey

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Great to hear Trey! Sounds like all’s going well and as planned!

Keep us posted.

Adam

Trey,

I am so glad to hear that you are off to a great start! Please keep us updated as you go through the program.

Chris

Instrument checkride complete and flying out for Crew today. I’m about 40 days ahead of schedule and I owe a lot of that to the advice received on this forum. Thanks Chris, Adam, and Tory!

Trey

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Trey,

Awesome news! Congratulations!

Also, thank you for the kind words and for the update.

Chris

I completed my MEI earlier this week and man does it feel good. Some people spend years trying to prepare themselves to become a flight instructor. ATP compresses that timeline down to 6 weeks so it goes without saying that the CFI Academy is no joke. I found the other phases (instrument, commercial, etc) to be pretty straightforward–if you study, read the FAA handbooks, and spend some time flipping through the ASA Oral Prep books, you will pass the ground portion of these checkrides.

The CFI Academy is a different animal simply because there is so little time. For those heading to the academy soon, I highly recommend:

  • Read the Aviation Instructor Handbook, focusing on the learning process, teaching process, human behavior, Instructor Responsibilities and Professionalism, and Assessment/Critique. Reading in advance will really help with making sense of the FOIs…a lot of folks struggle here. ATP actually includes these readings as part of the online coursework in preparation for CFI.
  • ATP provides students with example lesson plans and notes (on the extranet). A lot of students use these and update/modify them to their liking. There is nothing wrong with this…I think they are a good place to start. Some students built powerpoints; others used just notes; some memorized lessons cold. It’s all personal preference and you may actually find that the DPE likes/dislikes a certain format. If you do use ATP’s lesson plans and notes as a launching point, I recommend reviewing Areas of Operation 2, and 3 prior to the academy and highlighting key points. These templates are OLD so cross check each lesson to ensure the elements of the PTS are sufficiently covered.
  • ATP is very honest about the timelines…6 weeks. I found this to be a very accurate timeline and I honestly could not imagine this process being condensed any further. As much as I wanted to be back home in 3 or 4 weeks, it’s not practical IMO.

Best wishes to those heading there soon. I was at the IWA location and found it to be very well organized with great instructors.

Trey

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Trey,

Congratulations on getting your MEI!!! That is great news. Just a few small check rides left to go.

Also, thank you for the detailed post, it is great to get first hand knowledge like that.

Chris

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Congrats, Trey! What a relief, right?!

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Congrats Trey!

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Congrats Trey!

I’m studying as much as I can before I even set foot in ATP. I want to be reviewing the Instructor Handbook and then-some by the time I start in August.

Glad to hear everything went great!

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Digging up an old post here but I’m feeling nostalgic and next week I begin training at my dream job, SkyWest Airlines, flying CRJs. Despite a pandemic and some delays along the way, the past nearly 3 years has flown by and I’m just as sold on ATP as a product now as I was back then. Having instructed at another flight school, I had the benefit of seeing how efficient, well organized, and equipped ATP is to focus on their single mission of safely training airline pilots in a fast paced environment. It is their robust size that allows them to be flexible to change and send resources where they are needed most…ensuring zero training impact to students or instructors. There simply is not a more efficient place to train and get ratings. In fact, as an instructor at another flight school, I’m pretty sure I sent no less than three of my students to ATP because they desired more support and efficiency.

I regularly see folks coming here asking if ATP is right for them. If you are hard working, motivated, organized, mature, and filled with a passion for flying then YES!! ATP is for you! I completed the 6 month program in exactly 6 months with zero checkride failures and there are many more who trained alongside me who succeeded just the same. I was delivered exactly what I paid for…yet my expectations were still exceeded.

Thanks to ATP and their laser focus towards a single mission. Off to my dream job :slight_smile:

Many many congrats Trey! You’ve made it! I know many people who flew for SkyWest and all have wonderful things to say. Enjoy your time there but don’t be afraid to raise your sights and start thinking about the next dream!

Adam

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Trey,

Thank you so much for coming back to post an update. It is always so great when somebody does.

More importantly, congratulations on getting your dream job! SkyWest is a great place to work and I am sure you will get some fantastic experience there.

Now I expect to see a picture of you in the right seat of an RJ is no more than three months… :slight_smile:

Chris

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Trey,
Wow so glad to hear! It’s been a long time coming for you and so many others. Enjoy every second of training, even the tough parts! Your career is just getting started and that’s the most exciting part. Thank you for your lovely write up. Keep us updated!

-Hannah

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Happy for you Trey! You wouldn’t happen to be starting June 1 would you?

Tory

Hi Tory…no I’ll be in the 18 May class, SLC.

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So close! Just curious. Have a friend starting June 1 in the CRJ. I can connect you guys if you’d like?

Tory

Tory,

Absolutely…I’d be happy to pass along what to expect for the first two weeks. I also live in SLC so I can give some recommendations on good food, etc. Shoot me a PM and I’ll give you my email address.

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